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how often do you use your high C string and what for?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Matt R Miller, Jul 8, 2003.


  1. Matt R Miller

    Matt R Miller

    Apr 27, 2003
    Wisconsin
    Just as the title says, how often do you use the high C string, and what do you use it for? im asking because im in the market for a new bass and im debating between 5 and 6

    thanks
     
  2. I use it for runs, chords, tapping, and soloing. It's a lot more convenient (and easier) to play something on the C than really high up the neck on the G or D, where action tends to be higher up and the frets are close together (bad for fatties like me).
     
  3. jusplayinmybass

    jusplayinmybass

    Apr 17, 2003
    Conyers, Ga
    Keith McMillan Instruments, SIT Strings, Accugroove Cabinets
    I use my high C for the same thing. I see things that I might not have seen on the neck if I were playing a 4 or 5.
     
  4. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I use my high C string, and high F for that matter, with the rest of my strings. I don't seperate my neck, and say, "Well, these little ones, we'll just use these for oh say tapping and chords."

    That said, I often do double stop pops on either the G and C or C and F. However, I incorporate them into my bass playing, and don't just set them (it) aside for specific purposes.
     
  5. jusplayinmybass

    jusplayinmybass

    Apr 17, 2003
    Conyers, Ga
    Keith McMillan Instruments, SIT Strings, Accugroove Cabinets
    I wouldn't say that I separate my neck. But there are times that I don't play on my C because it doesn't serve the music. It depends on the situation. Every song doesn't call for the Hi C. I believe that the question was how do you use the Hi C. These are just examples of ways that it is used. Unless there's another bass player, I'm not going to be doing too much groovin on my C. If I am, then I have a pedal tone on a lower string.
     
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Me too. I use it for the same stuff that I use the other five strings for.
     
  7. Skerik1

    Skerik1

    Sep 21, 2002
    Saint Paul, MN
    Are there any situations that you find yourself in where you say "Man, if I didn't have that high C string, I wouldn't be able to play this song!"

    Like, are there times when you found the C string an absolute necessity?

    --Matthew
     
  8. shon

    shon

    Nov 27, 2002
    Healdsburg, CA!!
    If I had a sixer, I'd mostly use the C for playing high notes in the middle of the neck instead of way the hell up near the 24th fret. I'd hafta say I used to drink 'hi-C.' Not as good as Sunny-D how ever.

    Go for six. I have a five and I want to upgrade because I do a lot of solo stuff. Although I tend to avoid the B for when I'm playing any of Wooten's songs. I really don't know why. You probably don't care about that though.
     
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Maybe not a necessity, but definitely more than a luxury. If I want to pedal a note on the B or E string, and pop a tenth, or the second octave, it's necessary. I don't have to do that, but if I want to, I need that sixth string. If your fingers are six inches long, you won't need it for that situation. Mine aren't. My hands are small.

    One of my solos requires the sixth string, I go up to the 22nd fret on the sixth string. Also, on another original, I slap chords on the intro and during the guitar solo. You can do that with a four or five stringer, but you get mud on the ADG strings. DGC works great for chords.
     
  10. There are a number of ways you can play chords / triads on the bass, but you get better definition of the chord the more separation you have between the lower (root) and upper notes (third, seventh etc.). On a 4 string bass your choice of chord "shapes" is limited, on a 5 string bass your choice improves and on a 6 string bass your choice is a whole lot better still. The high C allows you to voice chords with the root on the B or E string and the third/seventh etc. on the G/C strings making for sweet sounding chords. The bigger choice also allows some nice downward motion in the root from one chord to another moving across the fingerboard instead of down it.

    Just my (limited) experience. YMMV.
     
  11. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Even on a top notch bass, there will be different tonal qualities to the same note played on different strings - that's caused by the length and weight of the vibrating string. As software engineers say, "That ain't a bug - it's a feature".

    Having more strings gives more options for playing any given note to get the sound you're after - especially when you're playing chords that might only be possible on one position on a four string bass but which can be done in two or even three different places on a six string.

    While most of my playing is still done on the inner four strings and I don't really make any significant use (at present) of notes that go above the range of a (24 fret) four string bass, I like having those options of available.

    Wulf
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    This was what made me settle on 5-strings.
    I owned a few 6-strings - but I found the C string didn't sound like bass as such - more like classical guitar - nice but...

    Also - the more strings you have, the more problems with muting and as I was mostly using the middle 4 with some essential low notes on the B - it just made logical sense to go for a 5.
     
  13. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I wouldn't say 'not like bass' but it's definitely a 'thinner' sound.

    The best thing to do is try both and see what works for you. I found 5-string basses felt 'odd' but I felt right at home on the 6-string ones I tried. That's not the most logical way of deciding things but your visceral instincts are worth heeding as you figure out the path that suits you.

    Try both 5 and 6-string basses, see what you like... and don't ignore other options, like getting a really good 4-string instead. However, if you do end up with more than four, make sure you spend some time learning how to use the extra possibilities - the extra weight (wider neck, more tuners, etc) isn't worth it just to get a thumbrest at the bottom and a decorative string at the top :D

    Wulf
     
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well I have - that's what I was saying! ;)
     
  15. monkfill

    monkfill

    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    I hardly even use the G string. Usually don't even go below the 5th fret of the D string. I guess I like the thicker sound farther up the neck. I tend to slide up the neck for fills as opposed to jumping up a couple strings. And I don't really do any soloing.

    I play a 5-string at the moment, but my next new bass will definitely be a 4-string. I don't really use the low B that much either.

    I wouldn't want a 4-string BEAD though . . . I do use the G string, just not much.
     
  16. Basho

    Basho Guest

    I have a 5 tuned E-C and I use my C just the way I'd use any of my other strings. Although admittedly I do use it more often in solos than rhythm figures.
     
  17. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    I recently went from four to six three months ago. I feel that I need to work more with the six before I come to a final conclusion, but... I find that I use the B much more than the C. I sometimes avoid the C and go higher up on the neck with the D string if I'm looking for more of a rounder tone. I find that I use the C string more for soloing, and I'm experimenting with some cords too.

    I really like having the C string even if I don't use it much.