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? for a 5 string bassist

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by clammit l82, May 15, 2001.

  1. this might sound stupid but i was just wondering how u guys got into playing a 5 string. did u start out playing it or did u start w/ 4 string and gradually move up to a 5 string.
  2. Comakazi


    May 3, 2001
    Midwest US
    Kinda by accident. I was going to get my Stingray at the local GC but they had sold the one I wanted. The only one they had that was the color I wanted was a fiver. I talked 'em down to giving me the 5 for the price of a 4 and a bit less. And that was how I found the joy of five strings!
  3. leftybassdog

    leftybassdog Senior Supporting Member

    I played in a cover band in the mid-80s and alot of the songs had low bass notes, d tuner was a big thing and I could not get one lefthanded, {I'm a lefty } so I got a carvin LB75 lefthanded bass, I could cover all the songs and liked the low notes I could do with it, I found I was playing it all the time and sold my other 4 string basses, now I have all 5 string basses,
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    There weren't any 5's to my knowledge when I was in high school and playing bass in 1970.

    Later, I heard two songs on the radio that came out about the same time, one was Clapton's "Bad Love" (think that's the title), and Richard Marx's "Don't Mean Nothin'" and realized I couldn't get the huge, fat, deep, sound of the bass, nor the notes in standard tuning.
  5. cschenk78


    Mar 12, 2000
    Watertown, NY
    After seeing my first Phish show when I was about 14, I had to get a five, cuz that's what Mike had, now 8 years later I am stuck...I just can't ever go back!!!
  6. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    ummmmm.....well i actually didnt know the diffrence, i just knew that korn used a five string. ahah i thought fieldy was god then. i dont need any bashing here, my bass playing has come a long way sence those days. im really glad i started on a 5 string instead of a 4. oh, by the way i now know that wooten is god.
  7. I've been playing a little over a year and a half. I just got my Warwick 5-string saturday. And that's my story. lol
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well when I started out they only had 4-strings available, but then I had a long break and when I came back to bass playing I went to a 6-string. I actually found that I used the low B a lot more than the high C, which never sounded like a "bass" string as such. So my next bass, I was happy to get a 5 and have done ever since.
  9. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I originally started out on a 4 string bass and played one from 1986-1997, some of my friends told me i should look into a 5, and i was sick of having to drop tune and not be able to go to e flat and lower registers without drop tuning as well. Been playin a 5 for about 4 almost 5 years now..ill never regret making the switch...heck i dont even own a 4 anymore and have a hard time playin them now.
  10. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I started out on a 4. Then I moved to a 5er to get the added low notes that I couldn't get out of the four string, even when in drop D tuning.

    Now, I switch back and forth between a four string and five string (although my "main" bass is a fiver)
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I was playing 4-string in our band when we first started up (as a country band). Then I noticed those hosers on the records were playing a lot of notes lower than I could play on my bass. I switched to 5-string, and have reaped all the benefits ever since. Hell, I couldn't stop buying the danged things. Now I've got six of 'em, and jonesing for more.
  12. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I started on a four string. But it soon became evident to me that bass players in styles that I liked were switching to fives. In fact, it seems like every year that goes by more and more bassists are using the five string bass instead of a four.

    It makes me wonder if they really find the B string a necessity or has it come to the point that if a bassist doesn't have a five string, other musicians will look down on him with an "Hey,don't you know how to play a five string?" attitude.

    The five string's main disadvanatge for me who has small hands is the wider neck. Most five strings weigh more, too. But I do like that B-string.
  13. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    DFW, TX
    I started on a 4, I got a cheap Ibanez GSR 200... then I ended up getting a 5 string because it was used and I got a good deal on it. I was actually planning on getting another 4 but the guy ended up selling it to someone else. Now I went back to a 4, because I got this 4 string Acoustic/Electric Bass Guitar.... well thats my story.
  14. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I know some people like that here, well 2 of them, they both have very nice 4 strings, one of them just wants a 5 because Ive got a few and the other well he wants one for the right reasons.

    I have small hands too and it was a bit much at 1st on the neck, but after awhile ya adapt to it
  15. TheFrizzleFry

    TheFrizzleFry Guest

    Nov 21, 2000
    Stinktown, Pa, USA
    I dunno... something to do I suppose.
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I started in the early 80's, as synths were gaining popularity supplying basslines. Detuning definitely wasn't the answer. I think I built my first low B five around 1980-81.
  17. When I started playing, a 4 was all ya could get. A while back I decided strings were too expensive so I changed to a three. About four years ago I decided Mark Sandman was cool, so went to two. Last year I saw a picture of an Atlansia one string, and fell in love with it. The only drawback to a 1 is a lot of position changes, but hey, the strings are cheap!
  18. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Be careful Marty your band might get a MC303 no strings more money for them and no one for the sound desk attendant to shout at. :)

    I bought a 5 in 97 as a second bass. I couldnt see the point in having 2 similar instruments so I traded the 4 in for a fretless 4. I have used the fretless mainly until recently when the vol pot died. I am so much into 5 at the moment I would like to chop the fretless for a fretless 5. We will see.
  19. Tyler Dupont

    Tyler Dupont Wesly Headpush

    I got a 5 so I could play primus .. lol .. I tought myself to play by learning covers.. I'm thinking of getting a 4 with a detuner as my next bass but listening to you guys almost makes me want to get another 5.
  20. You know, I tried really hard to like fivers. REALLY HARD. But I find myself so much happier with 4 strings.

    I agree with what JO said above, about fivers just becoming the de facto standard in the bass world.

    And I seriously have to wonder how often that B string is actually REQUIRED.

    Now before you guys start, I know all the reasons for the fifth string. I don't diagree with them. Fivers just don't work for ME.

    I am glad they work for those who play them. I'm not going to give you any tripe about Jaco needing only four strings. Who cares. That was Jaco.

    What I will give you is this:

    *I* only need 4 strings.

    If that changes in the future, then I'll try a fiver again. Till then, four.


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