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Did You Regret Your First 5 String?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Misterwogan, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. I'm toying with the idea of a fiver, I've never played one so I'll have to go along to a store and try one out.

    In the meantime, my question is to those who bought their five string and ultimately regretted doing it - and why?
  2. bassgod76

    bassgod76 bass turd burglar

    Mar 13, 2003
    South Florida
    I didn't regret it. It was a learning experience. For me, I just didn't dig the extra weight and tight string spacing. I owned a Spector NS-2005 for two years, and probably played it for 8 months of that time period. 5s are great, just not for me. Thus I sold it bought another 4 string!
  3. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Even though I play my 4 string basses about 80% of the time I have no regrets buying a 5 string. I"m more comfortable with a 4 string but it's great having that 5 string option on hand when the situation calls for it.

    If you get serious about buying take your time. There's lots to choose from out there.
  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I somewhat regret selling the only 5 string I ever owned.
  5. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    My only regret is that I waited so long to start playing one - once I got used to it, I was glad I made the effort... I still play 4 strings about 70% of the time, but the time I use a 5er is just so much more convenient than dealing with down tuned 4s...

    IMO, alot of this depends on the genres of music you plan to play - a 5er really isn't necessary for some, but pretty much a necessity for others... If you're seriously thinking about it, I'd recommend buying a used Ibanez sr505 - that way, you're starting out with a decent instrument that won't break the bank... if you decide that it just isn't for you, it won't be hard to get your money back out of it...

    - georgestrings
  6. datsaxguy


    Oct 28, 2008
    Jumped over and never looked back. I sold my 4 banger (shouldn't have) and the transition was the best bass decision I ever made.
  7. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Phillipsburg, NJ
    If you find one you truly love, it can become your go to bass. I bought my first one out of pure necessity and it was my only bass. Ibanez TR75 MIK. I would buy another If I found one. Right now I can play all our songs on the Ric and It's like Heaven.
  8. I did but only from the standpoint that I bought an ibanez with tighter string spacing. Playing "4 string" parts on it for me was very uncomfortable. I am certain that I would have adjusted, but just never fell in love with the feel. I would (and will) buy another 5 someday, but try some things out.

    As far as the extended range...no regrets at all.
  9. Rumbledom

    Rumbledom Banned

    Jan 19, 2013
    I regret getting a 6. It was just silly. Those few extra notes weren't worth the extra width of the neck. (And the confusion). Traded it in for a 5 -- even though I play mostly 4.
  10. fuzzychaos


    Mar 17, 2008
    Have never found a 5 string that I like, but i never regretted trying them. Still on the search for a 5 that I like though.
  11. msact


    Jan 8, 2013
    Somewhere in NJ
    I bought a five string fender jazz and returned it because I just couldn't get comfortable it. I returned it, got a four string jazz bass and never looked back.
  12. I wouldn't go as far as calling it regret. I have owned three five string basses and sold each of them, the last one after only a few weeks. I just prefer four strings but it was nice to have that extra string if I wanted to play in a different position on the neck.
  13. Just another color . . . How can that be bad?

    Use mine rarely, but will never part w her!
  14. terranova


    Sep 9, 2011
    I think it depends on what the music you are playing is calling for , I try to play classic rock and alt country rock and nothing I play calls for the lower notes and sometimes I would find myself on the b string when I meant to be on the e, better to be just rid of it and know where you are. A more advanced player probably makes good use of the extra string but for me it seemed to much to worry about. I know some say its great not to have to come out of position when you are in the middle of the fretboard, I just never warmed to it, plus your equipment may have to change to be able to define the lower frequencies accurately. Call me limited but 4 strings seems enough for now.
  15. Paul M

    Paul M

    Jul 21, 2005
    My first five-string bass was a used 2002 Deluxe Fender Jazz. It was a beautiful bass. I little while after I bought it I realized – or better to say, I admitted to myself – that the B-string was really bad - a wet noodle compared to the other four strings.

    Just a few months later, I bought a Dingwall Afterburner II. These are known for their excellent B-strings. It sounded fantastic but for the first couple of years, I was still more comfortable with the shape and wider string spacing of the Fender.

    Eventually, I got the set-up and strings right to make the Fender sound quite decent. But by that time I had grown accustomed to the flatter fretboard and narrower string spacing of the Dingwall. I traded away the Fender and now play the Dingwall 95% of the time.

    Of course, you are probably more interested in the transition from four strings to five. My point here is that you might be disappointed at first with any 5-string bass because it feels different from what you are used to.

    But once you get over the physical feel of the wider 5-string neck and the confusion over which string is which, you will find that 5 strings are really useful even if you don't often play below low E.

    You have more positions to play any given bass line. If a bass line feels awkward in the first position, you can go down one string and up the neck.

    If you have a bass with tight piano-like tone, you can still go up the neck and get a darker, short scale tone too.

    Five strings are useful, versatile, even if you don't often go below E, and you will get accustomed to the feel. I still love the feel of a good 4-string bass, but I miss the fifth string if its not there.
  16. 3mrhythm


    Oct 29, 2009
    Rochester, NH
    Heck no. I still use it. Washburn force abt 5. Plays and sounds awesome... got it as a bonus in a craigslist trade I made. Sold everything else and kept the bass :)
  17. Paul M

    Paul M

    Jul 21, 2005
    I started writing my first post before there were other replies. I completely forgot about alternate tunings!

    I play with a couple of guitar players who just don't understand the difference between guitar chord shapes and the actual key of a song. The guitarist will say to me, for example, let's learn this song, it's in E.

    Then when we get together he's playing in E flat or D. When I tell him that, he says, "yeah, I'm playing in E but I tuned my guitar down."

    With five strings, I can adjust for such bone-headedness on the fly without detuning the bass, which can sound terrible if your bass is not set up for it.
  18. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    I still have my first 5er...a G&L L2500 and still love it. Its a bit too heavy, for me, to use every 4 hour gig we do so I use 4 stringers more. And one thing I have noticed is that I dont use anything below the low D...just doesnt work for me in the last two bands I have been in. So sometimes I just detune my Ric to drop D on songs where I need it and leave the G&L at home. However, if it was a lighter bass, I would use it alot more because it sounds great.
  19. davedblyoo

    davedblyoo "All the mayhem and none of the sticky mess." Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2012
    Augusta, GA
    I played five string for years just to be cool at first, then had to stick with it because so much country music started requiring one to play. Later when I started playing in praise band, I found a lot of contemporary Christian music really fit the five. A couple of years ago I took a break from the five, and had been enjoying it so much, I contemplated trading the only five I have (a Stingray 5) in on another four until I played it this weekend and decided that it might be handy to still have one. For the most part, you don't need a five all of the time, but it's nice to have the option.
  20. hgiles


    Nov 8, 2012
    I started out on a 6 and am glad I did.