#1
i've had an ibanez sr505 for about a year now, and after initially loving the five string freedom ive started to really get pissed off with it.
heres why.

my band plays in drop tunings like drop C# which on a 5 string bass means you have to down tune the bottom (fattest) string to a G#, making it flappy as hell.
we play metalcore/deathcore stuff, so a lot of the riffs are (stereotypically) pedalling on thickest string of the guitar with a bit of melody on the string up.
this pretty much makes my bottom G# string useless. it gets in the way and it sounds horrible.

i got a five string because i was told it allows you to get the lower notes when playing with drop tuned guitars. if i kept the bass in standard BEADG then i'd have to be a technical genius to keep up with the guitars, but if i tune down to drop C# my bass sounds crap, and i hardly ever play the bottom string.
theres no point in me having a 5er if im not going to make use of it.

what do i do?
im sort of contemplating selling this sr505, buying a four string and getting some thicker strings, but i do like the ibanez i have at the moment.

some advice'd be good, sorry if none of this makes sense.
'If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.' Albert Einstein
#2
Get some thicker string for the lowest two strings. This will make them less floppy.
Don't sell the bass IMO.
#3
but if i dont need to use the bottom string then its just there to make the neck thicker (bad) and make me look like i dont know how to use a five string, and only have it because of an ego (also bad)
#4
I like playing in C# standard and have a 4 string for that. I also have a 5 string in standard which I use to play along with guitars in drop B. That part is pretty much just preference.

I suppose my only question is: why do you have to have all the strings tuned in a traditional way?

e.g. intead of tuning to G#,C#,G#,C#,F#
what about leaving it at B,C#,G#,C#,F#? Different options and would only take a little getting used to.
Or even getting lighter strings and tuning C#,G#,C#,F#,B?
Just a couple of ideas.
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Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

**** you gilly, it's not what you think
#5
Quote by gilly_90
I like playing in C# standard and have a 4 string for that. I also have a 5 string in standard which I use to play along with guitars in drop B. That part is pretty much just preference.

I suppose my only question is: why do you have to have all the strings tuned in a traditional way?

e.g. intead of tuning to G#,C#,G#,C#,F#
what about leaving it at B,C#,G#,C#,F#? Different options and would only take a little getting used to.
Or even getting lighter strings and tuning C#,G#,C#,F#,B?


~ B,C#,G#,C#,F# i really dont think i'd use the B at all.
~ C#,G#,C#,F#,B interesting, hadnt thought of that... i might give it a go, but really dont think id use the high B.

thanks for your advice : )

still want a 4 string though : \
'If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.' Albert Einstein
#6
Even if you don't use the extra string now, surely there's no reason not to have it? You might be in a different band in the future and it might come in really handy, or you want to do a solo and need just one semitone higher, etc.
Quote by UraniYum
Fuck you I'm trying to be caring and shit


Quote by Cb4rabid
Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

**** you gilly, it's not what you think
#7
Quote by gilly_90
Even if you don't use the extra string now, surely there's no reason not to have it? You might be in a different band in the future and it might come in really handy, or you want to do a solo and need just one semitone higher, etc.

thats true, yeah.

stringwise, what do you recommend? what guage do you use for your C# standard, and would that work for drop C#? what guages would i use?
i've currently got D'addario flatwounds that cost me quite a bit... is it possible to take strings off and use different ones, and then put them back on again?
i probably wont have flatwounds again (not that i dont like them, im just going for a different sound now)

thanks
'If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.' Albert Einstein
#8
I'm currently using 55-110 for C#, though next string change, I'm planning on upping to 60-115 if I can find some.

Actually, 55-110 might be nice for drop C#. It also depends on what you are planning to do with the 5th string.

As for taking off strings, then using them again, depending on what type of bridge you have (i supose) and if you wash then store them correctly, I see no reason why it wouldn't work, but I'm no expert there.
Quote by UraniYum
Fuck you I'm trying to be caring and shit


Quote by Cb4rabid
Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

**** you gilly, it's not what you think
#9
have you tried making the lowest sting C#, and tuning say C#, Ab, Db, Gd, Cb, or something?

the solution to floppy strings s a higher gauge, but B strings will allways feel 'floppy' to some degree cos they have to vibrate at such a low frequency.
Last edited by jimRH7 at Aug 16, 2009,
#10
have you tried making the lowest sting C#, and tuning say C#, Ab, Db, Gd, Cb, or something?

yeah, this is what gilly suggested.
i just need to find out what string guages i'd be looking for to make this possible...
'If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.' Albert Einstein
#11
maybe get a 6 string set and use 5 of them that work the best?
Quote by UraniYum
Fuck you I'm trying to be caring and shit


Quote by Cb4rabid
Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

**** you gilly, it's not what you think
#12
In a band that mostly has the bass double the guitar the whole time the fifth string is useless, IMO. If you're creative you could probably squeeze those low G#'s and things in there but that would probably not add anything. I play a five-string myself and I love the range in chordal music, and for fast riff-based music I'd really prefer four strings.

Again, my opinion.

J.
#13
Quote by Sewe Dae
In a band that mostly has the bass double the guitar the whole time the fifth string is useless, IMO. If you're creative you could probably squeeze those low G#'s and things in there but that would probably not add anything. I play a five-string myself and I love the range in chordal music, and for fast riff-based music I'd really prefer four strings.

Again, my opinion.

J.


yeah, i very much agree. i played a show of 60's motown and my bass was great for that - i was really pleased with the range.
however, motwn isnt really what i care about.
with my metalcore band i just get pissed off with ****, flappy tone, not being able to keep up (i have small hands, its hard to get around a 5 string) and never using the lowest string.

: (
'If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.' Albert Einstein
#14
I think a pertinent question is: what role are you supposed to be playing as the bassist in your band? Years ago, when I was starting out as a bassist, I recorded four songs with the blues-rock band I was in at the time, and I was very unhappy that the producer made my bass so soft in the mix considering all the heavy grooves and fills I did in the songs. It only occurred to me later that my style of playing was much more suited to prog-metal than blues-rock and that I really hadn't been in touch with my role in the music. I should have taken a back seat and respected songs.

That said, your band might have a lot of space in its music for you as the bassist to experiment, which is where you can really use the fifth string, either as a low or a high one. In this sense you might add a great jazz/prog/fusion edge to the traditional metalcore style BUT you need to honestly look at your music and ask if there's room for it. As bassists we must very often be content with being backup and supporting what the other instruments are doing rather than stepping forward and in so doing risk making our music lose cohesion altogether.
Last edited by Sewe Dae at Aug 16, 2009,
#15
Quote by Sewe Dae
I think a pertinent question is: what role are you supposed to be playing as the bassist in your band? Years ago, when I was starting out as a bassist, I recorded four songs with the blues-rock band I was in at the time, and I was very unhappy that the producer made my bass so soft in the mix considering all the heavy grooves and fills I did in the songs. It only occurred to me later that my style of playing was much more suited to prog-metal than blues-rock and that I really hadn't been in touch with my role in the music. I should have taken a back seat and respected songs.

That said, your band might have a lot of space in its music for you as the bassist to experiment, which is where you can really use the fifth string, either as a low or a high one. In this sense you might add a great jazz/prog/fusion edge to the traditional metalcore style BUT you need to honestly look at your music and ask if there's room for it. As bassists we must very often be content with being backup and supporting what the other instruments are doing rather than stepping forward and in so doing risk making our music lose cohesion altogether.


yeah, im no prog god...
i do want to just be back up, which is why i want to be able to follow the guitar riffs as closely as i can, and am not interested in individuality or complex bass solos or anything.
my band dont really have space for experimentalism; mostly its very fast melodic riffs, the odd softer chorus and complex breakdowns. sort of august burns red, without the crazy time sigs...
'If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.' Albert Einstein
#16
You'll probably have to look at getting the lowest string C# then. What guages are you using now?
#17
i started another thread due to this one now being totally unrelated to the title... go there please, sorry if that was the wrong thing to do.
'If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.' Albert Einstein
#19
From what i can understand, you should really probably play with the C# string as your lowest note.

I was gonna give out BTBAM as an example of a metalcore(ish) bassist using the same C# tuning as your band does, but in standard instead of drop, which could inspire you to do all the melodic riffing and filling that some of the others have suggested you could do, but ... youve opted to follow the guitars. Which is fine to an extent but there was a thread in here a while ago with a guy who was sick of following guitars ... to each their own.

Anyway, C# should probably be tuned to with either .115 gauge or .110 gauge strings. If you intend to tune to the high B or whatever, youd probably have to hope your local store has 6 string sets or just order one in from juststrings.

If the fifth string set up really does feel useless for your kinda application, maybe dont sell it and try and pick up another bass? I really liked the sr600, really thin neck pretty light and all that mess. I still wouldnt sell the 505 though cause you could end up needing it. Lets say your band wants to tune to drop B to be more brutalz?
"Rome wasn't built in a week"

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Last edited by Thegian at Aug 16, 2009,
#20
I'm amazed nobodies suggested that a fifth string, other than for extra possible notes, is also there for ease of playing?

Extra string = less shifting necessary. You can play higher up the neck and you've got a wider range of notes without needing to shift your hand. Also, it's got more tonal possibilities (thicker string played higher up the neck = fatter sound with a bit less twang).

I dunno, man. If you can play a 5-string alright, then it's still got more possibilities.
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