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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

    headstump

    Oct 27, 2010
    Oregon
    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

    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
    Builder,mcdcustomguitars
    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.
    Rocky
     
  10. pathdoc2

    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

    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

    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

    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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