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4 or 5 string bass.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by syneofeternity, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. syneofeternity


    Mar 12, 2006
    Hey i'm more or less a beginner for bass. I've had a 4 string bass, sold it, and trying to get it back and saving up for a new one. I'm really interested in the 5 string bass, me and some friends are practicing hardcore rock/metal music, so which bass do you think would be better for that type of music? sorry if i sound stupid :bassist:
  2. Uh whatever you want to play.
  3. syneofeternity


    Mar 12, 2006
    that's not what i was asking lol. would it matter for that type of music between 4 and 5 strings?
  4. ge9375


    Sep 5, 2004
    It's not about the number of strings......
  5. haxality


    Feb 14, 2006
    The other posters are right. The right bass for you is the one that sounds right. You can't arbitrarily designate a certain instrument for a certain type of music.
  6. If you're a bieginner - i'd be very tempted to keep things simple - 4 strings is more than enough. Unless your mates are playing 7 strings guitar you'll be fine.
  7. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    I made this EXACT same thread a few days back.

    Basically: It doesn't matter, however most pro's use 5 stringers. I ended up buying a 4 string bass from rondomusic.net, though. After I get good enough to buy something more expensive, I'll get a 5 string bass.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You want a 5-string for reasons too numerous to list here. Take a look at the basses listed in my profile. How many are four-strings? Then note that I have over 10,000 posts, and behave accordingly.
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    A *lot* of modern hard rock has bass lines that go far below four string range. Trust me, if you don't start on five string you'll regret it.
  10. Larzon


    Jan 15, 2005
  11. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I've played since the early 70's and have been almost exclusively on 4 strings, only recently acquiring a couple of 5 string basses. My advice? Start on a 5 string. Too many advantages and very few detriments to come to any other logical conclusion.
  12. If you are playing modern metal / hard rock / nu ruck a five string or a detuned 4 string bass is practically a necessity. Bands like Slipknot, Sevendust, Korn, etc detune REALLY FAR from four string range - as low as G#. 7 string guitars / baritone guitars / detuned guitars are standard so expected to go way down. A five string is a very good option for this type of music, but you can always set up a detuned four string if you don't want to add the extra string.
  13. I played 4-strings for years... many years... and I got sick of the sporadic 'tune down for this one' scenario. So I decided to go 5. Now I will not go back. I really don't have much interest (at this point) going higher, but ever since I added the sub-basement to my house I have found it very useful! Not to mention the fact that you essentially get a whole new bunch of positions to play with that add depth and dimension to your sound.

    Get the 5'er, you will not regret'er.

  14. For hardcore rock/metal type music you have 3 main (note main, you can do whatever you want. Many a bass player has some wierd setup that comes from no where but its what THEY like) choices. You can choose from the most popular options listed below:

    1.) Standard tuned 4 string
    2.) 4 string drop D tuning (low E string dropped to D in case you didnt know but if you play that kind of music, or even listen to it I am sure you know).
    3.) Standard tuned 5 string.

    Now these will be your best bet unless your guitarists use some strange sort of tuning where neither will be your best option. If your guitarists are hitting really fast notes and are playing in drop D tuning, a standard tuned 5 string would be impractical because of the space you will have to move. Imagine having to move from...lets say 8th fret A string to third fret B string. Sure that would be perfectly fine if you were playing at a medium speed, but if you are playing speed metal, metalcore, or hardcore, thats just crazy. You will probably be doing that multiple times a song, and the room for error as a beginner (or even advanced) player is pretty good.

    A standard four string serves many well if you dont need anything lower than an E. Remember, you can always hit an octave higher. Will it give you the depth and grind of a metal song...maybe, if your guitarists, drummer, vocalist, and you can pull it off, go ahead.

    If you go drop D, certain things will come a lot easier. For example if you are playing a fast riff with lots of open D's(check out this popular band and song to see what I am talking about: Unholy Confessions by Avenged Sevenfold) that low D is open and very well used. It will come in handy.

    If you arent jumping around and playing a lot of notes in a short amount of time, or you are a rock bottom player and not following the guitar as much, then sure, go for a standard tuned 5 string. You will get the low range of the extra B.

    Another thing to keep in mind is what YOU feel comfortable with. Some people hate large necks on a bass. It may be harder for you to learn to mute strings properly. It may be harder to reach certain things if you dont like a 5 string. Mostly, it is all about YOUR comfort level. If you feel natural on a 5, then that is your bet. You MUST try before you buy. A 5 with a thinner neck is an option, but it will almost never be as small as a four string, and you may not be able to get a comfortable feeling fiver fror a good price. A Music Man Stingray 5 has a very small profile neck. It will also run you over a grand new, and lets say $800 used.

    Mostly, its a "you tell us" ordeal. We can tell you a 5 will sound better in a rock situation, but if you cant make it sound good then it will be worthless and possibly turn you off to bass for a while. You must get something you love.

    Now that said, I have a G&L L-2500, and they make a cheaper version called a tribute, which I hear plays wonderful (although I dont know the price), and it may be an option. I am just more comfortable on a 5 string than a four. I also tune ADADG, so I have the low D and the B is also tuned down a step. You MUST have a good amp for this or else you wont even hear the lowest note.

    Sorry for rambling, but think about it.

  15. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    From what you've described, get the 5. Avoid those detuning issues, unless you play in a band that plays "heavy", then you'll have to tune that B to A.
  16. And the E to D most likely.
  17. if you can afford it get the 5
  18. GET A 5.:bassist:
  19. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    Why not just hit the 3rd fret on the D string, then you don't have to move your hand?
  20. iDavid


    Apr 22, 2005
    Doesn't Tony Levin play 4 strings... or 3 (at times)?

    IMO, best bass play in pop and beyond

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