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Author Topic: The Fifth String - go Hi C or Lo B? Why?  (Read 1778 times)

Offline willop

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The Fifth String - go Hi C or Lo B? Why?
« on: February 07, 2013, 08:56:16 AM »
It's not a BTB but I did score a 5 string bass yesterday (Yamaha RBX375 for $160).
It's strung conventionally - low B, EADG. Sounds nice.

I figured when I got a 5 string I'd do EADG and high C (.32 or so). But man, that low b sounds nice.

I am learning, play alone and am playing a lot of 'simple' songs in the treble clef.

So what's the good/bad with a high c vs a low b, or vice versa?

Offline Tony Raven

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Re: The Fifth String - go Hi C or Lo B? Why?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2013, 02:56:21 PM »
Huh -- no takers.  :o

Well, I hit the same dilemma last year, with the second fretless I've ever owned (a five). I finally decided to go with the low B, & that's how I strung a subsequent fretted bass. I'm glad I did, as a band I do occasional gigs with insists on keying a bunch of stuff in E. For most of the stuff, I prefer to stick with chunk-chunk playing, to hold down the bottom end with the drummer while the acoustic guitar & two electrics flail around overhead. But with the E root, if I want to hammer up then I have to go to the higher E, right in the middle of the fracas. Having that big B means I can hang around at Fret 5, so (bonus!!) the reach is easy.

Downside #1. That big B really needs more/bigger cones, as most cabs are meant to go down to E, maybe D. If you thwack it too hard, it rattles the speaker. I run to two 12" Aguilar cabs, & even they are at risk.

Downside #2. I'm mentoring a guitarist who would like to free me up for some lead work. He simply cannot wrap his head around having another string UNDER the E.

Putting a high C on a fiver probably requires a new nut. It's great for fancier playing, layovers, & chords; being a fan of what John Paul Jones did with a similarly strung Fender Bass V (like "The Lemon Song"), I may yet string one this way.
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