Books for 5-string with high C?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by Dave Roberts, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. Dave Roberts

    Dave Roberts

    Mar 1, 2018
    I recently purchased an NXT5 with the high C string. It's become my main ax because it's so much easier to play than an upright due to the lighter gauge, lower action strings, no bulky body to have to support or hulk over, no awkward thumb position to worry about, better intonation due to the fingerboard dots, silent mode is saving my marriage, etc.

    The only problem I've found is that there don't seem to be any books -- technique or music collections -- for a five-string with a high C. There are books for 5-string bass guitar, but they all seem to be for the low B string. I guess there are not enough people playing a high-C instrument to make it worthwhile to put out a book for it.
  2. Not enough to start with a five string tuned that way.
    But if you transpose a fourth upwards everything is useable.
    For learning technique the tuning is not important as long as you use the same intervals. Just think of it as a low B 5-string that transposes a fourth higher. For learning the correct notes that can take some time not to get mixed up with a top G string instrument.
    PauFerro likes this.
  3. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I tune the high string at a "B" like on a guitar. This is because I play the piccolo bass a lot. Plus the Low E is hard to hear and octavers don't always track it very well either.

    So, with a high B string, you can use guitar technique books, as well as partial guitar chords -- just ignore the high frequency E string you find on a guitar. Plus everything you learn is transferable to guitar. It's a bit jarring not to have perfect fourths all the way up the neck, but that's the price you pay for having books at your disposal and the transferability to the guitar.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  4. Dave Roberts

    Dave Roberts

    Mar 1, 2018
    I've thought about that since I come from a guitar background and have a lot of guitar books. But I'd probably be longing for that high E string, which is so important on the guitar. Alternatively, I may start modifying/extending exercises from my bass technique books to include the C string.
  5. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    That's why I bought a Brice 6 string. I tune it up just like a guitar since I started on guitar when I was a teenager. I find it's a monster under my hands though, so it doesn't get played! That's life telling me it's not right for me.

    But my smaller Mikro Piccolo Bass is a five-string. I was thinking of converting it to a 6 string since I have guitar building training.
  6. I don’t feel there is any special technique to playing a High C 5. Play the usual pedagogy, but move to the C string in the higher register, instead of soaring up the G. Keeps you in ledger lines, but out of that pesky thumb position.
  7. For keeping the same interval fingering patterns over all strings it is important to tune all strings in the same interval, so a guitar-like b instead of a c destroys that.
    Don't think like guitarist, think like a (double) bassist.
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