Has anyone ever done this?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by slipknotmaggot3, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. slipknotmaggot3


    Feb 23, 2014
    I was looking up some ways to drop tune your bass, and I stumbled on a video that was done by Bryan Beller of Dethklok and the way he drop tunes his bass to Major 3rd tuning is he takes the upper 4 strings from a five string set in a heavy gauge and then does his tuning.

    Anyone ever try this?
  2. that's basically what paul from slipknot used to do... lots of guys do it. only thing to worry about is some cheaper 4 string basses are not going to like the extra tension from the heavier strings. Expect to need a trussrod adjustment.
  3. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff...

    Dec 20, 2012
    Ive heard of it being done, yes. Ive heard of and tried myself using a regular set of 4 strings set but replacing the E string with a B string from a 5 string set. So it does happen. Pretty interesting ways of stringing and tuning.
  4. slipknotmaggot3


    Feb 23, 2014
    Ah okay, I normally just drop tune my thunderbird with a standard 4 string set of heavies but I may try this next time.
  5. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    You're unlikely to be increasing the tension. Look at the published tension of a standard set and you'll see that the heavier strings are lower tension. That's not to say you won't need a truss rod adjustment, but it's more likely to be due to the lower tension.
  6. elBandito


    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    I know this is obvious, but it's tuned a whole step up with normal BEAD strings. It'll def increase tension.
  7. I do this. Kind of. I use the Rotosound drop zone set, which is the same gauge as a 5 stringer set but less costly and wasteful.
  8. slipknotmaggot3


    Feb 23, 2014
    Didn't know rotosound made a drop tune set, I'll have to look into them.
  9. I really like them. Tension feels right, nice and punchy sounding. .130-.105-.80-.65 Keep in mind they're stainless steel though. Will be rougher on the fingers than nickel. Might need to have your nut filed to accomodate the larger gauge as well
  10. Remus_Redbone


    Dec 27, 2010
    Western AR
    Many, many years ago, I had a bass I set up with BEAD gauged strings tuned to their normal pitch. It was before I bought my first 5 string. It was OK, but not as useful as I thought it would be. I can see where BEAD gauged strings would really help prevent the floppies if dropped tuned.

    I played in a blues band for several years and we tuned down a half step. I migrated my basses from light gauge to mediums just to keep the tension up.

    It's amazing how well some basses with big heavy gauged strings play when tuned at a much lower tension than the strings were designed to be tuned.
  11. Is it opposite day? :hyper:
  12. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    No, go to the D'Addario website and check out string tensions. In a five string set, the B and E are the lowest tension (unless youre looking at the balanced tension sets in which case they're obviously all very similar).
  13. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    I was wondering about that myself for some time and it seems that BEAD has a lighter tension than EADG. My gut said that heavier strings mean more tension while my brain claimed otherwise.

    According to http://www.elixirstrings.com/stringtension/stringtensionbass.html you will loose ten pounds of tension when converting.
    The G-String has 43 punds while the b string of a similar set has 33 punds.
  14. So... how come every bass I've ever seen with a bowed neck is on the low side? I've never seen a neck bowed (twisted) towards the higher strings....
  15. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Bowed or twisted? Different things.

    I can't say I've seen a bass with a twisted neck, that's probably a question for the luthiers forum. But it's a fact that the low strings in a standard set are lower tension than the higher ones.