4 string,, strung with B,E.A.D tuning??

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by digfashiondisco, Jul 25, 2003.

  1. Any reasonable advice on stringing up a 34" four string with a five string set? Minus of course the G string. Can a similar tone and feel be obtained without any serious modifications?

    EDIT merls: The things i do. please dont use caps in a thread. I retyped this simply because it was a short thread. If it was longer i would've PM'ed you and got your to retype it.
  2. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    I tried it once with what would amount to a very light set of 5-string strings. Don't remember the guages I used, this was about 12 or 13 years ago. The B-string was very flaccid.

    To use the heavier strings, like would normally be used for B E A D, you will probably need to have a tech file the slots in the nut larger. Not a big deal really. Some people say this would be a problem if you go back to regular strings for E A D G. Some say it wouldn't hurt. If you do go back to E A D G, and if it does become a problem, you'll have to have the nut replaced. That's a little bit bigger deal than just having the slots opened up a bit, but still, nothing major. The new nut will probably cost you four bucks or so. The labor to put it in will cost a lot more than that. But I would think a competent tech should be able to do it in 30 minutes or an hour, so whatever the hourly rate for guitar/bass techs is . . .

    Other than the size of the slots in the nut, there shouldn't be a problem. You will have to re-do the truss rod and bridge adjustments when it's done. Again, that's no big deal. Have your tech do that when he opens up the nut for you. Or better yet, do the truss rod and bridge yourself. I don't know if you do your own setups yourself or not, but it's not hard to learn.

    And welcome to talkbass.:)
    But please try to find that Caps Lock key.
  3. i can do the setup.. thanks.. what bout the pickup response. is it the same as 5 strings pu coil?
  4. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    I never really thought about that. I don't think it will be a factor. I know there are a lot of pickup models that are used on both four-strings and fives.
  5. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    I tried it with my Cort Steinberger, it has a zero fret so the nut problem wasn't an issue. After playing it a couple of gigs I went back to regular tuning and use my 5 string for songs that need the B. I wasn't particulary pleased not having the g for octive parts. YMMV
  6. 12notes


    Jul 15, 2003
    I tuned one of my 4 strings J to BEAD, with regular 4 strings set. And use a capo if I need to go back to EADG for about a decade.

    It's a compromise. But works well enough for the few times that I need the low B, and don't want to go to my keyboards, and without any modification to the guitar itself.

    Tried the 5 strings. I don't like it.

    But playing BG with a capo looks funny though. :)
  7. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    That seems like a pretty good idear!
  8. black_JB62


    Aug 10, 2003
    I have a Fender JB 62 reissue and a Fender JB fretless, both re-strung BEAD. I think the EADG tuned down to BEAD is an interesting idea, but I would worry that the strings would be too flaccid.

    Another good thing about restringing to BEAD is the fatter tone from the increased gauge (I use .336 for B). You'll notice if you try playing a song designed for EADG on your BEAD bass that you will form a natural tendency in your playing to rely on your lower strings, giving your entire rhythm section more authority in the lower frequencies.
  9. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    I have a Sterling and a Stingray 4 strung this way and we play several times a month. Our style is such that I don't use the G string much anyway and it seems to work well for my situation. I try not to go below E too much on the b string just so when I do it sounds cool. So far I seem to like it. I have a P bass strung normally and have lately begun to wonder if I should try stringing regularly for a while.

    I did all my own setup including filing the nut (doesn't take much). With the lighter tension you'll most likely need to adjust the truss rod and you'll definitley need to set the intonation. None of this is very difficult though.

    Brendan gave me some advice about doing this, you might ask him about the do's and don'ts.

    Good luck and post your results.