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I'm lost---help!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by IbanezGSound4, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. Hey What's Up?

    I was just wondering one thing. How can I play a five string song with a four string. I know the 5 includes "b" and a four is just e,a,d,g. Would I have to find the b-note on one of my strings and then just re-tab the song playing a higher scale degree up because I only have a 4 string or what? I'm confused.:confused:

    P.S. The name of the song I want to play is "Fade" by Staind. it is tabbed in this archive so I was wondering if someone more experienced than me could tab it for a 4-string.

    Thanx in advance----Matt
  2. this probably should go in the tab forum.

    im no expert or even a novice at doing tabs but im guessing you would drop d and just play an open d
  3. if you're not concerned with being in the same key as the recording, you can just transpose the whole thing up a fourth, and play all the B string notes on the E string, etc. of course, this is assuming you don't need the G string.
  4. Maybe the reason you're confused is because there's an error in that tab, the transposition to four string is a half step of compared to the five string version. (for the B string)
    Your E string should be tuned to C# (tuned down three half steps) instead of C, that's if the tab for five string is correct ...

    The way you suggested will work too (with no need for detuning), but you'll be playing everything an octave higher.
    The seventh fret on the E string is the B, so just play everything a string higher and add seven to all the numbers in the tab.
  5. what??
  6. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    The important thing to grasp is note pitch (this is something which tab doesn't communicate too well to beginners).

    Imagine the first seven frets of your E string (and including the open string at the start):

    E F F# G G# A A# B

    (and, yes, those sharps could also be written as flats - eg. F# = Gb). Now let's look at the notes at the same positions on a B string in comparison:

                E F F# G G# A A# B
    B C C# D D# E F F#

    Where the notes are above each other, they are identical in pitch - there will be minor differences in the sound you get due to the relative length and thicknesses of the vibrating string but for this illustation you can think of them as the same.

    The B at the seventh fret on the E string is one octave higher than the open B string (it's the same pitch as the 12th fret on the B string).

    Your options (apart from buying a new bass with an extra string) are:
    1. Play the song an octave up - add 7 to all the numbers in the tab and treat the E string as the B string, etc (the downside is that the character of the song will entirely change when played higher)
    2. Tune your bass BEAD (okay as long as you don't need the G string very often... those notes could be found seven frets higher on the D string but might give some awkward jumps)
    3. Transpose the song high enough to work on your bass (add the smallest number that will make your lowest note bottom E... but you'll also have to get the rest of the band to retune)
    4. Detune just one of your strings to get the low notes (whether this will work will depend on the fingering required by the song... it will certainly need more concentration from you)
    5. Pick a different song (the lateral approach to solving the problem ;)
  7. DHC, I was talking about the Staind tab Matt was talking about ...

    The tab is for five string, but there is also a four string transposition (detuned) wich is not correct compared to the original (five string) version.
    This is the tab :

    A:--6-6---6--6-6--6---6-6---4:------------------------------| The : means
    E:----------------------------------------------------------| let note ring



    There is only one half step between B and C, and there's a two step difference in the tabs.
    (4-2 compared to 2-0 wich are tabbed in B and C)
    This means the second tab can be corrected by tuning to C# instead of C, or one half step up.
    Or if you keep the CADG tuning, add one to tab.

    So: C#:--------2-2---2--2-2--2--2-2---0:

    Or: C:---------3-3---3--3-3--3--3-3---1:

    Wulf must have very low G.A.S., he forgot option 6 : buy a five string !
  8. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Read again, George - my first suggestion (before launching into the list) was 'buy a bass with an extra string'.

    Actually, as a six string devotee, I was tempted to say 'buy a bass with two extra strings' but didn't want to go over the top :p

  9. Oops ... sorry Wulf, did'nt mean to belittle your G.A.S. ;)

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