I'm kinda thinking about going back to a 4 string.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Eyescream, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Much as I like the little bit of extra range and couple more note options I have with a five string bass, I'm not sure if I use the B string enough to warrant owning a bass equipped with it. It's fun and all, but i really think I'd be just as happy with a 4 string and one of those D-Tuners from Hipshot. I might try to sell my 5 and get myself into a Corvette 4 string or something.

    Anybody else ever gone back down to 4 after having been on a 5 for a while? Anybody ever regretted it?
  2. Hi!

    Never experienced this! I'll move to 5 soon...
    But some BP near my home told me I'll regret to go 5, They came back to 4 later.....
    Some others (less...) told me they play both because they like to have 4 on some songs and 5 on others. This allow them to have a "security string"....

    Just to share what they told to me!

  3. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Despite my use of extended range basses (5, 6 and 7), I never left the 4. There's something just so "right" about the 4 string bass. I really like it for a lot of music. I also play a 4 string EUB. No rule that says you gotta have one or the other, however. Play whatever you want!
  4. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I have a 4 string that i am quite proud of (my Godin, mmmm) and a 5 string that plays really nicely and sounds really aggressive (Spector Q5). The Godin is more comfortable for me because ive been playing a 4 string about 4 times longer than ive been on a 5. The 5 string is fun for certain stuff, but i would never only have a 5 string, i would miss the 4. If you have a 4 that you like, a 5 would be ok. If the 5 is your main bass and you dont have a 4 string thats good, meh..
  5. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Ever since I got my 5, I've only but barely picked up my 4 string bass, and I don't for a second regret getting it because I really do enjoy playing it. Mostly I'm all about simplicity and the stripping away of things that aren't necessary. I dig having that extra string there just in case I do need it and because it means I don't have to tune and detune strings for different stuff, but in the "music" I write, I rarely - if ever - go that low down. My 4 string Jazz is a turd and is just a place for me to keep my Seymour Duncan Jazz Quarter Pounders out of the way until I find something to do with them, by the way, so that not an option. I'm just not sure if I need a 5, since there are mechanical things out there that make the detuning of the E string for a little bit of useful extra range easy enough that it's definitely an option.
  6. kyo


    Jul 6, 2004
    i think 4 strings are completely the way to go, however, dont sell your 5, just keep it! having two basses never hurt. i dont know how you'd get the money for a 4 but i wouldnt not sell your 5 string, if its the only one you have
  7. magical_man


    Aug 27, 2003
    personaly, i love 4 stringed basses, me and my a-series fender, where a team.... i love it soo, anyway, 4 string is the only way for me...
  8. Wolfehollow


    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    I have sold 6-8 multi stringed basses and 1 4 string that I have owned... I now only have 4 strings... I just like them better.
  9. You're not alone so don't sweat it....I would consider it a sign of maturity that you're being honest with your needs as a bassist.
    Chances are when you do get back to a four, that you'll approach it with renewed enthusiasm and a desire to explore what it has to offer.
    Don't get me wrong, Fives have a definite place, but personally I think alot of ppl who are novices are attracted to the looks and they jump too soon and end up actually being in even more of a rut than when they where playing a four. I'm talking basic harmonic knowledge here, not how many notes you have on the bass.
  10. tkarter


    Jan 1, 2003
    I recently bought a Stingray 5. Love my Fender Jazz. Play both but have move to where I play mostly the SR 5 love the sound and don't worry about how much I use the B string.
    Remember on a 4 string you aren't using all of them at once. G string used to get little use by me on the 4, as I expanded my playing I use them all now.

    I still enjoy playing my 4 but really see no diffence in what I play at a gig using my new 5. IMHO I would get a 4 if the 5 was causing problems other than a string that wasn't getting used all the time.

    Rule I have is to try and play what sounds good and feels good so go play a 4 and see how you feel about your 5er.

  11. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    The way I see it, every bass has its use. I'm not a big fan of the B string either. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. So, when I had my 6-string built, I had it strung EADGCF. So, what do I play these days? I play 6-string in the studio where I monkey with solo bass music. I also play the 6-string out some, but for gigs I still predominantly use my 4-string basses.

    On the other hand, I know some people that don't play anything but 5-string basses. Do what you feel you need to do. If 5-string works for you, then play 5. If 4-string works for you, the play 4.

    BTW, the big thing I have against the B string is 35" scale. I just find that it feels to long for me and I'm just not comfortable with it. But again, that is my personal choice. I don't expect everyone to feel the same way that I do.
  12. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i sold my 5........and darned if i don't want another one
    but honestly, thats just for extended range on some songs
    overall the 4 is the bass 90% of the time
    actually i just got an 8-string (the octave kind) and i'm having a blast!!
    to me the freaky thing about playing both is having mental erasure moments where you dont know which string is which
    i know a lot of cats who play the 5 exclusively who get lost on a 4 just making the adjustment
  13. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    I think of 4 and 5's as the same thing, 5's just have an extra string, use at will. I love my 5 string. But I do love extremely low notes.
  14. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    After going 5, I'll never go back. The B makes an amazing thumbrest.
  15. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    I just got a 5 a little while ago and it's taken me some time to adjust to it. I still don't think I have, fully. The main advantage, as I see it, is that if I need those extra notes I don't have to detune or switch bases. That's about it. I am starting to figure out the extendend range thing and make use of it a bit also.

    If you don't play music that requires lower than an E, or D with the detuna thing, then stick with a 4 by all means. I would prefer a 4, but I play a lot of metal and heavy rock and the fact is that many bands these days tune to D, C, or even B. If I played jazz or something I would never even consider a 5, but I know even some jazzers like them. I think the bottom line is just to play what you like and what gets the job done.
  16. that is a very subjective matter but my experience is this:

    I have been playing bass for more than 20 years and a few years ago I got a 5 string and used it for almost two years exclusively but once I got back to the 4 strings i never used a 5 strings again, I ended up selling it. Now i have a bass tuned in regular tuning and another in BEAD tuning.
  17. Well, if you like the feel of a 5er, keep it. However, the fours I've played have always felt better. Smaller neck and perfect string spacing (on a Jazz, especially, according to my tastes). So if it's the four string feel you prefer and you don't use the B often, do it!
  18. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I've also been thinkin' of trading my 5 banger down to a 4 string. It just doen't feel "right" anymore. Not since I got my G&L. Of course, this might just be the "Oh, gee whiz!" new bass-itis.

    Now for the off bit: I'd get a 6+ in a heard beat. I guess to me, a 5er is sorta like doing the extended range thing half-assed.

    And, there's nothing like rocking on a 4 string. Something just "works," y'know? And for what my Spector is worth, I could pick up another G&L. Mmmm... P bass done right...
  19. seansbrew


    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    I have also, at one time or another, thought of going back to the four string. At the moment I have two fivers that I love and dont plan on getting rid of soon. I think what I will do instead is add a four string to my collection. I think differently on a four string as compared to a five. My creativity and visualization are altered.
  20. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    I get exactly what you're saying here.

    I dunno. I dig playing it, and I'd ideally like to just have one of each. I think mostly I'm just impatient. :D