A 5-string bass, or extended-range bass, has an extra string that allows it to reach well below the standard bottom E and create a deep-sounding B. Not only can it play lower-written parts, but its low sound also adds an extra dynamic to an orchestra or ensemble.
Playing a Wider Neck
The extra string adds millimeters to the neck’s width. At first, this can be a bit of an adjustment, but it also reduces the reach needed to hit both high and low notes at once. Larger passages, like a two-octave run, can also be played from one hand position, greatly simplifying the mode of play and offering more complexity.
An Alternative to Extensions
A 5-string arrangement provides an alternative to fingered and mechanical extensions. Mechanical extensions can mean extra weight, and they can be potentially noisy. Repair work may also be more difficult to find. On a fingered extension, as well, opening and closing the E clamp may lead to intonation problems. And again, extensions take longer to reach in fast passages.
Range and Character
The extra-deep range of a 5-String Bass In Avondale Estates, GA, opens up possibilities for low-playing parts in C. Patterns can now play lower and become more distinct when not competing with mid-range instruments. The effect can change the character of a verse, chorus or song.
- Fingering patterns for scales and intervals remain the same.
- All strings tune in fourths, which allows tuning with harmonics.
- The extra string extends past the range of a C extension to a B.
A Local Specialist
Open since 2017 and owned by a luthier, musician and veteran orchestra teacher for public schools, the Avondale Estates specialist in old and new string instruments is committed to guiding students and providing superbly crafted instrumental hardware. The modern shop is located in Dekalb County, inside the Avondale Estates I-285 perimeter, east of Decatur. To purchase or service a beautifully made 5-string bass in Avondale Estates, GA, contact Ronald Sachs Violins Sugar Hill at (678) 585-6097 or online at Ronaldsachs.com.
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