5-string stringing

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by topforty, Oct 25, 2003.

  1. topforty


    Sep 25, 2003
    concord, ca
    this is probably an old subject, but what are the drawbacks of having a high b (or c) fifth string and not a low b? i was given an ibanez for my 50th birthday, (old geezer) and i think i would prefer the higher string.

    "If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of
    music. I get most joy in life out of music." -Albert Einstein
  2. I enjoy having the low B so I can grab a low d octave when palying a 5 string.

    It's more the style of music you are playing that determines the tuning. Preference, that's all! Try them all and see what you like the best!

  3. I find the low B much mroe useful for typical bass playing situations. you have the extra low notes so you don't have to detune. and it gives you have more notes in each positoin so you don't have to switch as often if you don't want to.

    the high C can be nice for soloing and doing chords, but for the most part it kinda cuts into guitar range if you are playing the typical bass role in a song.

    do whatever you want. if you want to use the High C you will have to get a new nut for the bass that will acomodate the smaller string. most 5-strings come stock with a nut designed for BEADG stringing.
  4. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
  5. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    The only drawback I can think of to using a high C instead of a low B would be uncomfortableness if the fingerboard is too wide for you. With a low B, chances are you'd use the low B string sparingly, and the extra width on the bass side of the neck really wouldn't be noticed. With a high C, your fingers would have to cross all the strings all the time as you'd need to just to use the E string.

    If you how good technique though, this shouldn't be a problem at all. Six and seven-string basses aren't even a problem with good technique even if you have small hands.
  6. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Interesting you ask, as I am thinking of switching all my five strings (I only have one right now, but another is coming in weeks and another is already planned) over to an E-C tuning. I just don't use the B string that much and don't find it all that musical. Yes, I have used it, but the extra five notes you get from a low B don't really make it worth it for me. Personally a D on the A string is low enough for me...I don't need a D that is an octave lower to hold down the bass. Yes, again, it has a much different feel and effect but...thinking in terms of what is most musical I think I would use a high C string much more as I really love the tone and timbre you get from that string gauge when doing tapping, chords, soloing etc. Much more usable to me than a low B.

    I know it can be a hard switch since the common mentality says a five string should have that extra low B but if it's something you want to do, go ahead and do it. Do what you want to do, not what other people say you should do.
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