This is one of those things I probably should've realised a long time ago, and plenty of people probably already do know, but for those of you that don't, I discovered a little tip for learning some covers the other day. We were chucking around the idea of doing a version of Police and Thieves, and to get a starting point, I was looking at the tab and spotted those annoying 10's and 9's. On a bass guitar, not a problem, but on a proper bass, once you get to around the B on the E string (or where the 7th fret would be if there were any) you kinda run out of easily accessible neck, as demoed by this handy diagram:
Once you're past that point, for a lot of players (or maybe just hacks like me) intonation tends to get a little ropey, so we try and stay in the lower (pitch-wise) regions of the strings so we don't have to get all hunkered down over the bass.
After a few seconds of my brain churning, I realised that if that note on the 10th fret of the A string (G) was that far "down", it had to show up on the D string further "up", et voilà, 5th fret on the D is G, and the others are all around, but the trick that for some reason hadn't clicked for me until then, was that all you have to do, to work out where a note is on the next highest string (assuming you know which fret it's meant to be on), is -5.