Four to five string transition

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tenchu, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. In the spirit of the "To 4-stringers Not Comfortable On A Five..." thread, here's a question for all of you who play a five string: How long did it take you to get used to/comfortable with the five strings?
  2. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    A week or two. My main problem was always plucking the B when I meant to hit the E.
  3. Rhythmalism


    Sep 25, 2004
    A few months and it's automatic.
  4. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    4-5 days max
  5. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    When I got my SR5, it took me about a couple of hours to work it out.

    But what I never found on a 5er is the "complete feeling".

    Went back to 4 string then.

    Must be a "stuck to 4" guy.
  6. For me, it took a few days to be able to play competently, without mistaking the B for an E.. and a few months to have everything down to where no thought was required.
  7. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Go for it!
    No problem after 4-6 hours.
    The trick is to play your regular four string and blend B-string
    into your playing.
    As stated, remember B string si not your E.
    Good luck.
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    5 minutes.
    Time to break my E string by tuning it up to an A440.
    When I started playing it came naturally.
  9. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    That didn't work for me. I kept switching back and forth and found myself stumbling on the five. I have had my RB5 for 3 years and my 55-01 for 9 months and I would still not gig with a 5 string. When I brought my FMT v I put away all my 4 string basses for two weeks. Now I do feel comfortable to do a gig with the 5. If you thump and pop alot it's going to take a little longer than normal because your thumb is constantly trying to clear the B string, That was not a problem before. Playing finger style the switch was easy.
  10. I went from 4 directly to 6. Took a couple of hours to get used to. Now I play 4 and 5, and I feel very comfortable with both.
  11. I started on a Rickenbacker but realized its sound wasn't really me, so I got a 5 string Ibanez. The transition was pretty painless - it took me a week to get really comfortable with it, but I started gigging with it almost immediately. I quickly got tired of the Ibanez, so I picked up an RB5 and haven't looked back. It was then that I realized 5ers are for me, though I still play 4 strings.
  12. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    For fingerstyle playing, a couple of days to a week (though I didn't play all day long). For slapstyle, much, much longer. I don't know if I ever got good hold of decent muting of the B, which was my major problem when slapping a 5. I later sold the 5'er after having it for about a year and returned to 4 strings. Didn't miss the B much.
  13. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    After 20 years on four strings, my transition to 5 was slow... took a month to get comfy; another before I felt ready to gig. Even so, it was well worth the effort: once I became accustomed, I realized BEADG five string is best for me... makes me a better player. (That's a big YMMV, of course).
  14. 30 minutes
    you cant think of it as a different instrument, just think of it as playing a 4 string, but you have the freedom to go lower
  15. you think 5 strings is something? in a few weeks im gonna be transitioning from four strings to SEVEN! :bassist: But I'm looking forward to it.
  16. That's a not a transition! You're going to another galaxy....:D

    Switching from a 4 to a 5 may take more or less time, depends of the people. But at last(usually not more than a month!!), you finally get it w/out any problem!
    it took me a few days and two gigs to be used to it...The first gig was a laborious joke:D but it helped me a lot 'cause I was focused on the bass...
  17. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    A week or two to stop hitting wrong strings, but keep in mind, I also went to faned frets and a tighter string spacing at the same time, but those two factors werent as big a problem as the extra string by a good bit.
  18. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    People are different.

    After playing four stringers for over 15 years, I bought a six and gigged with it two days later.
  19. 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
    About 20 minutes.
  20. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I'm going the total immersion route... though I used to have a cheap a five as a novelty that sat around the house for awhile a couple of years ago, when I picked up a new fiver Saturday before last (see sig), I swore off playing my four altogether... still haven't touched it. Last Saturday, exactly a week after getting the new axe, I played a highbrow charity function - two hour gig to about 1200 people. Did I make it through the gig? Yeah, sure - it was simple, straightforward stuff, though. Is the fiver totally imprinted on my spinal cord yet? No way! Can I play my fanciest licks with no problems yet? No way! But it will come... I will make it happen... because I'm committed to making it happen. :)