BEAD--Another Adventure...

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by alanolynn, Jan 28, 2020.

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  1. alanolynn

    alanolynn

    Aug 19, 2012
    NNY
    Yup, I'm taking the plunge!

    Just ordered a set of 5-string Regular Slinkys. I've read about it enough, and I love the feel of my Pbass 4 string, but need the lower extension for all the B-string work that modern country seems to have nowadays.

    The nut was fit with some larger flat-wounds before I acquired the bass, so I'm not too worried about breaking anything; and I understand it'll require some setup, but I'm excited to give-er-a-go!

    I know you don't realize how much you use your G until it's not there anymore, so we'll see how that goes.

    Any horror stories?
     
  2. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Suspended Supporting Member

    MVC-001S.JPG There's a BEAD club around here somewhere; check it out. I'm a member; my Carvin LB-20 is strung BEAD with heavy Roto 77 flats. I don't recall any horror stories; a fair bit of moaning about floppy B strings, having to open up a nut, and intonation issues, though. But, other than having to cut a new Tusq nut for my Carvin, I haven't had any problems. And, for the really old R n' R I like to play, I don't use the G string all that much, anyway... :cool:
     
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  4. alanolynn

    alanolynn

    Aug 19, 2012
    NNY
    Much appreciated. I ordered the strings through Zzounds, so they should be at my door by tomorrow afternoon. I'll be sure to post my conclusions shortly after.
     
  5. alanolynn

    alanolynn

    Aug 19, 2012
    NNY
    IMG_20200130_062424.jpg IMG_20200130_062433.jpg IMG_20200130_062411.jpg

    Strung 'er up this morning and plugged in...

    WOW. I love this!!

    Of course, it took a little getting used to (as I've never owned a 5 string), but once I got the hang of it and compensated for a couple of licks that required that missing G, it turned out to be a BLAST.

    Setup feels great, and I love the tension of that B. The guys in the band are going to do a double take when they hear this monster next rehearsal.

    I would encourage anyone to give this a try; even if just to say they did and know how it feels. So far, this is total keeper. I have a tele bass that I'll keep standard tuning on, but for now this monster is hear to stay!
     
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  6. I did this years ago and really liked it. I went back to fives, but as I am older now I am toying with the idea of going back to BEAD or perhaps DGCA. Enjoy your new tuning. I really didn't miss the G at all.
     
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  7. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Not from my end. Widened some nuts a bit, setup wasn't too involved, overall tension on the neck didn't seem too off (never had much adjusting of the neck when I made the change). But after 29 years of 5 string, I'd miss the B string much more than I ever missed the G string. So I like it a lot.
     
  8. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Wait until you end up in a new band with a new guitarist who might be trying to follow what you're doing on the neck to find his/her place. Talk about a priceless double take.
     
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  9. arbiterusa

    arbiterusa

    Sep 24, 2015
    SoCal
    Just the opposite. I like playing BEAD quite a bit. But first, you don’t have to torch a fiver set of strings; DR makes a BEAD set which is just really, really great, and cheaper than a five string set to boot.

    I first went BEAD back in college, thinking I was some sort of genius for thinking of it myself (I obviously was not) because I was in a band with two REALLY good guitarists and those guys took up a lot of sonic room. BEAD got me out of their way and cleaned up the sound quite a bit. It’s not for every act or situation but the modern country thing you’re describing is usually conducive to BEAD.

    The only thing that can get you sideways is doing what I’m doing now; switching. Some of my current project requires that low B (it sits good and sounds great) but a few tunes really need that G string, and I keep switching back and forth (I obviously am using two basses). And if you do that, you’re gonna hit the wrong string a few times. Fundamentally I need a good fiver but when you play fretless, it’s not like there are a lot of choices.

    So if you do this, try to make sure that you can do everything you need to in BEAD and that you don’t need the G string. If you can, it will be awesome.
     
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  10. alanolynn

    alanolynn

    Aug 19, 2012
    NNY
    Haha, that'll be a riot.

    I appreciate the input, and I even saw after that Ernie Ball makes a BEAD set. It didn't even cross my mind to check before order that 5-er. Oh well, live and learn.

    Thanks!
     
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  11. Root 5

    Root 5

    Nov 25, 2001
    Canada
  12. arbiterusa

    arbiterusa

    Sep 24, 2015
    SoCal
    Had the guy who plays in my guitarist's other band show up to sit in for a few numbers. Fine by me, I always like a break that I get paid for!

    "Do you have a bass with frets?"
    "Naw, man, you'll be cool. Oh, just so you know, it's tuned a fourth down"
    "WHAT?"
    "Fourth down. You know. BEAD, like the bottom four on a five-string."
    (look of utter blank horror, like I'm trying to explain General Relativity)
    "Here's my keys. Get the gigbag out of my trunk. It's standard tuning."
     
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  13. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    BAM!!!!! And there you have it! I love that.
     
  14. alanolynn

    alanolynn

    Aug 19, 2012
    NNY
    Thanks! I keep 'er close at all times.

    THAT is a great story. I love dumb-founding other musicians. Like when playing drums, throwing poly-rhythms in just long enough for everyone to lose "1". Gets 'em every time!
     
    Root 5 likes this.