#1
So, I just made the switch from guitar to bass in my band. We play in Drop-C tuning (CGCFAD), and right now I'm playing a 4-string tuned to CGCF.

I've been looking at five string basses, though, and I plan to purchase one in the near future. I'd like to use it for the music I write with my band - it would become my primary bass, most likely.

I'm aware I could stay in B standard, but I would prefer to keep the shapes the same between the guitar and the bass.

How the hell should I tune it? I would tune the top four strings CGCF, most likely, but what should I do with the B string? What could I tune it to to keep it useful?
#2
G?
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#3
This might not be the best idea, but you could tune the B up to a C and then keep the other strings the same so... CEADG

EDIT: oh, everything down, so you could tune the B down to A
#4
Quote by HoldFastHope
Drop-C tuning (CGCFAD)

How about A?
Derp.
#5
Stick to a 4 string...if you are gonna go up 2 a C is there any point in a 5 string?
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#6
^^ yes.

ACGCF or GCGCF, but the latter will be floppy and useless if you don't have a good amp, proper strings, and a good bass setup. Thick strings are your friend and get it professionally setup to be in this tuning.
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#8
ACGCF actually sounds pretty good. I don't want to take it all the way down to G, I doubt that would sound very good.
#9
It all depends on your technique, EQ and amp. That low G is at 49Hz, which a fair amount of amps won't handle at high volumes. I've heard basses with a...dare I say it?...F# below that G that sounded great. It's highly dependent on what you have/what you do as to how it sounds. Beyond that, it's to taste.
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Sansamp Bass Driver DI
Modded Ernie Ball VP Jr.
Monster Bass Cable, 21'

Quote by NakedBassist
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#10
*thanks the Lord that this hasn't turned into a "JUST GET IT IN STANDARD, N00B!" thread*

I personally throw my fiver down to GCGCF, but then again, I play a lot of Mudvayne wehich needs that low G. If you don't think you'll need the low G, just chuck it down to A.
#11
Tune every string up to C-F-Bb-Eb-Ab
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#13
Quote by Deliriumbassist
*thanks the Lord that this hasn't turned into a "JUST GET IT IN STANDARD, N00B!" thread*

I personally throw my fiver down to GCGCF, but then again, I play a lot of Mudvayne wehich needs that low G. If you don't think you'll need the low G, just chuck it down to A.

Damn straight! Tuning down FTW.
#14
When I first got my 5 string, I tuned to CDGCF, so that way you have all the benefits of drop C and D standard.

Now the band I'm in plays in drop D, so I just tune to standard.
#15
I don't have a 5 string, but I would just tune everything down 2 steps, GCGCF. I think you'll have more fun with the extended range of notes. Even thoguh it isn't necessary.
Quote by breakdown123
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#16
Or you could tune it the other way...CGCFA

I have my 5 string tuned like this and ive started making use of the extended upper range for arpeggios and such.
#17
How about C-E-G-C-F?
Four of the strings are drop D down a step and you have the third to beef up chords when barring across the 3 low strings or playing them open.
#18
ACGCF. i think korn does that in freak on a leash. and i dont think that you should get a 5 string jsut to get the feeling of a guitar. bass and guitar a different. cause the problem with that is you might be used to it and play to hard. my guitarist does that when play in standard.
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#19
Hey this is my first ever post here. I googled bass tunings because I've been experimenting with them myself and ran across this thread. It's a couple weeks old now, but I thought I'd share what I have recently found that works really well.

In a nuttshell if my explanation below is too wordy... Try the low 4 (BEAD) strings from and EXTRA LIGHT 5 string set on your 4 string bass and tune CGCF. Works great for me. Since my guitar player riffs a lot in C, I can make use of a lot of open C string chugga chugga and octave jumps. Very cool! Anything other than extra lights might be a little too much tension on the neck though.

---

One of my bands (metal) tunes in Drop C (CGCFAD). I am a 4 string bass player and don't care to make a switch to 5. I have been playing my RIC 4003 tuned down to CGCF using heavy guage but the floppy strings were really causing me a lot of grief. I hate that sound and the loose strings make it difficult to play as fast as I need to (finger style). My other band is a more trad rock band that plays standard by the way (EADGBE). Well, my backup bass is a Fender MIA Jazz bass and I had not been using it much. I just happened to have a set of extra light D'Addario 5 strings laying around and got the idea that I could string up the J Bass with the low 4 strings and tune CGCF. Well, I did and WOW! What a difference. This has worked really well for me so far. The string tension is just right and the tone is much improved. I didn't even have to alter the nut to make the strings fit since I used heavy guage 4 and switched to extra light 5. The difference is just enough and the tension does not bow my neck at all, very straight. Now I use my Jazz bass in the metal band (Drop C) and my RIC in the old school rock one (standard). And yes, you can play a Jazz bass in metal, just ask Cronos from Venom.
#20
honestly i've stuck with A-D-A-D-G cause that's as about as low as we need to go.

but i've also done C-G-B-C-F
#21
Some of these tunings seem insanely low to me. Down to A on a 5er? But I guess that's how the kids are rollin' these days. Guess that's why I still like the old school stuff that usually never went below Drop D. The CGCF I mentioned above seemed way too low at first to me, but the rest of the guys wanted to stay in Drop C and I figured I'd either have to quit or join em. That's what I get for being the old man in the band I guess. But I'm used to the way Drop C sounds now. That is, I tune the B up one step higher to C and the rest up 2 steps, not down back an octave. Now that WOULD be insane.
Last edited by Deesonic at Apr 24, 2008,
#23
Quote by Andy2k64
Stick to a 4 string...if you are gonna go up 2 a C is there any point in a 5 string?


because when your playing other stuff in standard its good to be able to go down really low


also, to answer your question just leave the B string tuned normal and forget about when playin in drop c,, its wat i do
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#24
Quote by Twone_
Tune every string up to C-F-Bb-Eb-Ab
This is what I do. If they're in drop-C you're unlikely to use lower than that C, and drop tunings on a bass feel retarded to me. My 5er is always in this tuning.
#25
Quote by smb
This is what I do. If they're in drop-C you're unlikely to use lower than that C, and drop tunings on a bass feel retarded to me. My 5er is always in this tuning.

One of my guitarist friends insists on playing in drop d. I'm trying to convince him to just go down to drop c so I can go the C-F-Bb-Eb-Ab route.
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