#1
This has been asked before but I haven't got as much as I would like out of the previous posts so thought I'd ask for some fresh opinions

I've been using dropped tuning lately on 4 string bass - B F# B E
I'm not 100% sure what gauge strings I'm using at the moment, think they might be .45 .65 .85 .105, but anyway, they are way too baggy for me. I don't play slap but I do like to beat my thumb on the low 2 strings sometimes to get a different feel than plucking

I thought about using a 5 string set without the G (.130 .100 .80 .65) so using the B, and tuning the other 3 strings up by 2 semi tones - what I need to know I guess is would this put too much tension on the strings or on the neck?

My other option is just to get really heavy 4 string set but would this be sufficient for this tuning?

Would appreciate any advice, thanks!
#2
Id get a set of .115 you really shouldn't need much thicker than that.
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#4
I'd get a heavy 5 string set and instead drop the E string, so you tune down by 1 1/2 steps as opposed to up two steps.

Or if you can find a place that sells separate low B strings, get a heavy 4 string set and a lighter B string so the size difference between the low B and that F# isn't as much.
#5
Quote by Deliriumbassist
I'd get a heavy 5 string set and instead drop the E string, so you tune down by 1 1/2 steps as opposed to up two steps.

Or if you can find a place that sells separate low B strings, get a heavy 4 string set and a lighter B string so the size difference between the low B and that F# isn't as much.


That also seems to make sense.
If I got the heavy 5 string set and tuned the higher strings down, would that make them loose or would they be about right then?

Oh, I forgot to ask as well, will the notch in my bass' nut (that sounds so rude) be big enough for a thicker B string or might I need to replace the nut as well?
#7
Thanks man, really appreciate your advice

As you seem pretty knowledgeable (is that a word, I dunno?) would you be able to answer this one?

How to I raise the nut slightly to stop the open 2nd and 3rd strings buzzing against the 1st fret? they seem to be very lightly resting on the 1st fret so playing them open is pretty impossible

I wrote a post detailing my problem earlier today if you want to have a brief look
(sorry if I'm being a pain in the ass, but I'm kinda new to all this... and I guess this is what forums are for )
#9
Hmm... it's a mission. I took it to a tech not long ago, kept coming back not quite perfect so I took it back about 3 times, and it was perfect right up until I down-tuned it... it didn't buzz or anything before
I thought about adjusting the truss rod but then I guess that would make my strings a little slacker still?
#10
truss rod adjustment is not the same as action adjustment. A setup takes relief (with the truss rod), action (at the bridge) and intonation (at the bridge) adjustments. And naturally it wouldn't be perfect after downtuning it after a setup. Ideally you should be setting the tuning, and then giving it the setup.
#11
If you want to move up in string gauge, then you will almost certainly have to have your nut recut. And not just the "E" string, either. You will also have to reset your intonation at the bridge.

If you are into tuning down, heavier strings are probably your best option. Depending on how far down you tune, you may still get floppy strings. This is the nature of the low end beast, so to speak. Bassists who are seriously into down-tuning often go with a 35" scale bass to keep extra tension on the strings. There are also strings on the market that are better for down-tuning, as they have heavier and denser cores. Dean Markley Skullbusters are one such string.

If you are not tuning down much (and especially if you aren't tunig down at all) those heavier strings are going to put a lot more of a strain on your neck, and this will require a truss rod adjustment. Don't freak out over it, as you'll almost never have to turn the adjusting nut more than 1/4 to 1/2 of a turn. Even a 1/8 turn can make a world of difference.

If your first two frets are buzzing on open strings, it is either a truss rod adjustment or you have a couple of high frets. The latter is very common these days with instruments coming from the factory. Have your local repair shop check to see if your frets are level. A good fret dressing is always helpful, and certainly can't hurt.