Tuning a P Bass BEAD...what strings?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by OHBandit, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. OHBandit


    May 7, 2008
    Maineville, OH
    I'm a 5 string player but find myself hardly ever using the g string and playing the b all the time. Looking to tune a 4 string P Bass to BEAD. I did a few searches on here but didn't find exactly what I was looking for. I know I will have to modify the nut a bit to accommodate the strings.

    My question is...for those of you tuning BEAD what strings do you use? Is there a 4 string set made for this or do you just use the BEAD from a 5er set and discard the g string? I see DR has a drop tune set that is .065 - .125 but I'm thinking the b string should be .135. Circle K also has a set that I read some guys use.
  2. makaspar

    makaspar Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Austin, TX
    Use the BEAD strings from your favorite 5 string set. Adjust the nut to accept the larger strings. Intonate.

    There is a "spare g string" joke in there somewhere, but I'm not touching it. Ha!
  3. I did it with the regular set I use and it worked fine for me
  4. tomnomnom91


    Dec 23, 2012
    Rotosound also do a "Drop Zone" set with 65 85 105 130 gauges, which is pretty good, a bit closer to what you're after. I'd recommend that if you've never played much 5 string and don't have a 'favourite' gauge for it. Otherwise, it's honestly just worth getting a 5 string set you like and keeping a spare G string (yeah, I went there :p).
  5. Sartori

    Sartori Supporting Member

    I just use the bottom four strings from a five string set on my BEAD bass.
  6. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    BEAD is the new SEXY!:)
  7. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    Instead of throwing away the G string from a five string set you could note the gauges of the BEAD strings in your favorite five string set or use a tension chart to choose your string gauges and then try to get those or something close from BassStringsOnline.com or Circle K strings. Both of those companies will sell you individual strings so you can easily make yourself a custom set. I tune my four strings in fifths, CGDA, and I use 0.135 to 0.145 C strings.

  8. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods! Supporting Member

    I also am a 5 string player. I have converted many of my 4 string basses to BEAD. The Fender nuts seem to usually accomodate the 130, 105, 85, 65 string set without modification. Worse you have to do is file or sand the groove a little bigger side to side.

    In one case, I had to drill out the hole in the bridge for the 130.

    I buy 5 string sets, and just dont use the 045 string.

    Total string tension for the 130, 105, 85, 65 set is almost identical to the standard 4 string set.

    Go do it
  9. OHBandit


    May 7, 2008
    Maineville, OH
    Thanks guys. I went with the rotosounds. Will let you know what I think.