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Does anyone still play a 4-string?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Knavery, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    I'm having second thoughts about the 4-string Warwick Corvette Pro-line I put on layaway. I love the bass, but it's only 4 strings. I have a 5-string Yamaha at home and I RARELY use the B and now I wonder why it's a problem. I like to play a lot of Primus and Dream Theater stuff and I don't know if I will be able to do it with a 4-string. However, I know I can get a lof more crazy with the popping and pulling on a 4 without having to worry about spacing. What say all of you?
  2. BustinJustin

    BustinJustin banned

    Sep 12, 2003
    NYC, LI too
    i am a die hard 4 player... a la HUB. i have tried the multi string thing, even owned a few. but to grind that greesy groove the 4 is for me 100%... when i have 5,6,7 in my hands all i want to do is noodle and pack each and every bar with a trillion notes. the 4 keeps me grounded and reminds me that i'm here to keep the back bone and to shake a##es.
  3. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    I have 2 fours and 2 fives (well, the buzzard isnt here yet). I find I play differently on a 5 than a 4, so it's imperative for me to have both. My biggest problem is gonna be which to gig with because I love all my basses for different tunes. =0)

    So, if you love that Corvette then play it like a madman until you need the B, and pick up the Yamaha for those rare times you do.
  4. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    When you've got talent like mine, a four string is all you can handle. I've owned four different five stringers, but I always end up sellin 'em and sticking to my beloved 4s.
  5. monkfill


    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    I actually started out on 5-string, and have owned 3. I will be selling the last 5-string on Saturday. I now have two 4-strings and couldn't be happier.

    I felt the need to do too much when I had a 5-string in my hand. Playing simple lines felt awkward on it for some reason, and the B string was a thumb rest more than anything. A 4-string feels just right. . . it feels right when I'm playing the simple stuff, but then its just as comfortable when I do more intricate stuff.

    In my experience the bass starts to become another instrument as you add strings. The feel shifts my playing in another direction. That's not bad, just different, and it gravitates farther away from what bass is to me.
  6. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    I play only fours but I would like a five or a six maybe because Im gluttonous and I need many many basses. However, if you doubt the versatility of a four string check out Victor Wooten sometime. He will shatter your doubts. :bassist:
  7. monkfill


    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    I will probably pick up another solid 5-string someday soon, after other priorities are addressed. There is the occasion where I think a low note would fit. Right now that low note just doesn't get played, and usually it sounds fine and no one knows the difference if its a line that I wrote myself anyway. But now that I have the 4-string basses I want, I'll probably look at a Lakland 55-02 once I get my amplification closer to where I want it.

    It probably won't get played and will be sold to fund other gear, but I'm sure I'll eventually buy it anyway.
  8. Electricmayhem


    Dec 18, 2003
    Good point about Vic, Metron.

    I have a 5 now and I don't think I'll ever go back to a 4.
  9. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    If a 4 string feels best to you, stick with it. I can see how you might want an extended range instrument given your influences, but don't feel like you have to have more than four string to prove anything to anyone. There are great players out there using extended range basses, but there are also greats who have stuck with the 4 even as multi-strings have proliferated. If the four feels best to you, play it and don't make any apologies - that's the conclusion I've reached! I personally feel like I can play with more finesse on a 4 than on a 5 - that's not to say that there aren't legions of 5-6-7 stringers who play with more finesse than me, but ya gotta decide what's best for your playing - not play 'keeping up with the Joneses' on string count, eh?!
  10. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    I've been playing only 5's for the past year now. I'm seriously pondering going back to 4's. I'm just so sick of having to eq my bass around the B string, usually to the detriment of the other strings. Really the only thing I really liked about 5's was that I never had to downtune. My mind is hardwired to standard tuning and I hate to downtune.

    Something else that is making me frustrated about my 5er is this. I remember reading in an issue of BP a few months ago that the tone of the B string only really blossomed when you favored one pu. It is so true. My first 5er was an EDA905 and it didn't seem to have this problem. The mag pu and piezos worked great together. Then the EDA broke and I replaced it with an SRX705. With the SRX, if I use both pu's equally the bass sounds nice and dark but the B string is pure unaudible mud. With all neck pu the B string sounds alot better but the rest of the bass sounds too snappy and happy. The bridge pu is the thinnest sounding garbage i've ever heard and I won't even talk about it. I know most of you guys hate the EDA series, but everyday I think about how much I miss that EDA :crying: .

    I have no cash, and looks like I won't for a good while. I'm thinking about trading my SRX705 in for a Fender Standard P. Opinions?
  11. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I like them both but I don't tend to use the B much below E. I generally find myself playing in positions further up the neck and taking advantage of the fingering possibilities ...

    I'm on the 4 more often than not though ... For the stuff I'm involved in a 4 is really all I need. I think the emo-core, wonder rap, nu-metal crowd get's more bang out of the 5'ers than I ever will.
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Unfortunately, that is a problem with most lower priced 5 and 6 stringers.

    When you get into the mid priced stuff, there are a lot of B strings that sound great with either or both pickups, at any blend level.

    My Zon is this way, my Cirrus is this way, my Pedulla was this way, and my wife's Lakland Skyline is this way.

    There is a reason some brands have better reputations, and a reason that some basses cost more.
  13. j-raj

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

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Played 4's exclusively for 17 years and after several attempts to purchase and play a 5 and then a 6, I stayed at 4... Until Jan 2003 I picked up my 5 string Warrior and Now I really feel that I have found what works for me (still use the 4 for studio and as a back up)... Now I want to have another 5, tuned EADGC, so I can bring both a gig for a variety of playing styles.
  14. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    I played 5's for about 2 yrs straight and went back to 4's for good. I miss the rumble of an open low B now and then but not enough to pick one up. 4's are the thang for me.
  15. I can second this. I bought an EDA905F just because it was available, but it really does have a good tone. The Magnetic pup is a little dark sounding, and the piezos can be a little brash by themselves, but properly mixed - great tone. To those who don't like Ibanez, all I can say is try one if you see one in a store.

    I used to consider myself a solid 4 stringer, but all I look at now are 5s. I also play my 5s as if they were 4s, i.e. I don't play all over the neck; I only play from E down on the B string, and only go there when it seems appropriate, as in a low D, C, or B note at the end of a song. But, it has to be there. Like a flashlight. (torch for U.K. readers :D )

    That's my spin.

  16. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    yep, I play a 4 string bass. its what I started on 20 years ago and what feels natural to me now
  17. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I have thirteen 4s and one 5. I play 4s about 95% of the time. G&L2500 gets whipped out if I need to do some Jazz (usually reading chord charts), which is easier for me on a 5. Otherwise, it's 4s all the way.
  18. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I play 4's right now, in fact I have three of them. I play mostly R&B, Motown, and Classic Rock which these basses suit very well. However I can't say that I will always play a 4-string because I don't know what the future will bring. If you like the 4, then play the four.

  19. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    Five-string basses are a must if you are playing music where the original artist employed a five string. I am getting into current country music where fivers seem to be all the rage. My problem is that I find the low b sound getting very stale. I will also admit that five-string basses make me feel retarded because I spend all of my time playing a four-string and can't seem to make any sort of adequate adjustment to the new, low string. What is somewhat funny is that I have no problem with fivers strung EADGC! But, since I no longer play progessive music, I can find no use for the C string. So. . . . . when I need a low note, I use a Hipshot and that seems to do me fine. In a world where fivers are everywhere, a four-stringer is refreshing!
  20. sheepdog


    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    had a 5, then a 6. after that I am convinced that I will be happier playing a 4 string most of the time. Only thing I do to help out is string it DGCF instead of EADG. That helps me get an extra step lower (which I use alot more than an actual low B). I will get a 5 also, but I will probably never have another 6 string. I never use the high C string unless I am screwing around with power chords (never use it in music, only for fun)

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