#1
So I just got my first bass off of ebay brand new for $60. I know that's pretty cheap but the quality is actually pretty good. I'm not sure what strings came with it but they're most likely meant for standard or drop d tuning. 

Long story short, I want to make a cover of Killswitch Engage's "My Curse" in Drop A. But when I tune the bass to drop a, the first string buzzes like crazy and is hard to hear. All the rest still work fine. I'm not really sure what I should do about it. Do I need to raise the action? Get new strings? (I'm mostly using this bass for low tunings). Just play in a higher key and edit it with a pitch shift? 

Keep in mind I'm not playing out of an amp because I don't have one yet. But I am playing straight out of my computer's speakers. 

If I were to switch strings I would want one that allows me to go as low as drop b or c but still be able to tune up to drop d or standard (I play a variety). The strings I use for my electric allow this, they're hybrid slinkies. 
#2
I'm guessing the bass is a 4-string.  Not sure there is a set of strings that will handle drop A tuning and standard without being too floppy and lose a lot of note definition.  You might be able to get away with a heavier guage (heavy "E" is around .110 and extra heavy are around .115, by comparison a lighter guage low B string is around .120) but to make the bass play it's best you'll probably have to do bridge and truss rod adjustments each time you change tuning.  Alternatively, you could use a 5-string set (you'll have to widen the nut slot and, depending on the bridge, widen the holes that the string feeds through to fit the thicker strings through).  You'll get to drop A easier that way, but tuning back up to standard won't work well, but at least the highest 3 strings will be tuned E-A-D so you'll still have access to that range.
#3
Drop A is typically a 5-string tuning and using standard 4-string set is not going to work for it. You need a lot heavier strings, and obviously those will not work for standard tuning either. So you need to choose - is it more important to play in a drop tuning or to be able to play in standard tuning (that the vast majority of songs are in). If you really want to play in a low tuning, maybe getting a 5-string bass would make more sense.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#4
Quote by xMCR.for.Lifex
So I just got my first bass off of ebay brand new for $60. I know that's pretty cheap but the quality is actually pretty good. I'm not sure what strings came with it but they're most likely meant for standard or drop d tuning. 

Long story short, I want to make a cover of Killswitch Engage's "My Curse" in Drop A. But when I tune the bass to drop a, the first string buzzes like crazy and is hard to hear. All the rest still work fine. I'm not really sure what I should do about it. Do I need to raise the action? Get new strings? (I'm mostly using this bass for low tunings). Just play in a higher key and edit it with a pitch shift? 

Keep in mind I'm not playing out of an amp because I don't have one yet. But I am playing straight out of my computer's speakers. 

If I were to switch strings I would want one that allows me to go as low as drop b or c but still be able to tune up to drop d or standard (I play a variety). The strings I use for my electric allow this, they're hybrid slinkies. 


Um, while you can change the tuning with one set of strings, it creates intonation and action problems. The tension is going to be different if you're running between multiple tunings. As a general rule, it's best to stick with one tuning per guitar. 

For the bass, once people start getting into B-tuning or Drop B tuning, they move to a 5-string. The nut slots are cut wider. It might be lighter than some would do, but I run my 5-string AEADG with the low A on a 130 gauge, while the low-E might be something like a 105.

So, yeah, a pedal would be a good idea. I don't know if the effect is available in software, or how a physical pedal would work, but that would be ideal. I don't know if there's the bass version of the Variax guitar.
Guitar/Bass:
Schecter: Damien 6/Stilletto Extreme 5, Squier: Bullet HSS*, Washburn RX10*/WG-587, Agile Septor 727
*mods

Amps/FX
Peavey: Vypyr 30/Max 112 (200W), ISP: Decimator

Quote by dannyalcatraz
Understood- I waste money on amps*, too.

justinguitar.com is the answer
Last edited by bjgrifter at Dec 9, 2017,
#5
Try a set of DR's DDT strings.  They help.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#6
In any case, it's rare that bass players will want to downtune to match guitars; this is something that usually only happens with newbs to bass who come from a metal guitar background. There are a number of threads on here that deal with a few debates over whether this is necessary or a great idea at all.