could a 4 string long scale bass tuned to BEAD or BF#BE or is that impossible?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HazyMan, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
    I'm only asking out of curiosity. Would it be possible to get some heavy gauge strings, put them on a 4 string bass, tune them to BEAD or BF#BE and then setup? I do of course know that low B tunings are way too low for 4 strings, but could that be possible in any way? (Please dont suggest getting a 5 string. i said i'm just asking out of curiosity)
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    BEAD tuning is possible and common.
  3. neckdive


    Oct 11, 2013
    I gig regularly in BEAD with an EADG set on my upright. I have another 4 string BG similarly downtuned so I can work out songs for the upright.

    Just try it out and see if it works with your style and tone requirements.
  4. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    I have a 4-string tuned B/F#/B/E as that's what my band uses :)

    If you go for this tuning, my advice would be to buy single strings as most sets will give you too little tension on the "dropped" B. I like .125/.90/.70/.50

    lots of BEAD users on here, I think there is even a club. you can use a standard 5-string set with this, without the G.

    some nut filing and adjusting the intonation will be required in both cases.
    ajkula66 likes this.
  5. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Using the search function, there are over 17,000 TB posts with the term "BEAD" in them.
    HazyMan likes this.
  6. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX

    In other words, yes.
  7. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    You can tune a 4 string bass to any string notes you choose. You probably will have to change the string diameters and adjust the nuT and possibly even need a truss rod adjustment, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. The only real question is what advantage do you hope to gain out of learning another set of fingerboard notes? Some people tune to lower open notes to get notes below low E, some tune the bass in 5ths instead of 4ths so that you have a much wider note range without having more than 4 strings and some tune like the upper strings on a guitar so as be able to use some of their guitar knowledge on bass. But that is offset by having to learn a new set of scales different from standard tuning.