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You must play a 5-string

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by nboyer941, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN
    I'm looking at trying out for a local cover band. They insist that I play a five string. I generally play a 4 string.

    This concept seems very silly to me. Is there any good reason for this?
  2. Did you ask them?

  3. Not really, no. Did you ask why?
  4. Well at least they're telling you up front- if that's too much to ask, find another gig.
  5. duderasta


    Feb 25, 2010
    Tampa, FL
    probably they tried a four-string player who was unable to deal with drop tunings or re-tuning on the fly... A lot of guys have trouble with it. I think it is an odd requirement too, having a second bass for odd tunings, or just one tuned B-E-A-D should be acceptable alternatives.

    Just talk to them about it, and as already stated ask why.

    (I play 5-strings now, and it is simpler... but I never had a problem dealing with alternate tunings when I player 4's either)
  6. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    If they know their material and know that a lot of it calls for the low-B range, that's cool.

    If they're listening with their eyes and are just going for a modern image thing, that's not so good.
  7. nboyer941


    Jul 22, 2008
    Burnsville, MN
    I just sent an email asking why.

    I would have problems dealing with a BEAD tuning. I suppose I should practice that. I've never played that way before. Only standard, 1/2 step down and drop d or c.

    *edit* I know all the notes of the fretboard in standard tuning. When I go to BEAD....that just messes it all up. Whats the best way to know what I'm playing?
  8. MooseLumps

    MooseLumps Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    I also think it's about drop tunings on the fly. if you want as little space in between songs as possible, there really is nothing better than a fiver.

    If you can handle it, take a four-banger and amaze them. prove them wrong about the need and everyone can go home happy
  9. DiabolicLow B

    DiabolicLow B Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    The current band I am in requires a lot of low D and lower, as well as changing keys from time to time, at first I was using a 4 string and got tired of tuning down and never got very comfortable with it anyway.
    I switched to 5 string and it has made things so much easier, not just the lower notes but also more comfortable scale positions and no more tuning between songs.
  10. What type of music are you covering? I am also basically a classic 4 String player, but in the cover Band That I am currently in, a lot of the more popular newer tunes require an extended range if you want to duplicate the Bass Lines accurately, without tuning way down.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i hate 5-strings, but if it means the difference between getting paid and not, i'll play my only 5 without complaint. who cares?
    Jamesray740, BioWeapon and deathsdj like this.
  12. +1
  13. Grantrudd


    Jun 26, 2007
    Boston MA
    +1 to what jimmym said.

    at the end of the day, the band leader is the one paying you, so you better play what he wants, no matter what the reason. I am a 6 string player, but the good old fender jazz comes out for one of my gigs where the singer likes that look better. silly reason, but who am i to argue.
  14. shaft311

    shaft311 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Mt. Juliet, TN
  15. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    I bought a decent reasonably priced 5 string for the purposes of getting comfortable with it should I need it.

    First thing to realize is that the top 4 strings are just like your regular 4 string. You can just play them and make a 5 into a 4 if that's what it takes for your mind to get around it.

    Second, it might help if you translate some of the lines you already know into utilizing the low B.

    Third, you can possibly use this Downloadable fretboard learning file utilizing Microsoft Excel or Excel file reader to help memorize the 5 string fret board( or 4 string).
  16. DrSmaggs


    Oct 15, 2003
    Endorsing Artist:
    Play what you play. Don't go out of your way just to be in a band, unless you really want the gig and you will be happy.
  17. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Up to this day (and for a while afterward) Ive played 4 stringers exclusively. A former drummer turned bassist told me I should get a 5 string, and Ive had 5 strings 'pushed' at me by other people (a former Manager included). I have resisted, and when i wanted to try something different went with a 4 string fretless. After all this time, Ive finally broken something in my mind and now I actually WANT a 5er. So, my next bass with be a 5 string fretless.
  18. bnutz


    Mar 27, 2007
    Los Angeles
    It's probably drop tuned stuff (especially if it's a modern rock band) but it also makes transposition a lot easier, too.

    I prefer 4s, but have been using my 5 more often for modern rock (and even country) gigs. I also have a 4 strung up BEAD and that works pretty well, too.

  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I Grow Organic Carrots
    Extended range
  20. Are they actively gigging and earning money? If not, I wouldn't shell out money to buy another instrument just because it's a prerequisite for joining them.

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