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Should I Ignore or Embrace My 5th String

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by contraruss, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. contraruss


    Mar 16, 2009
    I recently purchased a used EUB with a 5th string. It has been over 30 years since I've touched a bass and of course I played a classic 4 stringed instrument playing jazz around the New England area. Now I am re-learning the positions after buying an intermediate method book. So far I have ignored my 5th string as my method book does not know that it exists. I am tempted to write out some excersises for the B string but in doing so I'm afraid it will mess up my re-learning process. Eventually I may purchase a better instrument and it will be a classic up right. But for now the use of the B string is very tempting. Any advice would be appreciated. Contraruss
  2. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    I can't imagine why you wouldn't use your B, especially since you paid for it :D And you won't truly be able to ignore it- your hand will have to adjust to get around it uness you convert to a high C, and even then you will notice it.

    Lastly, there are --and have have been for some time-- 5-string AUBs. You may end up wanting one if you keep at it. Since you've got a 5 now, I'd go with the supplementary exercises you're thinking of doing along with the ones in your method book.
  3. Don't embrace the 5th String, at least in the Biblical sense. Otherwise, I think you should embrace it...
  4. Bille's Nuovo Methodo books involve 5-string double bass (B, not C) practice techniques, and have been a benchmark of classical education for decades. There's even a section where he professes the "Necessity of the 5-string double bass".

    Even though you're learning jazz, not classical, there are still lots of great exercises in the series of 3 books. And they're indispensable if you learn/re-learn how to bow.
  5. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    see how often you use the low B, and you may decide to restring the bass with a high C instead. im a high C convert, never missed the low B
  6. contraruss


    Mar 16, 2009
    Where can I get Bille's Nuovo Methodo for 5 string bass?
  7. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    Some of it depends on the music you are playing....I play a lot of contemporary christian, so those low notes are great for a nice drone at the end of a phrase or song(I AM the organ. LOL). When I made the switch I concluded the ony way to not get messed up was to hit octaves lots of octaves to burn the automatic calculation into my brain as to what was available sonically with the extra string. Got to where I sold all my 4 stringers off, and it was all nice stuff.

    High C - probably depends, again, on what kind of music you play. If you prefer to stick close to "the box", it is a great option. I personally prefer to dive up the board....only exercise I get beyond 12 oz. curls.

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