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Heavier gauge for a 4 string

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Dire, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. Dire


    Jul 12, 2003
    This may be a silly question but...

    I’ve been playing Bass guitar for about 6 months and am thinking of restringing using thicker gauge strings to achieve a deeper sound.

    If I use thicker strings will I still be able to tune to standard 4 string notes (G,D,A,E).

    I was thinking of using the thickest I can find -

    65 - G
    80 - D
    105 - A
    130 - E

    I would appreciate any advice anyone can give me.


    Lee Newport.
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Those would normally be tuned BEAD because those are the gauges used normally for those strings. I remember someone saying it can be tuned EADG but its better not to..Im not too sure though. Anyone else?
  3. Hurley


    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    I agree with Figjam. If you really want to use those gauges, which are the lowest 4 strings of a 5-string set, you're better off tuning BEAD. Tuning to standard tuning would put too much strain on your neck. I'm sure there are people who will say it can be done, but it's not smart. Better safe than sorry. Also, strings that thick tuned up will sound pretty toneless, not the sound you're looking for.

    I suggest you do what I do. Find a heavy set of stings meant for 4-string basses. I use Ernie Ball Power Slinkys on my Jazz, tuned DGCF (or sometimes CGCF). It plays pretty well like that, and can sound pretty "heavy".

    I hope this helps.
  4. Dire


    Jul 12, 2003
    Thanks for the advice.

    If I approach this from a different angle can I use not quite so thich gauges?

    Ie what are the thickest I can use to get GDAE?

    Lee :bassist:
  5. Dire


    Jul 12, 2003
    I have found a set of strings for a 4 string that are


    Since it is the "higher" end I want to have the deeper sound I think this may be a compromise. What do you think before I buy a set?


  6. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    A .130 ( B string) will tighten to E, but you wouldn't want to leave it that way because the neck tension could cause problems. Not to mention the increased chance of breaking strings because of to much tension.
  7. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    You can find sets (such as on www.juststrings.com) that have .115 E strings and similarly gauged ADG strings. Above .115, you run the risk of snapping the string whilst trying to tune it to E.
  8. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    * sigh *

    Rotosound makes the 65-130 4-string RS66LH
    s/s r/w set meant to be tuned E-A-D-G
  9. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    People also sell cigarettes. Doesn't mean it's smart.
  10. Stephen Soto

    Stephen Soto

    Oct 12, 2003
    good post.
  11. Hurley


    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    Good one. :p

    Seriously though, a .130 tuned to E? I'd wear a riot shield tuning that up. I heard that the bassist from Thrice uses a .130 (tuned to C) and said it's toneless, or something like that.

    Does anyone have experience with these Rotosounds? What bass do you use them on?

  12. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Funny, I do that, and I think it sounds fine (I tune CFBbEbAb). It's much better than detuning a .105 or .110 string down two steps. Better dynamics, better tone, and it's a heckuva lot easier to deal with, action wise.

    IME and whatnot.
  13. Dire


    Jul 12, 2003
    Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and advice.

    I can now restring and not hurt my Bass or myself !!!

    Im gunna probably go for higher gauges on G & D and leave E & A at regular gauge.

    Thanks again all.