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Another "4 or 5 string" thread...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lkngro, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. So some of you guys may have seen my thread regarding used Warwicks, and I got alot of good info from that, so I'd like to say thanks again for that.

    So I know what to look for as far as a used 'Wick, but I'm wondering if I should look for a 4 or 5 string. I love to play Incubus (Drik Lance era) and Dave Matthews, both of which use 5 strings alot, so that would be a reason to get one.

    However, in my band and just playing around, I wouldn't see any really practical reason to have 5 strings (although it would be nice to go down to a low D if I wanted to). I'm also used to 4 strings.

    So what do you guys think? Should I pay a little more for a Fiver and learn how to use it or stick with what I know and what I'm comfortable with?
  2. FunkyMan


    Nov 27, 2007

    Go for 5 strings man, it's a matter of weeks to get used to! and that will improve your playing for more years to come, plus you have that extra string for support Low notes in the air! IMO Good Luck
  3. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    5 strings.... or BEAD..

    I've yet to hear a band go "dude.. higher notes"
  4. MooseKnuckle

    MooseKnuckle Guest

    Apr 8, 2010
    The fact that you're contemplating it, means you have interest in it. Music is an ejoyable passion, and you should be making music you love with equipment that inspires you to continue to create that music, and beyond. Good Luck.
  5. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    Every serious bass player should own at least one 5 string bass.

    Even famous players who are known for playing 4 string basses own at least one 5 string bass ... for example McCartney, Geddy Lee, Chris Squire.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Go with fiver. Maybe your next band will feature a lot of detuned modern rock (but see my next comment).

    I played 4-string for 20+ years and got tired of detuning. I got a fiver back in Y2K and now it's all I play. Took me a couple months to get truly comfy on it, but I realized it's great to have the "extra" string even when I don't need any notes below low E.
  7. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I never became comfortable with a 5 string, even after owning one for nearly 2 yrs. Another great option is a 4 string tuned to D standard, (DGCF), which gets you the low D, without sacrificing much of anything from the top end. I keep one of my 3 basses in D standard at all times, and long ago sold the 5 string.
  8. IngerAlb


    May 11, 2007
    B E A D ! That's what I'm gonna experiment with as soon as I manage to find someone to make me a nut (I don't feel like carving the stock one, I am not skilled enough to do it right and I wanna keep the original in case I decide to sell the bass).

    I couldn't get used to the 5ers no matter what, so to me it's the only way to get a B without the awkwarness of the normal 5ers. Just my 2 cents...
  9. Tim C.

    Tim C.

    Feb 4, 2010
    Just buy whatever your personal preference is and what you think you'll really need.

    Everybody's story is different. I doubt that I'll ever play more than four in a band, never played a 5 string that was at all comfortable to me; personally if it can't be done in E standard I'm not interested in playing it. But that's my story, no relation to yours. Only you can decide what you really need.
  10. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    5. As a math major, I can assure you that it's 4 + 1, so you're not losing any strings or possibilities with a 5-string.

    By the same token, the correct answer is always "more strings."
  11. Lol, I like this answer a lot :).
  12. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    Years ago I went from 5 stringers back to 4 stringers and doing the BEAD set-up, my opinion, its the best of both worlds,,, ya get that low end B growl and still keep the ultra comfort zone of a 4 stringer spacing.

    I own about 10 bass's and they are all set-up BEAD, I have no desire to ever own a EADG bass again.

    Every once in a while I entertain the thought of getting a 5 stringer but then I ask myself,, why ?

  13. tdub0199


    Mar 4, 2010
    Atlanta, Ga.
    +1 on a Five String....
  14. t0t0m


    Dec 8, 2008
    The rule of thumb is:
    5 Fingers = 5 Strings
  15. It can never hurt to have a 5er.
  16. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    But I have 10 fingers.

  17. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    The endless debate...
    I tried to go 4 for simplicity but I found I missed my B string. I don't always use it at a gig, but when I need/want it, it's there. I go with the "if it's there you can always not use it, but if it's not there you never can" logic. The B string makes a nice thumb rest as well - like a built in ramp.

    Go with 5.
  18. I'd considered a fiver. I almost bought one recently in fact. But then I hear and see things like this:

    And numerous others (Geddy, Flea, Justin C) and I ask myself; "Why would I need more strings than that???" If these guys can do all this on "only" four strings what the heck am I going to do with only five more notes...

    If you just really like the idea of a fiver or you want to have a permanant thumb rest then go for it. But to my thinking, you can get more variety out of different pickups or tone control on your bass than you can with an extra string.
  19. Rumblefisher


    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    This was my response to another such post:

    My thinking is that 4 vs 5 is like Porsche vs Mercedes:

    Sure, there ride is a little rough in the Porsche, and you don't have things like 4 wheel drive or a lot of cargo room, but nothing handles quite like it.

    On the other hand, you have all sorts of extras and amenities in a Mercedes and some excellent engines available. So what if it doesn't quite turn on a dime, you gain a lot of other niceties.

    Sounds like you might be a Merc man. I like how Porsche's handle though.
  20. LDonnie


    Aug 3, 2008
    While the ''it doesn't hurt to have a 5 string'' certainly holds true, you might be more comfortable playing a 4 string (like me, I sadly had to learn the hard way). Maybe you can borrow a 5 string from a friend or your teacher, play that a while and then make a better choice?

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