5 or 6?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Classical_Thump, May 25, 2005.

  1. Classical_Thump


    Jan 26, 2005
    Well I have been searching for a new bass for quite some time now, for most of the time believing that it would be a 5 string fretless, EADGC that is. I was discouraged from getting the low B because I had played so many 5 strings that had terrible B strings, but after hearing and seeing a few higher level 5-ers I realized that I do like the low B. This has sparked me to question whether I really want a 5 string or whether I should skip over that and go straight to the 6. I'm sure the six would be cool (chords, solos, double "non-bass" guitar parts,etc) but I am not a big fan of the big necks on six strings. I also realized that the high C string does only give you an extra fifth or so, but the same goes for the low B. I can't decide between the high or the low, and it seems I would use them both equally (I play rock,funk,blues and mainly jazz fusion), however I can't decide. I'm sure some of you have had this problem before. Thanks for your help (any bass reccomendations are welcome too!)
  2. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    After way too many years of playing a 4, I went to a 5 just about 4 years ago ... immediately loved the B :bassist:

    A little over 6 months ago I bought a fretted 6, then got a fretless 6, quickly sold every 5 I had and most of the 4's. Now I only use the two 6ers and I can't imagine any reason why I would ever go back to a 5 or 4 on a steady basis. Actually, I can now see why a 7 would be a good bet :cool:

    Go to the 6 .... I play the same type of music you do, and that extended range of the 6 will definitely come in handy, all of the time ;)
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Get the six. It sounds like you can use the range, so why cheat yourself. You have just have to work at getting used to the neck or get a Peavey Cirrus, I hear their sixes have fairly close string spacing.
  4. Classical_Thump


    Jan 26, 2005
    thanks guys. would an asym neck help at all?
  5. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    I went to a six from a four two years ago. I find that I really don't use the C string all that much. So when I got my fretless two weeks ago, I got a 5. I think I'm more of a 5 player. Am I upset that I now have an expensive 6 sitting around? No. I'll definitely use the six (it's a great bass and I love it) and I'll see if I'll play the C string as time goes on. I guess I'm saying, get the six. Only then will you know if you'll enjoy it.

    You are looking for good B strings: I've found on 34" scale basses: Ken Smith, Zon, some Fodera (I'd make sure I play them first before buying--some Foderas I've played have a loose B string), are good. 35" basses with good B strings are Modulus, Zon (some Zons are 34 and some are 35), Elrick, MTD, and my favorite ROSCOE. I've heard many other guys feel that Roscoe Guitars make the best overall B string out there. I think Fodera makes a couple of 35" basses, but I've never played them.

    Have fun looking.
  6. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Tough call. Here's what I decided for myself.

    For fretted I went 5. I just don't need that high C.

    For fretless I went 6. For a couple things I like to do (Yellowjackets) I like having the high C for fingering options as much as range. That's mostly for me at home.

    For my "real world" gigging needs, a fretted 5 and a fretless 4 would be just fine.
  7. metallicat


    May 3, 2005
    thanks for all the replies guys.. i play blues influenced rock or metal, my band and i are just getting started developing our own sound..i think the rickenbacker is the better choice
  8. gruuv


    Jan 23, 2004
    Anyway, I personally would move straight to the 6 as well. Not only for the extra low/high notes, but for the ease of fingering as well. Yes you will have a wider neck to get used to, but you'll also be able to play much more in one position than you could on a 5, and definitely much more than a 4.

    I made the jump from 5 to 6 a few years back, played a 6 for a while, moved back to 5 for about a year, and have just recently gone back again to 6. Now I feel home. My 6 is a 36 in scale with very wide spacing but it's beautifully made and a joy to play. . . I can recommend Fodera and Elrick. Personally, I think that (all other things being equal) a longer scale length makes for a better B, although many would dispute that. I think that Sadowskys have great sounding/feeling B's for 34 in scale basses, and Roscoes for 35, but the best sounding B's I've heard have been on 36 in scale basses (never played a Dingwall though :D ). Mine is a monster. . . :bassist: