Hi all, I did searchbar before posting so if it's been asked before then apologies because I didn't see it. I also Googled but couldn't find anything conclusive.

I'm not really that adventurous with my bass tunings and only really usually play in standard or drop D (I play a 4 string - using an Epiphone Blackbird at the moment) but recently I've wanted to start tuning down lower to around B. I use Power Slinkies for drop D but they get way too slack to tune down to B but I was wondering, if I bought a pack of 5 strings and only used the bottom 4 on my bass, would it be okay or would it fuck the neck/other miscellaneous part of the instrument up?

Forgive me if this is a hilariously dumb question but I don't want to break my bass and I can't afford 5-string at the moment.

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Theres a few threads already...just search for BEAD and bass and stuff comes up. I did one myself. It works you have to sort intonation out after through. You can use the thicker strings to widen the nut by rubbing the strings along where you are putting em. I ended up getting a 5 string in the end but it can be done!

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You'll have to mess about with the intonation, as said before. I've done it with my bass and see no problems, I did have to edit my nut though, but that's not hard. You may have to adjust the truss rod if your using BEAD strings and tune up, so be careful, but playing in BEAD won't hurt your bass.

When you can spare it, buy a 5-string. I played a few and, for me, they feel better than a four string.
Last edited by Negociator at May 27, 2010,
I did it with my 4 string, and it worked fine.
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Cheers for that guys. I didn't think it'd damage it but if I ended up breaking something I'd have been pissed with myself for not asking first. Now if it happens I can be pissed at other people which makes it better.

I'll be off to the shop tomorrow and will have a fiddle with the intonation once I've restrung it. Looking forward to giving it a go. I'm lucky because the Blackbird doesn't have holes you have to thread the strings through, they just kind of sit in the grooves. As a result, the gauge being too big for the bridge isn't too much of a worry.

Thanks again all!
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Ejaculate in MY moustache?!

Music is just wiggly air. Accept it or leave it.ಠ_ಠ
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Going BEAD actually decreases the amount of tension being applied by your strings, so it's not going to hurt the bass once setup properly.

Why is that?
I would guess that the tension decreases because the string isn't as taut, because it's heavier.
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