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Loudlon's Tab Corner!

Marko1960
Posts: 2465
You could buy a ready cut five string nut and cut the G string end off or just use a nail file to widen the slots on your existing nut. It would be interesting to hear how Jay got round this, but go easy with the file, the strings need to sit ON the slots, not IN them
Ganaelin
Posts: 5
Marko, I actually bought a 4 string tuned to low b standard. Shortly after I found out not only is it pretty common in metal, but Journey's bassist Ross Valery also does it… If anyone is considering getting that as a cheap alternative to a 5 string, I personally recommend it. All the guys at guitar center had to do (since I'm incompetent and afraid of ruining my bass on a professional level) was get a new nut and cut it just right. Anyone with tools, a little time, and a 5 string set could pull this off pretty easily.
Two Guns
Posts: 2
I have a Bass that is rigged for Low B Tuning. I own a repair shop. One of my customers came in and asked for his four string to be setup up for Low B tuning because he didn't like the weight of the 5 string. so, after i did the job, i did the same to one of my basses
old hippie
Posts: 16
I guess (if I was in the market for a five-string) I would just personally prefer to save up and buy one. But, that's just me. Everybody has their own likes and dislikes. Just imagine, if we ALL liked or disliked the same things what a boring place this world would be. Gene Bellamy
LoudLon [moderator]
Posts: 1540
Just don't buy a 5-string because you feel you have to, like you have to play a 5-string to be taken seriously as a bassist. 5-strings have their pros – tuning down isn't as big an issue – but they also have their cons – such as muting, for example. Playing bass isn't just about plucking strings, it's also about muting the strings you're not plucking. On 5-string, that's just another string you're going to have to mute.

Ultimately though it's not a matter of how many strings you have; it's a matter of how well you play them. If you suck on a 4-string, you're going to suck on a 5-string, and vice versa.
Marko1960
Posts: 2465
The four string electric bass guitar was there at the beginning of the Rock n Roll explosion in the mid 50s, it was an essential instrument for pop music to work. Think of all the great songs we've had in those sixty odd years, now ask yourself how many were recorded using a five string bass, then ask yourself, do I really need this gimmicky instrument and will I never be a great bassist without one?




…a Steinberger DB bridge or Hipshot tuners will get you that bottom end…if you really need it
LoudLon [moderator]
Posts: 1540
Personally, and this is just me – I have no real interest in a 5-string because I actually enjoy alternate tuning my 4-string. In one jam session it's not at all uncommon for me to switch it up between standard, drop D, Eb, D standard, or even to drop the whole thing down to BEAD.

I think knowing how to alternate tune is immeasurably valuable in helping you to learn and recognize the relationships between notes and frets, and it can do wonders for developing your ear when it comes to tone and key. Once you've become familiar with various alternate tunings you get to where you can hear a song and recognize, okay, that song's in standard tuning. That song's in Eb. That song's in D standard, Drop C. Etc.

Again though, this is just me. As I mentioned above, 5-strings certainly have their pros. But I'm perfectly content with alt-tuning my 4-string.
Quote:
You could buy a ready cut five string nut and cut the G string end off or just use a nail file to widen the slots on your existing nut. It would be interesting to hear how Jay got round this, but go easy with the file, the strings need to sit ON the slots, not IN them
By coincidence I read this post, so here is how I file the nut. I wrap sandpaper around a drill, so I can make any size of nut file. I wouldn't use a five string nut, as the string spacing of those may be less.

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