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Should you "try" to stay away from open strings?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by streetknight, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Nothing wrong with open strings. Sometimes I use 'em, sometimes not. It depends on the context and what kind of sound I require, or what kind of ergonomics I'm after. Don't worry about it. (I'm also classically trained and used them in that context as well, so...to each his own).
  2. Funk_Pirate


    Oct 6, 2012
    My preference between open notes and fretted notes typically depend on how lazy I feel at that particular moment......
  3. :D
  4. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    OK; old thread; didn't read it all. What a crock of crap this response is. 32 years in on bass, and why don't you tell me how one can add vibrato to an open note?

    Ever play fretless? Make it sound like your soul instead of an inactive piece of wood? Get over yourself. Now.
  5. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Well, you can apply vibrato behind the nut if you really want to.
  6. You owe me a keyboard!!!!!! Beer everywhere!!!!!!!
  7. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    It's just one of those little BS "rules"people tell to make them feel superior to others. Just like "Real bass players use fingers" or "There's no money above the 5th fret"

    I use open strings all the time. Some of the stuff I play would be impossible to play without doing so. And I really don't care if anyone tries to analyse that sentence to try and determine something about my ability..... But if you do, you have issues.
  8. mozilla314


    Dec 19, 2011
    An open A string sounds different than fretting an
    A on the 5th fret of the E string. They are the same note
    but don't sound the same. I would rather play a fretted
    note than an open string note. There is an actual
    "thump" to the note when you fret it. You don't get
    that same "thump" with an open string.
    Also, I never tune to open strings. I tune to
    fretted notes. Why tune to an open string when you
    rarely play open strings?
  9. Not every note requires vibrato. Don't you play open notes on your DB?
  10. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Maybe you should have. Particularly the first sentence of post 59.
  11. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Yay, let's be gratuitly agressive toward each other!
    See, after so much time you can still learn new tricks: neck bending, behind-the-nut bending, bridge pulling, right palm vibrato etc.
    A whole new world is opening up for you and you may not even have to resort to excessive vibrato anymore.
    What this has to do with learning to properly use open strings, I have no idea.
  12. jonnybass1


    Dec 9, 2011
    Brampton, On

    Bahahahah !!! I like that that's why one of my basses is tuned BEAD lol
  13. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    The open strings thing is like all hard and fast rules: it introduces its own problems, sometimes more severe than the problems it tries to solve.

    Eg. avoiding the open note in order to put vibrato on it has the hazard of making you trite with vibrato - kind of like those guys who slap all the time. You may end up being that guy who plays vibrato all the time just because he can. And partially as a result of avoiding open strings for whatever reason, including being able to apply vibrato.

    Vibrato, like anything else, may or may not be a requirement to "sound like your soul". What if you don't want to be that vibrato guy? And your "soul" sounds like an in-tune fretted bass note? Well, you can actually do that with an open string too, fretted or FL. So, really, the no-open-strings thingy serves no purpose for that particular player. Instead it's actually a tool he can use to produce his sound and expression.

    The moral of the story is rules that only serve themselves aren't very valuable rules. Especially when you get into the domain of personal taste and art - unlike the craft of bass playing, art and personal taste doesn't respond well to hard/fast rules. That's the case with the no-open-strings edict too.

  14. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    I did avoid open strings for a while on purpose, it just help to see the neck differently, change pattern that you are too used to etc.
  15. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    I did those on a cheap bass but I wouldn't try it on expensive bass ... I don,t think any of it is good for the bass ...
  16. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    HUm "slap" was invented by Bartok ... they called it the Bartok's Pizzicato which is a louder pizzicato by letting the string snap again the fingerboard like the slap motion some DB player use a lot in rockabilly.

    Also th sign isn't used anymore but still ... it was created long ago.
  17. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Sorry; I did get a bit over-zealous there.
    I'll check it out, thanks. Ed. - well, I stand by it. I didn't think "pure snobbery" needed much more context than the sentence in which it appeared.
    I do use open notes, particularly on pedals. But when I choose to play a line and use vibrato, it's not pure snobbery, is my point.
  18. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    We have choices and that's great. Use what you want.

    I do insist that my students who are very "box oriented" stay in the first 4 frets and therefore are forced to use open strings. Once they start thinking notes instead of fingers then they are free to think musically.
  19. That. Although I find myself playing less open strings than before (just because I like the sound of fretted notes), I still use them aplenty, especially when they reduce my left hand displacement.
  20. Mousekillaz


    Nov 25, 2009
    Anacortes Wa.
    Sometimes you'll want an open string sound, sometimes not.
    But NEVER play an open low E on a four string!...whatever.

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