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Using a 5 string as a 4

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by whofan, Jul 2, 2001.


  1. whofan

    whofan

    Jun 29, 2001
    hi,
    i found this really crapped up bass at the flea market for $40. it's a mexican fender precision and it looks like it's been through hell. i bought it so i can have something to do during the summer. like fixing things and 'customizing' it. but it's a 5 string and for what i play, i don't NEED the B.

    can i just not put on the B string and play it as a 4 string? will that set off the truss rod? or the pickups?
     
  2. ytsebri

    ytsebri

    Sep 1, 2000
    Dallas
    I would personally recommend leaving the B string on. If you don't use it, don't use it. But I think you will find it will add an extra dimension to your playing over time. The B can be useful for playing lower octaves. I use the B on my 6 tons. A technique I use is to lock the low note into the bass drum beat and then hit the high note to match the snare drum. Just a suggestion.
     
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Tagging on to what ytsebri said, try a song with a fairly fast line that requires you to to hit a quick open E or a slap pattern where an open E gets a thumb.

    Then try it with a fretted E on the B string. Since this instrument doesn't have a zero fret, the difference is much to your advantage.

    If you're determined not to use the B, I don't think not having a B on there will do any harm to the neck and certainly not the pickup. That's just a guess because everyone I've known with 5 keeps it a 5.
     
  4. Gabu

    Gabu

    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I don't know the neg side-effects that you mentioned... but when I am playing 4-string songs on my 5s the B is a great place to hold on to. :) If you got a Fender P 5 for $40, that's awesome! I would also suggest that you might have some fun with that B at times...

    I like to boink mine when my guitarist strays too close to my amp... BOING!!! "Take that!!"