1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

What'd you think of this?... Changing a 4-string into a "five"

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassman45, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. Bassman45


    Jul 16, 2005

    Another poster suggested this as a method for creating a "5-string" bass. His method was to use B-E-A-D tuning on a 4-string fretless bass. I'm not sure of the string gauges he uses but in my mind you would have to use a real B (130 etc...) as the first string. Any red flags here? This sounds feasible but as always there might be hidden issues.

  2. lowrez

    lowrez no.

    Nov 27, 2004
    New Englandish
    It should work okay. You might have to adjust the nut some for the wider gauge string. and maybe the saddle slot though I doubt it.
  3. Might have a few issues getting that B to sound like a "normal" B with a 34" scale length though... that is, if you indeed have a 34".

  4. Bassman45


    Jul 16, 2005
  5. Bassman45


    Jul 16, 2005
    Good point... the Fender Jazz V 5-string uses a 34" scale so I would think it would be alright. Looking at a MIA Jazz fretless on another page right now... God she's beautiful!
  6. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    that's another Can-O-Worms you're opening right there that you can find a LOT of info on with the search function. You won't find a lot of answers, but you'll find a LOT of opinions that will contradict what you're saying.
  7. Bassman45


    Jul 16, 2005
    What'd you think of this?... Changing a 4-string into a "five"

    God am I a newbie or what?!!!! :bag: This is pretty common among you guys... I need to get out more often! :oops:
  8. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Belfast, UK
    BEAD tuning is very common in this Nu-Commerfordistic era.

    I tune that on my fretless 4 because it allows me to play across the neck instead of up and down with open strings for jazz.
  9. Bassman45


    Jul 16, 2005
    Do you use a .125 gauge "B" as your first string?

    Any nut adjustments on the fretless?
  10. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Belfast, UK
    I use a .130 B
  11. Bassman45


    Jul 16, 2005
    That was fast thanks!... so you haven't "widened" the nut on any of the strings?
  12. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Belfast, UK
    This bass was old... I got it in parts from my friend. I didn't have to do any modification to the nut slots to get the strings to fit, but they seem to be a bit V shaped, instead of a curver U to the string gauge. Cheap plastic thing, but it works.


    That's the bass I'm talking about. I know the pic doesn't explain anything, but I wanted to show off my handy work I guess. :p
  13. avid

    avid born lefty

    Jun 22, 2005
    Ashland, Oregon USA
  14. Jimmy P.

    Jimmy P.

    Apr 5, 2005
    Tokyo, Japan
    "Sorry, no matches. Please try some different terms." No, that link doesn't work for me either; but it is easy enough to go back to the search function, and try different terms as suggested. There are numerous postings on this topic with a lot of useful information.

    Regarding the BEAD tuning - I have a Jazz copy strung this way and am very satisfied with the sound. The B string is 130 gauge (Ernie Ball, long scale) and slightly loose open string and first fret, but certainly playable. Installed a Badass 2 bridge yesterday, and the sound just got punchier! The B string fit snugly through the bridge, so I didn't have to enlarge the hole. However, it was necessary to enlarge the nut slots for the B- and E-strings.

    NOTE: Be very careful when removing material from the nut - a very little filing makes a big difference in string height.
  15. konfishily


    Jan 24, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    me neither
  16. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Nice Red Bull collection.