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5 string, or detuner???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by deathbloomslife, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. So, just as the title says, what do you guys prefer? Do you prefer having that handy low B at your disposal, or is having a detuner on your E to get a bit lower more convienient??

  2. How well do you know the fingerboard? To me, that is most important if you detune. Players who detune primarily like Marcus Miller and Will Lee are first rate musicians who can transpose tunings on the fly. For some one like me who is much more seat of the pants, a five string makes much more sense, especially if I am going to tune lower than D. I also much prefer five because it give the option of not having to plan an open E and not having to move vertically on the neck over more than a position 90% of the time.
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I've played with a detuner for years.
    Now that I have a 5 stringer, I find it much more practical.
    I still use the detuner most of the time.
  4. 5 string for me. Don't have to detune(guitarist tunes half step down) and I just find it more comfortable to play than a 4. That and the detuner would screw me up.

    JJBACOOMBA Commercial User

    May 31, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    Lecompte Bass Owners Club Member #2
    I play a 5er and I will tuned down the E string to D for some songs just because an open string sounds like an open string.I quess in that way I have the best of both worlds. Works for me!!
  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I seldom go below D, so the Xtender is perfect for me. Odd numbers of strings also feel wierd, so if I NEED the low B, I'll grab a sixer.
  7. FenderHotRod


    Sep 1, 2004
    I'd say why not just do both...I need to get a detuner for my four stringers, but I'm not in a band and the music i'm working through is mostly four stings in standered tunnings. At least now if I'm ever in the situation where a five string would be best to use, I have one. :)
  8. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    I prefer the extra string. It allows a more comfortable position (highter on the neck) if you normally play in the 1st position... especially if you have a good B string.
  9. DRZ400Bassman


    Nov 6, 2005
    D is as low as musicality that moves the soul goes. Below the D is pointless. If you need to get a D just drop for the song.
  10. Your statement is silly. My sixer has a detuner; drops the B down to A. BAM! One moved soul. UNNH. :cool: <---James Brown specs
  11. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    I've played 5-string basses for fourteen years.
  12. well, i have a tendency to go up instead of down, so i'd rather have a 5'er and tune it EADGC! ;)
  13. And I disagree completely :)

    I go down to low A (below low B) occasionally and I feel that it really adds something to the song that an A (octave up) just isn't able to provide.
  14. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    I prefer 4 strings with d-tuners. Way easier to play drop d tuning this way

  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Moves the soul, huh? You've not been to churches where they use those low notes all the time. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool 4-string standard tuning player, but even I would never say there's no soul below D.
  16. DRZ400Bassman


    Nov 6, 2005
    I also feel subs have no musical value as well :bassist:
  17. In my case I will go for 5string, but in case that my 4string would fit better with it's sound I'd go for detuner! Detuner is invented to play below E on your favorite 4 string without changing whole bass for few notes below E!
  18. I have a Kubicki Xfactor - I can play low d without transposing the whole string; but I also have a 5...
  19. I have detuners on two of my four string basses. I prefer a five string.

    On my basses the best compromise I could get out of a detunner would be a D note. Anything lower than that and the string would not have enough tension (floppy string) for my liking. Also a detunner is a little more of a pain to tune up. I found myself using the detunner more and more so a five string was a logical choice.

    What is all comes down to though, either you prefer to play a four string or you prefer to play a five (or six) string. Even though they are both basses, to me, they sound different like they are two different animals so to speak.

    I love my five string and it is my main bass, but I still have my four string close by.
  20. Before I had 5 strings the band I was with played a couple of songs that went to D below E.I had a Jazz 4 and didn't have a detuner on it so I would have to detune with the tuning peg.It was a hassle,I'd have to hurry and sometimes after the song I wouldn't get it back to E just right.A D-tuner would have been much better but still I had to learn to transpose just for that song.

    Thats the main reason I went to five strings,so I woudn't have a problem going below E.After I got a five I found that I could play songs in E or below in one position like the other guys said and that some of the stuff below E just sounds cool and feels different.My Guild fiver has a detuner on the B string but I've never used it with the band because the B's always been low enough.