Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

5 string

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Fishbrain, Mar 17, 2001.


  1. Fishbrain

    Fishbrain

    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    i tried a 5 string today for the first time and am considering buying one, but it confused the hell out of me! I was playing things on the wrong strings and it was quite embarrasing in the shop trying to play something relativley easy but getting it wrong because of this extra string. would i get used to this if I bought one? i'm trying an ibanez 5 string next saturday so any advice b4 then would be very much appreciated.
    thanx
     
  2. Well, when I first got my 5 it was a little awkward, but after a couple days I had gotten used to it. But then when I went back to my 4 it felt a little awkward again. In all I think it took me about a week and a half to get used to using both of them without playing on wrong strings etc. :)
     
  3. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    After a couple hours you will get around ok, but it will take you about a month to get fully comfortable.
     
  4. Lovebown

    Lovebown

    Jan 6, 2001
    Sweden
    Why do you need a 5-string anyways?
    Never understood the point...

    /Lovebown
     
  5. Fishbrain

    Fishbrain

    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    so that I can play songs like korn and papa roach and linikin park. and there is another string for u to mess around on. its just my preference against ures :p
     
  6. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    Oh, no, not again! :eek:
     
  7. Lovebown

    Lovebown

    Jan 6, 2001
    Sweden
    5-strings suck man =]
     
  8. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    [​IMG] Wanna taste my scale runs... boy? [​IMG]

    What's so sucky about them, anyway? I certainly would like to hear a well-informed opinion from a fellow countryman. :p
     
  9. Lovebown

    Lovebown

    Jan 6, 2001
    Sweden
    Heh, didn't know you were swedish !
    :) Gôtt é det!

    If you need to go low, just tune down the E string to D or C. (or the whole bass to Eb Ab Db Gb). The sound just get muddy under the low C anyways. Bleh.. 5-strings are just bigger, more expensive and worthless in my opinion. (Although a 5 string tuned E A D G B might be cool, havent tried that).

    And yes I know no one agrees with me :)

    /lovebown
     
  10. i went five string a long time ago, but i seem to remember my strategy. Instead of thinking from the E string up (e-a-d-g), think from th g string down (g-d-a-e). that way, when you go to the B string, you'll know that it's not the E.

    Does that make any friggin sense to anybody but me? i've been playing a five string for so long, that this is all i can remember. It really wasn't a problem for me actually, it was more like a natural extension.
     
  11. Lovebown

    Lovebown

    Jan 6, 2001
    Sweden
    I think I get how you're thinking.
    I still don't see the reason for 5 strings. And I REALLY DONT see the point of Jazz players having em (hell I even see country bands have em'). When do you need to go that low in jazz anyways? Only genre I can think of where the 5 string is useful is grindcore, since the notes dont matter as long as its fast and heavy :)

    I gotta agree with les claypool on this one, "people with 5 stringers should trade them in for 4 stringers"

    :)
     
  12. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    :rolleyes:
     
  13. Lovebown

    Lovebown

    Jan 6, 2001
    Sweden
    You gonne get me banned again?
    ;)
     
  14. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    no, but I won't let you post crap like this in here. This is a Technique forum (and since there's no Theory forum, we discuss that in here from time to time), it's not a "why do you chose this instrument or that?" forum. I've got no tolerance for that, so take it somewhere else. dig?
     
  15. i listened to the chicago country station us99 yesterday, and some of those players spend lots of time on the b string.
     
  16. Lovebown

    Lovebown

    Jan 6, 2001
    Sweden
    Sorry,
    Chill dude. Geezzzzz
     
  17. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Lovebown -

    I've played just about every style of music professionally, except "grind-core". Did it on a 6 string, found a use for the B in all the styles. Found a use for the high C in most as well (including the country stuff). As for the notes in question on the B, maybe you've just been playing inferior instruments, or playing them through inferior amps. Conversely, my lower notes, all the way to the open B, sound rich, full, and well-defined.

    As to the original question, if you stick with it, you'll adjust to the 5 relatively quickly. The best thing to do is to play it exclusively for a week or two, hide your 4 in the closet. ;) After a while, going back and forth will become fairly natural.
     
  18. Fishbrain

    Fishbrain

    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    thanx for all the support :)
     
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Actually, I play Jazz and find the 5 string particularly useful for many reasons and wouldn't go back to a 4 again - I have played 5s and 6s for Jazz.

    Quite often in Jazz you are looking for a "darker" sound with less decay - more like an upright bass. Now if you play lines around the 12th fret on the B and E strings, you can get much closer to this sound. Especially if you play with thumb and plam muting. Playing the same lines close to the nut - nearly all bass guitars sound too "twangy" and bright, but playing the B string high up the neck is a much warmer sound.

    The other thing in Jazz is that you are usually looking at playing in 2 octaves and frequently transposing lines - witha 4 string you run out of options very quickly, whereas with a 5 or 6 with 24 frets, you can make shifts and still have 2 octave sto play with. So if the singer wants you to change the key it's much easier.

    Thirdly in Jazz - a lot of standards are in the "flat" keys, so you find yourself playing F and Eb roots a lot - now on a 4-string you basically end up with only 1 position for this, but on a 5 you can shift and start you lines from 6th fret on the B string - otherwise every F is at the 1st fret on the E string and thsi can lead to fatigue and cramps in your wrist on long gigs!

    I could probably think of other reasons, but these are the main ones and if I didn't have logical reasons for playing 5 or 6, then I would play a 4, but there are many advantages so I don't ! ;)
     
  20. you mean more decay, right?