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Anyone Regret Going to LESS strings???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by OnThaCouch, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. OnThaCouch


    Aug 10, 2006
    Fairfield, CA
    Hey all--
    Contemplating putting up my Groove Tools up for sale and going to 4 or 5 strings. Not using the higher strings, not really using the B but occasionally do.

    I thought I would eventually get into more music where I could explore the high end. After a couple of years, I am realizing how much music is in the first five frets of the 4-string and even more in the 5er. Not sure I will ever get good use out of the 7.

    I think the only real thing holding me back right now is that the GT7 is such a sweet bass. I don't want to regret selling it but can't afford a new bass without selling it.

    Anyone make the move to less strings and miss them? Find that less strings were more useful?

    For those of you who gave up the B-string do you want it back?

    Maybe I am just in the early stages of GAS for something different, but wondering if it would be a good idea to let go of the high end.

    I am thinking I can get a couple of nice Squiers for the price of the GT7.

    What does the great TB think tank say?? :eyebrow:.

    Thanks in advance for your input.
  2. I gave up the B string for a few months and had to come back to it. I despise changing the tuning on my basses and found my self playing many songs in drop D or half step down or CGCF and with 5er i could just transcribe it and keep standard tuning. I've considered getting rid of the G string on my p bass and tuning BEAD just because I don't use the g string but once in a blue moon so I def wouldn't need 2 extra strings up top.

    If you like the groove tools so much,why not sell the 7 string,and get a 5 string version?
  3. Mayers

    Mayers Guest

    Sep 28, 2007
    Well ... since you don't play the kind of music a 7 strings would benefit you ... well I will say like 5strings5fingers and get a 5 strings version of the GrooveTool
  4. KramerBassFan


    Jan 3, 2009

    Four here... i got a nice five once, and we just didn't get along.

    I just couldn't sell it, though....
  5. I bought a fiver and rarely used my B string, so my next bass I went back to four and haven't regretted it a bit.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i had a 2 year period where i played nothing but a 5, and i just couldn't take it on a regular basis, so i went back to 4's and never looked back. ok, not entirely true...i still have the 5 and practice on it semi-regularly, but haven't played it onstage in over 5 years.
  7. Nope. I played a 5 string for 10 years. When I started playing a bunch of old school funk, Motown, and soul stuff I switched back to a 4 string and haven't missed that B string at all. There are other reasons I prefer a 4 string that are directly related to my current workload which requires me to play 3 to 4 sets per night 4 - 6 nights per week. I find the 4 string to be much less strenuous on my left and right hand. It really comes down to the style you play, and what the right tool is for your particular situation. Maybe just save up for a 4 or 5 string for a while; this tradeoff would allow you to keep your 7 string in exchange for having to wait a bit longer to downsize. Best wishes!
  8. I sold my six string to buy a four string Jazz Bass. I love it! I use DGCF tuning, it's like having two extra frets. I don't feel limited at all. I do have to do more posistion changes, but that not so bad.
  9. SGS


    Mar 21, 2010
    This -

    I played guitar for ~10 years and then moved to bass after not playing anything for a number of years. I hated tuning my guitar down so when I started playing bass I went straight to a 5 string. I did buy a 4 string about 2 years later but half the stuff I play is in drop tuning so I don't use it a whole lot.

    I agree with trying to save up to buy a 4 or 5 string to have in addition to your 7. It never hurts to have another toy if you can afford to buy it :D

    Never thought about setting up a 4 string BEAD before. Now you've got me thinking about restringing my 4 string...
  10. bass_lord_mutha

    bass_lord_mutha Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Odessa, TX

    I started out playing on a 6 string, but went down to a 4 and 5 in the early stages just because I wasn't soloing much in my earlier years. 6 strings still feel like home to me, but nowadays I've been wanting to move up to a 7 for more range. I've always had alot of fun coming up with different things on a 7.
  11. I have a 5 string now and plan on buying a 4 soon enough. May or may not keep the 5er. I do actually play the G string and have played as high as the 20th fret in one or two songs. I've yet to play a single note before the D on the 3rd fret of my B string, and I rarely play any other notes on it. Sure, it can be nice to be able to play a fretted low E note, but my B string is by far my least used string. Also, I like the sound of drop tuned strings. DGCF is my favorite tuning. Since nearly all the music I play is in standard, it's not really a hassle to occasionally have to drop tune.

    That being said, my 5er plays great and I'm gonna wait until I find a 4 string that plays even better before I make the switch.
  12. Keldur16


    May 7, 2009
    Tallahassee Fl
    I did. I learned to play on a five so anything less makes me feel naked. Im selling my four now as a matter of fact and saving up to replace it with a five.
  13. I played a 4 string strung BEAD for a while and wanted to mention a couple of challenges that can be associated with that setup depending on your bass.

    1) There is a good chance that you will need to file the string slots in the nut to a greater width, particularly for the fat B string nut slot.
    2) The fatter strings increase tension on the neck. If you are really precise and particular about the way you basses are set-up,some basses might be more difficult to setup with that configuration.

    3)Pickups: are 4 string pickups capable of articulating a B-String? Can someone chime in on this?
  14. if you have any doubts at all about needing to get a low B -- DEFINITELY just use a 5-string bass.

    They are set up for the width, length and frequencies.

    I only go to drop-D, so I use a 4-string.

    As far as the higher notes----IMO, once you go higher than a G-string, the instrument takes on a different meaning altogether. You say you have a 7-string ? does that mean that you have Low B, then standard EADG, then 2 more strings higher ? If so, that is a different instrument than a 4 or 5 and can't really be compared to a standard bass.

    Unless you like to solo in guitar-like registers, or do a lot of chordal work, the 7-string sounds like it is taking up valuable equity that you could use for a nice 5-string.
  15. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    I tried 6 for a while, but I couldn't do it. My fingers just aren't long enough for that. I have a 5 and a 4 now. The 4 is new, so I've been playing it more than the 5 lately, but the 5 is indispensible for a lot of the things I play.

    On a related note, the 4-string I bought has a 35" scale, so if I decide to do it, it can easily be set up for BEAD tuning.
  16. Jefenator


    Aug 22, 2008
    I never regretted ditching my first 6-string for a series of 4s and 5s. If you're not really using the extra strings, it makes sense to me to lose 'em.

    You can always get back in the ER game, later on. (I'm enjoying it more the second time around, after a 10-year hiatus.)
  17. SGS


    Mar 21, 2010
    IF I decided to go BEAD on a 4 string it would be happening to a Squier Jazz. I just looked at the nut and it would definitely need to be filed. Maybe I can get a replacement that doesn't need to be filed OR file the replacement before installing it (I'd be much more comfortable doing that).

    While the saddles on the bridge are all identical I don't know how well it would hold up to a B string. I wouldn't attempt to file out those saddles. If the saddle won't accommodate a B string I'm sure it can be replaced.

    I don't see there being a problem with the pickups. People downtune 4s to C and even B and don't change the pickups. When you're playing up higher on the fretboard the pickup doesn't care if you're on the 5th or 7th or 17th fret on your low or high string. The magnet still picks up the vibration. On an even more extreme note, Dimebag Darrel flipped his pickups so his solos had a warmer, creamier sound to them. Sure that's on a guitar and we're talking bass, but that's a 2 octave difference to the E strings when you flip the pickup (3 octaves when he was soloing) and I don't hear a single thing wrong with his guitar when I'm jamming out to Pantera :bassist:

    I've considered flipping the forward pickup on my Dean 5'er in an attempt to get a slightly crisper/clearer sound on E and B. I finger pick with my thumb on the forward pickup and want just a slightly clearer sound from that spot. I don't like the tension difference or the sound when finger picking at the bridge. It's a little too crisp for my liking. Flipping the forward pickup may be the happy medium.
  18. ljazz


    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    I went through a couple year period with a TRB5 and 6, but ultimately, I found myself in positions where I needed my passive 4's nearly 90% of the time....... and the other 10% would have gone equally as well with the 4's. I was working because of my groove, not because of the things I could do on a 5 or 6...... the B string got in the way, and I wasn't getting called to do solos utilizing a high C string. Eventually, I found myself needing to downsize the collection, and they were the first to go. I don't miss them at all, although I occasionally feel the gas pangs for another ERB.... but those go away quickly.
  19. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    More than likely, there will be less tension on the neck.
  20. SGS


    Mar 21, 2010
    I was thinking about this as well so I went to Google. I found this TB thread - http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=227249 I'm not all the way through the first page yet but I saw this chart http://baen.tamu.edu/users/rel/personal/BassStrings.html It looks like you can have some hefty differences in string tension, especially based on type of string.

    That chart doesn't show low B though, so I'll keep reading unless someone else comes up with it first.

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