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What F is sounds best for a bass guitar/electric bass. First fret on E string (sounds too dark) or third on D string (sounds too bright). The tune is in F minor and the next chord is Eb.

Some choices are

  • F1 -> Eb2 (huge jump that I do not like because it screws things up)
  • F1 -> Bb1 (More moderate jump, with the fiths "the second best" is in the bass)
  • F1 -> Eb1 (downtune)
  • F2 -> Eb2 (high-pitched, may collide with other instruments)
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It's common courtesy to explain downvotes-- regardless of how obvious it seems. –  American Luke Oct 2 '12 at 17:12
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I didn't downvote, but - no F is "recommended" over any other. Use the F that sounds best to you in the context of whatever it is you're playing. –  slim Oct 3 '12 at 14:18
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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Try the F that's at the eighth fret on the A string. It's the same pitch as the F on the D string, but because the A string is heavier, the sound will be thicker than the one on the D string.

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I'd say it also depends on the song you're playing. If you like the F on the A string, then consider playing the song (or at least that section of the song) from that upper position - 1st finger on the 8th fret. –  ZaijiaN Sep 30 '12 at 16:53
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You can also get different timbres depending on how you attack the string.

Plucking closer to the bridge will emphasize more upper harmonics (this may help the F at the E-string 1st-fret to sound less "dark", but it may sound "hollow").

Conversely, plucking further from the bridge (above the 17th or 18th fret) will de-emphasize the upper harmonics (the may help the F at the D-string 3rd-fret to sound less "bright" and more "sweet").

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This question doesn't make much sense - all the F's are for playing, and some will work better than others for certain songs, or on certain bass guitars.

You may want to look at:

  • Your amplification, tone or equalisers - you can make a bass sound deep or muddy or light and twangy purely through your amp circuitry.

  • Thickness of strings also makes a difference to depth of note.

My suggestion would be to try the various different F positions and see which works for this song.

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