1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

4 string witha low b?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 1Drop, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. 1Drop


    Jul 31, 2009
    Hi guys, I'm currently shopping for a new bass. Ive been playing a wick corvette fna jazzman 5 er for about 15 years now, its time for a change. My requirements are 17mm spacing and 5 strings, but it occured to me that I rarely spend anytime on my g string. I see a lot of 4 string basses I like except for the lack of that low b. I've never really heard of anyone string a 4 bangor BEAD but is it an option? Any negatives?
  2. I am trying that trick on my frankenfretless. I'm lost without a b string since I switched my main bass to a five string, but with the B tuned four, I am constantly going for the G string, and falling off the edge.

    Good luck, but I'm holding out for a 5 string Pbass to match my J.

    Good gigging!
  3. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Sure done that to a Jazz. And it does take a bit of adjusting. And sometimes I have to use a fiver for some tunes. But if I play long sets, the neck on the Jazz helps with dealing with the arthritis pain.
  4. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Think: the former Ibanez ATK Paul Gray (R.I.P.) from Slipknot was strung B, E, A, D infact the acemen in the band, Mick Thompson & Jim Root play baritone 6ers strung B, E, A, D, F, B

    Anyway the original Paul Gray signature, not present memorial one, was an ATK with factory TripleCoil humbucker and a slim and thinner neck than usual "satin Precision" alike ATK necks.
    View attachment 279787
    This is mainly because the tension on B, E, A, D sets on sale is not only equal but in some cases lighter than E, A, D, G sets
    (check rotosound swing66 of both B, E, A, D & E, A, D, G out)

  5. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    If you do a search here you will find that BEAD is a very common tuning. If you are a 20 fret bass player you can get a 24 fret bass and tune it BEAD and lose almost none of your G string. If you really want to take a walk on the wild side you can tune a four string in fifths and have half a step more range than a five string version of your bass would have. Personally I tune like a cello, CGDA, because I like a tuning that isn't littered with sharps and flats and because I am starting to dabble in cello music but if you really need the B you could tune B-Gb-Db-Ab. Or you could use a drop tuner on the C string. I have a Reggie Hamilton on order and it has one of those I'll be able to experiment with. Tuning BEAD would have worked pretty well for what I do but it does not give you the two octave range from a single hand position of a five string. Tuning in fifths does.

    The Schecter Diamond P five string is a pretty nice 5 string P bass.

  6. AndreBas


    Mar 11, 2012
    Oliver Riedel from Rammstein used to play a 4 string tuned BEAD, don't know if he still does. But why not?
  7. I play BF#BE on a four string with DR DDT 55-115 gauge strings on a Squier CV 51P. No nut replacement. Sounds good to me.
  8. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    The Warwick Taranis was built to be BEAD from the factory. It's almost the same pickup configuration as the Jazzman but passive.
    I changed mine to EADG though, I don't use the low B much...
  9. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    I have a Peavey G bass that I strung BEAD and I love it. I am primarily a 4 string guy, so it's perfect for me.

    The G bass has a graphite neck & 35" scale & It like it was made for this.

    By the way... These things (G basses) are an incredible bargain. This is the second one that I have owned. They usually go for under $500 (I paid $150 for mine! :hyper:)

    Moonshine :bassist:
  10. BBox Bass

    BBox Bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Pennsylvania
    I mostly play 5s, but 3 of my 4-string basses are set up for BEAD because I found I miss the B more than the G. I recently had my local luthier convert a cheap 4-string Galveston into an awesome 8-string, and that one too is BEAD. The B sounds really neat with the octave string.
  11. jonesn4bass

    jonesn4bass Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    Granville, Ma
    I have 2 four strings that I originally setup is BEAD. One of which has recently become BDAD and the other A#C#G#C# - with proper setup, they both work and sound fantastic!
  12. I use ghs pressure wounds tuned bead on my jazz. I made a custom string set from bass strings online and I have very equal tension across the board..... Pun fully intended
  13. I've played B F# B E and BEAD on four strings plenty with regular heavy gauge strings. Just tune 'er down lol.
  14. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    I have my Geddy strung up in C standard, which is basically BEAD up one step. Had to modify the nut slightly to accept the larger strings, but other than that there's no reason you can't do it.
  15. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Sharlee d'Angelo from Arch Enemy and Spiritual Beggars got his Ibanez IceMan signature bass factory strung just like that C, F, bB, bE

  16. jlepre


    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    Don't you need to file down the nut for the B string to fit? Also a truss rod adjustment should be in order too right?
  17. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Yep. Pretty minor adjustments though that any tech should be able to do for an hour of bench time.

    For me it was a way easier option than trying to get used to playing a 5.
  18. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Cool. I've been playing in bands using that tuning for years.
  19. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    As a slight correction, Slipknot plays in drop B, so it's B F# B E G# C#. I do believe that Paul tuned to standard fourths, BEAD, though.
  20. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    I usually play just one full step down (D, G, C, F) but as every bass of mine sport an Hipshot bass extender, most of our thrash metal tracks are played like this C, G, C, F on my axes.


Share This Page