Joe Dart
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Thread: Tuning down a half step, or even a whole step

  1. #1

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    Tuning down a half step, or even a whole step

    First of all, I am REALLY enjoying my new Limited Edition Radiance Red 5-string Bongo bass. It plays like butter and sounds outrageous.

    Now my question...
    I am currently playing with two bands. The first band tunes down a half step, and sometimes even a whole step. The second band plays in standard tuning. Will tuning back-and-forth be harmful to my bass? Will the neck be able to maintain it's stability over time? Or should I stay in standard tuning, learning all songs from the first band in a lower fret position?

    Thanks.

    PhillyPhil

  2. #2

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    My band has yunes down before, I do not tune down, I adapt to what they are playing its not like we as bass players are playing cords or anything.

  3. #3

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    Answer: Yes, you're bass will be just fine.

    I play with a band here in Tokyo that does the half step down thing too, but have also recorded a few sessions with guys that tune up to 442Hz, which is slightly above standard and my Bongo is happily blowing away everyone who listens to it.

    Question is how your setup is. For me, I bang the strings pretty hard, so I have a fairly high action setup, meaning that when I tune down that half step it doesn't really change the action all that much (less tension on the neck), but if you have a very close action set up on your Bongo, you might notice some string buzzing, or you may not, so you may need to compensate accordingly, but if you've played with them already you would have noticed this by now.

    Bottom line is it will not hurt your neck.

    Chris in Tokyo

  4. #4

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    Thanks. I do set up low. And I do experience a buzz once in a while. I will consider setting up a little higher. For now, I'll be fine. Thanks again. Bongo's the bomb...no question about it.

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