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Warwick Thumb fretless 5 stringing: use a low B or add a C?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Plantbrain, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. Plantbrain

    Plantbrain Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Hi, I recently acquired a Warwick 5 string fretless thumb. I intend to epoxy the fretboard. I'm trying to get some feedback on whether to go with a high C or keep a low B. I've heard low B's make good thumb rest or move air and not much tone/notes.

    I'm interested in hearing debates for or against the low B and the high C.

    I know how I am once the strings are on, I'll likely not change back.

  2. MarkMyWordsXx


    May 17, 2006
    i have both a 5 with a high c and a 6 string with a low B and i have to say, i hardly use either of the 'new' strings, though i use the C more. this is probably because i cant convince my guitar player to play in any key besides D and since its eaiser to just drop tune, my B goes down to an A. not very usefull.

    its cool for some tricks but for the most part its unused. in conclusion, id say the C is a tad more usefull but it depends on the genre of your playing.
  3. TRB


    Aug 14, 2005
    Personally I'd say stick to the low B. I'm a 6er but in truth I'd be pretty much jsut as happy with a 5 string bass as with a 6 string bass. Although the high C is a snazzy wee thing to pull out and use every now and then I jsut feel it's pretty much redundant in most situations wheras I can often find a use for the B string.

    Of course this is my opinion and it does go agains the post above me, but that's how I feel.
  4. Plantbrain

    Plantbrain Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    The Fretless aspect has me weirded out a bit with the low B. I guess I'll just have to try both and see.

    Adding the epoxy as well will be a big change.
    I love the sound of the Warwick fretless basses a lot. But I love the sound of the epoxy as well so hopefully the conversion shall be a synergistic combo.

    I'm leaning towards the high C right now.
    Any reasons not go with the B vs the high C on a fretless?

    Other comments?
    The more the better.

  5. Sandwich Man

    Sandwich Man

    Apr 30, 2006
    New York
    I think it honestly depends on the type of music that you play. I thought I wouldn't use the low B all that much when I got my 5er, but it's really growing on my for non-rock stuff (with the except of pulling out some 311 or Incubus tunes.)

    Smooth jazz or RnB or Reggae, do the low B. A lot of people in jazz use a low B as well, Gerald Veasley comes to mind. If you want to play a lot of solo stuff, go for the high C to give yourself more range in that department. Honestly, it's all preference, but if you ask me high C or low B are luxuries, so you can't really go wrong either way.
  6. With a Low B, you could get that fretless tone of a low E because you could play the 5th fret of the B string.
  7. Plantbrain

    Plantbrain Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Well, I have some fretteds and 6 string, so I can use those for the higher notes/solo stuff.

    They are not fretless though.

    I suppose given a number of basses, I could turn the 4 to a higher note set up and leave one normal(but then it's like which one do I do this to?).

    The Warwick might just keep the low B.
    I think I'll play a bit more like a particular style(Jazzy, smooth, fatter warmer sounds) with it. The other basses tend to be brighter sounding.

    This is a tougher decision than I thought:eyebrow:

    But I like the comments made here: helpful.

    One of my main things for having a fretless was the fact it broke me out of the fret mode and challenged me to new sounds, finger work, and style. So I want to retain that part.

  8. Beta


    May 9, 2007
    The B string does make a good thumb rest.

    That said, if you want to challenge yourself, find a way to make use of that low B. It seems you already know what you'd do with the high C.
  9. Plantbrain

    Plantbrain Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Very good point Beta!
    I think it being a thru neck with epoxy fretboard, it should hold the lows really well. An extra inch would help but oh well, always a trade off.

    I wonder what thumbing and slapping such a fat string will do or if it turns to mud. Humm...yet another challenge to get clean eh?

  10. Plantbrain

    Plantbrain Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    I tried the high C.

    I like the low B on this bass.
    Sounds quite nice and little mud factor.
    Has a nice fat sound that works well.

    Since I have other basses, this one will be more the fat groove bass, and the others will have the higher end.

    I still need to epoxy the fretboard and detail a few things.

  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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