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all you 5stringers...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jomahu, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. jomahu


    Dec 15, 2004
    Bos, MA
    what made you get a 5er? do you play 4-string as well?
    and when do you play one or the other?

    i've been thinkin about getting a 4 string (i only play 5string in my band), but i feel like i'll miss my B string terribly!

  2. bhawk1


    Oct 9, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    I couldn't cop Jimmy Johnson licks without a five, which is why I made the transation from four. :)

    I still break out the four-bangers, if a song calls for the tone of one of my fours. Or, if it's a long night and I just want a lighter bass to sling around during the last set. Or, if I just want a change of pace.
  3. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    If I want a Four I just ignore one string. I started out on Fives and Sixes and will likely never buy a Four.
  4. Orco87


    Mar 26, 2000
    The bass I was playing on was my bro's burrowed ATK and it was tuned BEAD for the 311 that we used to play.... I figured it would be best to just get a 5 string so the B string notes would actually sound nice.

    Yup, I love 4's.

    The 5 will be played when usually rockin' out and something of major low-ness is needed. The 4 is for basically everything else. I've done some recent mods to the 5 to make it a tad more versatile, but it's still mainly a rocker, not much for the more jazzy stuff.

    When noodling around w/ the 4 I'll be playing and I'll horribly miss my B string, I'll be reminded every now and then that I don't have it when I try to go for a low note. Especially if I'm messin' around in the upper register.

    It's always good to just have a simple 4, but if you find it's too difficult to play or w/e, then just stick to 5, nothin's wrong w/ that. Play what's good for you. :bassist:
  5. Some Groovy Guy

    Some Groovy Guy

    Sep 28, 2006
    I originally got a 5 because i played harder rock.

    Then I quickly begun to realize the benefits of having the string.

    Making hitting lower notes in the same region easier. A year later i upgraded to a 6.

    I feel the most comfortable behind 6 strings, but 4'a re nice to.

    My next bass will be along the lines of a MIA fender jazz.
  6. jomahu


    Dec 15, 2004
    Bos, MA
    yeh....if only there were an affordable production-line p/j 5-string! then all my worries would be over! :spit:
  7. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    I occasionally buy 4 strings, but they never last. It is rare I even take one to a gig. My lastest buy was an Ibanez Artcore which I am having modified with a Darkstar, so I am sure that one will last a bit. I doubt I would miss the B string, except for those very few songs I use the Low D. Otherwise, I bet I could get by with 4.

    My first bass was a 4 string, but I only used it for a couple months. 90% of the basses since then have been 5 strings, mostly for easily reaching the lower notes while staying in one position.
  8. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    I started on 4 went to 5 now back to both.I remember when i felt i could never play a 5 now i can play both with no problem switching back and forth on setlists. I like the 4 better overall..lighter faster and i play it diifrent. The 5 i like the close string spacing and the B is great on alot of songs just alot of tone ranges and less skiping strings on a 5 but more of a workout.;)
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I initially switched because I wanted the extra 5 notes.

    I stayed because I like the wide voicings that are difficult to get with 4 strings, being able to play higher up the neck, and having more notes under my fingers.
  10. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Yeah, Embellisher, I hear ya. Seems too like a Five can function as two distinct Fours - one on the regular E-A-D-G strings, and a fatter-voiced one played one string over and five frets up, on the B-E-A-D strings.
  11. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I ended up with a 5 because I was doing a lot of country subs around the same time I started working with one of those blues gui****s that just had to tune to Eb.

    despite what you may have heard, it's about impossible to play recent country properly without 5 strings or at the very least a BEAD 4
  12. I started on my Ibanez 4-string P. I didn't feel that I was missing a string but I was detuning E>D for a couple of songs. When I decided that I needed a better axe I went out and played a lot of basses. I was in a shop one day trying out a 5er and found that I had no trouble dropping down to hit the D on the B string. I even ended up rewriting the part so I hammered from C>D and it sounded great. So I forked out the extra £50 to get a 5. Since then I've found it really useful. I like to play up around the 7-9 frets and I can still hit the low notes without jumping about too much.

    That said, my next bass will probably be a 4 as I can get more for my money. Depending on what tone (bass) I want I'll write accordingly.

  13. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    i have a feeling that once my 5er arrives, it will be my main axe. I need the extra lower notes and feel that they are useful in many contexts.
  14. i found that the prog rock/ pink floyd style stuff i was doing at the time needed that extra dimension (and those pesky 'nu-metal' kids didnt exist @the time so 5 was a rare sight with added kudos) of the lower B (we did a lot of B minor tunes).

    but im loving my 4's again now (jag, paisley P, T bird and a semi les paul) yet the 5 has a certain voice to it the others cant get
  15. rob2966


    Oct 19, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    I have always played a 5. My first 5 was a cheap Squier P-Bass type bass (with soapbar type pickups) - not exactly sure the model. Then I got a Pedulla ET-5 Thunderbass and just ordered a 24F/5 NYC Sadowsky.

    Reasons I prefer it:

    1. Like the option to use the low notes.
    2. Can play along with Eb tuned songs without having to retune myself.
    3. I often use the B as a thumb rest and whenever I try a 4 it feels awkward not having the extra string.

    Not a fan of 6-strings because I find it gets in the way for a lot of funk slap n' pop stuff.

  16. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Also comes in handy when transposing down to keep singers from shredding throats before the night is over ; }

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Well it started off that the Sadowsky 5 string neck fit my hand so well that I learned to love the Low B ! :bassist:
  18. I sometimes wonder if you came out of the womb with that bass in your hands. :smug:
  19. Joe BassPlayer

    Joe BassPlayer Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    I've played 5's and few 6's for the last 17 years. During that time I put together a 4 string with the intent of using it primarily for slap. While I enjoyed playing the 4 string,
    I still had to bring my 5 to the gigs because I use the B on so many songs. I got tired of bringing 3 basses (5 string fretted & fretless) and sold the 4 string. That was 5 years ago and I doubt that I'll ever own another 4 string.

    As a side note, I play primarily church worship music and the low B is used in practically everything we play.
  20. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Depending on what type of music you are playing the 5 string is necessary. I started with a 4, went straight to a 6 and in the last couple of years.

    Still like playing certain things on a 4, Especially, motown stuff because for the feel and phrasing IMO happens a little better on a 4. With a 5, I tend to play in the same area since I can do the parts in the same area. This really started because I played a 6 for a long time and you can play an entire song in the same position on the 6.

    All that being said, if you like you 5 do you need to go to a 4? Will it help you do something better than you can do on your 4? I know guys who are trying to convince me that I need a 7 string.... It's about what you are trying to do

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