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Fours and Fivers ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by seansbrew, Nov 30, 2003.


  1. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    I am not sure if this is the right forum for this question, but here it goes. How many of you (when playing live) switch between 4,5,and 6 sring basses for certain songs? Lately, I have found it easier to play certain songs on my 4 string as opposed to playing them on my 5 string and some things on my 5 as opposed to my 4. Is this a bad idea, should I be able to play everything on one bass? There is a part of me that thinks I will not master my fiver if I keep doing this, what are your thoughts?
     
  2. pistoleroace

    pistoleroace

    Sep 13, 2002
    WI
    When I moved to a five string many, many years ago I had bass players telling me not to ever switch back and forth between them because I would make to many mistakes. Well, I didn't listen, I never had a problem and I still do it to this day. When I go to a gig I bring at least one four and two five string basses.

    I am pretty much a five string player but there are times where I do want to play a four string. One of the main reasons I go to a four string is because of the drop D tuning on some songs. There are some of these songs that are easier to do on a four string if they were written on a four string. Other reasons are, sometimes I want a certain tone on a certain song, and one of my four string basses may have that tone, and the other reason is sometimes I feel a little more free on a four string.

    Play the bass you want to play as long as you are comfortable with it and it gets the job done right.

    http://community.webshots.com/user/pistoleroace
     
  3. Stephen Soto

    Stephen Soto

    Oct 12, 2003
    Yeah. I am playing a 4 right now, and I just was thinking about reasons to switch. I can totally see why you like to play drop D on a 4 more than a 5. A lot of people don't like to have to either tune the B to an A, or just have it sit there. I want a 4 and 6 string. But i've been using the B a lot lately.
     
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I don't switch for specific songs. But I do switch between 4,5,6 and 12. No problems for me, other than the 12. It is physically much harder to play, and high speed riffing is out of the question. So I usually only play it for a song or two. But if I bring two basses to a gig, it is usually a 4 and a 5, and I will switch them out every set.
     
  5. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I like the new avatar. ;)
     
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Thanks.:D
     
  7. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I don't have any problems switching back and forth. If you are fairly new to a five, it may help speed up adapting if you stick exclusively to it, but ultimately it won't matter.

    I eventually got so used to the five that I dropped playing four string altogether. I don't even own one anymore.

    It may or may not happen to you.
     
  8. Like most of the "old timers "here , I've done the majority of my playing years on a four string. When I moved to 5-string , I didn't DARE pick up a four string for over a year - I guess everyone adapts differently. Currently I play sixers , and now that I have more experience with it I can go back and forth between 4's , 5s , and 6's relatively easily. I do just about all of my regular gig work with the 6 , but I do alot of fill in work for other bands , and they often tune down either a half or full step on certain songs (@#$%& SINGERS !!!!!) , so I will learn the songs on a 6 then tune my 5 a half step down and my 4 a full step down , keeping my 6 in 440. I found this to be very helpful when I have to learn a full night's material with 3 days notice - definitely faster than learning a song from a CD , then having to transpose everything to allow for the tune - down.
     
  9. I don't have problems switching back and forth, but I don't do it just because I just bought my 5er 3monthes ago:)cool: Fbass!!!:bassist: )and I have a lot of pleasure playing it.
    Another reason is that we don't have too much space in the van when we go to gig(drums,bass and guitar amps, complete PA.)So I let my Geddy Lee at home:bawl: .
    However, I admit that some songs would great with a 4 strings.
    It gives you another approach of playing, as well as a 5 strings does.
    If you don't know, try both basses on every "bass switchable" songs and make up your mind.
    :)


    larry
     
  10. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I like slapping on a 4 string better, but I like the extra range and "space" available to me with a 5 string. Usually I just bring one bass to a gig though. Generally a 5.
     
  11. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    Thanks for your insight fellas, I have had my Q5 for six months and it is finally fitting like a glove, this is my first fiver. I think that I will keep playing both the 4 and the 5 now that I am used to the 5. I do notice that my approach to a song is different on each bass, almost as if each bass wants to be played a certain way.
     
  12. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I used to switch off between a 4 and a 5, but now I play 5ers exclusively. I used the 4 string with a Hipshot D-tuner for all of our drop D songs, but now that we only do a couple of drop D's, I didn't have much use to keep the 4 string around.