4 Strings?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by west*coast*bass, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    Just curious, and forgive me if this has been asked here before, but does anyone play strictly 4 strings anymore or are most here 5+ players?

    I have both and am curious...


  2. nataku


    Jun 21, 2004
    San Jose, CA
    I personally am a strictly 4-stringer...so far. I like the feel of 4-string necks wayyy more than anything else, I guess im just used to having the low E on the bottom. I might be tempted to switch over to the 5-string side if i found a bass that had a decent sounding/feeling B-string, and if the neck wasn't crazy chunky.
  3. The B is simply impractical for me. I see guys out there treat the thing like a fashion statement and just anchor their thumb on the thing the whole night... It's great to have it there, but personally, I've never found much use of the B to warrant converting.

    More recently, I've had to play a number of standards that really would sound great with a lower E flat, but... still. Home is where the heart is. My home just happens to be the #4.
  4. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    San Jose, CA
    Yeah... i like 4 strings just because i dont want people coming up to me and going "aren't basses suppose to have 4 strings".
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I'm 99% four string, and will get a six in the future. I don't use the B, but I prefer the feeling of symmetry and a high C.
  6. Hounddog


    Dec 2, 2004
    Southern, Illinois
    Sadowsky Featured Artist
    4 is all I need. 5 makes the neck to wide and if the neck isnt too wide the string spacing is to close. I own a 4 String USA Cirrus and can do anything I care to do on it. I have owned 5 string Basses but just couldnt get the same Vibe as my 4 string. I wanted to like the 5 stringers but just didnt. Just my personal preference. Poor People have Poor ways.
  7. I own 4, 5, and 6-string basses, but spend the majority of my time on 5-strings: they simply feel like "home" to me. However, after seven years of playing only 5 and 6-strings I rediscovered the "simple joy" of playing a 4-string last year after a semi-impulse purchase. There's just something about a low-slung 4 with a pick... :hyper:
  8. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Since I played my first 5-string fourteen years ago I never went back to 4s and not interested on 6s+ either. For electric uprights, I only play 4-strings. In fact, a low B in an EUB is a nonsense to me because the low register of these instruments is very muddy. It's good for a full band accent or something like that, but for a regular bassline the most usable register is the mid-high one (maybe a high C would make more sense, but not interested on that, anyway). For acoustic double bass I'd really love to try a 5-string, but not for pizzicato playing. A bowed low B is a totally different -enticing- story, for sure.
  9. I play swing and shuffles better on a four, rock and diddley stuff better on a five. Hence two basses.
  10. clanner

    clanner Token Black Guy.

    Apr 27, 2005
    ummmmm, marietta GA
    mainly fours, was a fiver guy for a year exclusivley, then I found my G&L and only use the five string if ther is an alternate tuning, may change if I get another g&l, between getting a fiver or getting another for to use in alternate tunings.

    i know alot of people that are exclusively four mainly because they're all newbies to bass.
  11. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I love 4's I own 5 basses, 4 are 4 string

  12. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Inactive

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    At the moment, I'm strictly a four stringer.

    Both my fretted and my fretless are 4 strings and I like it that way. I will get a 6 in future, but never again will I own a 5 string. I don't like the fact that when you go for a 5 string, you have that fat neck to deal with, and if I'm going to adjust to a fat neck, why not just stick a high C on there too?

    Really, when I'm playing on a 4, I feel a lot better. With less room to diddle, I find myself being more creative with what I have, and challenging myself on a 4 string feels so right. When I hear what guys like Stuart Hamm, Stanley Clarke, Geddy Lee and whatnot can do with 4 strings, it makes me realise you don't need 6 strings to sound amazing!

    Getting over the whole "6 string" thing was a big step for me, and being comfy on a bass with 4 strings feels great! It should be noted though, that I will never again own a 35" scale bass....I just hate them!
  13. Racsen


    Dec 6, 2003
    I have 6 and fretless 5 but I think everbody needs a 4 or 5 string fretted bass .
  14. Only fours for me......i'm a cheapskate, and buying five strings is just TOO MUCH MONEY! ;)
  15. Micolao


    Sep 7, 2005
    4 strings.
    I've solved this problem tuning the bass DADG 90% of the time.
  16. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    I'm a 4 string player at the moment, but i can see myself getting an 5 or 6 eventually because i play with pianists (many Eb, Bb, Db, Ab songs).

    The reality is that if we change the tuning on our 4s, we will be able to play all the notes on a 5 or 6. the problem arises when we're used to standard 4th tuning. 5 and 6 strings allow us to access the extra notes while keeping in standard 4ths tuning, without having to relearn scales, modes etc.

    The only reason i have 4 is i chose to upgrade my rig before my bass. :)
  17. I have both, but prefer a 5 string.


    If a song is in D, C or B, it's nice to have those low notes there to end the song with.

  18. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I play both, and I find myself using 5-stringers more so than 4's right now, but once my new Exotic Custom 4 (with a D-tuner), that might change! :bassist:
  19. I play only 4-strings.. just not comfortable with more. But, my main bass at the moment is tuned DGCF.
  20. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I'm pretty much playing 4's exclusively right now, simply because I don't have any gigs which call for a Low-B and I'm not a big fan of the high-C. If I had a fusion gig where I could pump the low-B Gary Willis style, I would definitely pick one up. However, I prefer the cleaner sound and quick response of 4's.