1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Who else has their 6 string strung EADGBE? (I'm gonna get flamed!!!)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by de la mocha, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. de la mocha

    de la mocha

    Aug 20, 2005
    First off, no, I'm not trying to be a guitar player. But I found this book [​IMG] at guitar center while looking for a book on bass scales and decided what the hell....

    Anyway, since I have a 6 string Ibanez I just bought I decided to string it EADGBE to make use of this book. I feel that the 4 string bass was limiting my progress because I like to experement with recording new music and I find that learning guitar scales on my 6 string bass is helping me out tremendously!

    Now, I'm not trying to play the guitar on the bass because I don't like to do chords on the bass, but as far as creating cool bass lines by utilizing guitar scales, I find myself entering a bold new world! This is like a break through for me!

    I was just wondering does anybody else with a 6 string has their bass strung EADGBE? What made you do it? Tell us about your personal benefits of it!
  2. jvbjr


    Jan 8, 2005
    I did it for years. I have gone back to a low B. I was a guitarist for 20 years.
  3. Jeralya


    Sep 7, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Uh.....Scales are the same on every instrument, no matter the tuning...
  4. true but i think hes talking more scale positions.

    with a regular six string tuning, you would have a c after g to continue tuning in fifths, but with that guitar tuning, you go from g to b

    so theres a small change.
    but it would be easier in beadgc though, because you are staying in fifths and so scale shapes remain the same no matter where you are playing.
  5. Why would you be flamed? And what is wrong with playing a bass like a guitar? Everybody has their own style and direction they'd like to take their bass, play it however you want and who cares what anybody else thinks? I once played in a two-bass band where the other guy played his 4-string bass like a guitar, distortion, solos and everything. That guy rocked and the band sounded great.
  6. Hemispheres85


    Jun 15, 2006
    not to be critical, but basses are tuned in fourths.... Cellos & Violins are tuned in 5ths.
  7. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I have two basses tuned like this currently, though in a bit different ways. One is in standard bass range, with the EADG corresponding to the strings on a 4 string and then the high C and F generally found on a 7 string. The other is a piccolo 6, which is tuned EADGBE in guitar range (octave up from bass tuning) using strings from .047-.006.

    The piccolo I play literally like a classical guitar, with my thumb-index-middle-ring, pinky when necessary. I play bass the same way generally, but don't always use the thumb. It's more comfortable for me to be playing a full bass-scale instrument tuned to a guitar with bass spacing than it is to play a guitar, just due to familiarity. Some chords are a lot more tricky to hit, but you can usually get around it...or just practice more.

    The EADGBE tuning more nominal than anything though, as they both spend most of their time in different tunings (the piccolo in particular). Currently the piccolo is tuned CGCFBbD to facilitate playing a particular flamenco piece. It goes all over the place depending on the piece I'm playing.

    I don't think it's necessary made me a better player, nor do I think the 5 strings I've generally played have held me back or hampered me in any way. It has forced me to woodshed heavily, though, and allowed me to play a lot of music that was otherwise not playable with my standard instrument. I play a lot of classical and flamenco, though, so it may not have the same effect on you.
  8. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
  9. If I'm not mistaken, the intent of the tuning of a guitar (EADGBE) is for the voicing of chords more than the actual playing of scales.

    From a scale perspective, EADGCF makes much more sence as another poster stated, the patterns are the same no matter which octive you chose to play them.

    But to each his own I guess.
    I only play a 5 at most, try to play 4 when ever I can.
  10. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    That's exactly why some Jazz musicians who want to play chords on the bass will tune EADGBE on their 6-string basses.
  11. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    If you play it musically, who really cares?

    The result is more important than the dogma.

    One thing a 6 does is open up a lot of chordal possibilities. That tuning would possibly be an advantage for approaching chord melodies etc. However, I don't think you will make much use of it for Motown. Tunings are relative. Choose your tunings based on what you need to play, not based on dogma. My 2c.
  12. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    In Tim Bogert's video he said that he tunes his 6 string like that because he likes to play chords and it works for millions of guitarists....
  13. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    The advantage of having a 6 string tuned EADGBE versus EADGCF is taken away if you aren't using chords spaning the strings (ie, using the lowest two strings)- it primarily helps bar chords, as otherwise if a note on the low E is taken as the root, you might be playing the b6 and b9 on the highest strings, and the b9 in particular is not friendly in most circumstances. If you are just playing 3/4 note chords on the highest 4 strings, the advantage is completely wiped away, and it actually makes it more difficult as you are adding an extra fret's worth is stretch to reach higher notes.
  14. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    I believe JT has his basses strung like a 7 string guitar.

  15. de la mocha

    de la mocha

    Aug 20, 2005
    I like EADGBE so I can do Arpeggios better and play the single notes of chords, but as far as chords themselves, I don't do that. Plus, this book I bought shows scales and modes for guitars on all 6 strings. I couldn't find a bass book on scales so I decided to string my bass up like a guitar to do the scales in the book.

    The outcome is very, very funky bass lines!
  16. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    If you find that it's helping then that's great.

    However, I find that playing scales in two octaves on a 4 string is more helpful in helping you learn the fretboard. I find that shifting as you go up the neck helps you in the higher range. There is no reason that you can't use this tuning, but remember to practise scales in several positions on the neck.

Share This Page