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Is 5 string bass enough for Dream theather

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ragnaros, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. ragnaros

    ragnaros Commercial User

    Dec 17, 2018
    I mostly saw John myung use 6 string bass so I want to know that 5 string is enough or not.
  2. saabfender

    saabfender SUSPENDED

    Jan 10, 2018
    5-String is plenty. Knock yourself out.
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  3. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Enough for who?
    The difference between a five string and a six string bass is FIVE extra notes.
    And they're at the extreme end of the fretboard.
    Do you plan on using those five notes?
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
    Sid the Kid and saabfender like this.
  4. Modler


    Jan 16, 2017
    It probably won’t matter much what bass you play. Sounding like Dream Theater is 95% skills and 5% gear.
    But I believe John Myung played a 5-string in the very early DT-days though.
    JLY likes this.


    Jan 29, 2019
    Here's the protocol bro. I don't know what level your at with your playing but NORMALLY people who play a 6 string bass know there stuff very well or they are taking their playing to another level. Also most 6 string players are very good at soloing that's why they want that Low B and High C strings available to them. Example : if you were to fret a B note on a 4 string bass you MIGHT get some unwanted noise or buzz on the flip side 6 string and most are 35 plus inch scale will not buzz or give you noise with that B note. Now for the High C string. That string in itself will never cut thru a mix unless the rest of the band has toned it down for you to take your solo all while YOU knowing how to PLAY and PLAY a 6 string at that. I play a 6 string and 5 strings it depends on the gig accordingly. IE.. Jazz, Gospel, RnB. If a band is going to require me to solo I want the max a 6 string. If I am going to sit in the pocket all night 5 string. And to take that even further I tune all my basses down B flat E flat ect.. Don't waist your money on a 6 string if you are a beginner, if you consider yourself a good player then your probably ready for a 6. Just remember this a 5 can do everything a 6 can do minus that High C string unless again you consider yourself a solo type player. And last but no least whatever you do STAY IN THE POCKET AT ALL TIMES, THATS A BASS PLAYER'S JOB !!!
  6. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    Myung played a 4-string on the first two albums then moved to a 6. I've no idea how much he uses the high notes on the C string.
  7. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Well, in the beginning of "Glass Prison"He is using the "C" string.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  8. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    The part where he's playing those cool harmonics? Wait, I think I'm thinking of As I Am from Train of Thought. I cannot remember what the beginning of The Glass Prison sounds like right now.
  9. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    He regularly uses the C string. There are a lot of tracks you could probably get away on a 5er with but definitely not all.

    And yes, a 6-string bass only has a few more notes but it allows for playing positions and shapes that make the world of difference when copying metal riffs, particularly ones written with them in mind.
    gebass6 and two fingers like this.
  10. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    This is it in a nutshell. A 6 string bass is NOT designed just to give you "5 more notes". :D

    It's designed to play more vertically rather than horizontally. In other words, you can stay in the same position and move from string to string rather than moving from left to right to another position.

    And, as @DiabolusInMusic said, if the bass line was written with that in mind, you may find it challenging to play the part..... because not only do you have to cop the skills of a madman on bass, but you have to do it with less efficiency of motion than he is using.

    In some cases, it'll be fine. In other songs..... well ..... good luck with that. :cool:
  11. You would occasionally, but rarely, need those highest 5 notes to play some Dream Theater songs exactly as recorded. As noted, the C string is not as much about having a few more notes as it is about different options for executing a line. Certainly this includes playing vertically, as two fingers wrote. The C string also provides a new series of harmonics and can be a big factor in the layout of two-handed tapped parts. You will see these reflected in Myung's playing as well.

    You can definitely play almost any Dream Theater song on a five with little adaptation. But Myung has reasons for playing a six. I'd say it's a question of whether you want to learn Dream Theater songs or study Myung's approach to the instrument.
  12. Mostly. He does utilize the higher register a few times, but not very often. You can get away with a 5 95% of the time.
  13. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    Ah good point, mangs. I was only thinking of the highest notes on the C.
  14. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    That hamonic is an F#at the sixteenth fret on the D string.
    The same as the tubular bell.

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