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To All 5 strings players

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by JSystolic, Feb 11, 2003.

  1. B-E-A-D-G

    291 vote(s)
  2. E-A-D-G-C

    32 vote(s)
  3. Shut up and buy a 6 strings Bass

    39 vote(s)
  1. JSystolic


    Jan 1, 2003
    It seems to me that a lot of bass players buy 5 stringers so they can reach lower notes, I got a 5 stringer but when I writing songs (I'm the main Songwriter in my band btw) I can't seem to be able to incorporate the B string at all, And believe me I'm trying really hard to do it.

    I read some where that Rock players tend to use the BEADG tuning and Jazz Players EADGC extending their higher notes intead of the lower notes. I follow John Myung from Dream Theather and It looks like Myung tends to use the lowest string pretty much when Petrucci uses 7 strings guitars other than that I see him using his highest strings.

    Afer all this I still can't figure out if I should use BEADG or EADGC.

    I know that lot of people would say JUST DO YOU OWN THING or WHAT EVER ROCK YOUR BOAT but I'm looking for pros and cons of these tunings.

    Sorry for the long post but i'm venting out i'm really mad at the fact that I can't seem to choose. :mad:
  2. well, in the band that i use my 5 string for, we tune to C. It's pretty much useless to have a low G, so I tune C F A# D# G#. It's great for melodic runs, which are even better for melodic death metal.
    Bobro likes this.
  3. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    My B string has the same 12 notes on it that the other four strings have. I still use it anyway. ;)

    I think maybe you're going about things backwards. Maybe you should try composing the songs on another instrument (guitar, keys), and then adding the bass line after you have the melody/chord progression. Trying to write a song that "uses the B/C string" isn't going to get you anywhere.
    IamGroot, Garret Graves and eJake like this.
  4. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    If you wanna write a song that uses the B string, why not just write it in B? :D

    Seriously though, I agree with lump, why *try* to write a song that uses the B string? Write the song, and if you find yourself wanting to go lower than E, use the B string...
  5. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Who says you have to play a B on the B string? I hardly ever play a B, and am usually playing E and above, just for the economy of movement on the neck.
    Garret Graves and Bobro like this.
  6. Never completely ride anything on the B string.

    Maybe for a song in E flat or D, I mostly use the low notes on the B string for a dramatic emphasis before going back to the "normal" B through E notes on the other strings. Also use the low notes for song endings.

    I agree with the above posts. Don't think about the B string when writing. Think about using a note or two on it when writing your bass line.
  7. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    I prefer the low B cos u get the funky sound! :D
    Bobro likes this.
  8. I would go to EADGC if I was soloing alot or being the band leader but because I am currently being the backup I like the BEADG. I dont use the B string a whole lot and but sometimes it is perfect to give a punch. The low B is also helpful for playing arppegios or walking lines because it gives you another option of where to go.
  9. SlayerCFH911


    Feb 16, 2003
    Unless your doing lots of soloing, you should probably keep it tuned BEADG. That's the standard that most 5 string players I've met use. JAzz is the only style I could see needing the C string.

    As for writing using B...just use it when you want to get even lower. Since, I play death metal...It's great for me to have the extra low string, because this way I can avoid having to drop the tunings[sometimes], and keep a clear sound to it.
  10. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    moley you're a genius! ;)

    Anyway, regarding those lower than your average notes...

    I originally bought a 5 cause my rock band geetarists tune low E down to D, B and C on many songs and I was fed up with not being able to go 'one lower'... and it worked! :)

    However, I only step down below the E very occaisionally in a 'normal' band situation (i.e. guitars at standard tuning/pitch) the lower note have more impact when used less often.

    Try this... write bass lines as normal, then replace some notes with an octave lower - maybe not every time... on alternate 'riffs' for example... or the last riff before a change or something, just for emphaisis..

    Also, don't get hung up on playing the low B for the sake of it, just keep experiementing till it works for you. Adding an extra string to your bass makes a significant difference to way you play, so give yourself time to get used to it.
  11. I've found that the easiest way to learn to write music is to read what others are writing - so why not read some music written by good five string players? See and hear what you like and what you don't and how they incorporate the lower string into the equation. Also, listen to bad bass players and how they mis-use it...just as important and learning how, is how not.

  12. cjgallen


    Oct 19, 2001
    C-E-A-D-G :D It's just easier because my guitarists tune CGCFAD
    Bobro likes this.
  13. I use B-E-A-D-G tuning. I play metal so it isn't as important with high notes as it is with low. One song which is great playing on the B string is master of Puppets I think. During the bridge (between the verse and chorus) I play on the A, E, and B string + I use it in the chorus (`MASTER... MASTER...´). It sound great with the more "fat" sound the B string gives. And it is also comfortable for your right hand in the bridge part.
  14. can't chose? get two 5's
  15. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I tune BEADG - I figure I can always go up the neck for a higher note on my 1st string, but you can only go as low as the note you tune the fat one to.
  16. cronus

    cronus Guest

    Jan 17, 2002
    Romulus, Michigan
    BEADG sometimes to experiment more i drop them all a step
  17. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    Just BEADG. I love having a 5er... never have to detune!:D:bassist:
    THUNDERGODX likes this.
  18. same thing is frustrating me too. I would like to incorporate the B string musically in things i write...but i just find it really hard. You know, im just going to restring w/ lighter gauge strings and tune the sucker EADGC.....wait no...how about CCCCC...:D
  19. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear

    Aug 14, 2000
    I myself don't play a 5-string but found out that Tony Levin strings his 5's E - C. Granted I'm sure that this may not be the case all the time but thought it was interesting.
  20. shon


    Nov 27, 2002
    Healdsburg, CA!!
    I tune BEADG, so I can play low notes higher on the neck.

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