5 vs 6 string
Hi ant. I'm wondering why you choose to play a 5 with a low b instead of a 6 string bass? I'm trying to decide if I want to move up to a 6 or stay on my 5. I do like my 5 with 19mm string spacing, and thinking I might feel cramped on a 6. I'd love to hear why you play a 5 string.
I wish I had a profound reason to give you but I don't.
I went straight from 4 string to a 6 string the I restrung from E to high F(like a 7 string with out the B string). Then I went to a string fretless(my 1st custom bass) and then to a 5 string fretted.
But I knew that I would end up a 5 string player for 1 simple reason,...
I needed to cover the bassline on the song Flashlight that came out in '78. That bassline went down to a low C on the synth bass and the line isn't as effective an octave higher.
That's it! That's why I started playing a 5 string bass.
The 6 string wasn't for me because I still think of myself primarily as a bass player who is fulfilling the role of bass. An extra high string doesn't fulfill that role(for me). And I don't want to play an extended range bass just for looks. I'm not that insecure that I need to look like I can play by having a lot of strings, especially strings that I'm not gonna' use on most of the songs. If I were soloing on every song it would be a different story. But I'm playing baselines 99% of the time. A 'C' string isn't necessary for that.
But I own a lot of basses so I can choose the bass I need for the situation. But my preference is to play bass.
Coincidently, I still think of myself as a 4 string player. A 4 string player playing 5 string out of necessity.
Do you use the B string a lot Ant ? Since Ive swapped Ive looked for places to fit those notes but to me! My inexperienced ear.. They dont seem to fit that often.. I find myself using the B as a thumb rest more than a string.
I do use it a lot. I'm like Jamerson, I play the root and go 'down' to the 3rd a lot.
went from 4string to 5string (with low B) to 5string (with high c) to 6string (with low B and high c)
found out that switching between 5 and 6 strings only leads to geometrical confusion and stage accidents
decided to focus on one string configuration, in my case the 6string
Yea, it can lead to confusion. That can only be overcame by practice on all string 'configurations'. It definitely can be overcome.
As a teacher, I chose to mirror what is across from me. So I keep 4, 5, 6, 7, fretless, piccolo, tenor, upright, guitar and keyboard at Bassology. And even though I don't advertise as an upright, guitar or keyboard teacher, I routinely teach them all.
It's just a matter of practice.
I know you were asking Anthony but from my experience going from 5 to six it helped to have both. I made the transition by playing the 5 for about 55 minutes a a day then the 6 for 5. Then I'd play the 5 a little less and the 6 a little more until I eventually played the 6 full time. By the way my main axe is a Fender Steve Bailey Jazz s I kind of have a soured up classic sound. I also joke I love the six because I'm lazy. In one position I have two octaves and a fourth without shifting it simplifies things a lot.
6 string bass is AWESOME!!! It allows me to play higher pitched chords, notes, and harmonics with the C string. Having the low B is a lot of fun as well. 6 is also great for practice! The more notes you play during daily exercises, the better you become...I'd practice with a 12 string bass if my hand could reach all the notes :) 5 is fun as well, but symmetrically a 6 makes more sense to me. That being said, bass is the best instrument on the planet, regardless of how many strings it has!
Funny, 5 string is symmetrical to me. Perfect 2 octave modes and pentatonics in 1 position.
1 string in the center on the dots and 2 strings on either side.
We all define symmetrical differently. And that's great!
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