Re: 4 or 5?

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Posted by Asbestos Man on August 28, 2000 at 00:42:30:

In Reply to: 4 or 5? posted by Jill on August 26, 2000 at 21:47:38:

A 4 string is *really* all you need. Even if you're not just pounding out the root of the guitar chord, your groove will tend to revolve around that root most often, and you rarely tend to go lower.
However, the extra low B on a fiver can be extremely useful. For example, when you're starting on the upbeat (ie, on the 4 of "1,2,3,4") of a riff in E, you can play a bit of a "D, D#" before going into the riff. This is a fairly simple example, but you get the idea. This sort of a trick also tends to be popular as a bit of a change in the third bit of a chorus, or whatever.
Another advantage is you don't have to downtune to play the root of a chord played in dropped-D tuning.
The greatest advantage of the low B string though, in my opinion, is it's texture. It's a pretty low note, one that isn't that easy to hear, so the bits of it you hear best are the sounds and not the note. The B string tends to be quite loose and thick, so the sound it makes when played open is extremely purcussive, and gives a sot of low rumble. That's what I mostly use my low B for.
I agree that it's best to start on a 5-string if you ever intend to move onto one. I didn't, and it took me ages to learn to take advantage of the fiver.

Ibanez, in my humble opinion, make great low-end guitars but not such great high-enders. They are also light and have fairly thin necks. This makes them great first basses.

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