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Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by Leberbs, Mar 5, 2016.
Has anyone tried tuning a 5 string bass to drop C? (CGCFA) or (CGCFC)
Just get the right strings for it, and you're good
(.040 .060 .075 .095 .125) Is the smallest gauge I can find.
I have a .130 for the low B at the moment and I know it can be tuned up to C. I'm not sure how much thinner I need the other 4 strings. Do I go thinner in increments of .005?
(.030 .050 .065 .085 .120) ?
You'll need a custom set to cope with the lowest interval being a fifth, use a tension chart to design one.
Or, Kalium Strings are the only place that sells sets for any drop tuning possible:
5 String Sets - Standard Scale - Balanced Drop Tune Tension - Hybrid Bass Strings - Shop By Material - Electric Bass Guitar
These sets have equal tension strings in a drop tuning. Steels also available. Only work with top-load bridges.
Here's the tension chart http://store.kaliumstrings.com/TensionCalculator/index.html
Perhaps the .130 set?
I feel like this would be a perfect set except for the G (C) .031 BH-124-5DS - 5 String Sets - Standard Scale - Balanced Drop Tune Tension - Hybrid Bass Strings - Shop By Material - Electric Bass Guitar
It's too loose for the A and a bit too tight for the C.
edit: I see you can make custom sets...
Yeah, just find yourself a string tension calculator, and build custom sets. personally I like around 40 pounds of tension on each string, but that may not be the case for you
Here's a funny thing. A typical bass set is so imbalanced (very loose B, slightly loose E, very tight middle, tight trebles)
b0 .130 ckwnb == 36.01#
e1 .100 ckwnb == 38.82#
a1 .085 ckwnb == 50.2#
d2 .065 ckwnb == 53.01#
g2 .045 ckwnb == 46.58#
c3 .032 ckwnb == 43.26#
that it makes an almost perfect set in string drop C with the 100 E string thrown away. So a typical set with the E gone is actually pretty good. Like Daddarios XL 165 6 set.
c1 .130 ckwnb == 40.42#
g1 .085 ckwnb == 39.84#
c2 .065 ckwnb == 42.07#
f2 .045 ckwnb == 36.97#
a2 .032 ckwnb == 30.59#
A tad loose on the highest string. Maybe a 5 string set plus a single 34 or 35 would be nicer for you.
Honestly this is one of the most balanced solutions around. Weird huh?
I highly recommend Kalium strings though, with very similar gauges.
The Kalium set linked above is good and a similar descending tension profile to what I just posted - but too loose overall in my opinion.
BH-130-5DS - 5 String Sets - Standard Scale - Balanced Drop Tune Tension - Hybrid Bass Strings - Shop By Material - Electric Bass Guitar
You can see this one has very similar gauges to what I suggested
Kalium strings aside though, it's cool that there's such an easy overlooked solution for such a popular tuning as drop C.
So the top string would normally be a Bb but you're retuning it down 1 or up 2 semitones?
You could buy a custom set based on one of their balanced sets but drop the gauge of the top string by 1 increment to compensate.
Custom sets are no more expensive at Kalium because they have no pre-packaged sets, every set is put together at order time. Another advantage of mail-order stings.
The .130 set is medium tension (40 pounds) the .118 set is extra-light (33 pounds).
I tune to CGCFA on a 34 scale EBMM.
I use a .130 for the C, then (I think) a .095 - .040 4 string set for GCFA. This is quite high tension, but seems to work ok!
good info,Just get the right strings for it, and you're good ,thanks
I'd go for the triple-C tuning and a regular 6-string set minus the E-string. Sounds reasonable enough to give it a try.
Not to derail the thread but I have a similar question.
On my 5 string bass I have a set of .045-.135 strings. (.045, .065, .085, .135)
I usually have the higher 4 tuned EADG with the 5th string anywhere from C down to A.
I am doing some recording in the near future and I need something that can handle the either CGCFC or CGCFA, with the low C tuned down to an A on some songs. I assume that my current string gauges would be way too thick on the higher strings?
Can anyone recommend string gauges that would suit that?
Just curious, why do you need to tune the bottom 4 strings up? Wouldn't it be easier to just transpose the notes to whatever fret? Unless you need to do a ton of pedal tones on the open string or something.
If that was directed at me, my reason is that some of the material I have written is pretty difficult to play and has some needlessly big stretches when played in CEADG. I basically want the bass to sound as good as possible so doing weird fingerings in needlessly weird tunings I assume wouldn't be optimal.
In my case it's because the band that I'm in tune to Drop-C - the intervals they play are a lot easier with the drop tuning, and a lot of open-string stuff is written on all strings.
Transposing is also a pain in the ass when learning or showing riffs.
I have an audition that tunes drop C# I tune my five G#, C#, Ab, Db, Gb I have 135 and the Low B is just ok I know I can't go any lower without playing a rubber band. I have tuned up before I just feel it's hard on the neck I am sure it's fine that's just me. Plus I can go low tuned down.
> CGCFC or CGCFA
Weird, 3 people use these tunings, why the top string at A or C instead of Bb?
Random3, see my previous advice. Also, a .145 will really help for the lowest if retuning between C and A. .145 is at minimum practical tension at A and not overly tight at C.
This probably isnt what you're looking for, but I just tune to ACGCF. I use the lowest string as a thumb rest. I play 5's because 4 string necks feel too skinny.
I quite like this tuning with my drop C: CDGCF. That's also how the bass is tuned in Wintersun. That is, D standard with the fifth string raised to C for pedaling along with the guitar riffs. The 4th and 3rd string are still a 4th apart for "standard" bass playing. It seems awkward to have the two bottom strings tuned so closely, but you just think of the C as the dropped string 4th string when you need it, and D as the non-dropped 4th string when it's more convenient. I use the same set as I use regularly for Eb.
Helpful thread. I used to think the top string couldn't be tuned higher than B! never thought it mattered on the strings.
I'm a 6 string electric guitar player, so this is a whole new realm for me lol.