5 string bass, help me please

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gary mitchell, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. I ask you guys about trading for a Washburn T34 you told me not to. So I did not get rid of my American Fender P. I am not a big fan of the sound of a P bass and its a 4 string. I have only played 4 string bass guitars and that is what I started on. I do not read music I can read tab, but played guitar in worship bands, Christain Metal bands also Blues bands. I play by ear any way my question, I have a guy wanting to trade me a nice Fender USA 5 string Jazz bass. What is the advantage of the a 5 string and is it harder to play. Is it worth the trade?
  2. Slapstyle


    Dec 3, 2009
    I like a 5. It's not particularly harder than 4 to play. I really like the low D C and B notes which are great in a rock situation. I believe the Fender American V had some issues on various models. Some complained of a floppy B string, which is not uncommon in cheaper 5 strings, but you'd expect a Fender American to be of higher quality. Others complained of uneven output with the higher strings having more output than the lower strings creating an uneven sound. All that being said, Fender American are some of the nicest instruments you can find, and if you are not a fan of the P bass tone, a J bass may be just what the doctor ordered. See if you can test drive it for a while. See how it feels to you, and how it sounds. It may be a good deal, but I'd be cautious, knowing that Fender V's have had issues. You could consider selling the P and buying a J 4 string as well. Glad you didn't trade your Fender for the Washburn though. That would have been a BAD MOVE! Any idea the manufacture year of your P bass?
  3. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Slapstyle hit all the important points. Some USA Fender 5-ers are better than others.
    Is it someone you know well enough to borrow it for a week or so and see if it's something you like?

    If the bass feels good to you, just look for a low B that sounds tight and focussed and clear and even output from all the strings on both pickups. If it passes those two tests, you're good to go.

    I don't use a 5-er for everything, but it is certainly handy. I didn't find it difficult to make the switch. There have been a lot of "switching to 5" threads here on TB and the general consensus has always been that it's not too tough and doesn't take too long to adjust.

    RE: your question about Jazz vs. Precision, there's no "advantage", per se, to one or the other. It really comes down to preference, but many players feel that the Jazz is much more versatile, tone-wise. I happen to agree with that, but I've heard players who can get a whole range of tones with a P-bass just using good technique and the EQ on their amps.
  4. If its a heads-up trade, do it. The only way you'll know if you dig a five strings to have one in your possession for a while. If you don't like it, you can ditch it also. It sounds like you hate the P, so what harm is there if you also hate the J?

    One advantage- IT HAS A FIFTH STRING. Some folks say Fenders have a floppy B, but I've never had that issue after changing string gauge or brand. Ernie Balls are stiff IMO.

    It also has two pickups, hence more versatility.

    Pull the trigger. Being on the fence ain't no fun.
  5. I was told my bass was a 2006 model, this is the only picture I have . I do have the original pickguard somewhere I think.

    Attached Files:

    • tn.jpg
      File size:
      40.9 KB
  6. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    As Immigrant pointed out, you have nothing to lose.
  8. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Trading a bass your wife bought for you sounds like a dumb move on his part. I'd stay far away from that situation... too much potential bad juju.
  9. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    You can always set your P bass up as a BEAD tuning (using BEAD strings of course),,, I have had ALL my bass's set up like that for over 20 years and love it.

    3 of my many bass's a P bass's and they took the BEAD strings with no problem or mods of the bridge or nut (use a light gauge 5 string set,,,125 gauge for the bottom B string).

    I own around 12 bass's and they are all BEAD,,,,, I would never ever go back to a standard EADG tuning.


Share This Page