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Any 5 string Players happy going back to 4 String bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GRoberts, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

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    I love playing 5 string bass, but there have been some occasional 4 string basses I've played that I would have bought had they been 5 string basses. Killer tone. I am tempted by a couple 4 string basses locally, but wondering if I'll be happy since I truly love the B string, the extra finger positions, the lower notes when I need to go there etc. I don't live on the B string or over use it. In fact, many songs I play never require the B string. But when they do, it makes my life easier.

    Have any of my fellow 5 string bass player friends gone back to to a 4 string bass and been happy, or do you miss all the extra benefits you get from a 5 string bass?

    I will not be selling or getting rid of my Nordy VJ5, I am simply wondering if a four string bass will leave me wanting?
  2. Aaron_D

    Aaron_D

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    I go back and forth. Sometimes it's nice to change it up. It isn't hard after you do it a few times.
  3. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much Supporting Member

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    +1

    I'm still new to this whole bass thing. I dabbled in 4 strings, then got a 5er last autumn. Love it... but then I bought a cheap 4-string on eBay to sell at a profit, ended up keeping it and loving it. I picked up the 5er today after a couple of weeks of neglect and love how it just suits certain songs in certain keys.

    My mission now is to make the 5 sound as good as the 4 with some different strings - but I'll be keeping both and enjoying the way they make me think and play differently.
  4. Huge

    Huge Hell is full of musical amateurs. Like me. Supporting Member

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    I sold my 5 to buy a 4 that I really wanted. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.
  5. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

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    This. It's the pursuit of tone. We all do it.
  6. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative Supporting Member

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    +1

    I sold a good 4 that I should have kept because I thought it was ackward to go back and forth, now it's second nature. 6ers on the other hand still give me fits.
  7. madbassplaya

    madbassplaya Supporting Member

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    I have sold my 5's a few times to pick up 4's and I always regret it. :meh:

    If I pick up a 4 now, it will just be in addition the 5's I'm playing. For my church gigs, I like a 5 a lot. If I were in alternative rock band again (Nirvana, AIC, STP, 7M3,) I'd use a 4 string for that gig. Play what you need or want to!
  8. georgestrings

    georgestrings Supporting Member

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    I play both 4s and 5s - it's no biggie...


    - georgestrings
  9. nickrs540

    nickrs540

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    I switched from my main being a 5 to a 4 now. I'm not really missing the B too much, but then again I barely used it much. When I play in my Death Metal group I have to have the low B cause we play in dropped B. In my country, rock, or whatever else i'm playing I hardly remember there was a B there.

    The reason I switched was because I found a killer deal on an ATK 750 which sounds, looks, and played amazing. I just couldn't pass it up. The quality is just so much better then the 5. I think even if I needed the 5 more i'd still only play it on the ones I absolutely had to.
  10. SoonerMatt

    SoonerMatt It looks like a mira- IT'S IN THE HOLE! Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Beta Tester: Fuzzhugger(fx)
    I keep going back to 4 as I never use the low B. Haven't tried stringing EADGC, though....
  11. Gabriel51

    Gabriel51 Supporting Member

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    Absolutely not! I played 4 string for over 30 years before I went to 5's and the biggest thing for me is not having to jump around the neck. (two octaves close by)
    I tried to play a four the other day at GC and my left hand fell right in step, my right felt like it belonged to someone else! I had to concentrate. (painful):help:
  12. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

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    I just need to wrap my head around playing a 4 string bass again I suppose. When I switch off in music stores from a 5 string to a 4 string, it takes me a while to acclimate to the string change and remember the low string is no longer a B string etc. Cetainly not impossible. Just need to give it a try.

    My 5'er is not going anywhere, but I've found a couple Killer Fender 4 bangers that are calling my name. I just wonder if I'll be happy with a 4 banger after having the extra notes and hand/finger positions that a 5th string gives me. Thanks for the feedback guys! This is really helpful!
  13. Mike M.

    Mike M.

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    Same here. It's nice having that low B when the situation calls for it. If it's not needed then I'll play my 4 strings.
  14. LowBSix

    LowBSix Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    I love playing both.
    I miss the 5 when on the 4 and visa versa...
    closest thing that satisfies a J5 passive... simple with extended range...
    nothin like a P4 or J5
    I love both
  15. Musicman20

    Musicman20

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    Keep n switch! I do.
  16. MichaelSmalley

    MichaelSmalley Gold Supporting Member

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    It was awkward at first for me to switch but now I play both a 4 string p bass and a 5 string J at most of my gigs. Each bass has its charms and each configuration has its charms.
  17. georgestrings

    georgestrings Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I use whichever is best for the job at hand - one nice thing is that after playing a 5er, I feel like I dominate a 4 string - they just feel so much easier to play than a 5er...

    I have a couple of side project gigs that don't require the extra notes my 5ers offer, and when I'm haeding off to one of those gigs, I always feel like I'm going to have an easy time playing bass that night... Also, my 4 strings are typically a little lighter than my 5ers are, besides the narrrower neck - so during a gig where I'm switching off, the 4 strings are physically less demanding in every way...

    Lastly - my 4s and 5s share similar string spacing, so despite the wider neck, the feel is similar...


    -georgestrings
  18. georgestrings

    georgestrings Supporting Member

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    I use my 5ers when I need to go below D, which is about 1/3 of my current playlist... I don't mind playing in drop D, but anything below that I prefer a 5er for, and sometimes use them for D as well - it depends when in the setlist the song falls... My band typically plays around 50 songs during a gig, in a bunch of different tunings - but we do a decent job of keeping the flow of the show moving...


    - georgestrings
  19. Marko5657

    Marko5657 Supporting Member

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    I’m so acclimated to five, I don’t see any point in going four.

    Best thing about that is it keeps me from buying some of the sweet basses that don’t come with five.
  20. Phalex

    Phalex Yeah, I've got the moves like Jagger. Supporting Member

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    I used to play a fretless five for years! When I got back into rock & roll I went back to four. Now my five feels really tight. I might look into one with wider string spacing, but I'm not really gassing for another five.

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