Tunings

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Trev
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Tunings

Post by Trev » Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:47 pm

I'm playing with a new guitarist who tunes the guitar to Drop D flat (Db,Ab,Db,Gb etc...)

I have a 5 string bass and want to know if I can tune my 5 strings down 1/2 a step instead of the same tune with the low b in standard???

Help plse! :oops:

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Post by BrendonM » Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:53 pm

Hi,
thats some wierd tuning man Db, Ab, Db, Gb...
theoretically half a step from standard on a 5 string would be:
Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb... which is totally fine. I tune to that tuning to suit my guitarist also an have'nt had any issues with my basses and don't even notice the lesser tension, infact it probably helps when wizzing around the neck and bending the odd note. If the tension is even then I dont imagine it'd damage the bass any although time will tell :)
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Post by foal30 » Sat Feb 10, 2007 7:17 pm

well the Guitarist tuning is out of relation (normal intervals) if you post is correct.

assuming it is as listed, for the moment ignore your B string and tune the other 4 (low to high) Db Ab Db Gb

then at practice , make a decision on what the B should be with your ears.
(most likely Ab or Bb)

alternately you may wish to keep the "normal" 4 in standard tuning and drop your B down to Ab and specificly pedal this string for everything Low. Could take a lot of brain space and laterial playing to get right.

I can't see how a string tuned this low could possibly sound either accurate or tasteful but I am an old Bastard.

If you have made a mistake in your post about his tuning and he is Eb Ab Db Gb etc then follow Brendon's advice. If you are simply copying the neck/fret poistions of the Guitarist to learn the tunes or play along , it'll be a lot easier to be in the same tuning.

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Post by Trev » Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:28 pm

Cheers guys,

To elaborate, the guitarist is tuned 1/2 a step down each string, with the exception of the E which is tuned down to Db - Drop D flat.

The previous bassist also has a 5-string and tuned B-Db-Ab-Db-Gb, this seems a waste of a string, so I thought i'd learn the tunes by tuning all strings down 1/2 step (Their Open E corresponding to my Db on the B)

For the purpose of learning the tunes i'll gladly take your advice and stick in the same tuning as the gat,

Guess what i'm asking is it musically acceptable to play in a different arrangement to the guitarist? A simple question I don't know the answer to as I have'nt been playing bass 4 long.

Thanks again guys,

Trevor.

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Post by foal30 » Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:38 pm

I think philosophical wise anything goes.

I assume Music is your "free time" and you should do with it what you like.

Taste and the long term benefits of choosing to play/learn/set up in certain ways would be more .... subjective.

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Post by foal30 » Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:40 pm

oops Trevor, please let us know how you get on and what tuning you settle on/with. ta!

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Post by Cory » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:21 pm

I prefer the stubborn approach. Make the guitarist tune up to you.

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Post by Randomplay » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:23 am

Now please excuse me if this is totally ignorant... but im having problems understanding the why... by down tuning every string 1/2 step youre only gaining that Eb (on four string) all other notes are there already in standard tuning? Now with a five string youve already got Eb and the Db on the B string already nicly arranged in the circle o 5ths. By down tuning are you changing the tonality some how of the notes? (i take it youre gat guy likes soundgarden?) Obviously by droping the E 1.5 steps its totally messing up the arrangement...(would make some chords easier to play on gat id imagine) So if you drop all five strings then at least youre gaining that one note Bb, but thats all isnt it? And if you keep the arrangement in the circle o fiths all youre scales/chords stay the same.
These are questions not statement of fact... i have zero formal instruction in music! i just got sick of smiling and nodding when ive been jamming and people are saying keys etc. So i tootoed with a guitar tuner and looked scales up on the net... and thought i had that side of it sussed.. but im begining to have my doubts... :roll:

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Post by Jazzbass » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:45 am

If I can't play a song in std tuning, I'd have to consider there was something wrong with me...

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Post by foal30 » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:27 pm

I was hoping someone, rather than me, was going to say that Rog.
ta.

Randomplay , yes you are right. It changes the pattern of the neck, for want of a better saying and also eats into your high end.

as for cycles or patterns on the Bass Guitar , think of 4ths. as in the 4th tone of the scale. Changing the tuning of any 1 string breaks up the synchronicity. 4ths is a great way to get around the Bass Neck

I think it is important for all Musicians to be able to find any note on their instrument in a variety of positions. Bass lines are also not always constructed from the lowest note in the Guitarist's chord and copying the piano player's left hand is only sometimes O.K.

as for the tonality of the strings... well sometimes I think I can hear the "floppyness" of the de-tune. and my ears are not very good. You can certainly feel the slop of the strings when you play them... it's awful. Like changing gauges, it throws your touch. I think if you are fairly "bass-o-centric" in your listening you can tell sometimes.

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Post by Dan » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:47 pm

I work with a few singers who like everything to be tuned to Eb, for ease of singing purposes only. While I don't have a problem with doing that (Stevie Wonders band tunes to Eb, as did Stevie Ray Vaughan and many others) the tension of my strings just turns to ass.

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Post by ryla » Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:02 pm

just leave your tuning standard, your db on the B string is still a whole tone up from the open B so just "assume the position", and rock out.

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Post by foal30 » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:13 pm

I'm with Ryla.
get a quality 5 and show 'em how low you can go.

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Re: Tunings

Post by Pstewart » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:30 pm

Randomplay, down tuning won't usually result in any beneficial tone differences, unless you WANT a muddy, clicky sound.

Question, has anyone here experimented with ascending 5th tuning? Like a cello or Viennesse (sp) on the upright?
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