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Buying a second bass - get another 5, or a 4?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by blindrabbit, Aug 16, 2012.


  1. Help me decide which bass to buy!

    I'm looking at picking up a second bass in the next few weeks, for a couple of reasons that are both related to a new project I'm joining.

    One reason is to have a backup for any and all purposes, as I only have one bass at the moment, a Warwick Thumb NT 5 which I happen to love more than any instrument I've ever owned. The other reason is because its a tribute project I'm joining and the bassist I'll be tasked with emulating is a Fender guy, so getting a Jazz will fit much better with the stage appearance the group is looking for from me.

    I've pretty much narrowed down my purchase to a Squier VM Natural Jazz. The question is this - should I get it in a 5 string or a 4 string version?

    The 5 string would be probably the better backup for my Thumb over the long-term. However, I don't like the wider neck and string spacing on the Jazz5 very much, and I also don't need to use the B at all for any of the tunes I'll be doing in the tribute project.

    The 4 string is ever so slightly cheaper and gives a more accurate stage appearance for purposes of the tribute, but will I regret not having that B string? I've not owned a 4 string bass since 1991, and I wonder if it would mess me up to be flipping between a 4 and a 5, especially during a gig.

    I'd love to hear any advice, maybe from anyone else that's been in a similar situation. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you keep in shape on both, no reason you can't switch around. Sounds like you'd rather have the 4, so go with your gut.
     
  3. Funny thing is I think I'd rather have the 5, I just wish that the neck was as wide (narrow?) as my Thumb's!

    Normally I would go with my gut, but the problem here is that my gut is...well...torn!
     
  4. I'd go with another 5er. I have a 5 and a 4. The 4 is not a backup for the 5.
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I agree...my 5 is a backup for my 4.
     
  6. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY
    I'd try to find a 5 string with the Fender look but narrower spacing. I don't know offhand who makes one but it must exist.

    So can you tell us what band/bassist you will be emulating? Your wording seems to suggest that you need to keep it a secret for some reason.
     
  7. Ibanez Bassist

    Ibanez Bassist

    Jan 30, 2010
    US of A
    Going from a 5 to a 4 as mentioned above is really no help if something happened to the 5er. if you had a 4 and couldnt decided wether or not to get a 5 or another 4 then thats an easy one, get the 5 ..
     
  8. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    N.H.
    Well, the 5 is a 4 with a really good thumbrest.
    I go between 2 basses, low B and a low E strung and it
    does throw me off at times.
    I say go for the 5.
     
  9. phillybass101

    phillybass101

    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    If you are playing a 5 and need a backup for the 5 get another 5. If you want something different get the 4. Ask yourself, if I get the 5 will I still want a 4 string? If I get a 4 string will I still want another 5? The answers might be yes to both questions. For the price that the VMs go for, for $600-$700 you could probably work out a deal for both. I'd try to make a deal to get both. If you don't like one or another return it within the return period.
     
  10. You may want to talk with the other tribute band members and see how 'tribute' the band is really going to be.
    If it's laissez-faire, get another 5 as a back-up to the Warwick. This will also benefit you if the tribute goes bust as you'll have a spare bass.
     
  11. I think while the answer may be yes to both questions - who wouldn't want more basses? - it is a "stronger" yes for wanting another 5. If cash on hand wasn't an issue, I did consider and probably would get both. I also thought if it like this - lets say I had a higher budget and could spend $1000 on this instrument instead of $300, what would I get - and it would almost certainly be a Lakland DJ-5. I think its a 5er that I'll go for.

    Good point. I also wonder how well the average audience member can really tell the difference between a 5 and a 4 anyway.

    Thanks everyone for the input, its much appreciated!
     
  12. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods!

    I had the same situation come up. Personally I am drawn to Warwicks, and feel that I play best with my Corvette 5. But for my Black Sabbath Trib, I practiced all the old stuff with a standard 4 string Lakland P Bass. As long as I practice the perticular song with the 4 string, I have no problem performing that song later. Then I move on the the 5 string later for the few songs that require me to play down to C#.

    Bottom line.....dont hesitate to get the right bass for the right job. You can adjust as long as you practice like you are gonna play it.
     
  13. I knew there had to be someone else out there with a similar experience! I appreciate your input. I felt that I would be able to adjust to songs played on the bass that I practice them on, my fear was of having the Thumb go out of commission for some reason, like a broken string, then be left with a 4 to play those tunes on. Like one fellow said, a 5 backs up a 4, but a 4 does not back up a 5.
     
  14. jlepre

    jlepre

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    Stay with a 5 unless you have no problem switching back to a 4.

    I recently tried the switch, and found myself always missing the B for neck position. It just really makes playing without looking at your fingers SO much easier. Plus I am the lead vocalist, so I helps in that matter as well.
     

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