Go Back   TalkBass Forums > Bass Guitar Forums > Bass Guitar Forums > Basses [BG]
Register Rules/FAQ/CUP Members List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read



Supporting Membership
Thank You

Latest Supporting Member
Donate to Upgrade Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 01-02-2014, 08:19 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: mississippi, usa
just bought a 5 string. need some advice.

Been playing 4 string bass for a year after moving from guitar. Just picked up a 5 string to see if it made scale runs and inversions easier. It did. Question is: whats the downside? Am i ruining myself as it pertains to the four string? Any advice is welcome.
  #2  
Old 01-02-2014, 08:22 PM
bwoodman's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Supporting Member
Ruining? No. Downsides? None, except you'll find that you pick up the 5 more than the 4 - at least that's what happened to me. Once you have that low B, you'll miss NOT having it available.
  #3  
Old 01-02-2014, 08:24 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: mississippi, usa
wow

After two days with it thats the feeling i am getting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwoodman View Post
Ruining? No. Downsides? None, except you'll find that you pick up the 5 more than the 4 - at least that's what happened to me. Once you have that low B, you'll miss NOT having it available.
  #4  
Old 01-02-2014, 08:26 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Philladelphia, PA
I'd say no because you still have the four strings you're used to. Now you can just go lower or start a scale/run in different positions.
  #5  
Old 01-02-2014, 08:26 PM
kikstand454's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Supporting Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwoodman View Post
Ruining? No. Downsides? None, except you'll find that you pick up the 5 more than the 4 - at least that's what happened to me. Once you have that low B, you'll miss NOT having it available.
Exactly this.

Since you're still pretty new...it won't be hard to grasp the 5, and it will set you free in so many ways!
Embrace the 5 and let go of the 4! Do it!
__________________
~Dave
Creatures of Habit, Tallahassee, Florida
  #6  
Old 01-02-2014, 08:26 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Philladelphia, PA
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwoodman View Post
Ruining? No. Downsides? None, except you'll find that you pick up the 5 more than the 4 - at least that's what happened to me. Once you have that low B, you'll miss NOT having it available.

+1000
  #7  
Old 01-02-2014, 09:43 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: mississippi, usa
5 strings

I am feeling a lot of 5 string love!
  #8  
Old 01-02-2014, 09:47 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Certainly you won't ruin yourself for anything, but as a 33-year bassist who owns mostly fours, a couple of fives, and one six, I still reach for one of the four-bangers more often than not.
__________________
Tuning a mellotron doesn't. - Robert Fripp
  #9  
Old 01-02-2014, 09:59 PM
bwoodman's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Supporting Member
Yep! Long story short, I discovered the 5 back in 1985-ish after listening to a lot of Jimmy Johnson and Nathan East. I had been playing a 4 since I started in 1978 at age 14. My first 5 was the early Ibanez RB885 ( I think that's the correct model # ) then discovered the Guild Pilot 5 around 1987 - got that - then discovered Tobias at a NAMM show around 1988 - got a Tobias Basic 5 (shoulda kept that one!), which lead to buying a pair of Killer B5s, which I still have - and last year picked up a couple of EB/MusicMan Sterling 5Hs. I also picked up a EB/MM Sabre Classic (4 of course) last year + I have a couple of parts basses - a 4 string PJ and a Jazz. My go-to bass is always a 5 though - either my Toby or MusicMan Sterling (I dig the MM a lot). I'm not on the low B a lot, but it sure is nice to have it. I find myself scanning the given set list for a gig and figuring out which songs I need to play the 5 on and which ones I can "deal" with the 4, so I can give the new Sabre some play time - love that bass - had a pre-EB Sabre back in the 80s (shoulda kept that one too!).....have fun with your fiver!
  #10  
Old 01-02-2014, 10:12 PM
Ric5's Avatar
Supporting Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Colorado
Supporting Member
My advice ... play the 5 and forget the 4.
__________________
Clubs - 5 String, Black and Maple, Rickenbacker
Jeff Rath's web site http://www.3dentourage.com/425
Older basses are not better, they are just older.
  #11  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:24 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Supporting Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by FretlessMainly View Post
Certainly you won't ruin yourself for anything, but as a 33-year bassist who owns mostly fours, a couple of fives, and one six, I still reach for one of the four-bangers more often than not.
Yeah, I play both 4s and 5s, but pretty much only play 5ers when I need the lower notes...


- georgestrings
  #12  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:30 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Seattle, WA
Send a message via AIM to alembicbones Send a message via Yahoo to alembicbones
I started down the path of 5 strings in the mid 90's. Since then, I've found 4 string basses limiting. However, that is just my personal feeling. There are far too many players who strictly play 4 string basses that will play circles around me. I have found my niche though. I'm currently in the process of selling my last 4 stringer.

Bones
__________________
Lover of Alembics, Seahawk Fan, 5 String Club #73
  #13  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:34 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Michigan USA
I play both. I prefer the 4 string for funk and speed. 5 string is good for getting that lower note and has more flexibility.
That being said, when I grab a bass from my collection for practice, I usually go for the 4 - slimmer neck, lighter weight. (however, at times I find myself wanting that extra string)
Really though, it's not a bad idea to have one of each and it's easy to switch back and forth between the two.
  #14  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:43 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ric5 View Post
My advice ... play the 5 and forget the 4.
My advice ... play the 4 and forget the 5.

See what you get here?
__________________
Tuning a mellotron doesn't. - Robert Fripp
  #15  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:47 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Supporting Member
5 Forever.

It's extra notes on the bottom. I love pulling one of those low ones to help define the end of a tune.

It's extra timbre options - get a fatter sound playing high frets on the lower strings.

It's more chordal flexibility as you can drop a fourth or fifth with double or triple stops, without major hand movement up or down the neck.

It's more ways to skin the proverbial cat…although you do have to pay more attention to muting, it seems worth it.

It's just plain cool!
__________________
WWJD...What Would Jamerson Do?

Last edited by Joebone : 01-02-2014 at 11:50 PM.
  #16  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:52 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Pacific Northwest USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdabilder View Post
Question is: whats the downside? ....
The tangible downside: a new set of strings costs more (true)

The intangible downside: some ignorant assumption that you must be a better bassist to play a 5 string... (false)

It's really that simple.

Just play your bass, don't count strings, just play that mutha
__________________
Current favorite tune: "If Anything" by Leni Stern w/ Dennis Chambers, Wayne Krantz, Lincoln Goines
  #17  
Old 01-02-2014, 11:55 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Morrisburg, Ontario
When I first discovered 5 string basses, it was in the nineties, I didn't care for them much (I didn't like the tight string spacing). In 2007 I played Fender 5 String and really liked it (and bought it), the string spacing is very similar to a 4 string Fender. I liked it because it was easier to go back to the 4, I didn't have to re accustom myself to the different right hand spacings. There is something about the neck that gives me better tone (maybe it is my imagination but the Bigger the neck, the
Better the tone). Also, I agree with the guy above, four strings are faster (in my opinion) and they are a bit better for slap too.

All that said, no it won't ruin you one bit, it will make you more open minded towards the instrument and maybe even a better musician.

Good luck
  #18  
Old 01-03-2014, 12:08 AM
huckleberry1's Avatar
Registered User

student
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Mesquite, Texas
Supporting Member
I started playing 5vers a year ago and all my basses except for 1 are 5vers. Muting was an issue but I solved that with a wrist band.
__________________
for sale: GK MB 115 II & GK 410 MBP Powered Cab
  #19  
Old 01-03-2014, 12:16 AM
Fair Warning's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Los Angeles, California
Supporting Member
I bounce back and forth between a 5 and a 4. Its all the same to me, except I like to use the 4 since it is smaller for the hands and simpler. I use the 5 for gigs where I need the lowere notes. Thats about all..

I need both......
__________________
Carvin PB5-PB4 / Lakland / Ovation Magnum / RIC / BC Rich USA / Fender Jag / B-E-A-D / VT Bass / Ampeg SVT / REDDI

X
  #20  
Old 01-03-2014, 12:23 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdabilder View Post
Been playing 4 string bass for a year after moving from guitar. Just picked up a 5 string to see if it made scale runs and inversions easier. It did. Question is: whats the downside? Am i ruining myself as it pertains to the four string? Any advice is welcome.
It is a correct question. When there are different ways of doing things (example traditional vs matched grip for drums) you find that each as it's own set of advatnages and disadvantages. Same with 4 and 5 strings. Think of it as playing a different instrument sort of like sax and clarinet. They both sort of work the same but are different too.

You are discovering some of the advantages of 5+ strings. Playing across the neck is a true advantage. It's not just about a couple of extra low notes, though they have their uses as well.

http://www.mrk-inc.com/users/fjacoby/NString.pdf

A disadvantage of 5 strings is that strings cost more and are harder to find locally. Also string damping becomes more difficult although using the B string for a thumbrest solves a lot of that on a 5er. for more strings you need to develop damping techniques.

I don't think that 5s slap as easy as a 4 although many players do slap 5s. As for me I haven't played 4s for years (except for my 8 string) and don't plan to, but I've noticed that given a situation where there are classic basslines from the masters, with a 5er I have a bad tendency to "improve" the bassline. Needless to say this is almost always a bad idea!

So are you "ruining" yourself playing a 5er? Is a sax man "ruined" by learning to play the clarinet too? Hardly. What it means is you are working to become a more versatile and broader-based musician. And that is always good.
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Visit TalkBass on Facebook   Download our iOS app   Download our Android app

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:05 PM.




2012 Talk Music Group Inc. All rights reserved.
Play guitar too? Visit TalkGuitar.com
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.12
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.