Setting up for BEAD

I’m fairly certain this has been discussed before, but, I want to set my Dimension up for BEAD. I’m certain it’s not as simple as downtuning. I’m sure I’ll probably need strings, and I’ll probably have to adjust the truss rod and intonation and all that.

Can anyone offer any pointers or direct me to a previous thread (I’m a software developer, but my Google-fu suuuuuuuucks).


we had this post for general information about alternate tunings : Alternate tuning

I (re)built a bass for BEAD tuning. I used the 4 biggest strings of a 5-strings set. I had to make a new nut, and I had to modify a little bit the bridge and the “B” saddle to allow the biggest string to fit.

otherwise it should be fine, of course you will have to adjust the saddles and check the truss rod but that’s no big deal.


According to Stringjoy’s tension calculator (mind you, based on their own strings only) the tension difference between a .045 .065 .085 .105 set tuned EADG and a .065 .085 .105 .125 set tuned BEAD is about 10lbs less, so there’ll be some truss rod adjustment as already said. Even with a .130 (which I would personally do, especially on a 34" scale bass) it’s still about 6lbs less, so either way you’re touching that truss rod a little bit.

Reminded of my youth when I knew fuck all and tuned down to BEAD on my usual set of strings and knew nothing of truss rods or setups :rofl:


just to give an idea, I use 65-130 strings from a 45-130 5-strings set. I would not go lower.


When I switched my Sire over to B-E-A-D I had to file the nut to open up the slots enough for the strings. Other than that it was just a typical setup.


And I agree with @terb. I used D’addario EXL’s in the same guages that he used.


You’ll need strings. Few ways to go.

GHS makes a set of strings for BEAD tuning. I tried one of their light sets, with a 125 B string but it was so floppy on a 34" scale. If you go GHS get the medium set

You can get a 5 string set and don’t use the G string

You can go to Stringjoy and order a custom set. This is what I would do if I wrote go BEAD again.

The strings will be fatter so you may need to file the nut. You can get nut files at Stewmac (gas gas)

I like to have a spare nut on hand which is easy for a Fender

Once you have the nut set string and tune. Perform a setup like normal. The string tension is different, but the steps for truss and intonation don’t change.

The only thing is getting the nut set.


B-E-A-D is definitely fun but why would you do that on the Dimension? If you ever need to change back you’d need a new nut. I’d keep that stock then mod the other 4 string. Plus, the dimension is such a slap happy bass. Just playing devils advocate here.


+1. I actually used .135 for the B.

1 Like

My recommendation: don’t do this. Just use a typical cheap diamond file. Works great and doesn’t cost $70. It’s incredibly easy to file a nut, it turns out; no special tools required.

You’re probably going to file fewer than five nuts in your life. Unless you plan to become a pro luthier, the nut files are overkill, IMO.

This is really good advice - buy a couple to have on hand, peace of mind.


Because the only other bass I have is my Jazz, which fires on all cylinders for me. I don’t want to mod that at all.

I think BEAD will be rad on the Dimension.


Permission granted, lol. I can see how you see it. I envy you for that vision.

1 Like

I gassed the Music Nomad entire tool set over Christmas gift card got the truss rod, setup, driver set and the nut files. They are good.

I used the Sandberg Low-B stringset for a BEAD conversion. I think it is the same as the GHS one. It has a taper core for the .130 and does not need any changes to the saddles.
To adjust the nut, I got a set of file that works for multiple purposes:

You only need to be careful and file the nut slowly. If you’ are unsure about it, just buy a spare nut as well. You never know :sweat_smile:


Yep those are exactly the kind of files I use. I bought a no-name brand from Amazon for about 5 euro.

Works perfectly. Just file a little at a time.

1 Like

So. That was a short-lived exercise. I picked up some light (40/120) 5-string strings and used just the BEAD strings. I couldn’t see that my nut needed filing with the light strings, they all seemed to sit perfectly in the nut. Anyway, tuned it up, played it for a bit.

It was fun, and neat, but I don’t know bass well enough to transpose music I’m playing to that tuning, so other than scales and noodling around, it wasn’t that useful to me.

So I put it back to EADG.

Thanks for all the feedback and answers, folks. :slight_smile:


tbh there’s not really a lot to transpose unless a given song uses the 1st/G string. In that case you have to “think” 5 frets higher (which is a decent jump to move lol).

Have you tried Guitar Pro? I know it can change tab to match your tuning. Free things like Musescore and Tux Guitar (or whatever it’s called) might be able to do the same.


Sounds like it’s too late, but I would suggest learning the riff to Tainted Love, and see how different and easy it is on BEAD. other than that, rest your thumb on the B and just play away, the string will work its way in


Good advice both.

I’ll probably retry BEAD once I’m a better EADG player.


For what it’s worth, I don’t even notice my B string when playing stuff written for a 4-string EADG bass. I’m sure you’ll get it whenever you think you’re ready. It was actually easier for me than 7-string guitar XD