Six string bass tuning?

Re: Six string bass tuning?

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:41 pm

tigerstrat wrote:BEADGB. just think of it as "there's a 4-string bass hidden in the middle"

No. Its B>E>A>D>G>C
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Re: Six string bass tuning?

Postby Octal » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:05 pm

Anyone ever use any open tunings for a bass? I guess it could opening up some slide possibilities...
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Re: Six string bass tuning?

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:50 am

Octal wrote:Anyone ever use any open tunings for a bass? I guess it could opening up some slide possibilities...


I'm sure somebody has. Doesn't seem particularly useful to me... chords on bass are fairly muddy and slide on bass is even muddier. The combo makes me a little queasy just thinking about it. :lol:
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Re: Six string bass tuning?

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:11 am

Rusty the Scoob wrote:
Octal wrote:Anyone ever use any open tunings for a bass? I guess it could opening up some slide possibilities...


I'm sure somebody has. Doesn't seem particularly useful to me... chords on bass are fairly muddy and slide on bass is even muddier. The combo makes me a little queasy just thinking about it. :lol:

HA! SO true :lol:
"I didn't ask them to misspell anything to prove their authenticity, but I believe they're legit." ~ Rusty The Scoob.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV9EGVZio2M
https://archive.org/details/DA2013-10-19
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Re: Six string bass tuning?

Postby zambiland » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:43 pm

Rusty the Scoob wrote:
Octal wrote:Anyone ever use any open tunings for a bass? I guess it could opening up some slide possibilities...


I'm sure somebody has. Doesn't seem particularly useful to me... chords on bass are fairly muddy and slide on bass is even muddier. The combo makes me a little queasy just thinking about it. :lol:



Ever heard Morphine? The band leader, Mark Sandman, played 3 string slide bass and killed it. I worked with their sound engineer back in the day and after a gig I did for him, as he was picking up the PA, he said to me, "hey, you want to see a bass that just played in front of 20,000 people in Japan?" and pulled out Mark's crazy weird old bass. I don't know what kind it was, but it sounded great and looked like it came from a pawn shop for $75.

I've done the odd random beer bottle slide bass solo, but it helps to empty a lot of bottles first.
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Re: Six string bass tuning?

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:12 am

Yeah, of course Morphine comes to mind as soon as you mention slide bass. In his case I think it works only because he's in a weirdly-configured trio.

I've done the same beer bottle slide bass solos, and for the same reason. I find pint glasses to have better tone. :lol:
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Re: Six string bass tuning?

Postby RiverRat » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:08 am

Phil Lesh101 wrote:
tigerstrat wrote:BEADGB. just think of it as "there's a 4-string bass hidden in the middle"

No. Its B>E>A>D>G>C


Who tunes up??? Just grip it and rip it!
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Re: Six string bass tuning?

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:10 pm

Rusty the Scoob wrote:Yeah, of course Morphine comes to mind as soon as you mention slide bass. In his case I think it works only because he's in a weirdly-configured trio.

I've done the same beer bottle slide bass solos, and for the same reason. I find pint glasses to have better tone. :lol:

HAHA! who would have thought different bottles give you different sounds on a bass! :lol:
"I didn't ask them to misspell anything to prove their authenticity, but I believe they're legit." ~ Rusty The Scoob.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV9EGVZio2M
https://archive.org/details/DA2013-10-19
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Re: Six string bass tuning?

Postby Charlie » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:59 pm

I've got my dad's old Fender VI bass, which is tunes EADGBE like a guitar but an octave lower. Although they called it a bass, I think this instrument would better be described as a baritone guitar. It's a good instrument for gutarists who want to cross over to bass (which is why my Dad had it) but traditional four string bass players like myself have dfficulty with it because the neck is not much wider than a guitar. If I felt I needed any extra strings, I'd want one on the bottom end not two more on the top.
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Re: Six string bass tuning?

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:02 pm

Charlie wrote:I've got my dad's old Fender VI bass, which is tunes EADGBE like a guitar but an octave lower. Although they called it a bass, I think this instrument would better be described as a baritone guitar. It's a good instrument for gutarists who want to cross over to bass (which is why my Dad had it) but traditional four string bass players like myself have dfficulty with it because the neck is not much wider than a guitar. If I felt I needed any extra strings, I'd want one on the bottom end not two more on the top.

So your telling me you tune your bass EADGBE?
Not BEADGC? < That is correct
"I didn't ask them to misspell anything to prove their authenticity, but I believe they're legit." ~ Rusty The Scoob.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV9EGVZio2M
https://archive.org/details/DA2013-10-19
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Re: Six string bass tuning?

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:27 am

The bass that he's talking about is a fairly rare Fender model that didn't really catch on. It was tuned EADGBE at the factory, an octave down from a guitar. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Bass_VI
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Re: Six string bass tuning?

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:39 am

Rusty the Scoob wrote:
Octal wrote:Anyone ever use any open tunings for a bass? I guess it could opening up some slide possibilities...


I'm sure somebody has. Doesn't seem particularly useful to me... chords on bass are fairly muddy and slide on bass is even muddier. The combo makes me a little queasy just thinking about it. :lol:

I dont think chords are That muddy, But more Powerful
"I didn't ask them to misspell anything to prove their authenticity, but I believe they're legit." ~ Rusty The Scoob.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV9EGVZio2M
https://archive.org/details/DA2013-10-19
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Re: Six string bass tuning?

Postby JamminJommy » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:09 pm

Phil Lesh101 wrote:
Rusty the Scoob wrote:
Octal wrote:Anyone ever use any open tunings for a bass? I guess it could opening up some slide possibilities...


I'm sure somebody has. Doesn't seem particularly useful to me... chords on bass are fairly muddy and slide on bass is even muddier. The combo makes me a little queasy just thinking about it. :lol:

I dont think chords are That muddy, But more Powerful



Having a third in a bass chord makes it muddy unless you drop the fifth. In general, open fifths sound big and thirds sound like you are doing something specific. I will say that having been on both ends of the bassist/guitarist spectra, it annoys the hell out of me when I'm playing rhythm when the bassist decides to do my job and strum out chords for me. As a bass player, I tend to have fun doing it, but I took that as a sign that I should learn guitar... so I did. Years later, and happy about it!

Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Six string bass tuning?

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:51 am

I use them fairly often in my Phil impression but they do sound muddy compared to guitar chords. It's just a fact of science - lower notes have more harmonic overtones within the range of human hearing than higher ones, and all of those overtones clash with each other when you play multiple notes, not just the fundamentals.

Up high on a piano you can play tight clusters of notes, chords with notes that are a half-step or a full-step apart, and have it sound musical. On a bass even in the high register you have to have a very clear, bright tone and open band mix to get away with even a major triad in root position. I rarely find room to fit much more than Root-5th or Root-3rd into a band situation.
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Re: Six string bass tuning?

Postby Pete B. » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:27 am

One place I think I hear Phil play chords is the intro to Greatest Story Ever Told. You can briefly see this in the View From The Vault version.
Here's another shot where you can see Phil is the only one playing at the very intro using a guitar-ish type chord strum:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D91WG6SSLnA
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