5 String set on a 4 string

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Funkmasta66, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. Funkmasta66


    Jul 21, 2007
    hey ive been hearing about a lot of people using 5 string sets on a 4 string bass, for a heavier sound. Does this cause any problems for your bass, does it really make that much difference in sound?
  2. Red Planet

    Red Planet Inactive

    May 29, 2005
    I'm cranky in my old age.
    I'd be curious about this as well. Been playing some moder Jazz with a Band an the Low notes are killing me trying to cover those parts with a 4 string. Though I would hate to loose my G string to do it.

  3. SpamBot


    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    You may need to replace the nut on your bass. You might not have to. Other than that, it's pretty straightforward. I'd recommend a light-gauge set so you can use your current nut, and if it's too floppy, get a new nut optimized for those gauges.
  4. The nut change is a good idea, or filing it out to fit the bigger gauge. But I don't recommend a lightweight set, stick to standard .45-.130, throw away the .45 or keep it as a spare for another bass and now you have a bass tuned BEAD. You will most likely have to adjust the truss rod because the neck is gonna have a lot more tension on it with the heavier gauge.
  5. Intenzity


    Oct 15, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I just converted a Lakland I have to do this. I really like it.

    The nut on the E string position to be carved out a little for the B string but that was not a big deal.

    It takes a little getting used to, obviously, the notes you are used to with EADG are in different places, but it you have been playing a 5 it is not that bad.

    It is like getting the playability of a 4 string (the smaller neck size) but with the bottom end of a 5 string, still being able to get down to the low D and B. Its great for breaking lazy habits as well, because all the cliche patterns in the keys you are used to are not in the same place anymore.
  6. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Less actually. B strings tend to have the least tension in a set.
  7. sillyfabe

    sillyfabe keeping the low-end silly since '06

    Mar 13, 2009
    San Bernardino,CA
    just did this not too long ago with my jazz fretless and it sounds great. the nut had to be filed of course. i use rotosound 88 trubass black nylonwound strings tuned .75-.135 as my sig says and it sounds great to my ears! i usually gig with the bridge p/u at 0-10% on and the bridge full on with the tone all the way down. has a nice mwah and enough bottom end to be in any rap music video
  8. GHS tapes will go on (usually) with minimal filing.
  9. spigmu


    Mar 25, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I went BEAD on my ATK, but wasn't happy with the 5 string gauges I saw because of lack of tension and girth, so I just moved 'em over and got the most massive ass low B I could find.
  10. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    My Ric 4004Cii is strung BEAD with 65-85-105-125 gauge Slinky's. Seriously badass.
  11. would you have to do anything to the truss rod at all when changing over?
  12. SpamBot


    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    Maybe, maybe not. Wait and see.
  13. You mean that the neck is gonna have a lot LESS tension ...