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Is having 5+ strings really worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by metalhead398, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. metalhead398


    Jul 23, 2013
    ...as compared to the typical 4 string bass. Mostly for reasons of cost, playability, etc. I was thinking about getting a 6'er until I realized that I would almost never use the extra strings. So what are your thoughts?
  2. LagBox


    Mar 3, 2013
    If anything, it means you'll have to move up and down the neck less because of more alternate positions.
  3. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    I have one fiver and like it for the lower notes - mostly for metal and hard rock.
    All my others are 4 bangers. Would like a MTD fretless fiver.

    I have no desire for a sixer.
  4. metalhead398


    Jul 23, 2013
    Fair enough. But in my current situation, I could easily afford a certain 4 string, the 5er is way more expensive, and I can't get my hands on a 6er in person. I'm thinking that I'll probably just go with a 4.
  5. rstellar13

    rstellar13 Sarcastic Panda

    Sep 2, 2012
    Allentown, PA
    Just got a five string but with a High C much more melodic and simpler.
  6. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    I personally really like the additional positions that 5ers provide, and the fact that they let me avoid retuning when my guitarists go to drop-D. I don't think I'd get as much use out of the additional high notes of a sixer (and it would probably confuse the Hell out of my guitar playing).
  7. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    The 5 strings are a good deal, but they will gouge you on that + one.

    But seriously, just use the search function, this has to be in the top 5 topics here for debate.
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
  9. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    The low B string on a fiver is not in your way, unlike a 6er. Assuming standard tunings. You got a nice thumb rest for the right hand and the left hand will not even touch the extra string. Also, even if you don't need any notes below E it's sometimes easier to use the B string from the 5th fret and up.

    Cost is basically the same. Playability is the same assuming you get a 19mm or 20mm string spacing fiver, and some people prefer narrower string spacing (even on 4 strings).

    But if the fiver costs more than what you're willing to pay, well you just answered your question. I cannot see how this can be the case though, they cost pretty much the same.

    I always wanted a 5er, played a 4 string for years until I could get a nice 5er, now have 2 5ers and wouldn't have it any other way.
    bobicidal and fender68 like this.
  10. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    For me, no. I don't like 5-strings. For others, yes. They are very popular.
  11. metalhead398


    Jul 23, 2013
    Yeah, I tried, but couldn't find a thread devoted to the subject, thought I'd make one.
  12. spz8


    Jan 19, 2009
    Glen Cove, NY
    After playing 6 strings for years, it's a struggle to go back to even a 5 string, especially under 24 frets. A 4 string is simply out of the question now. When I first started, the B string was a novelty, and the high C string almost never saw any use, but once I started incorporating it more and more into my playing (especially chord work), the extended range became a necessity.
  13. 5 shall be the number of strings and the number of strings shall be 5.

    6 is right out!
    bobicidal and natw42 like this.
  14. UserName9000


    Feb 6, 2014
    I'm new here and new to bass. The search function has kept me from needing to post a lot of threads. There's a thread for almost everything here!
  15. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Speaking as someone who jumped from 4 to 6 a few months ago: Yes.

    That said, I would go back to a 5 if the band I was playing in called for it. 4 only if a drop-tuning is heavily involved, as that's much easier than always moving to the 3rd fret on the low B.
    meatwad likes this.
  16. davidhilton

    davidhilton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 13, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
  17. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    If you need it and can use it, then its worth it.
  18. spz8


    Jan 19, 2009
    Glen Cove, NY
    If it's a busy or complex line with an open string (ex.: drop D), I'd just drop the E of the 6 string.
  19. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
  20. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Just take a look at the classifieds and see how many guys came to that realization AFTER they bought the bass....