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5-string Basses--How old should I be?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Masterbasser666, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. less than a year

    6 vote(s)
  2. 1-5 years

    1 vote(s)
  3. 5-10 years

    0 vote(s)
  4. 10-15 years

    0 vote(s)
  5. 15-20 years

    0 vote(s)
  6. more than 20 years

    1 vote(s)
  7. When You feel ready

    22 vote(s)
  8. There's a 5-string bass now? When was this?

    1 vote(s)
  1. Hey everyone out there in the talkbass world!

    Ok this is basically because Im 15 years old and have been playing bass for about 7 months now and for 5 of those months I was playin on a crappy little Westfield 4-string P-bass copy but for christmas Santa brought me an Ibanez GSR-205 (5-string) in black finish. I just wanted to ask how old you were when you got your first 5-string (or 6-string)? and also how old and how long you should have been playin for to get a 5-sting?

    Ps. I'm only askin coz I got some stick off a couple of other bassists at school.
  2. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    My choice is definitely "when you feel ready".

    That's what I did, after... 26 years of playing on 4-strings... ;)

    Well, in fact, I got a 5er when I "felt I needed one", not "when I felt ready". In fact, switching / upgrading to a 5er is quite easy.
  3. "When you feel ready"

    If I was you I'd probably put the 4 aside and wouldn't put the fiver down anymore.
    But I think it is good to play both equaly.. You don't need to have mastered the 4 string to start on the 5.. Go play it now, It's already yours.
  4. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I don't there is any "particular time to start five string". I personally have never owned anything BUT a 5 string- learned on one and any bass i touch wiht only 4 strings feels somehow incomplete. It is mostly personal preference. If you like having that low B and extra scale flexibility, and you can adjust to the string spacing, extra string, etc fine, then go for it.:cool:
  5. I know whaat ya mean about the 4-string feeling incomplete, I recently used one at school for some reason and I kept expecting my fingers to be playing an extra string.
  6. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I had been playing for three years when I bought a five string. Being physically comfortable is one thing; that takes a day or two. Being able to effectively incorporate the fifth string to help your playing through conservation of movement will take a bit longer.

    And tell your friends to cram it with walnuts.
  7. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I'm 16, been playing 5 strings for the past 2 years. I've played for 5 years. Initially i got asked "What's the 5th String For?" more than i got grief. It's fun to make up answers to that question when the person doesn't know anything. I had one guy convinced that the bass society decided to give me one due to my work in school :D that was fun. I wouldn't turn back on the 5 string see my sig. for what my 2nd 5r is. I double on upright and the mindset for me is different so that when i'm playing one the lack of a string doesn't throw me off than having one more string. It just takes time. I know that this has been said before on here but our instrument is less than 100yrs old [50-55 right?] and it is still evolving and developing don't let preconceived notions deter you from going with the 5 or more strings. Thats all
  8. hehehehehehe yeah Walnuts :D
  9. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    LOL..that's great. I prefer to tell people things like, "Its for pulling off and beating people who ask stupid questions-that's why its so thick!":D
  10. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    if ya wanna really show em the what for, buy an unlined fretless 6, that'll make em shut up....of course if they play 4s exclusively, they are probably jealous, since they cant go that low. if my 2 options arent very good ones, just use those 5 glorious tuning machines for their alternate use.........KAPOW!

    or just dont listen to them. other people never have the same ideals, so whatever ya want, go ahead.

    btw, im 15 and still only have my 4.....GASsing like hell over 6s, 5s, anything fretless....i just believe i should get as much out of mine as possible before i go buying stuff....
  11. monkfill


    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    I learned on a 5-string. A lot of people seem to make a big deal out of 5 strings. . . it really isn't.

    I've played bass for about 5 years, and I've only owned 5-strings. Although several times I've been able to pick up a 4 and play it with no problems. . . who knows, maybe its easier to go from 5 to 4 than it is from 4 to 5. Anyhoo, I'm shopping 4-strings at the moment, and I have a feeling that the 5-strings will take a back seat. Something about playing a 4 is just fun.
  12. I fiddled round on 4 strings that i borrowed from my school for a while, but when i bought my own bass it was a 5 string. At first i was concerned that my hands wouldn't be big enough to play a five, but i have never had any problems with that. So i say you can start using a 5 string at any stage, its just a matter of what fits you best. I would never go to a four but that just my opinion.

  13. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    snip-LOL..that's great. I prefer to tell people things like, "Its for pulling off and beating people who ask stupid questions-that's why its so thick!"-snip

    I've told the choir people various stories on this one. A few of them have noticed that wow, cam has 5 strings or thingys on the one thing, where as most others that we compete against only have 4. I told one of them that "i'm so good they gave me another" see the jaws drop, then say a few hrs/days later-you know i'm joking right? and watch for the reaction. I think the main reason why the i'm good one worked is since i was the freshman bassist @ a show choir competition that won Best Bass Mixed Choir. Background-i'm a member of the #1 show choir's band @ my high school, we compete in compeitions and depending on where they have various awards from best band to specific e.g. best bass.
    My private teacher said that he's tempted to get a 5 string since he feels he has a need for one-i've encouraged him since day 1 to get one if he feels any need to. Thats all
  14. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    just play both the 4 and the 5. The more versatile and comfortable you are on both, the better for you as a player. There is no rule saying you should have to wait to play the 5. The only thing you should worry about is about sounding good regardless of the instrument.
  15. Chafro


    Mar 12, 2002
    Muncie, IN
    i got my ibanez EDB 405 for christmas after about 7 months of playing, just dont hang out your 4 string, something sound better on a four (i cant think of any examples right now) but just dont hang it out to dry
  16. Chriss62


    Jul 24, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    I played a 4 string for about 2 years before I got my 6 string. I've had the six for about half a year. Why did I make the jump so soon? Simply, beacause I wanted to and i felt that I was ready. I've had no problems. Get a 7 string if your ready for the challenge (not to mention the investment:eek: ).
  17. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    If a newbie wants to play 4, 5, 6, 7 etc., there'd be no harm in starting with any of them...

    So my advice is start from day 1...it will be easier in the long run.
  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    There is no reason to start on four if you would rather start on 5 (or 6 or 7 or ...)
  19. I borrowed a friends 4 string for a weekend to try out a bass and decided it was the instrument for me.
    I saved up and went to buy a 4 string, I had seen a really nice Warwick streamer and loved the sound. It was the 80's when Warwick's were the bass of the moment in the UK. But at the shop [bass centre in London] I saw my Bass Teacher who pointed out a 2nd hand 5 string Wal and said I should try it out. It was in a different league to t
    the Warwick and I thought the 5 string was the business.

    The rest is history. So the short answer is I got a 5 string after playing for a weekend on a 4 and when I was 18 years old.

  20. Anytime you're ready, or want to! I've been playing 5 string basses for about 10 years now! 3 of my 7 basses are 5 stringers, and I almost exclusively play them now!

    The 4's will stay around a little longer - some sentimental value. A couple of them might get traded for a 6 stringer - we'll see!