Quantcast

The John Lennon Education Tour Bus

Next Destination:
 

Blog

March 25, 2012

Five String Basses Bais

Written by The Lennon Bus

 

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

  • Featured Video: “Black Skin” by Josh Berkeley This one is from JLSC Power to the People weekly winner Joshua Berkeley.  Learn more about Josh at his website https://www.joshberkeley.com/.  Watch the video of his hauntingly beautiful song right here. read more
  • Featured Video: “Shining Light” by Grover Cleveland HS Students from Grover Cleveland High School create an original song & music video in one day Students from Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, New York create an instantly catchy original song and music video in one single day on The Lennon Bus during our Come Together NYC residency. Special …
  • From the Big Apple to the City of Brotherly Love YES, that’s him! Kevin Gates joins Lennon Bus & GRAMMY Music Education Coalition as Artist Ambassador. Imagine a whole month of peace, love and creativity. The Lennon Bus spent September and October visiting students from all five boroughs of New York City while shining a light on student activism, anti-gun …
  • Special Edition ‘Imagine a City With No Gun Violence’ orange t-shirts are now available! Join our crew with your very own Lennon Bus t-shirt! These comfortable and breathable shirts are wearable works of art featuring John Lennon’s self portrait on the front and ‘Imagine a City With No Gun Violence’ on the back in a special edition ORANGE t-shirt. Every purchase helps support the …
  • Imagine a City With No Gun Violence On September 16th, student activists, celebrities, elected officials, anti-gun violence groups and advocates for peace joined the Lennon Bus at NY City Hall for a round table discussion and a rally to take the next step towards ending gun violence and enacting actionable change. IMAGINE A CITY WITH NO GUN …
  • Coming Up: The 6th annual Come Together NYC Tour The Lennon Bus returns to NYC once again to kick off the 6th annual Come Together NYC Tour in partnership with the Mayor’s Office, City Council, and Department of Cultural Affairs. On September 16th, the Lennon Bus will Imagine a City With No Gun Violence at City Hall along with …
  • Featured Video: “Peace & Love” by Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center In honor of Ringo Starr’s birthday, students from the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center came onboard The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus to write, record and shoot a music video as a special gift. “Peace & Love” was brought to life and the students had the once in a lifetime …
  • Lennon Bus ‘Cultural After School Adventures’ in NYC The Lennon Bus wraps up its third year of providing students in the City of NY with a semester long Cultural After School Adventures (CASA) program with support from the Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC Council and Speaker of the NYC Council Corey Johnson. Over the course of the Spring …
  • Check out the Lennon Bus Instagram! FRESH CONTENT ALERT!  Be sure to follow @lennonbus on Instagram to view all of our latest insta-series, including KIDS TALK. If this doesn’t make you smile from ear to ear we honestly don’t know what will! Stay tuned for new stories, highlights and posts each week.   Join us! read …
  • Featured Video: “Dancing in the Rain” - Rockwall High School Rockwall High School students from Texas create an original song and music video in one single day on The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus. Check out their incredible a cappella performance! Special thanks to the Texas Association of School Administrators, Apple, OWC, Yamaha, Securematics, Audio-Technica, Genelec, NAMM Foundation and Neutrik …