Down-Tuning on a Five-String
hi everyone, hopefully one of you can help me out:
me an my band play in drop-c and our bassplayer plays a 5-string bass (scale length is 34 or 35). since most of our songs are played in d minor (and therefore easy to play...as well as d- major or f sharp minor) they sound one step lower (therefore c-minor) making it verey hard for our bassplayer to incorporate open strings to his bassline....
so my question bassically is: will tuning down two half steps on a five string (with a 34/35 scale) affect the intonation that much that a set-up is a MUST or is it more like a subtle difference that barely anyone would notice in a live or rehearsal situation ? (the lesser tension on the strings won´t be a problem)
any input is highly appreciated and many thanks in advance since i don´t know anything about basses
I read that John Myung from Dream Theater tunes down one half step while Petrucci tunes the guitar to C standard. Apperently this helps Myung to play lines more easily.
Then the guitar would be tuned
and the bass would be
Apparently that works better for bass lines (don't ask me how, though). I think the guy from In Flames does the same.
Tuning down affects the tension, which will affect the neck adjustment, and since it makes the waveform longer, you'll need to do a re-intonation as well.
Usually doing a setup for downtuning by a whole step or more starts with increasing the guage of strings at least by one size, tune to desired pitch, adjust neck for straightness, check the action, re-set intonation (note: before stretching out the strings), then re-check the neck for straightness, re-check action, re-check intonation, if intonation is fine and playability is optimum, you're in good shape.