Stringing a bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by DRut, Apr 15, 2024.

  1. DRut

    DRut

    Aug 10, 2013
    Los Angeles,CA
    Good Morning,

    I have what many of you may consider a noob question. I have a 4 string Jazz Bass. In trying to learn my instrument I went out and bought new strings so I could learn how to restring my bass. Come to find out I bought a five string pack of strings. Can I use what I guess would be considered the B string or my thickest string on my bass and work down from there. (I hope this makes sense) Or will the different string sizes affect pitch and make it difficult to tune
     
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  2. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88 Commercial User

    Sep 16, 2013
    Ontario Canada
    Retail store manager
    Toss the B aside and use the rest which would be a normal E to G set.
     
  3. If you use the four thickest strings in a 5-string set, you will have to tune them to BEAD instead of the standard EADG. Also you will probably end up having to file the nut slots bigger to accommodate the thickness of those strings.

    If I were you, I would leave the thickest one out and put the other four on the bass and tune them to EADG.
     
  4. By the way, what brand/type/gauges of strings did you get for yourself? I just want to make sure they're the right thing for a newbie.
     
    Peter Torning likes this.
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    If you are things the bass BEAD, use the 4 thickest strings. If you are tuning standard (EADG) use the 4 thinnest.
     
  6. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    NEOhio
    Better yet, but a 5-string bass to put those on. Then you wouldn't have wasted your money on that extra string.

    Hope this helps.
     
    SunByrne, XLunacy, hasbeen and 15 others like this.
  7. DRut

    DRut

    Aug 10, 2013
    Los Angeles,CA
    FLatwound I cant remember what brand they are, I'm at work right now
     
  8. dbsfgyd1

    dbsfgyd1

    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    Yes you could start with the thickest string, but I would not recommend it. The problem is the additional tension on the neck might cause problems if you tried to tune it to standard tuning. (tuning a B sting up to an E). You might even snap a string in the process, not to mention difficulty turning the tuning pegs to get to that point.

    One other option is you could could use B A D E tuning as opposed to E-A-D-G. which is common. You will still need to keep an eye on your neck for warpage, and you should adjust the groove on the nut to make for playable and improve intonation. One other point with BEAD tuning is for all of the low notes you gain, you lose an equal amount of high notes.

    If it were me. I'd put the B sting in a drawer for when you buy a 5 string bass or better yet, return the 5 string set and purchase a 4 sting set.

    Welcome to the board.
     
  9. shadven

    shadven Twang-tastic Bass Player and Song Writer Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    Tampa, FL
    I rock, therefore I am.
    Try to return them. If not, buy a new set for a 4 string bass.
     
  10. DRut

    DRut

    Aug 10, 2013
    Los Angeles,CA
    I definitely appreciate the explanation I wasn't aware that the thicker string would increase stress on the neck.
     
    dbsfgyd1 likes this.
  11. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    If you are trying to tune a B up to E (and an E to A etc.), there certainly will be. I expect the string packaging will have the tension for each string.
     
  12. DRut

    DRut

    Aug 10, 2013
    Los Angeles,CA
    I s the string tension the same as the string thickness. or are you referring to light/heavy/standard?
     
  13. bigdaddybass12

    bigdaddybass12

    Feb 26, 2021
    Earth
    remove old strings by de-tuning it, not cutting it!
     
  14. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    If you tune a string up a fourth (what happens when you use a B string for an E string, an E string for an A string, and son on, the tension goes up by about 78 percent - it's not a trivial difference. The neck on your bass probably won't handle that well.
     
  15. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    Sound advice.
     
    Jeff Scott and DRut like this.
  16. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    No. Here is am article with some examples.

    FAQ - Bass
     
  17. Prodigus Filius

    Prodigus Filius

    Apr 13, 2023
    AUSTRALIA
    Ordinarily you would do as suggested. Just set aside the thickest B string and use the other 4 from the set for EADG. However, in theory it is possible to use the B string as E and set aside the 105. It will add around 20 pounds of tension force compared to using the standard 105 that is probably part of the set you have. You would have to mod the nut slot as well, and maybe a little truss rod tightening so it is not something most would do unless using the B string as a 'B' in BEAD tuning or just want a high tension E. Not something a person new to the instrument would or should do without having aquired the know how to do it
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2024
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  18. dbsfgyd1

    dbsfgyd1

    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    Best wishes with your future endeavors as a musician. Just keep in mind, we are here for you 24-7... unless you decide become a drummer..LOL!!!
     
    Darrell Vachon likes this.
  19. You have really been taking your time I see. TB member since 2013. I like that, no rush.:)
     
  20. DRut

    DRut

    Aug 10, 2013
    Los Angeles,CA
    I dont know what this means