Skip to main content

When playing playing a bass with downtuned strings do people often have to adjust the curvature of the neck so that the strings don't rattle? Or do the raise the strings at the bridge?

Example: I was listening to Bowie's "87 and Cry" and it sounds like he's playing a low C on the 1st string. 28 second mark...

UPDATE: I figured it out. He's playing a 5 string w that low B string.


Davedog Wed, 07/05/2017 - 19:16

Each bass will dictate what works for it. My studio basses are all a little high on the string height simply to minimize the string rattle.

So, when I was a Pro Bass Player, I had several set up for specific purposes.....The standard 4 string, usually a P or a J tuned in standard, a 5 string in most years a Guild Pilot 5 also tuned to standard, another 4 string tuned a half step down, another 4 string tuned a whole step down and sometimes a 5 string tuned a half-step down. That about covered any live gig I got called to play. What was really fun to play was the 4 string tuned down a whole step and playing with a band who were tuned in standard. That low 'D' without having to drop tune made everything sound cool.

All of these required strings sized to what was needed. The detuned instruments could naturally handle the pull of heavier strings without much adjustment. Although after a few years I never went much smaller on the string gauges than mediums. Huge strings make huge noises.....