#1
So I was talking with my bandmates (we play hardcore/metal) and the two guitarists I play with decided they want to write some songs in drop A, in addition to our normal drop C. They both own multiple guitars, so it won't be a problem for them to change tunings, but I own only my custom Precision Bass (which I love) and don't have money for another bass. Since I only find myself playing the low C string, and we do a lot of open-string breakdowns, I'm thinking about setting the bass up to have essentially two low strings - tuning it ACGC, so I can use one bass for both tunings without changing any of the parts. I have some questions:

1) Does anybody do anything like this?
2) What string gauges would be ideal for a tuning like this? I use a hybrid medium-heavy set for drop C.
3) Is there anything else I should take into account?

Thanks!
Gibson ES-137C
Parker P8EN
AC Custom Special P Bass
#3
Quote by isaac_bandits
Drop A + capo...


Do they make bass capos? I think I saw Hooky from New Order using one but I decided I was probably hallucinating it?
Gibson ES-137C
Parker P8EN
AC Custom Special P Bass
#4
Quote by sonic_777111
Do they make bass capos? I think I saw Hooky from New Order using one but I decided I was probably hallucinating it?

Well, I've managed to use guitar capos on my 4-string

As for the question, you might consider a 5-string or tuning a 4 to BEAD and drop-tuning the B string.
Professional lurker since 2009.
#5
Quote by sonic_777111
Do they make bass capos? I think I saw Hooky from New Order using one but I decided I was probably hallucinating it?

12 string guitar capo will do the trick. But I'd just spend the $250ish on a used Squier CV/VM. Makes things look a bit more professional.
Basses:
Fender Precision Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
Warwick Star Bass
Squier Precision Bass TB
#7
Quote by consecutive e
12 string guitar capo will do the trick. But I'd just spend the $250ish on a used Squier CV/VM. Makes things look a bit more professional.


If I get $250 I will. Simply because having a VM is probably worth it anyway...I love those basses.
Gibson ES-137C
Parker P8EN
AC Custom Special P Bass
#8
I would suggest trying to find a five string, if only for the fact that it would be much easier to maintain lower tunings. I've used a five string tuned to ACFA#D# (C standard with the B dropped to A) with no problems.

If you're set on using a four string to play dropped tunings, I'd recommend grabbing another bass and stringing it with heavier strings (take the first four out of a five string pack) to help maintain string tension. A .130 string makes a better (low) A string than a .100 string. With that, you could easily run a ACGC or a ACA#D# without floppy strings.
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#9
Quote by graybass_20x6
I would suggest trying to find a five string, if only for the fact that it would be much easier to maintain lower tunings.

That's just not true at all. It's all in the set up.
Basses:
Fender Precision Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
Warwick Star Bass
Squier Precision Bass TB
#10
Quote by consecutive e
That's just not true at all. It's all in the set up.


True, but for what the OP is looking for, a five string setup would be easier (read: less hassle) IMHO. Since it sounds like his band switches from drop A to drop C, he could utilize a single bass to play both tunings without having to switch basses (since drop A on a 5 string is essentially only dropping the B to an A and the remaining four remains in standard tuning). While this can also be done with a four string, I wouldn't prefer to use a .105 string as an A, even if the scale length is 35"....

...which is why I also recommended a four string setup with a .130 as the low A, and the rest to preference.
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Last edited by graybass_20x6 at Aug 22, 2011,
#11
Sounds misreable if you want any clarity. I won't play in drop A for that reason. Not much you can do dude! You'll sound like flop.

To have articulation in A (I mean... do you play fast at all?) you'd want a 5-string in 35" scale, the fattest strings you can get (at least 130 for the B/A) and a very good amp through 10's. Otherwise you just foolin. Don't let those guitarists suckah you.

Given that most guitarists are foolish, your mix will probably sound horrible too. Like Korn guitars instead of Periphery (fairly clean... but where the bass at?), and you'd be adding some mud to that.
Last edited by cGoEcYk at Aug 23, 2011,