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Did You Regret Your First 5 String?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Misterwogan, Jan 20, 2013.


  1. Misterwogan

    Misterwogan

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    I'm toying with the idea of a fiver, I've never played one so I'll have to go along to a store and try one out.

    In the meantime, my question is to those who bought their five string and ultimately regretted doing it - and why?
     
  2. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    Location:
    South Florida
    I didn't regret it. It was a learning experience. For me, I just didn't dig the extra weight and tight string spacing. I owned a Spector NS-2005 for two years, and probably played it for 8 months of that time period. 5s are great, just not for me. Thus I sold it bought another 4 string!
     
  3. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Even though I play my 4 string basses about 80% of the time I have no regrets buying a 5 string. I"m more comfortable with a 4 string but it's great having that 5 string option on hand when the situation calls for it.

    If you get serious about buying take your time. There's lots to choose from out there.
     
  4. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I somewhat regret selling the only 5 string I ever owned.
     
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  6. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    My only regret is that I waited so long to start playing one - once I got used to it, I was glad I made the effort... I still play 4 strings about 70% of the time, but the time I use a 5er is just so much more convenient than dealing with down tuned 4s...

    IMO, alot of this depends on the genres of music you plan to play - a 5er really isn't necessary for some, but pretty much a necessity for others... If you're seriously thinking about it, I'd recommend buying a used Ibanez sr505 - that way, you're starting out with a decent instrument that won't break the bank... if you decide that it just isn't for you, it won't be hard to get your money back out of it...


    - georgestrings
     
  7. datsaxguy

    datsaxguy Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    Jumped over and never looked back. I sold my 4 banger (shouldn't have) and the transition was the best bass decision I ever made.
     
  8. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    Mount Airy, North Carolina
    If you find one you truly love, it can become your go to bass. I bought my first one out of pure necessity and it was my only bass. Ibanez TR75 MIK. I would buy another If I found one. Right now I can play all our songs on the Ric and It's like Heaven.
     
  9. DougBass

    DougBass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    Rockland County NY
    I did but only from the standpoint that I bought an ibanez with tighter string spacing. Playing "4 string" parts on it for me was very uncomfortable. I am certain that I would have adjusted, but just never fell in love with the feel. I would (and will) buy another 5 someday, but try some things out.

    As far as the extended range...no regrets at all.
     
  10. Rumbledom

    Rumbledom Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    I regret getting a 6. It was just silly. Those few extra notes weren't worth the extra width of the neck. (And the confusion). Traded it in for a 5 -- even though I play mostly 4.
     
  11. fuzzychaos

    fuzzychaos

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    Have never found a 5 string that I like, but i never regretted trying them. Still on the search for a 5 that I like though.
     
  12. msact

    msact Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Location:
    Bucks Co, PA
    I bought a five string fender jazz and returned it because I just couldn't get comfortable it. I returned it, got a four string jazz bass and never looked back.
     
  13. gjbassist

    gjbassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    I wouldn't go as far as calling it regret. I have owned three five string basses and sold each of them, the last one after only a few weeks. I just prefer four strings but it was nice to have that extra string if I wanted to play in a different position on the neck.
     
  14. pasta4lnch

    pasta4lnch

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Location:
    Farmingville(NOT FarmVille),NY
    Just another color . . . How can that be bad?

    Use mine rarely, but will never part w her!
     
  15. terranova

    terranova

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Location:
    Arlington
    I think it depends on what the music you are playing is calling for , I try to play classic rock and alt country rock and nothing I play calls for the lower notes and sometimes I would find myself on the b string when I meant to be on the e, better to be just rid of it and know where you are. A more advanced player probably makes good use of the extra string but for me it seemed to much to worry about. I know some say its great not to have to come out of position when you are in the middle of the fretboard, I just never warmed to it, plus your equipment may have to change to be able to define the lower frequencies accurately. Call me limited but 4 strings seems enough for now.
     
  16. Paul M

    Paul M

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    My first five-string bass was a used 2002 Deluxe Fender Jazz. It was a beautiful bass. I little while after I bought it I realized – or better to say, I admitted to myself – that the B-string was really bad - a wet noodle compared to the other four strings.

    Just a few months later, I bought a Dingwall Afterburner II. These are known for their excellent B-strings. It sounded fantastic but for the first couple of years, I was still more comfortable with the shape and wider string spacing of the Fender.

    Eventually, I got the set-up and strings right to make the Fender sound quite decent. But by that time I had grown accustomed to the flatter fretboard and narrower string spacing of the Dingwall. I traded away the Fender and now play the Dingwall 95% of the time.

    Of course, you are probably more interested in the transition from four strings to five. My point here is that you might be disappointed at first with any 5-string bass because it feels different from what you are used to.

    But once you get over the physical feel of the wider 5-string neck and the confusion over which string is which, you will find that 5 strings are really useful even if you don't often play below low E.

    You have more positions to play any given bass line. If a bass line feels awkward in the first position, you can go down one string and up the neck.

    If you have a bass with tight piano-like tone, you can still go up the neck and get a darker, short scale tone too.

    Five strings are useful, versatile, even if you don't often go below E, and you will get accustomed to the feel. I still love the feel of a good 4-string bass, but I miss the fifth string if its not there.
     
  17. 3mrhythm

    3mrhythm

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Rochester, NH
    Heck no. I still use it. Washburn force abt 5. Plays and sounds awesome... got it as a bonus in a craigslist trade I made. Sold everything else and kept the bass :)
     
  18. Paul M

    Paul M

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    I started writing my first post before there were other replies. I completely forgot about alternate tunings!

    I play with a couple of guitar players who just don't understand the difference between guitar chord shapes and the actual key of a song. The guitarist will say to me, for example, let's learn this song, it's in E.

    Then when we get together he's playing in E flat or D. When I tell him that, he says, "yeah, I'm playing in E but I tuned my guitar down."

    With five strings, I can adjust for such bone-headedness on the fly without detuning the bass, which can sound terrible if your bass is not set up for it.
     
  19. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I still have my first 5er...a G&L L2500 and still love it. Its a bit too heavy, for me, to use every 4 hour gig we do so I use 4 stringers more. And one thing I have noticed is that I dont use anything below the low D...just doesnt work for me in the last two bands I have been in. So sometimes I just detune my Ric to drop D on songs where I need it and leave the G&L at home. However, if it was a lighter bass, I would use it alot more because it sounds great.
     
  20. davedblyoo

    davedblyoo "All the mayhem and none of the sticky mess." Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Augusta, GA
    I played five string for years just to be cool at first, then had to stick with it because so much country music started requiring one to play. Later when I started playing in praise band, I found a lot of contemporary Christian music really fit the five. A couple of years ago I took a break from the five, and had been enjoying it so much, I contemplated trading the only five I have (a Stingray 5) in on another four until I played it this weekend and decided that it might be handy to still have one. For the most part, you don't need a five all of the time, but it's nice to have the option.
     
  21. hgiles

    hgiles

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Location:
    Virginia
    I started out on a 6 and am glad I did.
     

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