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Re: 5th String?

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Posted by Bob Gollihur ( on April 16, 2002 at 11:08:36:

In Reply to: 5th String? posted by Alan on April 16, 2002 at 10:36:07:

: What should be done with the 5th string?
: I've read (and heard) where some players use a high C string.
: Any comments?

There are five string basses with either a low B or high C; the need for either is up to the player and their musical needs.

Orchestral music often goes below E or requests a doubling of notes below E- some players add an extension to their E string to get to varying depths. A low B string can offer some positional advantages, e.g., less shifting to play a passage.

There have been jazz players, particularly, who enjoy the extra range and utility that a high C string offers- Kay made "Chubby Jackson" five string basses about 50 years ago for that crowd.

While I enjoy the low B on some of my bass guitars, I personally don't feel the need to have one on my acoustic instruments. However, I've sold quite a few five string basses recently and the majority of them had low B rather than high C.

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