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Is it "cooler" to play a 4 string bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by phillipkregg, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. 4 strings ? Hell, I only use 2. :D
    Old P Bass Guy and Arnel M. like this.
  2. Christcr

    Christcr Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2015
    But that's exactly what I don't like about it. Now, before anyone starts on the "why don't you just play guitar" (actually, I do), it's not that I want a sizzly top end. It's definition that I want to hear, not anything "fat." That's one reason I used to play Zon basses exclusively (I just bought another recently as well). There is a definite articulation and clarity, not so much top end sizzle (of course, that's there if you want it as well), but just a really tight, defined, pointed sound--maybe like the sound you hear on a lot of Latin type music from Brazil.

    Yet, even on Zon 5-string basses I've owned, that is lacking to some extent (at least the way I hear it). I've even played a few 36 inch scale basses (briefly). Same thing. I don't hear what I want to hear out of the upper register B-string. Thus... as I said, I tend to stick with 4-strings or not really use the low B on a five unless I go to the "pitch basement." I once got to play a Warwick Vampire with the super-low F#. The lowest notes were kind of cool in a "wow" kind of way--not all that useful in my opinion. Higher registers were almost indistinguishable in pitch for that string. Of course, that is an extreme example... but you could call that "fat" as well.
  3. Old P Bass Guy

    Old P Bass Guy

    Nov 26, 2017
    I hate it when someone brings "logic and reason" to the discussion!
    Chris Szatny and EddiePlaysBass like this.
  4. dbsfgyd1

    dbsfgyd1 Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Richmond , Va
    It is about the music and if you can play more so than how many strings your bass of choice has.
    cbdriver likes this.
  5. drifter grey

    drifter grey

    Dec 11, 2016
    I play a four string cause it's most comfortable to me. Not cause I thought it was cool. I tried 5 string for a while, but found it uncomfortable, and there was way to much sympathetic vibration.
    cbdriver, Arnel M. and Korladis like this.
  6. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    It's very "cool" to play 4, 5 or any number of string basses. It's all up to user preference.
    I personally LOVE playing both 4 and 5s. They all serve a purpose.
    cbdriver, Arnel M. and lowdownthump like this.
  7. o_O Cool? Nah.

    A bass is a musical tool. Some jobs call for a 4 string PBass or PBass type with Flats. Others call for a bass with rounds and more high mid punch. Some call for a 5 string or 6 string and others for a bass that sounds good when slapped.

    The only real advantage of a 5 string is it can more easily do unmodified what a 4 string can't unless modified. If I have no use for the B string at that moment to me it's like a 4 string with a wider neck. If I have a lot of vocals to do I prefer a 4 string but otherwise it's not an issue.
    lowdownthump likes this.
  8. jaynov26


    Mar 1, 2006
    Cool starts when I walk into the room. After that my 5 strings are cool and my 4 strings are cool. Which ever one "I' am playing.
    soulman969 and 7615 like this.
  9. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    No, a 5 is cooler. 4's are passe.
  10. 7615


    Nov 19, 2015
    Everyone knows "less is more".

    A 5 string just cries out as trendy, overcompensating. 4 string doesn't care about the latest fads. A washtub bass - 1 string - everyone knows is the absolute coolest. 4 is closer to 1 than 5.

    Just do the math.
    drifter grey likes this.
  11. BoogerMan79


    Apr 7, 2017
    Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out!
    JimMakepeace, nomaj, fffreddy and 3 others like this.
  12. 7615


    Nov 19, 2015
    That would be the New Math.
    BoogerMan79 likes this.
  13. I wonder if this thread will make 40 pages, like the Delete thread did?

    It seems as relevant.
    BoogerMan79 likes this.
  14. RickJones


    Aug 30, 2017
    I rarely use more than the E-A-D strings. On my acoustic bass (a GT fretless with those rubber strings) I was trying to tune up my G last week and was winding the wrong key (D). I just kept on a winding...snap! I ended up recording a song using the E and A strings. The bass line was simpler and sat better in the mix. Now I long for a 2 string bass guitar - there's something about the consistency of tone between the E and A which I like. True story.
    7615 likes this.
  15. 7615


    Nov 19, 2015
    it should continue until one opinion wins. Something above .... freezing over...
    Arnel M. likes this.
  16. 7615


    Nov 19, 2015
    imagine the action on a 2 string.
    RickJones likes this.
  17. RickJones


    Aug 30, 2017
    I have for decades. That's why my wife left me.
    7615 likes this.
  18. 7615


    Nov 19, 2015
    all that EEEE and AAAAA - you got caught.
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Hey, you do you. In the meantime I think you have a seriously mistaken idea of what I mean by fat.

    I got the same thing out of my Zon legacy Standard fretless 5, which was my long time gigging bass.
  20. Goatts


    Apr 6, 2012
    If you want to really be cool, play with one string. Get a washtub and a broomstick and put a string on it :D

    Or try to play a balloon....

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