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5 String Regrets

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PaulMacCnj, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. I really like the sound of the low B on a bass. I'm not sure if I should buy a 5 string bass or a long scale (35") 4 string modified to BEAD. I've played a few 5ers and the tighter string spacing makes me play horribly. I'm hitting strings that aren't intended. Maybe it's just a matter of getting used to it? What has been the experiences of other 4 string players that went to 5? Any regrets? Anyone feel like they just could not get used to it?

    As for the BEAD stringing, has anyone tried this and missed the G string or did you just change your playing position to make up for it?

    Paul Mac
  2. There are many fives with wide string spacing. Look for them and try them out. A great budget bass with wide string spacing is the Squier Precision Bass Special five. These run between $199-$250. All Fenders have wide string spacing, so do Yamaha TRB models. Lakland, both USA and Skyline have wide spacing too.
  3. FeelTheGroove


    Dec 2, 2005
    I had a yamaha 5er and it had pretty wide string spacing. I was still able to play slap on it pretty easily.

    It took a little while to get used to, bunch of times I would hit the B sting thinking it was the E just out of habit. But after like a month I grew accustomed to it and made few errors.

    Eventually I sold it though and went back to playing just 4-bangers. Turns out in the end that I hardly ever used the B string, and I could never really get totally used to the big neck.
  4. troll


    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    Yeah it's really just a matter of getting used to it. Obviously your skill going into it can vary your results, but it's really not that huge of a leap, after awhile, you'll wonder to yourself how you used to play a large gapped 4 and miss having that B string as an anchor at times :)

    As was noted, large or 'regular' spaced 5's are available. And most aren't that tight. Just try to find something that's not a tight spacing and you'll probably really enjoy it.

    My 4 is neglected these days :)
  5. FeelTheGroove


    Dec 2, 2005
    Thats true, the tighter spacing made for some pretty fast fingerstyle playing. Thats the one thing that I miss about playing a 5er...
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I played 4 string basses for 19 years...and then switched over to 5 earlier this year, and had the same worries...

    But now I love 5 and have a hard time dragging myself back to 4, even for a few minutes. The 5 I have has standard 18mm string spacing, and really isn't very 'tight' between the strings. Also, if you go to five go for one that has a GOOD B string...it makes all the difference in the world.

    I find now, 6 months later, I can play my five faster and better than any 4 I've owned. The string spacing does force you to play 'less wild' when it comes to your right hand...you have to have a bit of precision, but you can get around on a five faster than a four.

    I say do it.
  7. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    Played 4's for a while. Switched to 5's. Decided I didn't like the neck and switched back to 4's. Missed the B so I got my next 4 converted to BEAD. Don't hardly use the B and miss the G alot so I'm going back to EADG with the intent of eventually putting a D-tuner on.

    That's the timeline of my experience with the B string.
  8. Simball


    Mar 26, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    I also have a problem with tight string spacing on 5 stringers (IMO stingray 5's are too tight) just personal taste. Not to say it couldn't be gotten used to. It just takes a while before playing a 5'er feels right, for me it probobly took a month or two.
  9. I played standard 4 for about 15 years, and switched to a 5 just a few months ago. I prefer it, not only for the added lows, but because the wider neck actually suits me better. I'm not much of a slapper though. Since I bought the 5, the 4 hasn't had much of a look-in, and I think that all future purchases will be 5's. Just my 2c worth.
  10. I tried alot of 5s when I was recently in the market and fell in love with the Spectors. But I played alot that I hated and could never see myself playing. Now that I play the 5 all the time, the 4s feel thin and uncomfortable. Honestly, I never use the B, but I liked the wide neck with close spacings. And as far as your question, I played thrash metal with a pick and was worried that playing that fast I would too hit all the wrong strings, but I dont with the Spector, which is why I picked it. My advice, if you want a 5 string, just try them out and find the one that fits your hand and style, they are so different from one bass to the next. But, I love mine and dont think Im going back.
  11. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    I went through the same thing. I don't care for tight string spacing either.
    Fender, Warwick, Yamaha, Ibanez BTB series are wider spaced but also have wider necks. The Fender 5 actually feels more like home because of the 34 inch scale and the inclusion of the headstock string trees and a Heavy guage B string .135 to .145, eliminates a floppy feel. The five is a different animal however and if you decide to go with a five, the best thing you can do is to play only a five for a good 3 months at least. The format is different, it is not just a four string with a low B, your whole style of playing has to change. Keep it simple at first then as you grow accustomed to the five you can start to experiment more. I myself found that Im better off just sticking to the good old 4 string. It is something you have to discover and realize for yourself. Good Luck! ;)
  12. Some day I'll find the right five, but until then, I'm more than content with playing 4.
  13. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    For myself I have found the most comfortable 5's to be Peavey. I have the Cirrus 5 and a Fury 5 and they just feel right to me. Ibanez isn't bad either. I would like to try the Spector 5's as they look very comfortable. When I switched to playing 5's it took me only a couple of hours to get used to the Cirrus. Playing it is like playing heaven. :bassist:
  14. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    I started playing 5-string basses exclusively 14 years ago. My first one was a Washburn Axxess and it had a pretty tight string spacing and that was the only reason I wasn't happy with it. When it was stolen, I found the Carvin BB75 among the options that fitted my budget. I chose this because of the wide string spacing and it's really wide! You should check it. Now I'm playing my EBMM Bongo, which is in the middle, but it didn't take so long to get used to that string spacing.
  15. i switched and i love my fiver, i used to hate it just after i bought it. but then i realised that its not a four sting with a extra lower string. its a toatally different insterment all together. not i am love it again. it took me about 3 days to get used to the string spacing (sr305).

  16. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I've had a Jazz 5 Deluxe and now a G&L L2500. The Jazz 5 was slightly more comfy for me with small hands. The L2500 has OK sting spacing at the bridge where I play, but overall the Jazz 5 was better
  17. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    It took a couple of months for me to get comfortable on five, but now it's the only bass I'll play. I love the lower notes, I love the extended range in each fingering position, and my smallish hands have no trouble on the wider neck.

    In fact despite my smallish hands, I too have a problem with tight string spacing. So, as Dr. Cheese said, I've played "wide" fivers: Fender, Sadowsky, MTD. I'm disappointed that MusicMan, G&L, and Modulus fivers have narrow string spacing... if not for that, I'd own one of each.

    5-string isn't for everyone, but I think it will be for you. Good luck!
  18. Thanks for all the comments. I get the feeling that BEAD stringing isn't liked much. From this thread and others that have discussed it, no one jumps right up and says that they like it.

    Before making any decision, I should play the 5ers more.

    Paul Mac
  19. i know a guy that plays a BADG bass, but i have never seen a BEAD (tho timmy c uses one from time to time)

  20. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    It is just a learning curve you have to get past. We are not as good as our idols by far. They could pick up a POS knockoff bass and make it sing.

    It will make you a better player to try new things.

    I own 5 strings and I own 4 strings. I even have a 4 that is tuned C-G-C-F which is close to the B you want to get to.

    What I did for this bass was throw heavier strings on it and then tightened the truss rod to increase tension of the strings so nothing is floppy. A quick intonation adjustment and string action check and I was in business.