#1
Howdy.

I'm becoming more interested in this tuning, and as such I'm wanting to take my 4-string fender pbass and put it in said tuning. The problem?

String gauge. I haven't a clue what to use. I've played bass more as a secondary instrument for a while (despite it being my first) and I generally just keep it in Eb and use a typical gauge for strings.

Outside actually setting up my bass for Drop A (which is tedious if nothing else), I was wondering what strings/brand you guys would recommend I go with.

Thanks for any help (though I probably forgot to mention something >_>.
When you saw me sleeping
thought I was dreaming
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I didn't tell you
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#2
First.... can your amp handle drop-A?

Unless you have a REALLY nice rig, you're just going to get fart sounds.


Assuming the amp is ok, it's definetly doable. I've seen a 4 string tuned to low F standard.

-Get a 5 string set (i like DRs, personally).
-Disregard the G string.
-Either get a new nut or file your existing one to handle the B-E-A-D strings.
-Drop the B to an A.
-Adjust the bridge/truss rod to innotate.
-???
-Profit.


But seriously... make sure your amp can handle the lows before you go and modify your bass and drop the $$ on strings (which, for a nice set will be $50+)
#3
Most amps can handle the note, it's only for stupidly low stuff that you need a special amp.

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A big ass upright

#4
Quote by m4l666
Most amps can handle the note, it's only for stupidly low stuff that you need a special amp.

This is what i thought, the above post confused me...my amp's perfectly capable of that.

So would the best option be to just buy a pack of 5 strings then getting a new nut/filing the old one down?
When you saw me sleeping
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#5
Pretty much, then set it up and voila.
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Rotosound Swing 66s, 45-105

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#6
Quote by Td_Nights
This is what i thought, the above post confused me...my amp's perfectly capable of that.

So would the best option be to just buy a pack of 5 strings then getting a new nut/filing the old one down?


I don't see how it was confusing at all...

In any case, yes; a 5 string set and a filed/replaced nut is the easiest approach.
#7
Quote by Din of Win
I don't see how it was confusing at all...

In any case, yes; a 5 string set and a filed/replaced nut is the easiest approach.

I meant, what you said about the different amp. That didn't occur to me before because it wasn't an issue. >_<
When you saw me sleeping
thought I was dreaming
of you...


I didn't tell you
That the only dream
Is Valium for me
#8
Quote by Td_Nights
I meant, what you said about the different amp. That didn't occur to me before because it wasn't an issue. >_<


Right on. I just mentioned it because it would suck if you set this thing up only to plug it in to hear farty low notes.

I didn't mean to imply you have crappy gear at all, just wanted to caution as much in case you hadn't considered it! Just lookin out, man.
#9
Quote by Din of Win
Right on. I just mentioned it because it would suck if you set this thing up only to plug it in to hear farty low notes.

I didn't mean to imply you have crappy gear at all, just wanted to caution as much in case you hadn't considered it! Just lookin out, man.

Ah, I see. Thank you
When you saw me sleeping
thought I was dreaming
of you...


I didn't tell you
That the only dream
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#10
Tips from a guy, who plays his 5 string in Drop A, G# occasionally, and even tried F# once.

I assume drop A is for Nile I use D'Addario Nickelwounds 50-135 to keep the tension proper, yet with a 34" scale it's an uphill battle - STILL not enough tension so get a really clear sound - you can hear the note, but it's a bit wobbly. I assume, that the only reason I can hear the note, is the compressor at work. Without a compressor, you're a goner IMO. Also, setting up from Eb to drop A is going to be a much bigger challenge than from B to drop A.
You're gonna have to:
*Adjust your truss rod (If you plan on using it as your permanent tuning, if it's just a little fiddling, it isn't necessary).
*Adjust your bridge (Or else your intonation is in the dumpster)
*Get your nut prepared (change from 105 to 135 or something similar is a big leap)


And when you think you're ready... STOP! HAMMER TIME! Do not proceed at playing full blast - adjust your EQ accordingly, so that you don't distort (Especially, if your speakers can't handle A0 (27.50 Hz) ). You may end up turning down the bass.

TL;DR - Don't **** it up. Drop A is a tuning, that perfectly displays all the flaws and suddule issues of drop tunings that I hate a lot. It's not about being lost on the fretboard, but when you detune ALL of the strings, it doesn't feel that awkward.
#11
Quote by nesveikuolis
Tips from a guy, who plays his 5 string in Drop A, G# occasionally, and even tried F# once.

I assume drop A is for Nile I use D'Addario Nickelwounds 50-135 to keep the tension proper, yet with a 34" scale it's an uphill battle - STILL not enough tension so get a really clear sound - you can hear the note, but it's a bit wobbly. I assume, that the only reason I can hear the note, is the compressor at work. Without a compressor, you're a goner IMO. Also, setting up from Eb to drop A is going to be a much bigger challenge than from B to drop A.
You're gonna have to:
*Adjust your truss rod (If you plan on using it as your permanent tuning, if it's just a little fiddling, it isn't necessary).
*Adjust your bridge (Or else your intonation is in the dumpster)
*Get your nut prepared (change from 105 to 135 or something similar is a big leap)


And when you think you're ready... STOP! HAMMER TIME! Do not proceed at playing full blast - adjust your EQ accordingly, so that you don't distort (Especially, if your speakers can't handle A0 (27.50 Hz) ). You may end up turning down the bass.

TL;DR - Don't **** it up. Drop A is a tuning, that perfectly displays all the flaws and suddule issues of drop tunings that I hate a lot. It's not about being lost on the fretboard, but when you detune ALL of the strings, it doesn't feel that awkward.

I'm fully prepared to adjust the truss rod, bridge, and to deal with the nut. That's all thought out ahead of time

Thank you for the kind words. And yes, Nile may be a factor
When you saw me sleeping
thought I was dreaming
of you...


I didn't tell you
That the only dream
Is Valium for me
#12
Did the exact thing with my Traben Array Attack. Filed the nut, got a 5 pack of D'Addario nickelwound and set up the bass accordingly. I'm only tuned to B standard, but i'm sure drop A would work fine as well. The tension on the strings is very nice. However my massive Traben bridge may have some effect on how well the bass worked for this.