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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by unbasslichkeit, May 19, 2006.
I can't believe this thread is still going. 11 years later, I play elusively 5s.
I have a beginner-type question and it seemed this thread would be a good home for it as I'm not sure it deserves its own. If I take the plunge and buy a 5-string bass, presuming I go with BEADG tuning, when I want to play something like the Beatles (4-string) what is the normal thing to do? Do I simply ignore the B-string and play it like a 4-string. It somehow seems wrong in that respect to buy a 5-string and ignore the fifth in that case... or do people tend to incorporate the fifth string anyway into 4-string written music for example by trying to play a lower octave or something?
Well, when you first switch, you will have to get your brain used to that closest string not being an "E". That might take a couple weeks. Put your 4 in the closet and only practice with the new 5 for a while. Try to learn where the notes you already play are located on the low "B" string. Play the E at the 5th fret, play the G at the 8th fret... etc... That will help acquaint your brain and fingers with the new string.
At first just play the stuff you already play and don't make any special attempt to "Play those low notes". When I first switched, I way overused those low notes.
Try fingering your Beatles stuff farther up the neck so you are using the B string in the same register as Paul did, but farther up and on a lower string. You will automatically start using those lower notes where they fit best.
Of course there are times where you just know that hammering that low "B" really fits the song. Use it, don't be afraid of it.
I think of the 5th fret as open strings. Then it plays the same. It's just a matter of getting used to fret markers being different. The double dots (12th fret) are now the 7th fret.
Maybe that will help.