Basses - 5th string on the TOP, not the bottom

Off-Topic Discussions. Read the Sticky before posting.

Moderators: Kevio, ElfDude, JesseM, RockCrue, soundchick, ChrisH, peb, Mike Jones, Bundy

User avatar
Elite Carvinite
Elite Carvinite
Posts: 7499
Joined: May 2010
Location: Western NC

Basses - 5th string on the TOP, not the bottom

Postby gumbynotpokey » Mon May 28, 2018 3:13 am

I have zero interest in re-learning what the bottom end of a bass is: visually, tonal values, physical positions, etc. Not that I'm allergic to the idea, but with my number of years playing and time allocation for other things at this stage of life, it's not going to happen in a way that is practical.

I WOULD however, be interested in expanding tonal options UP from the roots and other tones that I currently enjoy. More choices UP are ones I could work in during live performances without sacrificing the foundation of the band sound (bad note, missed beat, etc) that is expected of a bass player. With choices ABOVE I could add some different/interesting double stops, simple chords, and play even simple octaves in a bit different register and/or with different timbre.

So, a 5 that is EADG and one more above the G. NOT a 5 that starts below the E.


I'm not asking if they will/won't. I just wanted to discuss this a bit.
Wife: C350, Claro top SH550, Vintage 16
Oldest: DC400M greenburst, C980TMW
Youngest: C750, GK1, CT624M Deep Black Cherry on flame, V3MC Celestion,
SH550 white/white, black binding, gold hardware
Me: LB70P jet black, LB70PF Claro BEM HAN, MB 10

User avatar
Casual Madman
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 2276
Joined: Nov 2013
Location: Garland TX

Re: Basses - 5th string on the TOP, not the bottom

Postby Casual Madman » Tue May 29, 2018 7:06 am

I get the concept - I've often thought that if I had a 7-string, I'd add a high .009 to a set of .011s and increase the upper register instead of the lower.

The only flaw I see in that notion is, with an extra-bass-string 7, you can still play the traditional 6-string chord shapes that are hardwired into most guitar players (older ones, anyway). That'd be a bigger challenge with an added high A string.

This wouldn't be a factor at all on a bass, though. Go for it! Get high and funky on that B string.

User avatar
Posts: 10880
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: In and around the lake

Re: Basses - 5th string on the TOP, not the bottom

Postby ElfDude » Tue May 29, 2018 7:44 am

I remember Geddy Lee saying the same thing back in the 80s when asked about a 5-string bass... said he'd right have a string in the higher register rather than a low B.

Now if I only had something useful to contribute to the conversation... :lol:
Aries A6H, CS6M, SH445, Contour 66, AE185, DC135, CT4M, Bolt, Bolt T, SH225, LB76F, Nomad, VT16 Head, V410, Pro Bass 100
Midlife Crisis on Facebook
The Tri-Chevys on Facebook

Return to The Backstage Lounge

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests