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Bass Guitar Tunings

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.