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Anyone string P-Bass B, E, A, D?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jaywa, May 1, 2009.

  1. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Just wondering. I know Ross Valory among others used to do this, but am wondering if any of you do/did this specifically on a standard P-Bass and how it turned out for you.

    Specifically, if the notches in the nut have to be expanded to accommodate the wider strings. Also how it works with a standard P-Bass bridge, and if the string tension is adequate with the 34-inch scale and if the neck can take the load of the heavier strings.

    FWIW I'm running a 78 P-Bass and will probably not go this route with it if I have to make any mods to the nut or bridge to make it work. I've put it through enough trauma already...

    Thanks in advance
  2. LCW

    LCW Banned

    Mar 2, 2009
    i have heard its better to use a lefty neck for this it was in a issue of bass player magazin jan or feb 2008 something baout the tension holds alot better
  3. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    That would make sense... lots more length for the B-string.

    It would look crazy weird though. Not sure I'm willing to get that radical with my beloved P.
  4. ChrisPbass


    Jul 18, 2006
    Fairfax, VA
    I tried it w/my CIJ P but the slots are too narrow. I do want to do it.
  5. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    That has no effect whatsoever, totally false, lots of threads on it.

    The big thing is, the nut would have to be cut far wider, in fact, your best bet is to have a second nut for BEAD, and keep the original untouched for standard tuning.
  6. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    I tried ADGC, and C-F-Bb-Eb on my warmoth (Jazz bass) neck. (currently still strung up C-F-Bb-Eb).

    Biggest problem I had was trying to fit some of the larger gauge strings through the bridge holes. Tapered strings helped. Or if you had a hipshot-style (open ended) bridge.

    And depending upon how high your action is, you need to make sure your bridge has enough travel for proper intonation. (The B saddle can get pretty cramped. Tapered strings help again.)

    I wound up going with the following gauges.

    A 145 (tapered)
    D 125
    G 110
    C 70

    135 C
    110 F
    75 Bb
    55 Eb

    And yes it wreaks havoc on your nut (if you want to switch back).

    You'll want to dedicate a nut to each tuning, or never go back.
  7. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I'm leaning towards bailing on the idea... the nut thing has me spooked especially since I'm not sure I'd never want to go back.

    Any other opinions or experiences would still be welcome though.
  8. Rugaar


    Apr 11, 2007
    I've got an SX P-style bass strung up BEAD and it sounds great. No issues with the setup. The fatter strings are under lower tension than standard EADG tuning so there's no trouble with the truss rod. I did have to file the nut a bit to fit the bigger strings but I wasn't too worried about that on the SX. If I were to setup a nicer bass I'd just buy a new nut and keep the stock one for if I ever wanted to switch back to standard tuning. Also, on my SX I had to drill out the bridge holes to fit the larger strings but I've also had to drill out SX bridges to fit standard strings--apparently the stock SX bridges only work with skinny strings.

    BEAD is a cool tuning and easy to try out. Highly recommended. Just buy a new nut so you don't have to mess with your old one and you're good to go.

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