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Tuning BEAD: A Difficult Sacrifice or Good Riddance?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kwesi, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. I've always wondered how four string players feel about BEAD. Not whether it's necessary or not but how much you miss the G string in doing so? I know I'd be distraught without all four "primary" strings. So do you guys miss the G when it's gone or is it not that big a deal?
  2. I just switched to BEAD and I don't miss the G string nearly as much as I miss the low B. I can only think of 1 song off the top of my head that I play that even uses the g string.
  3. headstump


    Oct 27, 2010
    Not a big deal for me when I do tune down, but I don't do it all that much. Also, I'm more of a low end dweller, I seldom venture up the neck but I do think my jazz sounds better when tuned up the good old fashioned way. Thanks for nothing huh...
  4. i think having the limited range helps create a moody sound. i checked out 5string5fingers thread and that me to thinking of a 4 string fretless with BEAD and how it would sound deep and smooth.
  5. Back in the mid 80's my main bass was a Steinberger L2. I didn't have an extra set of srings for it and broke a G string on the 2nd night of a 6 night a week gig. Needless to say I missed the G, but not as bad as I initially thought I would.
  6. I just went from BEAD back to EADG. I was in a heavy band and I didn't need the G so I didn't miss it. That band broke up about 2 years ago and I tried jamming with guitarists in standard tuning and it messed them up to try and figure out what I was doing because my fingers weren't where their fingers were. So then I did miss it. I think it depends on what you're playing.
  7. If you don't need the G string, Why Not? I played in a Death Metal band and tuned like that, I never even used the D string, its a good way of getting a low b without buying a 5 string
  8. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    I use the G a lot.
    A 5 string or a standard tuned 4 string suits what my band does better.
    I could play what I need on the G further up the neck on the D of course, but it would be more awkward and not have the same tone.

    Each string has it's own 'beefiness' factor for lack of a better term. It plays a role in note placement selection.
  9. Rocky McD

    Rocky McD

    Jun 28, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    One of my basses is a Fender fretless with the BEAD tuning. I use it on some styles but mostly use my Standard EADG Precision fretted. I don't think I would use BEAD if I only had one bass.
  10. pathdoc2


    Oct 16, 2002
    McKinney, TX
    I've considered doing this on one of my extra basses. Just need to pick which bass gets converted.
  11. I have one bass tuned BEAD. The others are tuned standard.

    The stuff I use the BEAD bass for doesn't really require the G. So no, I don't miss it at all, since I mainly use it when soloing anyway.
  12. Do you use thicker gauge strings when tuned down?

    My Peavey actually, for whatever reason, sounds phenomenal in BEAD. Of course, I did rip out the pickup and rout out a space for a ric pickup, too, soo....
  13. cassius987

    cassius987 Banned

    Apr 20, 2007
    Denver, CO
    I could not get by without the G-string. But, every project I have ever been in has encouraged me to either solo frequently or incorporate lots of melodic elements into my playing.
  14. phmike


    Oct 25, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I tuned EADG on every bass I had until recently when I got a 5 string tuned BEADG. Swapping between BEADG and EADG messed me up and I also realized I spent more time on BEA than on ADG so I tuned the 4 stringer to BEAD. I used to be a 4 string only player and now that I have a 5 stringer I'm confused as to what I want to play. I don't miss the 4 string G but at the same time I kinda like the 5 string G sometimes. DANG
  15. Try tuning F#BEA. I did and never looked back.
  16. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    I've done it, and I missed the G string for a couple of songs, but for the most part it worked out fine.
  17. B is kinda the limit for how low I'm okay with a band I'm in tuning. Plus I've never heard a low F# that I thought sounded good.
  18. IngerAlb


    May 11, 2007
    I never used the G string (we play metal), so I too switched to BEAD. It was the only solution for me 'cause I really tried to like 5ers but it didn't work out. I'm using light strings though (Dunlop Nickel 60 - 120). My only regret is not doing this earlier ;)
  19. IngerAlb


    May 11, 2007

    But then again, these were built precisely for F# tuning...
  20. I've heard it before. It sounds terrible to me. Utterly awful.

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