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What is the exact danger in tuning strings WAY down?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by SMILEYSIXX, Nov 5, 2010.



    Dec 29, 2009
    My bass was set up for standard as iit's the one I use in my jazz band, but for a song, I've been tuning down to AGCF. It's been holding the tuning pretty well, but is there a danger in dropping the strings that much? I mean the A, D, and G are only dropped a whole step, but my E being dropped all the way to A seems like it may not be good for the bass, but what is the exact danger?
  2. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    A few horrible things:

    1. You'll need to adjust your truss rod.
    2. You may need to adjust your amp's/bass' EQ.
    3. String buzz is 18% more likely for each semitone dropped.
    4. You may need to adjust your action or plucking strength.
  3. TGLbass


    Aug 20, 2010
    Loosening -- probubly won't cause any danger unless the neck catches on fire from playing too fast. Danger comes when you tighten the strings too much. Like the guy above said +1.


    Dec 29, 2009
    the neck isn't bowing at all and it's playing great. As long as there's no danger of the neck snapping or something drastic and as long as any neck bow can be fixed with a truss rod adjustment, it'll work, because I'm playing in standard for some stuff and AGCF for other stuff.
  5. TGLbass


    Aug 20, 2010
    If there is less tension on the neck from the strings pulling from the bridge over thier full length all the way up to the tuners then- the neck would not snap . Now if the neck is bi-polar -- well you just never know.
  6. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Below a certain level of detuning the strings get too loose and just go floppy. Then you got dull floppy strings that cant make a good sound. But no danger from detuning itself. Truss rod adjustment may be needed with downtuning since less tension.
  7. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    One song?
  8. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Danger? No. But there will be results.

    The neck is designed to compensate for the tension the strings provide. Less tension on the strings means the neck will tend to bow backward and require "Relief" (which is the truss rod adjustment previously mentioned).

    Now, tuning way HIGH, that's a different thing. I do believe you can tune high enough to trash a tuner, bridge or even a neck - if you really put your mind to it! But low? Nah - your bass just wont' play so well until you tune back up.


    Dec 29, 2009
    Ehh two right now, working on a third. Korn, Dimmu Borgir and working on Mastodon.
  10. If you plan on keeping it consistently tuned like that, thicker strings may be a good idea, at least for the low A. Mainly just because it'll make it easier to play, since tuning down a fifth makes for loose strings.

    :bag: Or get a fiver.
  11. To learn the notes on the fretboard again :p


    Dec 29, 2009
    I have one. :bag:

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