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I was wondering, are open tunings a thing on bass? Would there be any benefit to using them since we don't really play chords much?

I was talking to a guitarist today who suggested trying it.

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I don't think open tunings are much help on bass (too muddy).... but alternative tunings might be usefull.

For example making open notes available to use as a drone, or open notes which you can play between fretted notes. Or to make certain sequences playable.

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5 minutes ago, Nail Soup said:

I don't think open tunings are much help on bass (too muddy).... but alternative tunings might be usefull.

For example making open notes available to use as a drone, or open notes which you can play between fretted notes. Or to make certain sequences playable.

Totally agree with this. 

I generally try to avoid using open strings as none of my basses have a zero fret so you can hear the difference in open strings. 

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I use them in solo stuff, usually along with a capo.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, SteveXFR said:

I was wondering, are open tunings a thing on bass? Would there be any benefit to using them since we don't really play chords much?

I was talking to a guitarist today who suggested trying it.

I always thought of open tunings being for chords - they're designed to give you a chord from just open strings (or capo'd  or with a slide). On bass, the notes of a triad being on the same fret isn't that big a help is it?

Edited by adamg67

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10 hours ago, Nail Soup said:

I don't think open tunings are much help on bass (too muddy).... but alternative tunings might be usefull

I keep wondering aloud if anyone's tried tuning a six string BD#GBD#G - same range as a five string, but with only a major 3rd from one string to the next, easier to get an immaculately smooth legato line - but for some inexplicable reason, I always just get totally ignored 😢

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Tim Bogart tuned his 6-string w/ a third,(B to B), I tune my basses every which-way to suit my whims, also Joni tunings on my guitars. I play the Stick so that stays the same, althought I throw a capo on it from time-to-time, 'cause the the strings are muted on it 'cause there's too damn many...Play around, especially if you have more than one instrument, drop-D is always a hoot.

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