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5 String Users? Do you Utilise the B

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by basstastic, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. I've played with a five for over a year now. But I have only started using the B effectively, using it to stop me going all over the board. Do any other fivers have or have had concerns that they werent using the B properly and that it was a waste of time having it as you werent using it. cos i felt that for a quite a while, i felt stupid.

  2. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I pretty much agree with everything said in the previous statement. I have a 5 string, and I only really rely on the B for 2 songs. (and it does come in handy for those) A lot of it isn't so much that I have more lower notes, but I have more positions. I'm glad though that I have a 5 string. Right now I'm playing blues and rock, but who knows, maybe a year from now I'll be playing modern rock.
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I switched to 5 string a couple of years ago. I have sort of worked my way into using it more and more. I played a lot of music in E flat and F, so it comes in very handy.

    Just a few weeks ago, I bought a Modulus Q5. The B on that bass has a clarity beyond anything else that I have ever touched. That dynamic balance of that bass is amazing. The clarity, attack, resonance and sustain of the B string is in perfect harmony with the rest of the strings on the board. Since switching to this bass, I have been a little more prone to using the B, especially the notes below the D, because it is very natural sounding.

    I don't want the B string to jump out at people.

  4. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    The B string makes a great thumb rest.......:D
  5. Aye, tis the best thumb rest out there/

  6. No B no me.
  7. Judging by my user name, it is easy to see that i am a big fan of 5 string basses.

    In my main band, I use the B string in probably about half of the songs we have written. In my reggae band I use it a lot more cos I try to make the bass as meaty and fat as possible by incorporating more low notes into my playing. I also find the B useful when playing covers.
  8. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I'm a B feind. I use it it for effect (see Thwump), for weight, gravity, force, brutality, and general butt moving. I'd say it's pretty essential to my playing.
  9. well i started with a 5. I occasionaly go down to the low B but generally il use it for a low D so i dont have to detune. It is also really nice to have the ability to play a fretted E whenever I want.
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    All five strings are important to me. I have absolutely no hesitation to use the B-string, and IMNSHO, I use it for good and not for evil.

    I really wonder why some five players seem embarrassed and apologetic about the B-string. C'mon people, don't let the traditionalists box you in! I will also point out that there are a lot more notes on the B string than low B, C, C#, D, and D#. I love having two octaves at each playing position.

    A 5-string might make a bad player sound worse, but IMO it isn't going to hurt any bassist who has a reasonable amount of taste.
  11. I agree whole heartedly Fuzzbass. Of course i feel that i am a horrible bassist ( probably a little harder on myself then i should be but that is good) You just stated what i was trying to say much better then i could.
  12. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I only go below E sparingly, but I use my B string a lot. I like the fat sound of the B string played E or higher. I like to play songs in the key of G on the B string: fat-city!
  13. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i use it as much as i use any other string.

    it's not a "special" string...it's a string, with notes, that i use :)

  14. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
  15. I guess I intially bought my first 5 string thinking "ooh this'll open up possibilites for me". At first it didn't really.

    I've got 3 now and whilst I do make use of it on occasion - I think 2 or 3 of our songs use it I do like it. Like others say, when picking it makes a good thumb rest, but it also really opens up position possibilities, saves moving your hand as much and also saves de-tuning!

    I also like what having a 35" scale does for the rest of the strings - just a side effect I guess but I really like it.

    Actually sometimes I get lost on a four string now - 'cos I use the 5's so much I end up messing up on 4 stringers!!!
  16. I have a 5er. i used it extensively for the first year i had it. Now i use it less and less. I use it to play loads of covers at home but in my band its used for maybe 2 songs now, whereas it was for all of them. It wasn't my choice the guitarist decided he liked to keep his brand new guitar in standard, and that he liked the standard sound, it was cleaner... *grumble* :rolleyes:



  17. That's what I thought, too.

    I still play my 4 more than my five. I find myself getting lost on the five sometimes. Usually I use the B string higher up on the fretboard. It's not often I play open B up through maybe 5th or 6th fret.
  18. APouncer


    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
    I don't have a 5-string bass, but I tune one of my basses B-E-A-D. I use this bass a lot when playing with horn players or pianists so that when we're in C or Db (keys they like) I can have that extra bass.
  19. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    After resisting a five for some time, now that I have one I couldn't live without it. I read a lot and play in flat keys a lot, and if I have to look at my left hand, I'm dead. It lets me play stuff that between position shifts and muting, would frankly be beyond my ability on a four. That may be a crutch, but I got a late start on the bass, and don't want to wait another 10 years for my hands to catch up to my head. :)

    As for the "extra" notes, I rarely play below D. But I use that D a lot, and the Eb. I can't ever see myself going back to a four.
  20. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Well, all my bassist friends here in PA are anti5string so they would kill me if they saw this...

    Yes, the 5th string is always the most comfy thumb rest. I also like it because Instead of playing a song on like only E (some Creed songs are like that) you can just hit the B and in alot of cases it'll sound, umm, well like punchy-er and if you have a bottom-heavy setup, then you can really do neato things! I've only been playing on a 5 string for one month to the day, but I love it and use it every chance I get. One thing that bothers me -- When I try to play ANY John Entwistle riffs, it's alot harder with the closer spacing. He uses 3 fingers and at the same time hits the string with his thumb alot and thats kind hard to do with the B in your way. But Oh well, sacrafices must be made!

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