5 or a 6 string Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CrawDad, Feb 3, 2002.

  1. I've been playing my Peavy 4-string bass for a long time now and I was thinking about getting a 5 string bass, so I can play the songs that require the 5th string without haveing to tune my E string lower. Then I thought about getting a 6 string bass so I can have the maximum range of notes so I can thrash and play like the pros. But I can't decide which I should get.
    Please help me decide which would be most benificial.
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    More strings alone won't make you a better player. Practice will, and with experience you will find out what number of strings you think suits you the best. There are a great number of excellent players who mainly play 4-strings.

    Go to a store and play a couple of 5's and 6's. You will probably find that the more strings a bass has, the harder it is to play it properly. If you think you have good potential as a 6-stringer and enjoy the feel of the wide necks (or narrow string spacing), then by all means go with one. But if you find that you don't really need the C-string, get a five. Better playing comfort and less expense in new strings.

    Personally, I saw myself as a 5- or 6-stringer, but after giving it some thought, I find 4-strings being far more comfortable to play... which is why my next bass will be a 4, and not a 6 as I had decided earlier. Do you REALLY want a 5 or 6?
  3. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I agree with Oysterman. I play mostly 6's with time put in on 5's and a 7 but extended range instruments are definitely not for everyone. I have very large hands and have always had great desire to master the 6 string bass, which is what I enjoy playing most. But for many years, the 4 string was all I could handle and more! Pick whatever you really have a deep "need" to play and then practice your rear off; that's really the only way.
  4. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Oysterman is totally right. You're only gaining FIVE notes, so it's not going to totally change how you play. Plenty of pros don't use 6s. Most, in fact.

    Not only that, but if you can't spell Peavey, you aren't good enough for a 6. :D :D :D
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    5-string bass is best for me. Here's why:
    1) I don't want to play a bass with a wider fingerboard
    2) I don't want to play a bass wtih narrower string spacing
    3) I don't want any more strings to damp.

    As with all things musical, YMMV.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    That was cold, man!:D

    Seriously, CrawDad, welcome to Talkbass.:cool:

    I agree with the advice the others have given here.

    Got down to your local music shop and play a couple of 5 and 6 stringers. See if the neck is comfortable. See if you think that you can develop the ability to mute the extra strings. IMHO that is the hardest part of playing 6+ string basses. I'm still working on that on my 6 stringer. Have no problems with it on a 5 stringer. Of course, I have small hands, and poor technique:eek:, 2 problems that you may not share.
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    You gain more than five notes with an extra string. On a 24 fret bass you gain 25 notes.
  8. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Different perspective. I view it as more notes under your hand in each position...but you only gain "new" notes at at the top of the neck. They sound different (thinner/clearer), but you have them on a 5, just not necessarily in the same positions you will on a 6.

    I understand your point of view though. Regardless, it won't make him play like a pro. ;)
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