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Tuning my short scale AEAD... wish me luck

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by DeivoxCarnal, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. So I'm not really into metal, but my friends are in a really talented metal band and they can't seem to find a bassist, so i told them that I would fill in until they found someone more permanent.
    The only thing I'm worried about is my bass not being up to the challenge.
    It's a cheap plywood bodied Gretsch Junior Jet. I recently had to sell my other basses and I hung onto this one because I like short scales and it was the cheapest.

    The problem is that they both play 7 string guitars, and tune the 7th string to A. So if I had a 5 string I would just tune my B down a step, but until I can find a job and buy a 5 string I have to put a B string on it and lose the G.
    I'm afraid that having a 30" scale a low A is going to be FLOP CITY.

    I realize I'm going to have to adjust my truss rod and raise my action once I switch strings but has anyone else ever done something like this? I already ordered a set of short scale DR Hi-Beams (.125)
    They were the only short scale 5-sting set I could find. I wanted a hex core stainless set at .135, but IIRC the Hi-Beams are round core.

    If anyone has links to vendors who do short scale 5-string sets that would be awesome. I know there have to be some more out there. Does anyone know what strings Birdsong uses on their basses?
  2. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    You worries are genuine. Going up to the heavier strings is probably going to require modding the nut, and it still probably is going to be a floppy muddy mess.

    Why not just grab a cheapie bass on GC used site. You can pick up a playable bass for 75 bucks or less. Throw some heavy gauge strings on it. You can sell it on here or on Craigs and probably make money if the project fizzles.
  3. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    Good luck.

    (I just jinxed you :p)
  4. I'm currently unemployed, so I probably shouldn't have even bought the strings. :(
    I'm not too worried about the nut, I think I'm only gonna have to modify the groove for the B string because I tried moving my E, A and D strings down one slot and they fit fine.

    If this experiment in downtuning goes horribly awry my back-up is to just use someone else's bass. They told me that they have a Peavey 5'er that I can use, but I want to be able to practice the songs at home without having to take someone else's bass home.

    So can anyone recommend a set of strings for short scale basses if these DRs don't pan out?

    I'll keep everyone posted once my strings come in.
  5. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    I'd look for something thicker than a .125. Even though it's meant for a B, it's still very much on the light side and downtuning will still make it feel floppy (though considerably nicer than tuning your E-string down).

    Unfortunately, I can't recommend any shortscale strings. I've heard GHS is very customer-oriented, though, so you might see if they can make you a set.

    Another option is to contact Octave4Plus. They've made me a couple of custom sets over the years. A .150 low A-string (either the regular or the .150H) will have about the same amount of tension as your E-string, so you could always see if they'll do a single in your 30.3" scale length. If you want an entire AEAD set from them, I'd look to getting one similar to this: .158 .106 .079 .059
  6. I'd stick with BEAD and Play A key stuff up on the E and A string. For I-IV-V stuff, drop down to the B for the IV-V measures.

    You'll even have a floppy B with .125 thickness.
  7. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    You could try torch tip cleaners for cheap nut files.
  8. I got the strings finally!!!
    I'm actually surprised at how good they sound, a bit clangy since they're still new, but the low string is not as floppy as I feared, even after tuning down a step.

    Of course I do have to play closer to the bridge, but since this band relies heavily on that open low A it's better than playing all of the chugging riffs with my standard A.

    Now I have to concentrate on how to stand out while still staying in the pocket.

    here's a link to the soundcloud page with a couple of tunes.
    Design of Destiny's sounds on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

    and the facebook Design of Destiny | Facebook
    (please like them, even if you don't like them :p)

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