Back to playing my 4

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Marley's Ghost, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Well, after 4 months of trying to adapt to my EssexBG205, I have dropped back to my MIA Hot Rodded P Bass. I just found that, with the exception of a few songs, I was only using the low B as a thumb rest. I play mostly classic rock covers, maybe that is the reason. I just have not yet gotten completely confortable with the five. Anyone else have the same experience?
  2. PhilMan99


    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    I went the other way. I play a 6.

    I like the flexibility the extra strings give in selecting hand-positions.
  3. Basho

    Basho Guest

    I found I wasn't using the B much either, so I went to a tenor 5. I use the C all the time.
  4. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I wouldn't give up so easy. My gigs are mostly rock but I've found that a 5 string is great to have in most any situation. Spend some more time and use your imagination with the B string. You can use the D quite a bit and and the other notes, too. Just because a song you're covering has a certain line, doesn't mean you can't incorporate your style to it. I do it all the time and still retain the basic vibe. I then use the the lower notes here and there to spice up the tune. It's fun and keeps things interested. Our band gigs about 150 times a year and keeping it fresh is paramount!!!!!!!

  5. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Even on songs where the B isn't necessary, it's great to "go low" in bridges, breakdowns, endings, and accenting parts of the chorus.
  6. Exactly. I do pretty much the same thing, as I don't normally like the tone or sound that I get if I would use the low notes (D, C) more in the song, instead of using the higher ones. I also put my hand in different positions, and it makes playing really easy.

  7. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    I'd try it a little longer as well. Even on songs that had no notes dropping below E, I always went appreciated the B string because it allows much easier maneuvering on the fingerboard, especially if you don't want to use open strings.
  8. Yeah, give it a shot. While I can get by with a 4 string jazz bass with what I do (playing in a jazz combo), I find that its just easier to get around on a 5 string for soloing and having a 2 octave neck is great too so the lower horn isn't in the way... Low B string is great when used sparingly! I've also strung my 5 with a high C and that was rewarding as well for soloing...
  9. superphat


    Sep 30, 2001
    i haven't played the essex basses yet, but if the low B isn't GREAT in terms of tension and tone, all of the benefits mentioned above probably wouldn't matter to me.

    Also, if i only played classic rock covers i wouldn't use a 5 string either. However, i don't play classic rock covers:D and i've come to rely on that occasional lower=than-E note and the fat low tone that only a B string can give you.
  10. I'm a 5 String player, but I try not to overdo using the B string. I use it sparingly, but when I do use it, I try to make it count. I find that I use it mostly for playing fifths below, for easy transposing, or for playing the lowest notes of the occasional hymn. Mmost of my playing is still in the E through D string range, which sounds the best for my purposes.
  11. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    The low B is not bad on the Essex. I really cannot blame the bass. I have 2 main issues with the 5 - hitting the E when I meant to hit the A (if i'm not paying close attention), and having trouble reaching to the G from the B or E on fast changes. Probably stuff that comes with practice. :oops:
  12. I've went to playing a 4 for shows and a 5 for practice/recording. Just more manageable, little I love the live tone of my SRX500. As does at least 4 of the soundmen here in town, I get tons of compliments on my live..DI'ed tone through the PA.
  13. Keep practicing in BEADG!!!!
    IMO its great for any style. I love to use the lower than E notes when tasty and its heaven to feel reeaaaally low notes after plenty of mids. I had some good inspirations to tough it out on a 5, stay relaxed, and not get lost (ie playing E string instead of A)
    Thumb trailing is a technique used by Anthony Jackson, Adam Nitti and is great for a five. Just look up Adam nitti lessons on line for the right hand technique and apply them to a 5. Also listen to Tom Kennedy with Dave Weckyl and you will hear some tasty use of the low B string.
    tough it out its worth it believe me.

    I had a Turner electroline 5 and it wasn't me so then I found my dream 5: A Modulus Genesis 5 (GREAT BASS)

    Good Luck
  14. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I jumped from a 4 directly to a 6 and I feel very comfortable on it. The B is good for lower and fatter tones, the C is great for soloing. Me too, i still ocassionally hit the false strings (E not A, A not D, ...), but thats because I only got it this month. A bit of practising will help that (and watch your hands while doing it), dont give up so easily. but I dont understand what makes it hard to reach the G from E on a narrower string spacing? reaching C from B IS difficult! not G from E
  15. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!

    That's funny, for me it's just the opposite.
  16. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I have done the same exact thing, I just decided it wasn't for me!!, Besides my 4's having better tone than the 5 I have, I play Classic/covers also and I hardly used it.
    When I'm writing riffs or songs the 5 is awesome for something different but other than that it's a 4 all the way.
  17. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    I only use the six on a few songs, so if there in the set I will play it, but mostly I always play my 95 American Std. P-Bass with the Di Marzios.
    It has great tone and it is passive, so who cares if I leave it plugged in between sets.With the six I am always trying to remember to unplug the wireless and or cable.:)
  18. Tumbao


    Nov 10, 2001
    It's just the antithesis...Playing a 5st is more natural for me. I need an xtra-effort concentration to play my 4st bass. :meh: