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Stub Mandrel

Suggestions for Songs to learn for a 5-string

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I want to improve my 5-string playing.

Can anyone suggest some songs to play along to that are (1) fairly well known (2) make genuine use of a five string (not just ordinary songs with a dropped D, for example) and (3) are reasonably easy to learn.

I suppose the ideal would be a nice walking line that takes you right across the fretboard and have an accurate tab available..

 

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I'd suggest practising anything you play on a four but five frets up.  The best thing about a fiver is not having to go down low even though you have those low notes waiting for you!

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Most nickleback songs, a bucket load of R&B, try Don’t let go by En Vogue , but especially modern stuff and more and more country music these days

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Anything. Don’t treat it like that. Play low E at the 5 fret, F at the 6th etc. Play across the fretboard, rather than along.

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Try any soul/Motown stuff in Eb. I used my 5 string more for a big soul/disco band than any other genre, purely because the band moved the keys around so much. I could really use the B string then to give the songs some oomph in the lower keys.

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Is it really that rare to find songs that actually use five strings, rather than just contriving a four-string song to fit?

It's not very motivating to just change things I already play, or drop them down a few tones, and scales get really boring really fast...

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Posted (edited)

We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel
Give Into Me by Michael Jackson
Human by Human League 
2geter by NPG
Two Hearts by Phil Collins
Gettin Away from It by Electronic
Many Santana last 4-5 albums songs are with a lot of low notes 
Devil's Pie, Lady, Higher by D'Angelo
Last album of Daft Punk - Random Access Memories - lot of low notes by Nathan East and James Genus. (Especially Nathan play a lot of low accents in his bass lines). 
Lot's of modern soul, R&B and Pop music have a lot of low notes too. It's hard to list. Maby because most of the songs don't need nothing below low E ;)
Well that's for sure. Those songs without those low rumble notes don't exist. But for me I don't like how those low notes interfere with a band. Most of the time it doesn't work and sound at all. But some songs sound good with notes below E. 

I know this from my personal experience that most of the songs sounds good in standard tuning. Just a couple of times maby MD's wanna low Eb or D in one or two songs but that's it. That's why I still don't have 5 sting bass. Just tune down when I need some lower notes. But that's just me ;) And I played everything from punk, rock, blues, funk, reagge and everything between. 

Edited by jb90
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1 hour ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Is it really that rare to find songs that actually use five strings, rather than just contriving a four-string song to fit?

It's not very motivating to just change things I already play, or drop them down a few tones, and scales get really boring really fast...

May as well disregard mine and @jb90 posts then....

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I am struggling a bit...  We Didn't Start the Fire doesn't seem to go below E and 95% of Like  prayer doesn't have bass in it (although what there is is simple and fun).

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2 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Is it really that rare to find songs that actually use five strings, rather than just contriving a four-string song to fit?

It's not very motivating to just change things I already play, or drop them down a few tones, and scales get really boring really fast...

Another brick in the wall

Summer of 69

Or take any song that you don't already know and play it on a five-string, which is what I do.

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47 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

I am struggling a bit...  We Didn't Start the Fire doesn't seem to go below E and 95% of Like  prayer doesn't have bass in it (although what there is is simple and fun).

And there you go - most things don’t need a 5er and drop tuning will do

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2 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

It's not very motivating to just change things I already play, or drop them down a few tones, and scales get really boring really fast...

Are you saying that without trying though?  I get a lot of joy out of finding tonal subtleties from using the heavier strings further up the neck.

I second the Eflat thing like @NJE said though.  Go to Motown on it.

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2 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Is it really that rare to find songs that actually use five strings, rather than just contriving a four-string song to fit?

Its really rare to find songs that actually use 3 strings, rather than contriving 2 string songs to fit!

 

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The songs I do in my band that I can't do on a 4 string are poker face (actually possible but not as easy), baker street (again possible if I miss out some of the accents), Brick in the wall, Moondance (yes, it can be done on a 4, but if you have got used to it on a 5 it is a real faff on a 4), black magic woman (for the same reason).

There are some others that if I am paying attention I can play on a 4 string without messing up, but would seem a bit odd to limit myself. I used to play with a 4 or a 5, but because we randomly change songs at the last minute I have no idea what is going to be called out, so I don't have time to change, as a result I haven't got to play a 4 string live for a while.

My other group is Motown and disco, I wouldn't try that without a 5 string. 

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1 hour ago, Stub Mandrel said:

I am struggling a bit...  We Didn't Start the Fire doesn't seem to go below E and 95% of Like  prayer doesn't have bass in it (although what there is is simple and fun).

Just listen carefully. Almost whole chorus is based on open E, low D and low C. 

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Out of curiosity....why did you buy a 5 string?

Si

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Surely the main point of a 5 is to change how you play, not what you play? 

But if you want songs that use notes below the bottom E then, from memory of doing them a long time ago, Frankies 'Two Tribes' and QOTSAs 'No One Knows' need a lower note. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

... Like  prayer doesn't have bass in it (although what there is is simple and fun).

Guy Pratt might disagree with you there as he wrote and recorded the original line using an octave pedal. 

Edited by lemmywinks
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11 hours ago, jb90 said:

Just listen carefully. Almost whole chorus is based on open E, low D and low C. 

I'll take your word for it - I looked at six different tabs and they were all for a 4-string.

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11 hours ago, Maude said:

Surely the main point of a 5 is to change how you play, not what you play? 

I want to learn how people make use of the opportunities a 5-string offers. Seems they don't go much further than using a few extra low notes.

My noodling turned up some possibilities in order of reducing practicality:

Those low notes are great for creating a pulse or atmosphere, much as you might use an octaver for.

Using the low B string for dropping down instead of going up. You can play a typical I IV V all at the same fret if it starts on the E string - problem is it doesn't generally sound as good so use with care...

Two and a half octaves is a long way for riffs that use the whole of a position on the neck, hard to come up with something that sounds 'solid' but a call and response approach works.

Lots more harmonics to play with - the low B gives some lovely strong ones right up to the second fret which have a sort of 'phased' character.

One can (I won't put 'I can') use it as a sort of baby Chapman Stick.

 

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