5 string prejudice applies to 4 as well.

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Rav, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    So one of my band projects sort of fell apart recently with the sudden disappearance of the singer/guitarist. ( I usually have at least 2 bands at any given time) I have a lot of spare time so I decided to go find another side project with another band.

    I hit craigslist and started surfing for bass player wanted ads.

    I find this band that's playing some modern rock stuff. It's not the stuff I normally play but I like to expand my horizons so I respond to the ad.

    In the ensuing correspondence they notify me that that most of their songs are originals and in Drop C. They continue to tell me that I must play a 4 string bass.

    Now a little history here. I own 4 sting basses as wells as 5's. But it just completely baffles me that people want to drop the E to C on a 4 when its way simpler to just play a 5. I'm really not a fan of non standard tuning.

    So, I realiase the guys are tools but figure I'll get smart and solve the problem and go jam and have some fun. My solution I grab a 4 string and a pack of strings for a 5 and string up and tune B E A D. I figure if they are in drop C they aren't going to need me to play anything on the G string anyway.

    The next day I drive out and setup and jam with the guys and have a general good time. Their songs were pretty simple but had a nice groove and was fun to play. Everyone seems happy. They ask me if I'm willing to join the band and if I have time etc. I agree and they set me up to come to normal practices.

    So at this point. No problems right.

    The 3rd practice I went to after that we are playing one of the tunes and the guitarist is looking at my hands with a confused look on his face. He does this for a couple of songs and then on a break between songs he askes me "hey man why are you playing all the wrong notes". To which I reply, "I'm not playing the wrong notes". He they procedes to play a chord and have me play the root. I follow him for a couple chords and he says "I'm playing a C chord why are you fretting your C string?" So I tell him "because it's a B string to me".

    At this point he gets pissed off and gives me a speech about how the tuning I'm using is ruining his music. And if he wanted it played on a 5 string he would have asked me to bring a 5 string.

    The next day I get a text message asking me not to come back and that they replaced me.

    Now i do agree that it is possible that some people might want the sound of an open ringing string C instead of a fretted C. But this guy didn't notice for 2 full practices and only then because it "looked wrong"

    I just found it humorous that the stigma against 5's seems to translate to string tuning and not necessarily the number of strings.

  2. southernrocker

    southernrocker Inactive

    Apr 4, 2009
    You should've punched him in the face.
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Or at least told him off. I would have given him an earful.
  4. MakgMalorieBass


    Oct 30, 2007
    This kinda reminds me of a worship leader that told me i was wrong in saying that the key of a song was "B". He thought it should be called C-flat :)
  5. Uribam


    Jun 4, 2009
    Yeah seriously. It makes no sense at all. Clearly these people are like the guy who wrote the first letter to the editor in the last Bass Player mag. Bunch of idiots.
  6. Takes gui**** to a whole new level.
  7. SpamBot


    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    Care to post the text? Couldn't find it on google.
  8. king_biscuit


    May 21, 2006
    They did you a favor asking you not to come back. Life is way to short to have to deal with idiots!
  9. thudfromafar

    thudfromafar Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2007
  10. Like I always say, too many idiots, not enough Jersey land-fill...
  11. Uribam


    Jun 4, 2009
    Well, normally I'd say no to posting content from a mag. People pay for that. However, the exception to my rule is when someone else writes it unpaid for them so here you go:

    I'm a new subscriber to BASS PLAYER and I just received my first issue. I considered offering my expanded opinion after reading the magazine but have changed my mind because what I have to say will not please many readers and because I'm 71 will be considered just another old fart with a chip on his shoulder. So I'll just offer my two cents.
    In the June issue, Adam Nitti is shown on page 14 with a 6-string "bass." That's not a bass, that's a guitar. Anything over 4 strings is a guitar, especially when basses are played with a pick. Toby Leaman (page 20) makes some stupid remarks, especially when he says "...my bass sounds like a pitched kick drum." First, no real drummer says "kick" drum. It's a bass drum! I'm an ex-drummer. Second, who the hell would want their bass to sound like a bass drum!
    Last, but not least, on the full-page advertisement for Basslines (page 55), we are shown the very ugly Monster (bassist for Jugulur) with an ugly 5-string bass. He is typical with what's wrong with music. Actually, I have never heard of Jugulur, but I'm certain that they do not produce music as I was brought up to appreciate: melodic and harmonious. People such as Monster are not musicians and they do not play a musical instrument. They use what they call a musical instrument more as a weapon to assult your senses. I do not need my senses to be assaulted, but massaged.
    I do not think I'm going to allow my subscription to run it's full length as the next issue will be just a rehash.

    Now again, I'll say. It's not right to reproduce parts of articles not posted on the internet from a source that people pay for. Seeing as they didn't pay someone to write it for them, and it has total relevance to this thread, as well as many others. I posted it one time.

    There are two reasons I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest people read this mag. One is for stuff like this and other ideas. The other is to support people, like the editor, who totally refutes everything he says. That includes the not calling it a kick drum statement. Lots of drummers call it a kick drum and I usually use both of them interchangeably.

    I do not work for Bass Player, I do read it though. I think it's a good mag worth checking out and seeing if you enjoy reading it. Sorry for plugging them, but I did post their content here and it's the least I can do. Sorry, I didn't mean to derail.

  12. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    "I'm an ex-drummer"

    Sort of sums it all up yea?

  13. Hi.

    While the image and the asthetics of the rythm guitarist and the bassist possibly moving their hands in unison on some genres of music, NOT A DAMN SOUL exept an occasional bass player WILL NOTICE THE BASSPLAYER. Even if he sings. True story.

    Those cats were ignorant and I agree, You're better off without them.

    Scott, thanks for posting the letter, an enjoyable read :).

  14. Uribam


    Jun 4, 2009
    Yeah no problem. My girlfriend and I laughed super hard when we read that letter. That alone was worth what I paid at newsstand for the mag.

  15. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    The stupidity of people never cease to amaze me.
  16. Arranger


    Mar 9, 2003
    The guy just isn't a musician. He's a contrived poser devoid of any true musical aspirations. I hope he wasn't the one arranging the compositions. "Music Without Integrity." Sounds like a million bands that go by the same name these days.
  17. Rav


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    I really thought showing up with a 4 string tuned B E A D was a creative way around the "no 5ver" issue. Fit the purpose. Preserved my arpeggiation. etc. I guess you just can't outsmart stupid :)

    Now that I think of it next time I run into this I'll show up with a 4 string in the same format and raised 1/2 step on all strings to C F Bb Eb. See if they can figure that out.

  18. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    To the OP: You're better off. That guitarist was an idiot.

    Slight derail of this thread: I experienced the opposite once or twice.

    I'm a 4 string player and I don't like to play 5 string basses. (Nothing against 5 string, I like a 4 string.)

    When doing a tryout for a band some years ago, I took my bass out of it's case right before playing.
    One of the guitarists says to me: "Ow, so you're not into heavy music."

    I said: "Hold your breath, let's play dude."

    I played circles around the two guitarists when it came to "heavy" rock and metal. Whatever (simple) distorted riff they provided, I galloped over it with lots of energy.

    They were amazed... but they had a 5 string bassist still in mind.
    It didn't worked out because those dudes weren't going anywhere.

    Except the other guitarist, which was actually okay. He was only 16 at the time and one of the best guitarist I had to jam with afterward that debacle with the other guitarist.
  19. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    He did you a favor. The guy's a loser.
  20. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Oh, I beg to differ. He has high aspirations ... just doesn't have the knowledge and skills to realize them ... ;)