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BEAD technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jackson_bass, Feb 25, 2008.


  1. I am considering trying to tune BEAD so that I can get some lower tones. . . . I really don't use the G THAT much. I am wondering, though, what differences there are in technique. I mean, some of the songs and scales that move to the G will need to be adjusted but I really don't know how to compensate............ I guess, as I think about it, everything is just shifted down - but I would need to think differently about how I play. . . . wouldn't I? Is it a pain to adjust? Some of you guys that have done it please let me know, I don't want to buy a 5-string set (more than the 4) only to switch back.
     
  2. You would probably want to re-string the bass BEAD rather than tune down to it, which means you may need to get your nut filed out to accomodate the thicker strings. Otherwise you will need some heavy gauge strings.

    Once you have the bass setup though making the transition shouldn't be that difficult, the scales etc are all the same. All you are really doing is giving yourself 4 extra notes on the low end and cutting a few notes off at the high end.

    Not sure if it's your thing, but here's a video of Mudvayne playing Not Falling live. When they show it, Ryans bass is strung BEAD and it looks the same technique-wise as a standard stringed bass:



    Enjoy
     
  3. You just move up the neck a little to get those high notes. Try playing your songs a fourth higher than usual to see how they would lay out on the neck if you lowered your tuning by a fourth.
     
  4. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    The scales are the same. Scales don't change because of the tuning of an instrument. The shape of the scale on the fingerboard or the position you play it in might change but the notes don't.

    Definitely use heavier gauge strings. If you buy a 5 string set and don't like the tuning changing back isn't that much of a drama as long as you leave enough winding to wrap the strings around the tuners , just take the B string off, shift the strings and put the G string on. The thing you will almost definitely need to have done is an intonation and truss rod adjustment.

    As for technique it should be pretty much the same as what you already do.
     
  5. thanks everyone. good vid too. I guess the scale shapes is what I am concerned about. I learned a lot when I realized that the patterns was much easier to learn than the notes. I have been using movable scale patterns for years, but didn't really think how that might change with this tuning (I have never used alternate tunings before). these are good explanations, the patterns should be the same, just a fourth up. I was wondering about some of the blues scales that I am used to . . . ie. 1-4-5..... I usually get the 4th and 5th of those scales by moving to the A string..... Come to think of it, maybe a 5er is in order.
     
  6. Foxworthy925

    Foxworthy925 Guest

    Feb 24, 2007
    Bay Area, CA
    Well it would be a good excuse to go buy a new bass :D
     
  7. You need an excuse? :D :D
     
  8. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I don't think your technique changes when tuning BEAD. I have played with BEAD. It has a lot of advantages. I think in some ways it is a better range for the bass.

    The problem I have with BEAD is that I play a lot of classic song. The bass lines where written to fit the constraints of a bass tuned EADG and it just works better to keep them in EADG.

    I think if I was in an originals band, I would be more tempted to use BEAD.
     
  9. BackwaterBass

    BackwaterBass

    Feb 18, 2008
    Kentucky
    Plan on adjusting your action and possibly the intonation for a drop like that. If you don't use a 5-string set you'll want a heavy set of 4s, like .50-.110 or so at least, .120 if possible. Otherwise your strings will be really loose and you'll end up with a lot of fret noise if you play hard. With my band, I play in a tuning of C-F-Bb-Eb, a half-step up from BEAD.
     
  10. Thanks for all the info. I may give it a try when I can get a 5-string set of strings.
     
  11. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    See if you can find a 5 string to jam on for a while. I dont know what I'd do with 4 strings.
     
  12. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    I just started tuning one of my 4's BEAD. If you have to sight read, or read music when you're playing... it'll take a little mental adjustment. After an hour or so of practicing, it was no big deal.

    You definitely want to adjust your nut if you're using a 5-string set though.

    Then again, a 5-string bass might just do the trick for you too. :D
     

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