Quantcast

The John Lennon Education Tour Bus

Next Destination: McCallum High School and Fine Arts Academy

Austin, TX

 

Blog

March 25, 2012

Five String Basses Bais

Written by Kyle Baudour

 

Five string basses

ORGIN STORY
I play bass quite a bit and it is one of those instruments that fell into my lap. Everyone seemed to always need a bassist and I had always had wanted to play in whatever band that I could. The first bass that I ever bought (and still love) was the
Epiphone Viola Bass. It is an amazing little bass and the short scale neck always worked for the type of music that I was playing at the time (either Brit Pop or Post-Punk). But as time went on, I started to realize the limitations of having a four stringed bass.

NASHVILLE LEARNED ME WELL
After spending some time seeing bands play in Nashville, I noticed that the five-string bass was the most common bass to be playing. Session musician after session musician would bring a five-string on stage and I noticed there were reasons for this.
The five string bass has a factor that allows for more versatility than a normal four-string bass in how one is able to play certain notes while not having to move the hand. Let us take a look at this little fret-board chart that I created:


from high string to low

On a typical four-string bass, we only go as low as that E that is at the bottom, so that when staying in first position (the first few notes), the lowest of low notes that can be hit is the E. With the introduction of the fifth string, the lowest note is now a B which allows for an easy follow up into the E on the fifth fret (which translates over to our normal low E string).


Watch this in action in a video that we did with a group of students at USC, Marjorie by Brett Fromson and The Monday Night Boys Club .

See how the bassist is able to stay in one position and clearly make a sonic mark in the song by hitting super low notes to match the kick while being able to do runs up and down the neck without having to get into the more treble-y 12th fret range? That is the advantage of the low B string on the bass.

PRACTICAL USE
For session work, this is necessary. If an artist comes in with a song that is drop-tuned or requires a deeper sound that a typical song, the five-string allows the bassist to be ready to play right away, versus the four-string bassist having to retune.

As any studio should, we have a selection of basses to deal with any need for any song. To make sure that we are ready, we got the Gibson Tobais Growler bass as our five-string. The pick-up controls allow us for quite a few different tone choices as well, though I think the round-low bottom end is really where it is at for this bass.

Next entry: Learn About It, Guitar!

Recent Posts

  • You Are Here: Gulf Shores, AL Gulf Shores, AL - Hang Out Music Festival 2013 May 17. 18 & 19th 2013 Is it that birds go north for the summer and south for the winter? We disobeyed the birds and went south for the summer. The summer’s start took us to the white sand beaches of …
  • You Are Here: Owensboro, KY Howdy! The weather is so great in Kentucky! I was expecting humidity & terrible skies but we only had a glimpse of rain in the evening after a day of sunshine. Also, Johnny Depp was born in Owensboro & it is also the BBQ Capital of the world (l am …
  • The iOS Experiment - What Would YOU Create in 15 Minutes? As the saying goes, the only constant thing is change.  Trying something new that you’ve never done before is very much a part of our way of life, and we like to bring the students we work with that same exciting kind of experience. When given an iOS device for …
  • Lennon Bus Games: Creating Dreamwalker As we set forth our feet into the depths of 2013, we now come upon our first video game based stop of the year.  These game design students of Connally High School have already started their journey towards becoming integral parts of this exciting new platform.  The Lennon Bus was …
  • Learn About It, Guitar! On board the Lennon Bus, we get a lot of visitors who want to learn to play the guitar.  As the most popular instrument in the world, that’s not a surprise.  To get you started, we teamed with NAMM and Epiphone to bring you this short video.  Start practicing!   …
  • Five String Basses Bais Five string basses ORGIN STORY I play bass quite a bit and it is one of those instruments that fell into my lap. Everyone seemed to always need a bassist and I had always had wanted to play in whatever band that I could. The first bass that I ever …
  • Poem for SXSW From top left: Cruisin’ USA, Lissy Truillie ,  Rachael Sage, Birds of Chiacgo, Wheeler Brothers We made it through SXSW today Live streaming and recording everyday Todocast folk helped beam signals around Live streams from everyday can now be found On our website It was all right So do go …
  • THE FUTURE: Part 1: Introducing: The Firebird X 1. Preconceived notions are tricky beasts that play dangerous games with your judgment, on the bus or off the bus. Off the bus, that would be an entire other story of value judgments, critiques and a book length idea about making decisions. 2. This is a blog post 2.a. (Ceci …
  • A Delay and Waylay That Wa LA: SAE & McDSP Like that, like some strange flash, we were gone from Southern California. We had been there for a full month, we rarely spend such an amount of time in one area but it was the start of the year, the landscape of the southern part of the state is expanse …
  • POW POW: PREs and Sunshine and Literature I sit enthralled in the front studio of the bus, I sit enthralled reading Eugenides’ new book “The Marriage Plot.” I sit so enthralled that I do not realize that we were sitting at the University of Southern California campus until I look up and noticed the markings of the …