Are 5-string basses dying out?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ThumbyAche, Feb 3, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ThumbyAche

    ThumbyAche Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2005
    Denver, Colorado
    I was thinking about it and most all of my favorite players use a 4-string, some almost exclulsively: Marcus, Wooten, Flea, Vail Johnson, Wimbish, etc. Even noted 5-string players like Roscoe Beck, Jimmy Earl or Pino Palladino are using 4-strings most of the time I see them play. Most signature basses I see being built are what's the deal? Is the popularity of mutiple string basses dying out or what? Seems like most of the real famous players prefer a 4-string.
  2. stretch80


    Jan 31, 2005
    5 string may be less of a fad among 4 string players, but there's a strong core of players for whom they are THE instrument. Esp. in gospel, soul, funk. Jamband world too.

    I play both 4 and 5. But I tune my precision in D now. Can't live w/out the low D.

    Check Juan Nelson w. Ben Harper for one killer 5 player...
  3. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
  4. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
  5. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I don't think they're gonna go away...I agree that with the constant expansion of the electric bass in terms of strings, having just one more doesn't seem all that huge now. It does mean that popularity in 6 strings is rising ("hooray" says Anthony Jackson!) but in reality, the low B completes the package for some players.

    Also TS, good to see another Vail Johnson fan here!
  6. I have tried to live without the low B but I just count on it too much. I rest my thumb on the string below the one I am currently playing and the 5 is just more in tune with my playing style. I do use the extra string for it's range, but in reality it just fits my hands and style better.
  7. You're just saying that because you hope the market for 5s drops out so you can afford a whole bunch of them- you closet 5-string bass player!:eek: Back on topic, my 5 ain't dead but it sho' smell funky!
  8. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota

    The low B probably completes the package for many players - as opposed to the high C. I know that's the case for me. I had a 6 and personally just didn't use the high C as much as the low B.

    I play my 4 string quite a bit. I tend to use the 5 in church. The 5 is the bass I would take if I could only take 1 and wanted the bass on which I felt most comfortable.
  9. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    It's funny I was just thinking about this same question the other day... actually cats at work were talking about that too.

    I love having the B string, but I recently picked up my Jazz 4 stringer and played a few gigs with it... so the 5'ver I put in an order for is going to have the nut cut for both E-C and B-G tuning and have a detuner...

    Not sure if I could say that 5's are gone for me though.
  10. Yup. All about the 1 string these days. :D :p
  11. 5vers and 6ers and 7ers and 8ers and 9ers and 10ers and all other string combinations aren't going anywhere. They are less popular than 4s for sure, but not dying out by any means.
  12. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    There's a thread right now, Top 3 5 strings you've owned. It started at 1:00 and there are 26 responses, most own 3 or more. What does that say?
  13. 5 strings are ok but anything more makes me wanna puke. I don't know I just don't like the way it looks... anybody else this way?
  14. oh yeah because the looks are the most important thing for any instruments after all...:rollno:

    and no 5 strings( just like 6,7,8 etc. ) are not dying. They continue to become more popular and accepted imo
  15. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The five string fad may be dead, but the practical reasons for extended range remain. I know I will keep a five, I'm not worried about Wooten, Marcus Miller, or Jeff Berlin.
  16. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I can honestly say I've never been offended by a musical instrument. Looks or otherwise. I've been playing primarily four-string for two months now (after almost ten years of five or more), and I still prefer the looks of basses with five or more strings.

    There's lots of guys out there that really seem to get upset about five, six, seven, etc. -string basses. This has never made the slightest bit of sense to me, particularly because they get the old rolley eyes at SOMEONE ELSE'S instrument choice.

    I always imagine that they're so in love with their copy of Led Zepplin III that they take it as a personal offense wehn someone buys an instrument that has the capability of going outside the look or range of what they see/hear in classic rock bands. Like music itself culminated and perfected itself in that time period, and anything beyond it isn't an evolution- it's a perversion. Like "who do they think they are, thinkin' they can rock more than Boston??!!?"
  17. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Victor and Marcus both play fives and sixes as well- Vic's one fretless that he always plays is a five-string, and I think all of Marcus' fretlesses are five or six-string.

    They just don't get seen as much because people focus on their slapping, which they both do primarily on four-string.
  18. Well for me that is completly wrong. I have played 5,6,7+ string basses and I kinda enjoy playing them but I don't like the looks...

    As for the last paragraph... You have you opinion and thats fine. That was not what I was thinking at all when I made that comment. I have a diverse taste in music believe it or not. The music made with the 5,6,7+ string basses is good its just the look of the bass I dont like. Obviously my opinion.
  19. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    The second part of my post was directed at the "I HOPE SO!" comment- only the first paragraph was directed at your post. Sorry if it came across differently.
  20. i love my five string bass, and i am just finishing up a deal for a six string. fours are ok as well, but i am more comfortable on a five string because i can play most stuff in fifth posistion instead of first


Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.