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4 Strings, 5 Strings... make the jump or not?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by McHack, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. Who needs more than 4 strings?

    5 vote(s)
  2. Tried going to 5, but gave up. It just wasn't me.

    0 vote(s)
  3. Jumped to 5 & never looking back!

    12 vote(s)
  4. Gimme $5 & I'll tell you!

    4 vote(s)
  1. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Just curious, have you made the jump to 5 strings,,, have you tried & given up,,, are you dyed in the wool NEVER gonna change...
  2. Gsxtasy99


    Jul 10, 2003
    Boston, MA
    The only reason i went with a five was because i saw a Pedulla Pentabuzz at a great price and couldn't pass on it. I don't regret it b/c i do use the B-string a bit, but when i don't it's ok b/c it makes a great thumb rest.
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I tried and gave up back in the late 80's. I bought a real pretty Westone Pantera 5 string. The neck was as thick as a baseball bat and as wide as an aircraft carrier. The small, pretty body, coupled with the huge neck made it neck dive something awful, pretty similar to a Warwick Thumb. I tried to play it for about 6 months, and after every rehearsal or gig my left hand would hurt for two or three days. I finally sold it when the pain got so bad that I couldn't play any more.

    A few years later, I tried an Ibanez Soundgear 6. Thin profile neck, narrow for a six string, and perfectly balanced. I bought it and gigged with it the same week.

    I now play 4, 5, 6 and 12 string. So I did make the jump, the second time.

    But the first time, with an ergonomically awful bass, almost convinced me that I was a 4 stringer forever.

    Moral of the story? Whatever you do, make sure that the bass is comfortable for you. Don't get a bass that causes you pain, no matter how pretty it is, how great the deal is, or how much you want to play a bass with X number of strings.
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    After two decades of playing four I switched to BEADG five and haven't looked back. I've no desire/need to move up to 6 or more.

    That's just me... YMMV.
  5. I've been wanting to play 6 so that playing 5 would be more comfy( mind of matter stuff).. since I went to 5 strings, I love it, and wouldn't wanna go back to 4.
  6. Embellisher, this is excellent advice. You rule. :cool: :D :)
  7. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    He IS pretty much dead on,,, that majority of the time,, huh?
  8. Well, I couldn't really vote, because I don't think 'switching' to five (read: any number more than four) strings is the only way to go. I played a five string for a few months and found the extra string tight and secure in the arsenal of sounds after about an hour of Good Playing.
    I think six would work out the same way. More would be more of a challenge due to the size of the neck, but still I am confident I could get used to it.
    But why should you stop playing fours? I didn't. Fours are to me a lot more comfortable for down and gritty slap playing for instance.
    Point is: I've added five strings to my playing ability. I didn't switch to it. I can play five and still play fours. Add that to the poll and I'll vote!
    Although I completely understand that people wouldn't want to go back to fours of course, see the point made by Embellisher.

  9. I haven't stopped playing 4's either.....a bass is a bass to me, and sometimes they're not meant to have a B string.

    besides, what harm is there in learning how to play on a bigger neck w\ more strings?
  10. stuie86


    May 9, 2003
    mckinney, tx
    dude just look at it this way; its just like having the bass you have now with alittle more range on it, the only thing your goingto have to get used to is the string above the E.

    its just there if you want to get alittle "low" on a song.

    hope this helps:bassist:
  11. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    I completely agree w/ y'all, & if I had been thinking,, I would've put "I use both 4 & 5" as option number 4 in this poll...
  12. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    After playing and owning an Ibanez BTB405, 4's just seem inadequate!:D Oh yeah, and I'm fancying a Peavey Cirrus 6!:D :bassist:
  13. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I moved early to five strings, just on a feeling it would be more versatile, and that I might as well practice playing five strings as soon as possible. The B string is definitely not just a thumb rest, it gives you a lot of options other than the added low notes. Five strings suits my needs, you'll have to figure out for yourself whether it would add anything for your playing.
  14. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    where's the "Started on 5 and never looked back" option? :D I saw that shiny 5 string on the wall when I bought my first bass, and 4 strings seemed to just dissappear..
  15. OK Im one of the people that started on 4 (Vintage EJM96, thought 5 might be a good idea and would expand on what a bass could do, got a Yamaha BBN5, after about a month I was realising that the B string wasnt getting used and was basically only a thumb rest, and was in the way when I needed to slap. So ended up selling it buying my current bass, a Yamaha Attitude special, which im happy with, never 5 string again yuck