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What are your thoughts on the 5th fret?

When I'm playing, I generally prefer to use open strings whenever possible, aaas opposed to playing an A or a D on the E string or A string. I've noticed that on here, instead of tabbing something
E|---------- -------------------------|

They'll tab it
E|----5 7----------------------------------|

Do you have a preference?
Personally, I don't go out of my way to purposely play open notes, I avoid them as much as possible. Then again, it really depends on the style of music someone is playing and the structure within it.

Sometimes it is not avoidable at all, and leaves a player no choice but to play a open note here and there, especially if the time signature is quick within a pattern or progression.
Posts: 860
I prefer to play the fretted notes. I think you have better control of the tone and note when using the fret.

The only time I like to use open string is with slapping. And because I suck at slapping, I don't do it very often.
LoudLon [moderator]
Posts: 1474
^^^ Same here. I prefer having control of the strings so I tend to play very few open notes, but it totally depends on the song. There are some fast-tempo songs when open notes are a necessity, just for expediency of movement.
Posts: 1499
I agree with the OP that the fifth fret is entirely redundant and unneeded. They should just make the neck shorter and leave out the fifth fret. Joking, of course

The tone or timbre of the open string note and the fifth fret note are a bit different. I'll use either, depending on the sound I'm after. Sometimes, I'll play a riff or even an entire song on a single string because the notes played on that string have the timbre I want, even though I could play some of the notes on other strings. Also, it is easier (IMO) to mute a string down the neck (e.g. 5th fret) than up at the nut/first fret. So you have better control and less bleed through of your notes.
It depends on the song and on where the fretting hand is at the given moment. With some pedal settings with a lot of fuzz and/or overdrive there's not much difference. Playing clean with fresh roundwounds, on the contrary, immediately reveals whether a note is played open or fretted.
Posts: 2148
A good example for me is ‘We Gotta Get Outta This Place’ by The Animals, in the riff, Chas Chandler plays all fretted notes but I can only do using the open G
Depends on the tone of the song, if it's all cheery I'll use open strings but if it's metal I'll use those nasty clunky frets. Honestly, I hate any tone that comes from the E above the 9th fret unless it's a quick slide
Usually prefer to play a fifth fret, but it depends where my hand is. It also depends on song and where my hand is going to go next.
@Marko1960 Re:We Gotta Get Out of This Place
I just pulled up the song on YouTube so I could see what key it is in. I'd play this riff starting up on the 8th fret E string with second finger and it is easy as pie to play fast without any open strings.
Posts: 2148
I've tried it, still too much hand movement, you don't really notice the open G that much

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