Five or four?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MalcontentBunny, Dec 24, 2003.

  1. MalcontentBunny


    Dec 24, 2003
    I've always played four strings and I've pretty much decided on brand. It's gonna be a Warwick Thumb Bolt-On. I'm trading in my MusicMan Sterling for it because even though the MusicMan is very very versatile.. I love the aggresive punchy Warwick sound and that low-end growl. I play lots of everything.. but mostly a lot of scene music. Melodic Hardcore, Grind, Screamo, lots of metal-esque type things.

    Now... I'm not really sure if I should go for the five or the four. I know this would depend more so on my play style but I dunno.. I've tried both and I just can't decide. I'm much more comfortable with a four string, but I feel like I'll have a lot more options creatively with the five string. (I'm not a low-end hog or anything.. I do more than just cram everything on the low-end guitar roots. I don't play Nu-Metal junk. I live for Melody.)

    Opinions and advice would be much appreciated.
  2. I personally don't use my low B that much on my 5er, but it's there if I need it.
  3. how about 6 or 7, more is always better :D
  4. Danham

    Danham Guest

    Feb 11, 2003
    Shreveport LA
    If you've never owned a 5 you should definitely get one. When I got my first 5 I told myself that I would still use my 4-strings just as much. I eventually sold my 4-strings. Only 5-strings feel right to me now. I don't use the B string alot, but it's REALLY nice having it there when I need it.:bassist:

    The other great thing about 5's. I NEVER have to downtune!!!!!!!!!! My brain is hardwired to standard tuning and I don't feel like changing it.
  5. XxBlackOrchidxX


    Dec 23, 2003
    Not cool, buddy. This is a warning - keep it clean!!!
  6. By the way, can't go wrong with five, just make sure you like the neck profile and can deal with extra string. I find it just makes sense for me to have the low B string, more so for alternative fingering options than for low ass notes.
  7. Oliver


    Jun 21, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    yeah, i'd get a 5er if i was you
    Low B is there if ya need it. you never ever have to downtune as already mentioned:)
  8. Who among us could quarrel with that logic.

    The added range of the B string is great. For me, it's not a matter of knowing it's there if I need it. I use the B as much as any string.
  9. In Flames

    In Flames

    Dec 11, 2003
    Down tune a 5 stringer to GCGCF :p
  10. ilfretless

    ilfretless Guest

    Mar 16, 2001
    Milan, Italy
    the point is that a 5 string bass will give you more freedom while playing. you can keep your hand still and you have two octaves to play. personally i like four and five strings equal. I use a tight spaced five and a large spaced four and i think this combination gets the best out of each bass
  11. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    From Dec 02 to June 03, I've been the owner of what was my first 5-string bass : an MM SR5.

    Though I loved it, and though I could get used to this extra string at no harm, I didn't bring me all I expected it would. But that's for MY playing.

    At least, I didn't feel addicted enough. And when I had to sell either it or my Fender MIJ P-Bass (I needed money for purchasing a new Rickenbacker), the SR5 didn't resist and that's the one I sold.

    Finally, I believe going against one's nature is unappropriate. My own nature is that of a 4-stringer. I believe I'm gonna stick to it now.

    But that was just my very own experience.

  12. Somebassguy


    Nov 5, 2003
    Everett Wa
    Well I for one never did think I would like the 5 stringers. I always liked the feel of 4 string necks (my hands aren't really that big). But since last week when I got my 1st 55-02 I can honestly say that I can't go back to 4 strings again. I tried picking up my beloved 4 string Schecter the other night and it just didn't feel complete anynmore. I don't use the B that often (yet) but it sure comes in handy when playing a 12 bar progression and it sure makes a fine thumb rest when not in use :D

    You owe it to yourself to at least give a 5 string a shot :bassist:
  13. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    Why don't you just start a thread, "Telephone, or Cheeseburger?"?
  14. MalcontentBunny


    Dec 24, 2003
    I realize that the question isn't easily answered and for the most part it is a matter of opinion. But even opinions can help. I've been playing for about 6 years now and I've always used a four string. I don't feel restricted when I play it.. but I feel like I owe it to myself to give a 5-string a shot. I was also kinda looking at opinions of Warwick basses. I know they're a bit heavy in the neck, but that growl is just too hot to pass up for the tone I'm looking for.

    And yeah... Thanks for all the help and replies, I think I'm gonna go ahead and give the 5-string a shot.. I can always trade it back in for a 4 string version if I don't like it. :D
  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Since you're asking: four is nice, but I say GET THE FIVE.

    I originally got mine because I was tired of detuning to reach notes below low E. The problem wasn't transposition, it was simply the hassle of frequent detuning and retuning of my low E string, to reach low notes ranging from C to Eb. The detuning hassle started for me in the 1980's, playing hard rock and metal. But nowadays, fiver is pretty much standard. Below-E bass lines are frequently heard in many forms of music, even country.

    After I got the five, I realized what an advantage it was to have two full octaves in each hand position. It's also nice to play a fretted low E, and you have more options for playing bass lines. For example: that stretch from F to A-flat is much easier when you start from the 6th fret B string rather than the 1st fret E string!

    I've thought about getting a 6-string too, but I simply don't want or need one. 5 is it for me: I wish I'd started on 5-string, but that wasn't a realistic option back in the 70's.