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  #1  
Old 2007-02-20, 21:04
sdr sdr is offline
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Post 5 string down tuning?? + octave pedal

Hey, My band tunes done 2.5 steps to B, and I have a 4 string at the moment at BEAD and that is alright, but I want to be able to utilise the extra string. Just wondering if anyone tunes down to with a 5 string to F#BEAD? Or have heard of bands that do this? Also does anyone use a bass octave pedal, Ive tried one out and it seems cool just for doing open string breakdown stuff and big single bass note accents. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks heaps
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  #2  
Old 2007-02-20, 21:53
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ugh....
if your guitarist tells you to go to drop B you should always respond with
"go fuck yourself"
unless you have a 5 string.
you cant tune a B to an f# because there isnt enough tension on the string to take it that far, you cant really go past G#
Im not even sure how you got your E string that low.
Just play a 5 string standard....drop A at the very most...if you absolutely have to...




...breakdowns suck
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  #3  
Old 2007-02-20, 23:56
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if you tune down to B, you will sound like absolute pure shit. don't do it. If your band is dedicated to those low notes, get a 5 string. ADGCF is the lowest i've ever tuned to play a song on my 5 string, except for disturbed (yes i love the believe album - Fuzz rocks The first album blew though) where it is played as a 1/2 step below drop D (Bb Db Ab Db Gb). Messugah uses retardedly low notes (8 string guitars) but i hate them anyways, at least from the few songs i've heard from them. I don't know what the hell their bassist does to get those notes, but i hope he doesn't tune down 2.5 steps.

You know who does that? Amon Amarth's bassist. He plays a 4 string tuned down to BEAD with a pick and when he has a solo part (just a line, not a shred solo thing, lol@the thought of him being able to do that) he plays with distortion. The line is cool, but holy freaking crap the bass sounds god awful.

Anyways i apologize for the band-bashing i didn't mean this post to be this way but i had to use examples. In short, if you downtune that low, you will play with an annoying, clanky sound. If you stay at a reasonable tuning (no more than 1 step down) you will sound much more professional and have much more control. You will sound like you have control over your bass. Even when playing in D standard, I get a lot of clanky sounds. It's hard to avoid.

Oh and PS: another example: listen to Suffocation by Morbid Angel and when you here the very short bass line, that will give you a clue as to the uncontrolled and nasty sound you get from downtuning. I thought that they didn't use Bb tuning at all in Altars (i never learned more than 1 or 2 songs off the album), but from the sound of Vincent's bass it seems they did.
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  #4  
Old 2007-02-21, 19:58
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matterthief matterthief is offline
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Death, Taxes and Downtuning

I've yet to meet a bassist who says they really like downtuning but anything that lets guitarists play one finger power chords is here to stay.

If the "fuck yourself" approach doesn't work let them hear how shitty downtuning so low actually makes your bass sound (your strings must be flopping all over). If they still don't care you can obviously solve the problem by getting a 5-string (or join another band)!

Another solution may be to ask a guitar tech if he can set up your bridge with heavier gauge strings and set the action up higher. But you might want to ask yourself what you are geting out of this band personally as a player if you have to make all these compromises.
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  #5  
Old 2007-03-07, 22:06
craven craven is offline
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I have a 5 string bass and I love to tune down as much/far as possible (obviously while still being playable).

I managed to get my bass tuned to ACGCF and more recently G#EADG (if the rest of the bass was lower the G# would be too floppy), but that's as far down as I can go and still have it playable.

I can tune my 4 string bass to AEAD, and only the lowest string is a little too loose.

I tune one of my 6 string guitars to Drop B but can achieve Bb or even B standard. (I have much heavier strings on it though). I tune my 7 string to either standard, Drop A or occasionally for kicks Drop G. I REALLY want an 8 string so I can tune it to an octave below standard, or Drop E (I know, I'm insane). I just like testing the limits of tuning.

I'd actually also like a 6 string bass, and I'd tune it to probably FBEADG.
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  #6  
Old 2007-03-08, 06:56
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sixsicsix sixsicsix is offline
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a six string bass is usually tuned BEADG-C It goes a 4th higher, 8 string guitars are just retarded because if you really need to go that low, maybe you should look into finding a better bassist.
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  #7  
Old 2007-03-08, 07:35
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Mortal_Lament Mortal_Lament is offline
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I know i'm a guitarist, probably in the wrong section, but my bassist owns a 6 string, and we tell him to tune it to beadgb, like a guitar. Mad bass solo's he makes...are you sure it is a 4th?
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  #8  
Old 2007-03-08, 08:24
Yertle4 Yertle4 is offline
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Um, I have a 4-string bass that I put the lowest 4 strings of a 5 string set and it sounds just jolly. the low B is clear as day.
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  #9  
Old 2007-03-08, 13:52
basstendencies basstendencies is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mortal_Lament
I know i'm a guitarist, probably in the wrong section, but my bassist owns a 6 string, and we tell him to tune it to beadgb, like a guitar. Mad bass solo's he makes...are you sure it is a 4th?


basses are tuned to perfect 4th's, but if you wanted to tune a six string bass like a guitar (E,A,D,G,B,e) i dont see why you couldnt.
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  #10  
Old 2007-03-13, 05:36
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Yeah man, don't tune your E String to a low B. It will be useless, sound like shit, almost impossible to play, and floppier than Elton John in a strip club. Save up some $$$ if you can and get a decent 5-string.
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  #11  
Old 2007-03-13, 06:04
JonR JonR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdr
Hey, My band tunes done 2.5 steps to B, and I have a 4 string at the moment at BEAD and that is alright, but I want to be able to utilise the extra string. Just wondering if anyone tunes down to with a 5 string to F#BEAD? Or have heard of bands that do this? Also does anyone use a bass octave pedal, Ive tried one out and it seems cool just for doing open string breakdown stuff and big single bass note accents. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks heaps
The lowest practical note you can get - on any instrument - is the A below the B of a 5-string bass. That (I guess) is the B you have yours tuned down to.
That A is the lowest note on a grand piano, and is generally considered the bottom of the total range of musical notes (pianos go both lower and higher than any other acoustic instrument). Its frequency is 27.5 Hz, or cycles per second. If you go lower than that, you start to not hear the sound as a smooth pitch, because the individual vibrations become audible. It sounds more like a fart than a musical note, IOW!

Having said that, I think some church organs go down lower. There is a theoretical bottom C at around 16 Hz (I think that's the note you get from a 32-foot organ pipe) - which suggests you could try going below that bottom A, to G or even F#.
And as I say, the nearer you get to 20Hz (the official low threshold of human hearing), the more the note will break up into its individual pulses - rather like a movie film breaks into individual frames if you slow it down. 20Hz is between Eb and E, an octave below the bottom E of a standard 4-string.
Synths, of course, can create super-low notes - and you've probaly heard the fat, but farty, results (Yeah, OK, fat and farty could be quite fun... )
Of course, on a bass guitar, you would need a pretty hefty string - or an extra long neck - to maintain the tension. Maybe a higher action too. And I don't know if the average bass amp speaker is voiced to allow for such low frequencies (that may not be an issue).
Certainly it would be difficult to make those low notes clearly audible - it's bad enough with the bottom few notes of a grand piano - so it's hard to understand the purpose of tuning down that much. There are physical/biological limits, that's the point - it's a law of diminishing returns.
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  #12  
Old 2007-03-23, 14:27
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sixsicsix sixsicsix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yertle4
Um, I have a 4-string bass that I put the lowest 4 strings of a 5 string set and it sounds just jolly. the low B is clear as day.

that would be baritone...not downtuning...
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  #13  
Old 2007-03-23, 19:54
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixsicsix
that would be baritone...not downtuning...


Yeah man...Jesus Fucking Christ, take the time to learn this shit you n00b lol j/k
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