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5 String Bass. Good Or Bad Idea?

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i just bought a 5 string bass. the band that i just joined tune there guitars to D standard (D,G,C,F,A,D). i woulld like to tune my bass to the same tuning as the guitars but obviously without the 6th string (D,G,C,F,A). what set of strings would be better to use to achive this tuning? a 5 string low B set of strings, or a 5 string high C set of strings?

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Well, that depends on where you want the D to be, I suppose. But I'd imagine a D below the low B that's normal on five string basses wouldn't be particularly useful. Tuning a low B string up to the D above it, and the E up to the G above that and such seems like it be murder tension if it even worked. So I'd go with a high C set of bass strings, (which would normally be E-A-D-G-C, right?) and tune everything down a bit from there. You may want to look at using heavy strings, sine you'd be tuning down from what's the "normal" tension for these string, and may just want to go about making a custom set. I know there's a bass player in town who used to tune to something similar to that, and he looked up numbers on the Daddario string chart and made his own custom sets of strings after deciding downtuning a whole step was to "floppy".

Of course, I'd just play in standard low-B 5 string tuning and transpose, but I know that can be a pain in some settings.

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A lot depends on the instrument itself - is it a standard 34" scale? If you have a nice tight B string at normal tuning, then just try dropping everything down by 2 half-steps and see how it works out, you don't need new strings to try that. Works for John Myung.

If its too floppy, then I'd go with a set of light low-B 5'ers (or a 6-string light set if you can't find those) and tune up. La Bella makes a 5-set that goes 40-118 (Super Steps extra light).

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