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Tuning Down 1½ Steps- Need thicker strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by NicJimBass, Dec 23, 2005.


  1. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Is this thing on!? Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, Source Audio, Hipshot
    Alright, so it looks like my band will be tuning down 1½ steps from now on (I play 5 string, tuning from lowest note- G#, C#, F#, B, E), so to combat flabby strings, I'm thinking of going with a thicker gauge. I curently run Rotosound roundwounds, .130 B (or G# in this case) string, and I haven't really seen anything thicker. I've heard of .145 strings, I think... does anyone know where to find something like this?
    I realize the nut will have to be widened to accomodate thicker strings, and that's no problem. Brand doesn't matter, but price does somewhat, as I play out alot, and will have to change strings regularly. Any and all help is appreciated!
     
  2. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    www.juststrings.com

    Look around in the single strings section. I just did a quick glance, and they have some D'Addario and Ken Smith up to .145 gauge, probably some others, too.

    They've also got DR Lo Riders up to .130; Lo Riders are known to be pretty stiff compared to other strings of the same gauge, so that might work for you too.

    Since you're going up pretty drastically in gauge, be sure to keep an eye on your neck when you tune it up. You don't want to put too much tension on it.
     
  3. the guitarist in ur band have 7 strings? and tune down to Ab? if there just tunning down 6 strings to Db u really dont need to change ur tuning wiht a 5 string
     
  4. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Is this thing on!? Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, Source Audio, Hipshot
    No, my guitarists only have 6 strings, but I utilize the B string quite a bit. In order to keep the same patterns for the songs I play, I tune down. I'm too simple to keep thinking about playing everything a fret lower.
     
  5. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    JustStrings.com has D'Addario .145 Pro Steels as a single string purchase item. Check with your local guitar/music store as I have had luck locally that way.

    FWIW - I believe that even a .145 is going to be too light. I used .150 and .155 taperwounds on traditional scales to reach A (27.5 Hz) and found them to be too loose and too low in overtones.
     
  6. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Is this thing on!? Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, Source Audio, Hipshot
    Well, .130 isn't too bad, unless I beat the crap out of it, which I normally do live. I thought .145 was the thickest I could go. Do you have a source for something thicker?
     
  7. eots

    eots

    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    Maybe consider an upright bass.
     
  8. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Is this thing on!? Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, Source Audio, Hipshot
    Let me clarify on this... we just started tuning down this way at last practice, as it helps our lead singer's voice. It also makes us sound "heavier" (although i think the way a song's written is way more important that a couple extra low notes). Anywho, we're playing songs that are already written, a half step lower than we normally used to. I used to tune ADGCF, but now I will be at G#C#F#BE, so I can play the songs in the esact same position and on the same frets as before. I tried playing everything down one fret, but got really frustrated.

    Also, I have a StingRay 5 that will be tuned C#F#BEA# (I think- I'm horrible with note names, especially since I tuned it by ear and not with a tuner), but I'm still using a .130 string set. The low C# sounds really good with such a thick string, so I'm looking forward to going thicker on my other bass.
     
  9. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Is this thing on!? Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, Source Audio, Hipshot
    With the way I thrash onstage, an upright wouldn't last 5 minutes!
     
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  11. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Is this thing on!? Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, Source Audio, Hipshot
    Probably... like I said, not having a tuner in front of me threw me off.