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5 String Bass Question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by OxJohnson, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. I play 4 bangers, but...

    I really find myself wishing that I had a high C string. So here is the question(s):

    I see most 5 bangers are strung B-E-A-D-G. Could I use one of those and just string it E-A-D-G-C? Would I have to replace the nut to do this? Is there a manufacturer that makes a 5 string already built for this?

    Or... should I just get a 6 stringer? I would like a low B, but I worry about the floppy-ness. The high C is MUCH more important to me.

    Thanks all,
  2. You would be just fine stringing it that way. I personlly like having the low b, but if you do not want that, you can give yourself more range stringing it with the c.

  3. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    I did one of my fives that way and I love it. I also have a 6er that is my main bass. I am selling one of my 5s; pm if you are interested.

  4. YCBass

    YCBass Supporting Member

    Aug 29, 2007
    That perfectly fine, there are a lot of players who tune that way, i.e. Matt Garrison, IIRC.

    If I ever run into a 5 with a sub par low B but everything else is great about it, that's probably how I'll tune it.
  5. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    Yes, you will be fine with the bridge and the nut on must basses. You may have to adjust the neck a little and a 34" scale bass would probably work better than a 35 for this.
  6. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    That's how it went with my Samick 5. Except the part about everything else being great. :D I did a lot of practicing on that bass, though. The high C certainly seemed indispensable for 'shedding on the Bach cello suites.
  7. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    Or, get a 6-string and have it all! I have a Modulus Q6 and love it for a couple of reasons... the neck isn't going anywhere and is totally even up and down the neck and string to string. And no floppy B!
  8. Thanks for all of the responses! It makes me feel better knowing that I can just use a normal 5 string. I would think that a 35" would produce a super tight E, right? Well, I guess they all would be tighter...

    Where would one find a decent 34" 5 string? Most of the ones that I have looked at are 35". I think I may just wind up getting a G&L Tribute to try this with. I played one the other day (with a low B) and it felt nice and sounded pretty good.

    1 more thing... I am assuming that I will either (a) have to buy a 6 string set and just not use the B string or (b) buy individual C strings to add a 4 string set. I currently use D'Addario 165XLs. Does anyone know off the top of their heads a reliable vendor that I could get a matching C? What gauge would that even be? The 165s are 105-85-65-45.

  9. Lots of companies will allow you to custom order your set through a dealer.

    Also, both D'Addario and Elixir are set up to allow you to customize your bass string set right there in the store - lots of B and C strings sold separately so you can get just what you want. Start with looking into what your favorite string company will let you order and go from there.

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