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Did You Ever Notice?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Stu Rose, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. Greetings,

    Did you ever notice most of the electric bass giants who are known to be classic players in music history play(ed) 4 string.

    Stanley Clarke
    Bobby Vega
    Stu Hamm
    Brian Bromberg
    Geddy Lee
    John Paul Jones
    John Entwistle
    Chris Squire
    Jeff Berlin
    Carol Kaye
    Duck Dunn


    It seems if you know your 4 string really well and have some creatively it's all you will ever need to be a great bassist.

  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Mark Sandman only needed 2.........
  3. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    I'm gonna assume it's mainly because the 4 string is what they played when they started.

    I mean, ya mentioned some older folks there on the list..when did 5 ers become "mainstream"? I'm guessiing not until mid 90s did they really "take off" in popularity(relative term).

    So, the question should be: of all the awesome/famous players that got started around the mid 90s, who played a fiver (or more)..

  4. Good Point.

    Who are newer 4 string greats, Flea or is he to old?

    I'm not up on all the new bass greats not sure if there are new people who can hang with the people I mentioned in this generation.

    Forgot few like;

    Les Claypool
    Sting, maybe?
    Larry Graham for slap of course
  5. Yes, anyone who has a 5+ string bass has been TOLD this more than a few times.

    Many of these guys got their start well before the 5 string was available. Furthermore, Jaco had been seen with a 5 string. Wooten, Marcus, and Stu Hamm have played a 5 string on occasion.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    More than half your list were old/retired/dead when the 5 string hit the market hard. Wooten plays all kinds of basses. Bromberg plays 4 and 5. I play a 5. My wife and kids all think I'm amazing. So does my mom. Are you saying they're all wrong?
  7. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
  8. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Did you ever notice that if you put eggs and sausage in the blender, it tastes more like turnips than spoiled milk?
  9. You're right I'm not trying to claim some never played 5, it seems though they are really known as 4 string players.

    If anyone wants to list great Primary 5 string players that would be cool, I cannot think of many myself.
  10. It's clear to me that there is no way you will become well known as an innovator on bass guitar without doing exactly what previous innovators have done. Therefore, your only option is to play a 4.
  11. I gotta try this!
  12. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    As have MacCartney (Wal 5), Geddy (Wal 5), Squire (Tobias 5), Bromberg (who has a 5-string sig model with Carvin), Flea (5-string Stingray and Modulus), and Hellborg (who has played 6-string Status models and even had his Wechter 4-string acoustic converted to 6 strings before having Wechter build him a 6-string acoustic, not to mention the 6-string Crafter acoustic and 10-string Schack).
  13. Bump, NOT!
  14. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Interesting observation. On the OP that is. :) Joe Nerve plays a 4, too. Played a 5 for a while. But now he's back to 4. It's all he says he needs.
  15. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    I got tired of agonizing over whether to tune my 5-string BEADG or EADGC so I bought a 6.

    Michael Manring plays a 4 - but with a 3-octave neck...

    I think 5's got popular when the GloomDaze guys started tuning everything down...
  16. Slightly off topic but what looks cool to me is EADGC tuning to get some nice highs for solos and what not.
  17. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Tony Levin, John Myung (6), Andrew Gouche, Norm Stockton, Jimmy Haslip, Alain Caron (6), Anothony Jackson (6), Phil Lesh (6)...
  18. Good choices.

    Isn't Levin a 4 string Musicman player?
  19. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Did you ever notice that an 11'8" bridge is high enough for most vehicles to pass under?

    and yet...

  20. He also used to own a 3 string Musicman and plays a Stick with many strings (I think 8).

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