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wont a 5 string sound funny?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Vacume, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. Vacume


    Jan 11, 2006
    I play in a metal band and my band is performing a show soon, and my guitarist asked me to rent a 5 string for it (he knoes im considering buyin one) so the bass can have a "wider""deeper" sound, now we tune down to C and he wants me to play everything 1 string up on the 5 stringer(deeper), but wont it sound funny if im playin everything 2 steps deeper then they are?
  2. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
  3. Dan Molina

    Dan Molina TalkBass Secular Progressive

    Jul 17, 2002
    Murr Town, California
    I tune my 5 string up to CGCFA#. You could try that.
  4. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    So how will you be tuning your 5 string exactly?
  5. I'm going to take a wild stab that that you play tuned to D and do drop C and hence you'll be 2 steps "deeper" than usual? What is deeper? If your playing is anything like this question then yes, it will sound funny :confused:

    The answer is the five string will sound fine. Just make sure you tune it right and use the strings that don't provide too much tension in that tuning.
  6. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
  7. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    Unless you've played a 5 string before (and the fact you're asking sugguests you havent), theres a pretty good chance it will screw you up. Depending on the bass, and your technique/experience it will take some time for you to adjust.

    Until you've got it down, there's a good chance you'll end up fretting one string, and picking the one below! This will definatly sound funny!

    Just get a B string, and tune your 4 BEAD. You're less likely to screw up on the gig. Making the jump to 5 isn't so hard (so I'm told - I happy with 4), but when you pick one up for the first time it messes with your head - not what you want to experience in front of an audience.

  8. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    Do buy one. After I got my first one, in 1991, I wondered why I had waited so long. It's the greatest! But it took me about 3 months of full-time playing, 5 or more nights a week, to get used to it. IanStephenson is correct - you will make many mistakes at first. Get some practice time in private before you play in public with it.
  9. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Dont rent a 5 string to play it at a show that day or week.

    My old band played a show years ago and I had just gotten my first 5 string that week or month...
    Anyways, thank god it had like 5 people there because the conversion of songs from 4 to 5 was a pain in the butt...

    I had to deal with a bigger fretboard, strings not being where they used to and all new ways to play our 9+ songs...

    We ended up finishing the set halfway through because of a lot of other issues.
  10. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    You could keep it in BEADG and transpose to C. That means if your guitarist played an open note, you'd be playing first fret on the B string.

    I use a 5-string and have played in every screwed up dropped tuning conceived, in BEADG. But I sort of know what I am doing.

    I'd hate to hear an E string tuned down to C. Worse than the sound would be actually trying to play fast rhythms on it.
  11. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yes; it certainly would sound funny.

    What he means is to play everything one FRET higher. One half-step up from B is C. If they're tuned to C, and you're tuned to B, then if you play everything one fret higher, you'll be playing the same notes as you would be in a C-tuning.

    One thing's for-certain, though: don't switch to five for the first time just before a show!

    You don't have to use a fiver to go lower. It's perfecly-fine to just use the low four strings out of a five-string set, and tune B-E-A-D, or you could just-as-well go C-F-A#-D# (it's only a half-step up from what the strings are designed to do). In fact - if your bass is a 33" scale like mine, then C-tuning would be MORE-like what the strings are made for, assuming they're designed for the 'standard' 34" scale (like a Fender bass); see what I mean? -one fret up from the nut on a 34"-scale is about 33"!

    I play five, and don't find tons of use for those low-ones between B and E. I use a fiver for the purpose of 'playing ACROSS the neck' more, and 'up-and-down' the neck less.

    When it comes to your decision to go to a five-string - I'm glad I did, but fours are just-fine too.

    Speaking of this 'deeper, wider'-thing - he may be talking more about tone than pitch. You might want to consider if what you need for your next investment is a new AMP and/or CAB. Depending on the PA setup for this gig, you well-MAY want to rent an AMP.

    What I'd probably do for now, if I were you, would be to put B-E-A-D strings on your four-string, and tune them to C-F-A#-D#.

    What kind of bass and amp are you running?


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