5 vs 6 dilemma ...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by johans, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. johans

    johans G.U.I - Groovin' under influence

    Oct 28, 2004
    the Bay Area, CA
    guys ..
    please help me out here ..

    i am looking for a 5 string bass ... but turns out i can get a GORGEOUS deal on the 6 string version of it .. will you go for 6? or 5?

    i am a 5 player and i tried 6 a while back and wasnt too comfortable for slapping etc .. but the deal. ..

    let me know :)
  2. All depends on you. If you feel comortable with playing a 6'er and think you can make some use of it, then I'd say why not?
    But if you don't, I'd just go for the 5-string. It may be a good deal, but if doesn't feel right I'd rather spend some more on something that does.
  3. johans

    johans G.U.I - Groovin' under influence

    Oct 28, 2004
    the Bay Area, CA
  4. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    i agree, if your not going to get anything out of the 6er go with the 5.
  5. Even though I personally play a 6, that is only because I fell in love with it. If what makes the 6 unconfortable is just simply the feel or technique, then you can get over that, but if you don't see yourself playing one, then that is the real dividing line. Or in otherwords, if you asked us this because you see could see yourself playing it but lack the comfort/technique, then get it. If you asked us simply because you looked at the price tag and gawked, then don't get it. That's not to say though that you didn't see yourself playing it regardless of the fact that you did gawk at the price.
  6. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I primarily play a 6 and have bought and sold numerous 5s because I was not comfortable. Besides the price, why does the 6 appeal to you?
  7. RunngDog

    RunngDog Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Another vote for not buying.

    Buying just to get a "good deal" really doesn't make much sense. If you had never tried a 6 before and found the idea attractive, then it perhaps might be reasonable to give it a shot in light of the bargain price. But if you've already tried a 6 and weren't comfortable with it, buying one at a good price isn't likely to make you a whole lot more comfortable.
  8. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Sometimes a deal isn't always a deal...

    I used to think because I have a fretless 6 that I should have a fretted 6 - you know, matching pair - but I wouldn't use the fretted 6, so I made my 5er as sweet as I could.

    I do a different kind of playing on each bass, so a fretted 5 and fretless 6 is the way to go for me.
  9. Great.

    Sure, I'll go for it.

    So, you tried a 6. Did you try the 6 you're looking at purchasing? Is it uncomfortable for you as well?
  10. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    I think many of us have stood in your shoes. Several months ago I was looking for 5 string Roscoe and what I was looking for just wasn't on the market. Then I saw this gorgeous Roscoe SKB 3006! I had always wanted to try one so after a while of going back and forth in my mind, I went for it. The bass sounded and played great but I did notice that my left hand felt much more fatiqued after playing. After I played it a while, it got a little better but I could still feel a big difference. Also, I own 3 other 5 strings. For me, going back and forth from the 5 to 6 to 5 always took a few minutes to feel comfortable. Since my fretless was a 5 string, I would have had to carry 3 basses to a gig (if I wanted to play my fretless and a fretted 5). It just didn't work out. I sold the 6 and got a Roscoe 5 string. If you've tried it once and it didn't work out, you'll probably experience the same results again. I say wait for the right 5 string. It'll come around! :smug:
    Good luck!
  11. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    Personally I prefer the six because of the even number of strings (5's feel awkward to me) and the possibility of 2 octaves in 1 position and it just feels more comfortable. I found slapping difficult at first (still do) but with practice it'll get better. My slapping on six is improving but I still can't double thump or anything...In the end the only one that can really decide is you, hope this was useful.
  12. johans

    johans G.U.I - Groovin' under influence

    Oct 28, 2004
    the Bay Area, CA
    my main basses have been a 5 ... stepping to a 6 string isnt that much of adapting ...

    i can play 6 pretty well when i had an ibanez 6 last year .. i can play a lot more notes and melody on it .. my only concern is it will be harder to pluck on the G string due to the new C string there .. otherwise im not totally uncomfortable with 6 .. :)
  13. What is the 6 you're looking at. Ibanez 6's have pretty tight string spacing and thin neck profiles, last time I checked.

    Is it hard for you to pluck the D string on your 5 string? Does the G get in the way? If not, the 6 shouldn't be a problem in that regard, as it is no different.

    If I were starting to play 6, I wouldn't be so concerned with 'is plucking the G string more difficult', I would be concerned with things like keeping all the open strings quiet when you're not playing them. Its easy to have strings rumble underneat the note you're playing when you're first starting.. at least it was in my case.
  14. johans

    johans G.U.I - Groovin' under influence

    Oct 28, 2004
    the Bay Area, CA
    im looking at ..
    cirrus 5 and 6 now ..

    yeah ..
    i had a little trouble plucking D on my 5 string due to the G string .. well .. i might get over it with enough practices etc . shouldnt be a problem i think ..
  15. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    string spacing seems to be the issue. there are wide and narrow. not sure on the peavey stuff.
  16. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    I went through a phase where I was interested in a 6'er. I really wanted a 5'er, but came across some great deals on 6'ers.

    Ultimately, I decided to stay with what I know. I bought a 5'er. You should probably do the same. You play a 5'er, you like them. No reason to get a 6'er just because it is a good deal. It's only really a good deal when it is exactly what you want.

  17. I agree with the contributors who feel that a great price on something you don't really want is no deal! A bass is too personal an item to most of us to "settle." The right number will come along eventually.

    The biggest issue for me would be the LONGER reach to the MOST IMPORTANT strings, which for most of us are E, A, and D. You have to reach over that C string all night and day to get to the money strings. How much money is that worth to you? I think there is a really good reason why 6 strings seem to take bigger hits pricewise when they hit the used market, and the reason is because they are not the best choice for the majority of bass players. There is a heck of a lot of overlap with the guitar's and other instruments' frequencies, they tend to weigh more, and while the comfort issues can be minimized with technical adjustments, they usually won't go away completely.

    Of course there are going to be exceptions, but unless you are doing a lot of soloing, or maybe chording in a small combo setting, that C string is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. I was talking to a friend about a restuarant once, and I opined that the food sucked. My friend replied "But they give you so much!" I thought about that for a minute, and concluded that the large servings just made it worse. The moral of the story is that a low price on something that you don't want is a false economy.