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Discussion in 'Ask Mike Watt [Archived]' started by metalicdreamz, May 23, 2002.

  1. I have a question about tuning a four string bass to match a five string that is tuned down one whole step. Can you anwer that for me?
  2. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    what do you want?
    you can buy a set of 5 string bass strings (extra light) and put the strings on leaving off the 1 st string (the smallest). and tune it BEAD and it shuold sound fine. and if you tune EADG the string are really tight and you can get the action lower on your bass with less click and buzz.

  3. watt

    watt the man in the van w/a bass in his hand Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2001
    san pedro, california

    tuning a 'b' string to 'e' on a four string bass might cause too much tension and hurt the neck. a four string bass is designed for the tension an 'e' string tuned to 'e' produces. I'd be careful here. there's also the problem of the grooves in the nut being too small for the bigger gauge strings and this will damage that. five string basses have longer scale necks usually too to compensate for string flabbyness.

    it looks like what you want is to tune a four string so that the 'e' string is now an 'a' - right? this will make it quite flabby. there's cheap five strings now - fender has one for less than $200 - check one of these out if you don't want to spend much and take the five string plunge.

    on bass, watt


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