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Got a 5 string.. Now what do I do?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Assumer, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. Assumer


    Mar 26, 2003
    Any suggestions for learing the ways of the 5 string. I keep hearing do not overuse the Low B. When do you use it??
  2. first thing I would do is learn some 5 string songs you like to get used to it
  3. sanray


    Nov 8, 2005
    what they mean is don't just lay down the lowest note possible all the time, use it for two octave solos and extended arpeggios
  4. steve4765630


    Feb 27, 2006
    I use it almost as an effect. If I play a song with 4 choruses, I'll only use it on 1. It's not that you can't use it unless you've cleared it with your bandmates, but just be respectful. Super low notes tend to drown everyone out, so you must count on taste to guide you.
  5. JKwo


    Jan 12, 2006
    It all depends.. start playing hip hop sessions and it'll be the only string you play on.
  6. jim1457


    Mar 29, 2006
    Honolulu Hawaii
    One thing about the fiver, the tone is different when you use that fat string, even for the E. That's one thing I always liked about mine. I never had a rig that could deliver on that low note quite right, but I would often use the 5th fret on the B string instead of the open E just for the tone.
  7. Assumer


    Mar 26, 2003
    Thanks for the replys. Drown out the band. Is this bad?????:)
  8. jim1457


    Mar 29, 2006
    Honolulu Hawaii
    At least let the singer be heard
  9. nonohmic

    nonohmic Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    Mate, I gather you bought the 5 string cause you wanted a low B. then play the low B. You'll know if your using it too much.

    Depends on the tunes, your amp etc etc.

    But i say, bottom out, let loose.
  10. It's just another string. Don't think about it as something "extra" or different from the other strings. Play it when/if it fits the music. Take advantage of being able to go lower while you stay in a fixed position with your left hand. Don't just use the four first frets, like you don't just use those in the 4th string of a 4 string bass (though you could). Repeat this mantra to yourself: "It's not a 4 plus the 5th, it's a 6 minus the 1st" ;)
  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member


    And as I like to say, there's a lot more to the B string than the five notes below low E. I play the B string *above* low E more often than I do below. The distances between the frets is smaller as you go up the neck. And having the B string is a godsend when playing in the key of F minor. No more having to stretch from 1st fret E to 4th fret E: much easier to go from 6th fret B to 4th fret E. :)
  12. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    That's crap. I use mine all the time with my metal band - and I love it. Now when I compare it with 4 string basses it's like "yes.. but this goes to eleven".

    Use it as much as you like and as long as it sounds good to you (and your band). Have fun!
  13. black lake

    black lake Guest

    Apr 3, 2006
    Ontario, Canada
    I am new to 5 strings too (and just beginning to transition from guitar to bass). I find that I am using the B string to give me flexibility on fingering a groove without jumping around on the neck. For example, playing a basic 12 bar blues pattern in the key of A: from the 5th fret on the E string then hop up to the A string and play the same pattern, back to the E, then down to the B string. Same pattern, same fret positions, different strings, no hopping around. Lot of other combos too when you are just transitioning from one position to another and you want add an extra thump or two just to break up the sound.
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Excellent example!
  15. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    This helped me to learn the note names on my B-string:

    Start on the 12th fret on your E string and slowly play 4th intervals from your E string to your B string. Descend from the 12th fret on down while you say the note names aloud. Once you get all the way down to open E and open B, ascend slowly back up the neck saying the notes aloud as you work your way back up to the 12th fret.

    Repeat, repeat, repeat.

    I hope this helps.
  16. Assumer


    Mar 26, 2003
    Thanks again for all the suggestions.
  17. haxality


    Feb 14, 2006
    Wow. Threads like this further drive home the point that TB houses one of the finest user communities on the internet. Thanks, guys. (And I don't even play a fiver.)
  18. 1zero


    May 20, 2005
    learning 4 strings songs on a 5 strings is also a good way of gettin used to the fretboard witdh..thats what i did when i first got my 5'er...then i slowly incorporated the B string (playing a note an octave lower etc etc)...just takes some time but it'll eventually become a normality

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