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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Andy F, May 2, 2002.

  1. Andy F

    Andy F

    May 2, 2002
    Hi there.
    This is'nt a trick question and nobody laugh please as I have only just started playing bass.
    Is there any way I can fit the four biggest strings from a 5 string bass on my 4 stringer as a better way of detuning?

    Thanks in advance for any replies.
  2. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Andy, first of all, welcome to Talkbass and especially welcome to the world of bass guitar!:D

    Second of all, I have yet to see a dumb question, and this is no exception. I will tell you about a cool feature here at talkbass, just in case you're curious. Many questions have been asked before and if you have a question you feel could possibly be more "routine" or common, you can use the search function to look up previous postings on those topics.

    I do believe that there have been a couple of discussions about this very topic, but I'll answer it anyway.

    There's really nothing that says you can't use the heaviest 4 strings from a 5 string bass on a 4 stringer. The only major issues that you'll need to pay attention to are:

    1. The nut - the slots in the nut have been cut to accommodate strings of a certain thickness. If you decide to use heavier strings, make sure the nut slots are wide enough. Once they're cut, you can't go back, but you can always have the nut replaced.

    2. The setup - specifically, pay attention to the relief in the neck. Using heavier strings may put more tension on the neck. Adjusting the relief is something that's very delicate, but routine. That's where the truss rod comes in to play.

    If you're not comfortable adjusting the truss rod yourself, keep in mind that very subtle adjustments have big effects, and can take a day or sometimes longer to totally take place. Some people feel more comfortable taking their bass to a repair shop for this, though you should eventually learn how to adjust it yourself.

    Good luck!:D
  3. Andy F

    Andy F

    May 2, 2002
    Thank for your help RAM. I'll keep you posted of how the 4string plays with the different strings
  4. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL

    Also, as an FYI, if you fill in your profile, we will be able to give you better advice.;)
  5. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Hi Andy! Welcome.
    Actually, the B string has lower tension than the other strings. (Hence the general complaints about floppy B strings. You can find the tension #s at D'Addario's site.) So If you string your bass B-E-A-D, as some others here have, you will probably have to lessen the truss rod pressure a bit.