Hey, guys, I had a question on low tuning. I play a 4 string Spector bass and for the most part I play standard E, E flat, and standard D (I never play drop tuning, I always tune to standard of whatever low note I'm tuning down to), but I sometimes like to go lower to standard C and B if I'm jamming to Godsmack, Disturbed or say Robert Trujillo era Metallica. I don't like 5 strings, 'cause I've always liked the setup of a 4 string and find any extra strings to be useless... Does anyone have any tips on how to get a good sound for low tunings on a 4 string without having to deal with the sloppy slack on the strings? Do they have thicker gauge strings for 4 strings? Right now I'm using the standard .105 gauge. Or is it possible that buying a pack of 5 strings and just using the bottom 4 would work on my bass? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

-- bmarlatt1685
You need heavier strings. Buying a five string set and using the heavier four will work perfectly, although you may need to adjust the nut.
Yeah buying heaver gauges is what you need to do. I wouldn't suggest buying a pack of 5 string gauges though, because then you wouldn't be able to play in "E" standard. I suggest (starting from "G") .65, .75, 1.00, and 1.15 for your bass, it will still be a little loose when you tune to "B" standard though. Either you do that or buy a second bass and buy really heavy strings for just one, that's what I did, that way it's perfect both ways.
5 string set, dont tune up and then down ... so ... basically try and start playing as low as you intend and then go up from there.

You'll have to get a new nut or do what i do and take a dremel tool to the nut and hope for the best. Luckily it worked out pretty well.

Ive been using a ernie ball super slinky 5 set (.125 for the lowest string) and its been working pretty well for C standard.

Ive also been using a 4 string set of bass boomers from GHS (.115 guage) for D standard (maybe overkill ... but those where the strings i had) for a while but i havnt seen any strings in a four string set that go any lower than that other than the occasional glance at Rotosound's site and their RS66LH and RS66LH+. You my want to check out the rotos ... i doubt that they are carried in shops anywhere though.

However, if i was you and i wasnt strapped for cash i'd bite the bullet and get a five string. Buts thats probably just cause i have a preconcived notion that B standard and lower just fits with a 5 string.
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Last edited by Thegian at Aug 8, 2009,
I found it easier to just use the B string to replace the E string and leave the others.