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who plays 5 string at church?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by MAJOR METAL, Mar 10, 2003.


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    I am going to start in a few months trying to play 5 string at mass,any one else playing 5 string at their churchs. Was traditional worship songs hard to addapt to 5 string. Thanks :)
  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Nah... I play a six ;)

    As to whether it will be worthwhile, it depends what your 'traditional' worship songs were, but I find it very useful. For example, a lot of songs we do are in the keys of G and D, both of which benefit from the option of going down to a low D.

    Do you play a four string at church at the moment?

  3. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    I play 5 and 6 string at church. It's not hard to adapt at all (as long as its done tastfully). I play mostly black gospel stuf that almost demands a 5er. Check out some Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin and you will see what I mean:)
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I play five string fretless and six string fretted at church.

    A lot of the songs that we play are in Eb, D and C.

    The low notes add impact when used judiciously.

    Also, a lot of our songs are in F and G. I much prefer playing those songs at the sixth and eighth frets on the B string, rather than the first and third frets on the E string.
  5. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    I started playing at church on a 4 string, and moved to a 5 string after a few months. I find the low notes are great to end songs, and it sounds incredible when the piano player and I do duets for the offering.

  6. I have just started to play a 7 in Church. A lot of songs are in Eb and a low B string is ideal for them.

    Go for it.

  7. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Not to mention the fun you can have on that high F - I'm sure Matthew's church is going to benefit from the full range of his glorious new Sei 7!


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    I do, i have been playing bass along time and i have pretty much been 4 string all the way. I feel i am ready to move on to something new.
  9. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    By "Mass" is it proper to assume that this is a Roman Catholic Church? I play 5 string fretless in my Catholic Church every Sunday (well, I've missed the last few weeks because I've been sick - this flu that's going around is bad, believe me). I also play my 4 string Tacoma but prefer the fretless. I love the low organ pedal notes that shake the whole church, but in the Contemporary guitar/piano based choir that is lost. When I use the 5 string I use the notes below "E" generously if the song suggests that kind of arrangement.
  10. Benbass


    Jan 28, 2002
    I play my fiver at church. I love it!
  11. I play a five string at mass; it's great to have that solid D to go down to, but definitely use some judgement with it! If you stay down there all the time, it gets kind of muddy, but if you go there just for emphasis, later in the verses, or at the end, you get a special impact.

    We use the Oregon Catholic Press (OCP) Hymnals and missalettes; if you are using these, the music leader will have charts with chords and melody that you can play from; if you're reading four part old-time hymns, the bass vocal line will give you a good guide to the harmony.

    Good luck!

  12. willrwilli


    Jul 15, 2002
    I have been playing 5-string bass in church for the past 10 years. I also mainly play Black Gospel from artist like John P. Kee, and Fred Hammond where a 5 is a must. But even on traditional worship songs you will be able to express yourself and be more creative on a 5 string.
  13. I have been playing in church for a couple years now, and the band director likes it when you bring the 5. We switch off between different bass players, so I don't always get to play, but the 5 is a must for our music, I often find my self going down to C for some loud notes! Nothing like some heavy rumble!

  14. Jodaka


    Jun 28, 2001
    Riverview, FL
    i think i'm in the majority on this one. i hardly even touch my 4's these days anyway...

  15. my church also has the rostering, since there are several bassists, but i have been getting far more calls since i started playing with the 5!

    the painist i play with cant get enough of the low B and C, seriously he chooses songs which will end with one of them.

    also dont listen to the traditionalists who scoff at anything with more than 4 strings, they often havn't felt the power of the low C!!
  16. I last played for/with the Church group two years back, in that time..I found my 5-string to sound incredible. We alerady had a Piano and an Electric keyboard, as well as several guitarists...so the Low B cut through at times rather well. I guess the main point would be to pick your spots ustilizing the low B....there can be atendency to overuse to cut through everything else.
    The Church I had played for would cover anything from the golden oldie hymns from long-long back, to more recent tuneage.
    I, also my 5-string fretless to be of major help, as well as the fretted Sixer.
    9/10'th's of the material was chord-sheet based..we just tended to work out the partuculars ob Wednesday Nights....then fine tune before service on Sunday.
  17. Fire-Starter


    Aug 11, 2002
    I play five and six, the reason is that Gospel music now is using a lot of the low e flat low c, low b, and so on, and the bass sounds good playing those notes. some bass players are even tuning there fives and sixs down a whole step to a low A:eek: I did that on my cirrus and it sounds really great, but you must remember where the notes are on your fret:bawl: Hey for now, just try the five without all the drama, you will have more than enough to keep you busy:cool:

    Peace and Blessing to you!
  18. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    We use the OCP books, too. I consider myself a bass guitarrist because I play from the guitar music, adding passing tones based on the chord.
    Mine too!

    Whether you use the low notes a lot is going to depend largely on your pianist. If your pianist plays the piano parts note for note, they're often going to clash with your octave. If you can double their part based onthe piano music more power to ya! You can read music a lot better than I can (I can't :oops:). With the lower notes you can often play lower and therefore compliment, not clash, with the pianist.

    Also, sometimes we have trumpets and woodwinds and all those songs in Eb are great on the 5 string!
  19. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    I play mostly the 5 at church, unless I'm leading the music as well, then I'll sometimes go back to a 4.
  20. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I actually switched to five string because of playing in church. With all of the piano player friendly keys and the on-the-fly transposing, it is almost essential.


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