benefits to 5 string?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by thewalrus81, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. thewalrus81

    thewalrus81 Guest

    Sep 19, 2003
    Dallas TX
    im looking for a new bass and i have a question.

    i realize that its helpful to have 5 string simply because the notes you need are closer instead of up higher on the neck.

    but other than the extra string, are 5 strings any better than 4?
  2. look cooler?
  3. thewalrus81

    thewalrus81 Guest

    Sep 19, 2003
    Dallas TX
    haha whatever

    but seriously
    all of you 5 string owners that have played 4 strings, did you think they were better?
  4. The only difference is one more string. I use my low B mostly to play notes below low E.
  5. Low Eb low D and C, and B if you want to.
  6. Switching to a 5er? it's a lil bit harder to play, especially for the "fret hand", but one gets used to it very quickly.
    It gives more way of playing and they're a lot of riffs I found, i couldn't even figure them out before. It's very inspirating.
    switching back to a 4er is also a new real pleasure: my hands are huge, now!!!:D
  7. thewalrus81

    thewalrus81 Guest

    Sep 19, 2003
    Dallas TX
    thats the only problem i could come up with was the size of the neck

    do you really get adjusted to it pretty quick if you play it alot?
  8. Sharp


    Jan 27, 2002
    Artists Relations, KMI
    man... it's so much more than just "now you can hit low notes from B to E".

    1-At any one position, you have access to a 2 octave range.
    2-If you're into symmetry, you can play the same shape in more places.
    3-one of the harder parts to playing a 5'er is that they usually have a smaller string spacing, so you can't afford to be as sloppy with your thumb if you're slapping. Granted, this may improve your technique and dexterity/stamina.
    4-even if you're playing a low E on the B string, IT'S GOING TO SOUND DIFFERENT. they are the same note, yes, but there's more to a note and than just it's frequency.
    5- you can tap 5-note voicings
    6- ive got big hands, so its actually more comfortable, and yes, you do get used to it.

    those are some of the main things that make a 5'er so cool. not a full list, just the stuff off the top of my head, but its still a fine list :)

    granted, it's a bit tricky at first, but the benefits are worth it.


    as far as the cool factor, you look :cool: cool :cool: playing any bass :D
  9. there are many benafits to a 5-strings and people have already covered the main parts. I have really found that the benafits you get really depend on the type of music you play. if you are into more modern music, jazz, R&B and stuff like that then 5ers are great and I get a lot of good use out of mine. but if you play mostly blues and classic style rock then you really won't find yourself using the B string much.

    I have found that these days I like to play my 4 bangers most of the time but I still have a 5-string for versatility reasons.
  10. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    Sharp pretty much covered most of it and of course you'll get used to it. Just like when you started out playing a 4, you have to accustom yourself to it.
  11. thewalrus81

    thewalrus81 Guest

    Sep 19, 2003
    Dallas TX
    ok thanks everyone
    ill look at some more 5-strings

    since yall seem to know ur 5ers, does anyone know a good 5 string i could get for $600-900?

  12. Whoa!! That's going to start a whole nother discussion. You're going to get a lot of support for the MTD Kingston (US$500-$600.00). I've played one and it definitely is a good value. For about the same amount of money, you can get an Ibanez BTB405, which I have. I know the BTB405 doesn't get a lot of support from many of the fellow TBers, but I really like mine. Both models have nice wide spacing at the bridge.

    By the way, I second everything sharp said.
  13. IvanMike

    IvanMike TTRPG enthusiast, Happy, Joyous, & Free. Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i got rid of my modulus 5 and i miss 5 strings already
    it is neat to be able to play lower than low E
    but my fave part was being able to play w/o changing position - i think that's the neatest thing about the 6 too
    as far as good value at a cheap price - some are good, most suck
    a good 5 is a lot harder to find than a good 4
    actually one of the best thing about a 5 string is how neat a 4 feels after playing a 5 for a while
  14. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I don't agree. Maybe because I've played 5's for so long. To me, 5 is so normal that playing a 4 is like having a string missing. Imagine you're a 4 string player and you're playing a bass with only 3 strings on it. Same feeling.........
  15. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    I'd say go visit your local store and try out as many fivers as you can. Considering that you have not played one before its good that you test out for yourself, at least you'd get a first hand look at how those fivers feel. Some fivers have really narrow string spacings like mine while others aren't too narrow, then you have issues like neck profiles to consider.

    I'll throw some suggestions in. For that kind of money, I'm sure some of the TB'ers would say go for a used one. If you're looking at getting a new bass, you can't go wrong with the MTD Kingstons and the Lakland Skylines. Schecters makes very nice fivers in that price bracket. I'm partial to Hamer when it comes to choosing a bass so naturally I would say try a Hamer. Take a look at their Velocity line, they're very good for the money.

    But as I've previously mentioned, do visit your local music store and test out some fivers so you'd get a feel of them and roughly have an idea of the kind of 5ver that might be suitable for you.
  16. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    I'm with Petebass on this one. A few weeks ago I picked up a 4 for the first time in 7-8 months and it felt really odd. Like what Pete said, its like having a string missing but I must say it felt very "fun" when I slapped on the 4.
  17. Oliver


    Jun 21, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    i used to play a 5'er but i was more comfortable
    on a 4 string, 2 octaves close up dont matter to me, i like to use the whole neck.
    And also i never really used the Low B anyway, even for really heavy stuff.

    Standard 4 string config is a rippa!
  18. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Exactly how I feel. I learned on a 5'er, and I'm addicted. I had a 4 for 3 months just for the experience(essex jazz), and then sold it. I am a bit unusual in that I play a Tenor tuning on my 5 though..

    Also, I think everyone understands that a 5 isn't any "better" than 4, it's just personal preference. If we went by string count alone, then JT would kill us all and have the "best" basses.:D

    For 5'ers, I would seriously reccomend checking out a used Spector Czech (about $800-$900), a spector ReBop new or used($400-$900), or an Ibanez BTB new or used ($300-$700). These are all VERY good basses for the price. I hear the MTD's are very good too, but I am yet to play them. I would avoid most fender 5'ers- they are very inconsistent and the low B is usually less-than-stellar. If you can find a used warwick fortress (they are out of production), then that's another very good option for around $700.
  19. I love BTBs. They sound great, and it's very hard to get a tighter B sting for the money. I really don't need another bass, but G.A.S. is calling.

    I might even go for a BTB406QM in the not too distant future. ;)

    Thewalrus81: Get a 5er, you will never regret it!

  20. Good used 5ers in and around that price range include:

    G&L L2500
    MM Stingray5
    Peavy Cirrus 5
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