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HELP! Newbie has problem going from 4 to 5

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Billy Low, May 28, 2003.

  1. Billy Low

    Billy Low

    Apr 14, 2003
    Sandberg Guitars
    Who wudda thunk that the transition from 4 to five strings would be so difficult?!?! As a newbie
    (1.5 years)I had been told that my progression in playing (according to more experienced players)had come along more rapidly than most newbies.

    The problem that I had was feeling that 4 strings just were not enough. Since the style of music that I play has a lot of bass synth, and I play live next to a hammond B3 (THINK GOSPEL!)I felt that even drop tuning the E string just did'nt cut it. So I dropped cash on a Conklin GT-5, AND NOW I PLAY AS IF I AM JUST STARTING OUT AGAIN!

    For some reason I just cannot adjust. I find myself fumbling around the neck. Thinking that the string spacing may have been a problem, I've tooled around w/different 5 and 6 bangers to no avail!

    Has anyone else come across this? If so please offer suggestions:bawl:
  2. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    You don't say how long you've been at it. When I first made the transition, it was very awkward for about a week or two. I am a church player too. The first Sunday I tried it out after having it for only 2 days, I did manage to hit the B string instead of the E several times much to the MOM's delight! I found the key to be this, at least in my case: Forget about the fact that it is a 5 string for awhile. Just use that B string as your thumbrest, or if you use floating thumb, IGNORE the B string for awhile. Just play it like a 4 until you get the feel of the bass, the neck width and the string spacing. Once you are comfortable with all that, just start introducing the B string. Play a low D on the 3rd fret instead of a higher D on the A string 5th fret. Start introducing the Eb and E on the B string. Then start playing up the neck, using your B string for F, F#, G etc... Pretty soon it will all come together. It took me a good 2 weeks of woodshedding before it all felt natural. This is strictly my experience. Your results may vary. Once you get it, you'll love it. Good luck!
  3. Billy Low

    Billy Low

    Apr 14, 2003
    Sandberg Guitars

    I should've mentioned that I've been at it now for a little over five months now! For the first month, I really didn't mind the fumbling (although every one else did!) But I just can't get it! I almost stopped playing altogether because of the frustration. Can you believe that I would rather play my Fender Squire than that beautiful sounding Conklin?!?!:confused:
  4. As it was said in an earlier thread (can't find it, dammit!), leave your 4-string in the closet and practice ONLY on your 5. Like LoJoe said, forget about the B-string, and focus on the E-A-D-G, that will get you to know your new instrument. And of course, I assume that you practice every day! Good luck!

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