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5th Fret Oddity

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Prospero, Aug 31, 2002.

  1. Greetings!

    I've just got myself a bass after playing guitar "once in a while" for years. Looking at a lot of the tab on the web and in books, I notice that many times the fifth fret is indicated when it would be easier to play the higher string open. Is there a reason for this?

    All the best,

  2. It's not just a question of fretting the note. You've gotta play it with tone, dynamics and touch which match the rest of the line, and often that makes it easier to use the fretted note instead of the open one.

    Besides, you have more control over the note when you fret it.
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    ...But you can play the open string if it is easier or faster. However, keep in mind that an open string rings longer than a fretted note. You have to be able to control that ringing either with your fretting hand or your picking hand. That takes some practice. Until you learn to keep that open string from ringing excessively long, it just might be easier for you to fret the note.

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