Standard Tunings for the Bass Guitar
Be sure to check out the online bass tuner in the StudyBass tools section if you need to tune.
4-String Bass Tuning
The standard tuning for a four-string bass from lowest pitch to highest (thickest string to thinnest) is:
E A D G
5-String Bass Tuning
The most common standard tuning for a five-string bass from lowest pitch to highest (thickest string to thinnest) is:
B E A D G
This tuning has one lower pitched string added to the standard 4-string tuning giving you 5 lower notes.
Some people tune a 5-string bass adding a higher string instead:
E A D G C
This tuning gives you 5 higher notes.
6-String Bass Tuning
The standard tuning for a six-string bass from lowest pitch to highest (thickest string to thinnest) is:
B E A D G C
8-String Bass Tuning
An eight-string bass is really like a 4-string bass, but with a second string doubling each of those four strings. The doubling string is tuned an octave higher. The result is:
E(e) A(a) D(d) G(g)
This gives off a very full, thick sound. The same idea is used on a 12-string guitar.
Piccolo Bass Tuning
A piccolo bass is a standard bass tuning up an octave. You need to buy special strings for this! It can be pretty fun playing an octave higher. It’s not very bass-like. It’s like the bottom 4 strings of a guitar.