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5-string or drop-D????

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fourstringer73, Mar 11, 2001.

  1. :oops: I have a question about what bassist do that have 5-strings that play with guitarist like mark tremonti or like jerry horton who play drop-D all the time. Do they still drop down their E-string or do they just play up on the neck a little? The reason Im asking is that im thinking of moving up to a 5-string from my four(even though i would have to change my name to fivestinger73). Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I don't know what those cats do, but this is a no-brainer: five string. A bass for the anencephalic.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I doubt that anybody would use a dropped D on a fiver, except maybe for open string sound on the D. But then you could use your old four-string for that.

    Plus: I'll throw you off in all the chord patterns you've memorized....
  4. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I have to agree with the other guys here. Why do a drop D tuning when a 5 lets you get the D without having to drop tune. After all that is one of the reasons we all probobly bought a 5. To get lower without having to drop tune. It was one of mine anyway.
  5. Granted drop D on a five is kinda silly, however there is a reason for it. Example lets say a song calls for you to play (don't yell at me if this isn't a musical sounding progression I'm just trying to make a point;)) 9th fret E string, pull off to 7th fret E string, pull off to open E string and was written in drop D. in order to do that correctly on a non drop tuned 5 you'd have to have your fingers at 12th, 10th, and 3rd frets all at the same time.

    There are other things that will be difficult if a band tunes down and you try to just play it on the B.

    That being said I like 5 string, however just keep in mind it may not do what you want to use it for very well depending on the song.
  6. oo0o00o0oo


    Apr 30, 2000
    Many newer songs are tuned DEAG. It may be easier for some to drop the E string so they don't have to make that enormous ;) stretch.
  7. Well i have a 5 string and i play a half step tuned down, but still, nothing wrong with a B flat. Anyways, definately do the 5 string thing, and then i say choose on your tuning from there.
  8. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I played in a band that tuned down to D. When I first joined, I tried to use my five & I was messing up alot. I was trying to learn the songs & follow the guitarist. I was trying to watch his hands & I got confused.

    After I learned the songs on a 4 dropped to D, I'd figure it out on the 5. By the time I was used to the songs on the 5, I left the band!!!! To bad cause it was a GREAT band & I miss playing w/those guys!!!!

    I'd say get a 5!!!!
  9. I.'.I.'.Nakoa

    I.'.I.'.Nakoa Guest

    Aug 10, 2000
    Fort Worth.
    5! definately, u can also use the other llower notes when ur not having to double the guitar
  10. akajuve400g


    May 22, 2000
    I personally think that there is a lot of muscle memory involved in playing bass. When you are used to playing a song a certain way you don't want to play it differently. When I play creed I usually drop tune my e string and just use my b string for it's tonal qualities. Now if I am playing mudvayne stuff I usually use my b string cause they, a lot of the time play below d. Oh yeah I have a question......Does Mudvayne use a 7 or six string guitar??
  11. Ibanez 7 strings tuned half a step down.

    As for the original thread question, I say go for the 5 string. They are much more versatile than 4 strings because of the extended range. However, drop d tuning is really popular with guitarist nowadays and SOME songs are much easier to play with drop d tuning (example, 'Sober' by Tool). You can always tune the strings on a 5 string different to accomodate your needs too (Sam Rivers has some wierd tuning on his 5). IMO there's no shame in alternate tunings (even on the 5), because a lot of songs bounce off of open string tunings. If drop d does all that you and more then go with a 4 string, but a 5 string will usually be much better in the long run.
  12. It might be cool to get a 5'er and tune it ADADG. That way you can have drop d and an extra 5 low notes.
    As far as trying to play drop-d songs on a standard tuned 5-string...forget it. Why do that to yourself? Are you a player or a bass masochist?
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I don't see the problem playing drop D tunes on a standard tuned 5 string. I do it all of the time.
  14. I would say get the Five. Even though I love both, I hate tuning and retuning. I bought the five so that if I really needed the fivve all I need to do is make a quick switch. This way I am more familiar with the bass and am able to play my own thing better withoit following the guitar player the whole time.
  15. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I would vote for the 5er.

    You get more out of it in the long run.
  16. ytsebri


    Sep 1, 2000
    I also vote for the 5. You can just play in 2nd position and, especially in a loud rock band, it won't really matter if the D is open or not. Not only does it sound great, but the approach to playing drop D songs w/ a 5 will eventually give you better dexterity (by making those wild stretches) and teach you to think about the fretboard in a totally different way.
  17. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    I used to play a 5 string MIA Jazz that I tuned DEADG.Went back to a 4 string because Ive got small hands,so now I drop E to D when required.
  18. KB

    KB Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    You could always just get the hipshot D-tuner. That is what I am planning to get soon as I have small hands and I very rarely play low so a 5 stringer doesn;t benefit my style, but my band has considered some d-tuned songs, for which a hipshot would work just fine (plus adding a d-tuner is much cheaper than buying a 5 string) :)

  19. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    5-string or drop-D????
    5-string or drop--Dead?

    Fits # of ?-marks, anyway..;)...just as well as my opinion--for my bass, that is.
  20. BassGuyNL


    Jul 20, 2000
    The Netherlands
    My band plays several songs in which I have to play low D and/or low Eb. How do I do it? Install a Hipshot D-tuner, as mentioned in one of the other responses, and away you go. You will be surprised how easy it is to adjust to the new tuning with just a little bit of practice. Don't change your name yet!

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