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Question about BEAD tuning

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pierre147, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. pierre147


    Feb 7, 2008
    Milan, Italy
    Hello everyone,

    I'm seriously thinking about changing tuning from standard EADG to BEAD on an entry level Ibanez bass guitar, the EDB-500. Unfortunately, I'll most likely have to file the nut to make all stirings fit in without having excessive high-action problems in return. Now, if I decide to file the nut, will it be possible for me to return (eventually) to the standard EADG tuning without problems or will my bass remain stuck to the lower one?

    Thanks in advance for any reply and please excuse my crappy english ;)
  2. I switched to smaller strings from pretty fat ones and the tension at the nut seems to keep them in place pretty well without problems. As long as I don't play too hard then I don't even notice.
  3. xxfaux_punkxx


    Mar 18, 2010
    When I tune my bass to BEAD I just leave the standard tuning strings on. You could try it without filing it though and see how well that works.
  4. Hi.

    There's been a few threads about the subject and generally the opinion has been that if the headstock has a back-angle, the thinner strings will sit better in the wider nut slots.

    What I'd be more worried about is the adjustment room in the bridge. Do You have enough room to move the E-saddle (which will obviously become the B-saddle) back as much as the difference is now between the E and A saddles? Assuming full winding strings of course. Exposed cores behave a bit differently.

  5. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    Try DGCF tuning.
  6. Are you sure you'll have to file the nut? My Michael Kelly is meant (and has the nut slotted for) EADGC tuning, but It readily took BEADG without any issue whatsoever. Try it first and see if it can be done to save yourself a headache.
  7. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    When I first did a 4 string bass to a BEAD over 15 years ago I was very scared about doing it,,, after I did it I never looked back,,,, I have done this with all my bass's over the years,,,,, once you do a BEAD set-up you wont want to go back,,, so dont worry to much about putting in back to a EADG.

    If you use light guage BEAD strings you wont have to file much and "if" you ever want to re-string it EADG it will be fine.

    A file'ing hint on doing this,,, file more on the sides of the string slots and not the bottom of the string slots on the nut.
    Not sure what kind of bridge your bass has, but make sure the strings will feed thru your bridge, if they dont then you will have to file the bridge holes just a bit.

    I have about 10 bass's,, two of them are acoustics and they are ALL set-up as BEAD bass's,,,,, I even did to 2 of my stand-up bass's I had.

    Once you go BEAD there is no going back to EADG,,, (my opinion of course).

    Good luck and have fun with it !!!!


    That is an option,, but it would seem to me that EADG strings tuned to BEAD would be so floppy and loose it would not be a fair example of how good a true BEAD set-up can be and work.

  8. javier69


    Mar 6, 2008
    It work fine! buuuuut get sure the neck endure that string tension, (I got a Yamaha like this) and the tension is a lot higher, in compare with a set of 5, same gauge on las 4 string...
  9. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I tuned my main practice bass to BEAD a few years ago to use with one band. The band broke up before I used it live. Switched back to EADG with no problems.
  10. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    I tune one of my basses to BEAD, in lieu of having a 5 string. The headstock on mine has no angle, so I'd probably need a new nut if I were to give it a standard setup again. But that's all right.
  11. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I forgot to mention, the bass in question is a P bass, no headstock angle. But I put a lot of winds on the tuners. I cut my strings 6" past the tuner.
  12. Gojiras_Hejira


    Feb 9, 2010
    I do this with my fretless stringray with no problems. I think it's a .130 or something.
  13. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    You sure about this? Seems the tension would be lower since the strings are tuned lower. The G-string would be a lot tighter than a D, wouldn't it? Those would be the tightest string on the neck.
  14. I believe he is using respective B E A & D strings instead of a standard set. Much thicker guage with higher tension. Think of the added tension of having two E strings and add extra for the fatness of the B string.
  15. With tension you take into account string mass and tuning, given the difference in mass of a .120 tuned to B to a .105 tune to E it seems that in general the .105 will be tenser. If you look at the tension chart for D'addario strings you'll see to get the same tension as a .105 E you'd have to use a .145 B. Obviously the tension will differ between different manufacturing methods, balanced tension strings for example are designed to minimise the effect of this effect, so you don't have to have a huge contrast in gauges to have an even tension.

    http://www.daddario.com/Resources/JDCDAD/images/tension_chart.pdf - page 9
  16. pierre147


    Feb 7, 2008
    Milan, Italy
    Thank you very much for all the replies. I guess I'll just go for it and keep you posted.



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