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New to 5 String, how or what is best way to approach it?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by HuntYouDown, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. HuntYouDown


    Jan 3, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    Hey, folks, I got a lot of books and they are all for four string basses. I just got a nice USA Fender Jazz V and wondering how the best way to learn a five is. Yeah 4 is standard, but I really dig the low growl, and artists like Trujillo and Fieldy, and other metal artists. I am so used to the EADGBE from playing guitar. I have a Four String Fender MIM Jazz, with Badass II, but really want to learn this new 5 i got, through a sweet trade. What is best way to approach BEADG vs. EADG? I got the Death Magnetic bass book, and have been playing along with that, which is great. But, I sometimes get discouraged because there are so many four stringers on here. Being a longtime musician I want to play G though and have the desire to learn it an practice admantly. What is best approach mindsets, and any tips? Thanks
  2. HuntYouDown


    Jan 3, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    oops I meant, "I want to play 5 though."
  3. Start by relearning all your scales in the first 4 positions. Then go through arpeggios of common chord progressions. Focus on the sounds, the names of the notes, mindful that you don't "switch over" up a 4th.
  4. bwoodman

    bwoodman Supporting Member

    I made the switch to 5 back in 1985 after listening to a lot of Jimmy Johnson and Nathan East. My first 5 was an Ibanez with narrow spacing, then discovered the Guild Pilot 5 (a real cool bass even now IMO) - then got a Tobias Basic 5, currently have a pair of Killer B pre-Gibson Tobias 5s.....I suggest using the B string as a thumb rest and you'll have no problem. I rarely play the B string above the 5th fret, mainly using it for lower notes.
  5. I use it mainly for a thumb rest but you might wanna learn songs that use 5 strings if only to get accustomed to the new string (you might like Trivium if you like Metallica, I've heard they sound similar but I don't see it much, Down From The Sky is the first 5er song I learned)
  6. mcglyph


    Aug 17, 2011
    I have The Bass Encyclomedia, it's for a four but I have a five. The B is just another string, it follows the rule of music like all the rest of them. And it's useful for more than a thumb rest. And if you believe some using the five for a thumb rest is one way to hand injury. Not preachin..just sayin..pay attention to ergonomic technique, and listen to your body.
  7. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Resist the urge to play a sub-E note in every measure.
  8. DanRJBrasil


    Jun 10, 2007
    the fiver is a bliss to transpose the tone, you dont have to alter your finger positions, that is my main approach in the 5 strings, like that makes easier to play a five instead a four strings.
  9. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I recently got back into playing a 5 string. What I did was to basically ignore the low B string. I had to get used to grabbing the correct string so I just approached it as if it were a 4 string. Once I got used to having the extra string there, then I started using the low B. For me, it's what worked.
  10. HuntYouDown


    Jan 3, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    OK, greatly thanksful, for your replies here. I played for 5 hours today on the USA Jazz Fiver and am getting better. What I did, was just play a buch of songs, that I got sheet music for, playing chord numbers...actually it was guitar tab white pages, I got the songs on my ipod. I really enjoyed the 5, then switches over to my MIM 4 Jazz for Pat Benetar's Heartbreaker and Deep Purple's Highway Star, and it felt like a toothpick. For one, I like the thickness, weight and tone of the five neck better. plus, I was getting use to the fiver after practicing awhile. I could improvise, on songs like Kryptonite and Creep by Radiohead to get the really low notes and am loving it. So, I put my four back in it's gig bag and will continue my practice on the five. I will also, begin studying my mooks on theory, scales, etc... and applying them to the five string. I am liking it, my guitars have gone into there coffins and to my guitar cemetary in my home until some day they will arise again. At the moment my fiver is very alive.

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