Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Steve S, Apr 27, 2001.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    Last Saturday, I received my new five string after years of playing a four. I had heard that it would take awhile to adjust to the low B but surprisingly, it wasn't difficult at all.

    That evening, I had to do a gig with a jazz trio and took only the five. It was very easy to play and I found it easier than my four string Jazz. It seemed like the bass played itself and I was only there to hold it.

    My question on technique, most of the songs that the trio performed I had never heard before yet I hit the correct notes constantly and my fingers played much faster because of the roundwound DR's. I have Tomastik flats on the Jazz which have a much lower tension. My fingers seemed to just bounch off the strings.

    Have I reached a certain level of playing?

    I didn't think about it much in the course of the evening but the next day, thought that I played exceptionally well for having a new bass with an extra string and playing songs that were new for me. I never looked at the fretboard either, probably because the extra string made it look very wide and intimidating.
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Steve - This is all just my take on it, not info. from a reputable instructor.

    Hitting the correct notes - I think that's just experience/familiarity with the basic instrument, grabbing licks off of recordings many times (orientation to the fretboard), and a good ear. After many years of playing, I still surprise myself weekly when sitting with a bass watching TV. Some song or ad jingle comes on, and I pick it out on the first try, (or close to the original). It wasn't always this way. In about my first 5 years of playing, many bass lines were often mysteries to me.

    As for the strings, some makes/models just seem to "fit" better with particular basses, in terms of action/tension. I use DR's, too, ("Marcus" a.k.a. Fat Beams), and they just seem to be a natural on my Precis and Precis-style bodies with a 34" scales, and headstock designs.

    If anything, going to 5 made my playing easier, playing across the neck instead of vertically, (it messed up slapping big time for a while). But for fingerstyle, I don't see more-than-4 as any added difficulty once you're over the initial adjustment.

    Glad things are working out for you.
  3. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000

    Yes, it's working out very well. Thanks for the comments!