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Not sure if I like it (E to C)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AudioDwebe, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. I've got a few 5-string basses strung B to G, and since I'm yet not sure if I even like the B (great sounding, but not sure I like anything below E) I thought I'd pick up a set of six string DR High Beams to see how I'd feel about stringing my bass E to C. With a six string set, I figured I could always use it as a B to G pack if the C wasn't for me.

    I never realized the C string was so damn small! It kind of felt a bit weird having it. And the sound...I wasn't sure about it. Chords sounded nice, but can't really see much use for it. I'm sure it'd come in handy for solos, but I pretty much suck and solos are way out of my league at the moment.

    But the more I played it, the more I began to enjoy it. Didn't really feel I missed much without the low B.

    Then I switched back to one of my other basses and that B felt really nice. Nice like "Who needs a wimpy C" nice.

    I can easily see why folks opt for a six stringer to get the best of both worlds.
  2. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I was happy with four strings but I hang out on TB so I got convinced I should try five. I didn't bond with the first one so I tried tuning a four in fifths to get the same range and that I loved! Goodbye five string so I can get another four. Then after a while I decided to uptune one of the fours for better chords. That was nice for chords but now I am missing the C string (I tuned one CGDA, the other GDAE) so maybe I should try a five again to get both?? Eventually I got another, different fiver which I am bonding with; maybe I gave up too soon on the first one. Tuning CGDAE gives me a little more range than a six and while I know that few here will want to tune in fifths I can certainly see why uptuning a five can be a slippery slope that leads you to a six. I essentially took the same trip once I tried uptuning since tuning in fifths lets you do the same thing with one less string. I have a friend at church who did get hooked on a six after playing a five for a while but she eventually regretted that and recently went back to five.

  3. You made a good selection of strings! I've found the DR B strings to be the best around. When I had my Ibanez BTB 6 string, the DR MM HiBeams were the best around!
  4. TechJunky


    Aug 31, 2009
    Columbus, OH
    I just recently restrung one of my 5's with E-C, and I'm not completely sold on it yet myself. It's fun and adds some nice change, but I don't really play that high up on the neck other than random noodling in most cases (definitely don't have the talent to do any great solos requiring being up there, though I wish I did). It's still taking some getting used to, feeling especially weird playing the E where I'm used to playing the B, but that'll just come down to practice and muscle memory. I figure for now, it's not hurting anything have it set that way since I have another 5 strung B-G, but the good thing is that it's proven to me I definitely don't need a 6 string! ha
  5. I play in a big band and for 99.99% of the charts the low B string is a thumb rest. I strung 2 of my basses E-C and for big band charts that range is much more practical. There are a fair number of charts that go up to the octave G on the G-string so the reach is easier on the C string.

    Rick B.
  6. Volpe25


    May 5, 2012
    It all depends on what sort of music you play, in rock and metal the B string is of most use, whereas in jazz or solo stuff then the C is used more. The only problem I find with the B string is that its hard to get it sounding good. A lot of the time it can sound muddy, and some bassists use the B extensively and it makes the mix muddy.

    I personally love my C string as I do a lot of solo stuff and if I throw a capo on the ADGC strings at the seventh fret its like EADG in a guitar octave and I can throw out some amazing harmonics! :D
  7. S6I6X


    Jun 25, 2011
    San Diego
    I own 4s, 5s and 6s and I definitely know what you mean. For me, I feel the sonic range of a 5 string is perfect for bass. Not too high or low. I play in a metal band that tunes down to drop B so when I started, the standard way of tuning the bass would be to drop down with the guitar (G# B F# B E) but then I decided to switch to B F# B E A so now I look at it likes it's a 5er with a C and base everything off of my lowest string but I'm still sonically where I like to be.
  8. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Stewartsville, NJ
    I think a perfect bass would be a short scale 5er strung low D G C F Bb.
  9. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    I have my Modulus Quantum 5er set up E-C for fun and it is just ok. I prefer B-G by far, but I don't do a lot of chording or right hand tapping.

    Restring it back to B-G when I get around to it....