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From a 4 to a 5 - The Transition

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by slapmachine, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. slapmachine


    Oct 4, 2010
    PV, Kansas
    Hey guys, I was thinking about (not necessarily any time soon) possibly sometime in the future trying to pick up a 5string bass Tuned EADG(C?) was basically just wondering how hard the transition between a regular 4 would be compared to a 5string with that tuning.

    Best regards,

    Brooks Sargent
  2. SRFSterling5


    Sep 24, 2011
    Assuming the high C tuning, shouldn't be too bad. For me I found
    the low B more useful, especially with pop stuff. Just be aware that
    more of the common stuff out there are BEADG rather than EADGC, so
    you may have to get the nut re-done and a new truss rod setup.

    Otherwise, you can get a 6 with both the low and high end. I did the
    5 first, then GAS set in and I wanted the 6.

    Get the 5. I don't even touch the 4 anymore.

    Good luck with the search!
  3. slapmachine


    Oct 4, 2010
    PV, Kansas
    I think my main issue is still having a semi-rounded neck. I've played some of the Ibanez 5's at the local music store (Guitar Center sadly=/) and the necks aren't rounded, but awkwardly flat. Is this common for 5ers?

    I love the way my FSR American Hot Rod Jazz neck feels

    Best regards,

  4. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Neck profiles are all over the map. 5s do tend to have a flatter radius than 4s but even that varies.

    As for the transition, practice pretty much fixes everything associated with music.
  5. slapmachine


    Oct 4, 2010
    PV, Kansas
    I guess honestly I just need to sit down with a good one long enough to decide. I love the idea of a high C on a 5 because I don't really think I'd ever go lower than drop D on my 4, and I really don't do that anyway.

    Best regards,

  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Transition time depends on the player, and also on the length of time playing four.

    I played four string for over 20 years before switching to five. I'd say it took me two months to bring myself to gig proficiency on five, and another month to get truly comfortable. Some here have said they had far less difficulty, others have said they tried but could never get used to five.

    The advice I like to give for the transition:
    • Put away your four and concentrate on five exclusively
    • Learn new songs on fiver! It was easier for me to start fresh, so to speak, rather than recalibrate songs I'd played for many years on four.

    But hey... go with whatever works, and don't forget to have fun while you're doing it. Good luck!
  7. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    I think the biggest hurdle to transitioning to a 5 smoothly is string spacing.

    You have to find one you're very comfortable with to give it a fair shot.

    I find the narrower spacing of the Peavey 5 I have to be more comfortable, so the transition is one of re-aligning where my head is at in relation to my fingers.

    The things I don't have to think about at all on a 4, I have to be mindful about when using a 5.
    This definitely becomes less noticable with more practice.

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