?? about 5 String Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ScottBlasko, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. ScottBlasko


    Sep 10, 2013
    Hey all, I'm rather new to the bass ( i'm a guitarist and drummer) and would like to know if it is somewhat normal to keep the low string an E instead of a B and add a higher string instead? So no low B but a higher string like an a 6 string. Any info would be super. Thanks!
  2. hdracer

    hdracer Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    A lot of people do it. Or just use a 6 string.
  3. Most people tune that higher string to a C, to keep the series of 4ths from string to string. I have seen people (Tim Bogert) tune it to a B because they play chords and like the guitar shapes they can get. YMMV.
  4. SRFSterling5


    Sep 24, 2011
    The E to C thing is pretty popular, more so for those that do the chordal stuff. Personally I prefer the B to G but my advice is do what you feel comfortable with. No right or wrong way, just different approaches.
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  6. Wallace320


    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Buy a 6 string set (B, E, A, D, G, C)

    Tear B string apart and install just E, A, D, G, C string on your 5 string bass

    Install a Hipshot bass extender on your lower string (E string, prone to reach D note in this very case)

    Tune the bass a full step lower, releasing trussrod and saddle tension accordingly.

    Now you'll have D, G, C, F, Bb (C, G, C, F, Bb with detuner on)
    Just a half step higher than a 6er, on the lowend, and a full step lower than a 6er on the highend

  7. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    You can buy low B E A D G or E A D G C.
    I use low B for gigging.
    Use Hi-C for tapping & chording around the house.
  8. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    The higher string is fine, but at the risk of creating controversy, it offers very little in terms of practical application with an ensemble.

    It is nice for "feature" playing such as chording (as mentioned), melodic leads, etc. But, that's about it.

    I've never strung a fiver like that, but I have flirted with a few six strings. I never used that string, so I never took interest in them.

    I have seen a lot of guys who sound awesome on them though.
  9. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper The G&L L5000 man. I'm Marc! Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    Higher string is fine, but I would recommend going the 6-string route if you want to extend higher. I think greater range of the low B is always a good thing.
  10. ScottBlasko


    Sep 10, 2013
    Amazing info guys! Thank you all so much. Really helps. So far I'm liking the idea of the high string tuned up to B since I'm used to that on a guitar. But Im gonna have to try all ideas. Cheers!
  11. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    I agree... the low B is more "on task" so to speak for bass .. and what it's function is..
  12. rolandm

    rolandm In search of the lowest note.

    Aug 8, 2010
    Peoria, IL
    I think a lot of the decision of what tuning to use depends on what you're playing as well. If you're covering a lot of modern, detuned artists, you'll likely find it better with a BEADG tuning as you start to get into some artists who use a low B-C# or even low A on occasion. Misery Business by Paramore, for instance, is much easier on a 5-string than on a detuned 4.
  13. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    As others have said, it's pretty normal to do that.

    One problem is string selection though. I really don't know of any E-C string sets, like others have said you have to buy a 6 string and not use the B which is the most expensive string.

    Best thing to do in that case is to get your strings from Bass Strings Online. You can custom build whatever set you want, and you don't have to pay for the B string you won't be using.