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Notes on the B string

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by r05c03, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. r05c03


    Jul 21, 2005
    Lafayette, IN
    So I just picked up a 5-string Reverend Rumblefish. It is my first fiver. Like a good boy I have spent the first few days relearning my bands song by playing them at the new positions that the 5 th string allows me to play, and working in new lower notes. I want to use the 5th string, not just be the dude that has the 5er and plays it like a 4 banger. At anyrate, I find the notes on the B string have a VERY different tonal qaulity than notes of the same octave, played on the E. G on the B-string sound much more beefy, then G on the E string. I guess it makes sense that this is the case, but I am not sure that I like the tonal quality of the notes on the B-string, it is almost over-powering and seemingly much more intense then the tonal quality of the notes on the E. Ultimately, this will not bother me if the this difference does not come through in the mix with the band, however, if it does, I guess I'll be playing the 5er like a 4 banger, or getting a 4 banger again. Any thoughts?
  2. You did? Right....:ninja: :D
  3. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    Have you tried using a lighter touch on the B?
  4. My JD used to do this on the low notes probably up to the 9th fret on B so I tried playing gentler on the B and it ended up I could either play lighter on the B or roll a little gain and bass off the top of my EQ.

    I perceive the EQ adjustment worked for my issue and it may (or may not) help with yours. Good luck solving it.


  5. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Your issue is not uncommon. Much of the design 'innovations' in both basses and amps and speakers over the last 10-15 years has been directly driven by problems with getting a good, even sound using a low B string.

    I too am one who works very hard to get the B string to sound like a logical extension of the E string versus that huge 'B string' tone that so many basses have.

    I've owned many 5 strings, and have not seen any consistent pattern in what makes a 'good' B string.... maybe the only thing I've seen that is consistent is the stiffness of the neck... I've seen no consistent impact of scale length or body weight on the B string tone.

    That being said, probably the biggest single impact on B string sound is the string itself. There are huge differences in B string tone by brand, guage and model of string.... unfortunately, sometimes the very heavy guage B strings which provide the best tension and feel to me sound bloated and 'overextended' in the low end.

    So, no quick fix, but I would focus on trying a number of different B strings before doing anything more extreme regarding the actual bass or amplification.
  6. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks Supporting Member

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
  7. jvbjr


    Jan 8, 2005
    More string mass --> greater output. Often you can tame a low B by reducing the string gauge a bit. Try a 120 and see if that evens you out. Or conversely go to heavier strings for the other four. Or do both.

    Your goal is to create greater string to string output balance. If you look at a normal 4 string set you have 100, 80, 65 and 45. The largest spread in diameter is .020, so if your low B is a 132 or 140 your spread from E to B is more like 32 or 40, or basically double the norm.
  8. h00t


    Jul 14, 2006
    Central WI
    Adjust the height of the pickups? You could lower the sides that are near the low B or raise the high D/high G side.
  9. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    There is one solution to the problems of which you speak-Dingwall!

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