Low b string on a 4 string bass?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Mrbowtieguy, May 20, 2005.


  1. Mrbowtieguy

    Mrbowtieguy

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Is it possible to setup a 4 string bass with a Low b string, I mean use a 5 string set on a 4 string bass and omit the g string.
    B-E-A-D
  2. Petary791

    Petary791

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Yep, very possible.

    You'd want a new nut probably, try it out with your exsisting nut. Also, you're going to need to set up the bass to handle more tension, but that's no big deal.

    Timmy C has a bass strung BEAD. Give it a whirl!
  3. bonscottvocals

    bonscottvocals

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    You'd have less tension, not more. You can tune down from standard EADG to BEAD, but as suggested, you may need a new nut if you use 5-string strings.
  4. 76Tbird

    76Tbird

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    I run 5-string sets with the G string deleted, and i like it a lot. The nut had to be filed out to accomodate the bigger strings and the neck had to be adjusted for the higher tension as stated above.

    I tune C# F# B E and the bigger strings sound a lot better because they dont flop around as much. But you will have to work a little harder with your fretting hand.
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  6. Petary791

    Petary791

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    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan, USA

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  7. bonscottvocals

    bonscottvocals

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I use lighter strings for less tension. I should have stated, I do have a 4-string tuned to BEAD, but I don't use 5 string sets, I just use a heavier 4-string set.
  8. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire Supporting Member

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    Apr 2, 2003
    Location:
    The Duke City
  9. phxlbrmpf

    phxlbrmpf

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Germany
    Judging from his comment about the low strings not flopping around so much, I'm guessing his lowest note is the C# one step higher than the regular low B. Right? Right?
  10. Petary791

    Petary791

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan, USA

    NO dude, octave lower!
  11. Eliot L

    Eliot L

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2001
    Location:
    West Hollywood, Ca
    As petary mentioned Tim (Rage and Audioslave) has a bass set up like that. Uses it quite a bit it seems on the first audioslave cd and it sounds great.
  12. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass The Kirk Hammett of bass guitar! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2004
    Location:
    Lancaster, OH
    C is higher than B. You'd tune up to C on a B string, and tune down to A. I have a cheapo SX J bass that I tune down to ADGC and I use the 4 thickest strings from a 5 string set.

    Also, I believe that tuning down would result in lower tension, not higher, but I've been wrong before.

    On a separate note, I found that flatwounds (with their higher tension) work well for de-tuning, especially on 5-string (ADGCF)!
  13. The Clap

    The Clap

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    All tunings being equal, it's the thickness of the string that determines how much tension it has when in tune. Getting thicker strings and tuning them lower wouldn't have a definitely positive or negative effect on the tension of those strings, it would depend entirely on their thickness and tunings relative to what you were using before.
  14. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Location:
    Shreveport LA
    Currently my only bass is BEAD. I seriously doubt I'll ever go back to 5's. My next bass will be EADG to balance it out though because there have been times that I've missed that G.
  15. aftershock

    aftershock

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    I tune BEAD and love it. I went from a 4 string to a 6 and found out that with my style I only need a 4 string tuned BEAD. Got rid of the 6 and back to good ol 4. :D That's just me though. ;)
  16. lemur821

    lemur821

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO, U.S.
    Lower pitched strings are generally made to take less tension to get them up to pitch. A G string might need about 42 lbs., but an E might need only 36 or so. A B would take a little less, so swapping it in instead of a G should relieve a few pounds of tension.
  17. All_¥our_Bass

    All_¥our_Bass

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    But I would never use this, I'm not condoning it I just can't find a use for anything lower than E downtuned to D. I went into GC and messed with a 6 string and liekd having teh high C string but then I tried the B and was like "What am I gonna do w/ a note this low, the only people that'll end up hearing are bassists and people w/ huge ass subwoofers." I would however buy a five string and have it strung to EADGC

    just my opinion
  18. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Not if he's tuning in the range of some of our 9 string guys (i.e. C# and F# below standard low B), using string gauges in the neighborhood of .175 for C#, .150 for F#, .125 for B, and .100 for E.

    More on topic: Ross Valory (Journey) has been tuning B-E-A-D for several years now and Billy Sheehan has a few 4s with this tuning (including one of the necks on his doubleneck Yamaha).
  19. bassguppy

    bassguppy Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Latitude 65
    I've been playing 5-string for quite a while now & have been thinking of tuning a 4-string B-E-A-D as I noticed that I really dont use the G string all that often. Some of the bass lines I'm doing require some rather fast 70's blues & funk lines. Much easier on a 4-string than 5 (for me anyway).

    Also when playing some blues or 70's cover tunes sometimes I incorporate notes on my low B instead of an octave higher. Gives a song a whole new dimension & more booty. :bassist:
  20. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    The Mudvayne Bassist have a similar configuration,he use a 6 strings without the g in he,s 5 stringer.
  21. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV.
    :confused: :confused: :eyebrow:

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