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higher up the neck means...?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by coffee-sipper, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. coffee-sipper


    Jul 10, 2003
    Raleigh NC
    Ok. I think people are using the phrase "higher up the neck" to mean to different and opposing ideas. I am really confused. I assumed (my fault) that higher up the neck reffered that one was playing on the fret board more towards the bridge (away from the headstock) and in the higher range (notes) of the bass. However, I have read some stuff off the internet (not here) where the reference to playing higher on the neck was reversed. So what does "playing higher on the neck" mean.

    On those same lines, I've read there is no money above the 5th fret. What the heck does that mean? Does that mean that playing in the upper register is not what other band members expect from the bass player?
  2. atldeadhead


    Jun 17, 2002
    I've always equated "higher on the neck" to mean moving closer to the bridge and away from the nut (headstock). I'd wager a guess that that is what most people assume when you say "higher on the neck". Of course I could be wrong. Not sure if there is a right answer or not.

    As for the money position. You've got that one right too IMO. What most people expect from the bass player is something in the range of the first five frets as far as frequencies you should be covering. That's not to say that you can't or shouldn't ever play above the 5th fret but your role as bassist is a supporting role and not a lead role and in most peoples eyes moving higher up the neck :) is implying that you are moving away from that supporting role and more towards the lead role. YMMV.
  3. coffee-sipper


    Jul 10, 2003
    Raleigh NC
    Thanks for the response. Looks like you might be a new Dad? My Son is the greatest thing that ever happened to me - he's 2 now.

  4. I thought the first five frets are called the money position because it contains every note you'll ever need to play along to any chord progression in any key ...
    I'm not quite sure though, I vagely remember reading something about that.
  5. sdbassman


    Jul 15, 2004
    Higher up the neck means closer to the bridge to me.

    As far as "No Money above the 5th"...I've only heard people say "No money above the 7th or 9th fret. I took it to mean that the bass doesn't play well beyond those frets...intonation, action, tone, etc....

    I could very well be wrong. I've only heard people refer to "No Money.." when describing a bass' tone or play.
  6. spyingcracker


    May 27, 2004
    Well, duh! I mean, the highest fret used for playing Money is the fourth fret. :ninja: Unless you don't use all four strings. I think it should be changed to read: "There is no Money above the fourth fret". :bag:
  7. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Unless it's '(just give me) Money' by the beatles, and you need to play the tenths to mimic the piano part in the beginning - then you need six frets.

  8. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    :scowl: I hate that no money above the fifth fret saying.
  9. Viper

    Viper Guest

    Jun 2, 2004
    Williamsport PA0
    I hate that too but i do like money... alas i'm not rolling in it
  10. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002
    No money above the 5th fret eh... tell that to Peter Hook.
  11. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Peter Hook is a perfect example of a bassist who is lucky he plays his own music because noone would hire him otherwise. His style is too idiosyncratic to fit into anything else, can you imagine him trying to play in a funk band?

    If you want to play the bass your entire life it helps to be versatile because your own tastes will change over time as will musical styles. It's easy to be scornful of the idea of "money notes" but you'll find that all great bassists pay a LOT of attention to the groove function. I have yet to hear a great bass soloist who cannot lay down a world class groove.

    I'll never understand bassists who think playing the low notes is some sort of burden. What the heck attracted you to the instrument in the first place?
  12. "higher up the neck" = higher notes

    i suspect "no money above the 5th fret" is about the tonal range based on a a bass' role in the music. Because that's what you're paid to do. Plus the strings vibrate more, generating more tone and sustain on the lower notes for each string.
  13. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Higher up on the neck means you are wicked sweet talented.

  14. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Higher up the neck means you have short arms.