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Category: Alternate Tunings

Try Tuning To B.E.A.D.

Alternate Tunings

There Could be a time when you might want to change to B.E.A.D. Tuning on your 4 string bass guitar.

If you do not have a hip-shot De-Tuner or a 5 string bass, There is a good possibility you might

get the want or need situation to go lower,


Some music was just written to be played below what they call standard tuning. That`s E.A.D.G. Tuning i am referring to

as standard tuning. Some Bass players just tune their standard tuned 4 string bass down from E.A.D.G. to B.E.A.D.


But sometimes this can cause less than perfect results. Some bass guitars or bass necks were not built

to be tuned like this, If you go down in tuning the strings get so loose that there is

little response when you pluck notes with fingers and using a pick is impossible almost.


Make for very clumsy slow playing, But If you happen to have a de-tuner device installed on your Bass this task can be made easy,

This subject is more suited for a review on Hip – shot    De -Tuners .

which I have no time for right now.


But what i do want to touch on is totally De-tuning your whole 4 string bass and make it sound and play like a 5 string, But with 4 strings.

This method is designed to be more permanent than just a de-tuner. And it involves a expense of another set of strings,


It also requires you either wanting your bass to be de-tuned to B E A D  Tuning for some time or change the strings

every time you want this sound. What others have done including me is install this setup on a extra 4 string bass you might happen to have.

That way you have it always available as needed. Instead of just re-tuning your 4 string to B E A D ,


You instead get yourself a set of 5 string bass strings with the low B string included, And remove the E A D G Set you currently have installed on your bass.

Here  Is a bit of  guitar tech advice i recommend first you will find the B string in your 5 string set of strings is alot thicker

or fatter than the current E string thats on the bass now ,So we have to fix this,


After removing the old strings,


You need to take a file about the right size as the B string of the new set of strings and your going to need to file the nut slot for the

B string to make it wider. To  hold the B string in the nut without cracking or breaking the nut which is a common problem when doing this mod.


take your time and do a nice job its not very complicated to get this done but if your a bit weary about doing this kind of work to your guitars,

By all means take it to the shop. Dont want any mishaps when trying to get this done.


Now you might be thinking this is kinda a pain in the ass just to be able to de-tune your bass. And your right.. But if your looking for this sound and.

Your not ready to just go buy  A 5 String This is the best option. The reason for the string change is

a Low B String is about 130 or or 135 gauge and a low E String is normally is about 100 if you tune that 100 gauge E string to B its either

going to be to much slack or way too much tension Either way it will be hard to play and really slow you down.

But the low B string is perfect for 5 string bassthis B  sound as it was made for it.

Now you could just look around and just get a B string and swap it out with the Low E, and move the rest on down the line, And be done but I like my strings to match.

But what we really want to do here is open the new set of 5 strings your going to have a low (fat) B string this will replace your low E (top) string on your 4 string bass. Then next comes your E string it will go second string down from top, Next is your A string 3rd string down from top. And finally your D string will go on the bottom, That`s right you will not need the G string but save it could come in handy some time. Now All that is left is to tune up to B E A D And start loving the low sounds you now have.


When you get this done your going to love the sounds you can make it will open a bunch of possibility`s, For your bass playing. I Was left with the one question of “Why did I wait so long”? I really do love playing in the lower note area.


Give It a Try  

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