Keep the 4 string, get a five string or a six?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by shamuthewhale, Oct 2, 2001.

  1. don't bother buying another bass for now

    15 vote(s)
  2. get a five string

    37 vote(s)
  3. get a six string

    9 vote(s)
  4. buy a set of 5 string and put them on my four string guitar.

    16 vote(s)
  1. shamuthewhale


    Sep 26, 2001
    okay here's the scoop
    I've been playing the bass guitar for a couple of years and I want to start getting to some of the tougher stuff.
    I also enjoy playing bass with the lowest notes possible.
    I rarely use the "G" my 4 string I have now.
    what do you think I should do?
  2. matteo6dmb


    Sep 27, 2001
    Champaign, IL
    yeah I'm only beginning and I already know the right choice. I can't see ever buying a five string for myself, but you seem to be interested in the ultra-low stuff so five strings would be great. don't save your lunch money to pay for the expanded range, though, because it is really just an option; not a necessity.
  3. If price is a question start with the heaviest set of 4 string you can find and detune them to B or C. At worst you are out the cost of the srtings and a quick re set up of your neck and bridge. If you are using really light strings now you may have to have the nut resloted. If you find your liking the extra 5 notes you get then take the next step. Who knows you may even jump straight from a 4 string to a seven string.
  4. Define I want to start getting to some of the tougher stuff.

    Why don't you use your G string. Maybe you should spend some time with that.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Lotsa no-brainers tonight. Five-string. Then you can say you play bass.
  6. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    Did you start on 3 strings and move "up"? :D
  7. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    If you don't use your G string, and like playing lower notes, why would you get a six string? :confused: Just go with the five, or file down your nut slots (or better yet, have a professional do it) on your current bass and buy a five string set, and play B-E-A-D
  8. <b>shamuthewhale asked...</b>

    what do you think I should do?

    It'd be easy to sit here and play armchair bass teacher but I'm not inclined (or qualified) to do that, so please don't take offense.

    Work on learning to play the entire instrument. A five would give you a handful of lower tones than you have now and that might work fine for what you're doing today.

    Everyone's take on this is gonna be different but I find that although I'm faster on a four, I'm *much* more creative on a six. If you don't care much for high notes then a five might work just fine for you. Only you can tell what you like - no one can really set your musical direction for you.

    For me the choice was obvious - but then I'm over 40 and just holding down the bottom end has lost a lot of its appeal. These days I'm into some more melodic stuff - and that has the side benefit of occasionally annoying a guitar player - well, it pisses off the prima donnas anyway ;)

    (actually, during instrumental parts I've had a pretty good time playing counterpoint to guitarists in their own register - and as long as you don't overdo it guitarists seem to like it pretty well.)

    I think learning any instrument is a lifelong process - if you're not challenged then stuff starts to get tired and boring.

    Anyway, four, five or six - it really doesn't matter. What matters is that you're having a good time and learning constantly. When you stop learning then you become a lousy bass player - and I know quite a few of those.

    cheers -

  9. td1368


    Jan 9, 2001
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply Allan. I've had G.A.S. for a five string lately but I'm still learning on the four. I'm still learning to hold down the bottom and really like my rig now. Seems likek the answer pretty obvious.
  10. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i'll agree with those who said to get a set of 5 string strings.

  11. Dude, that's a bit (really) offensive there.
  12. pmkelly


    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I would say get the fiver.... you can probably get one for relatively cheap, and then you would get a good chance to compare the two... Just MHO...

  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Get a used 5, play the 4 and 5, if you don't take to the five, sell it for about what you paid for it.
  14. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Deptford, NJ
    keep the 4, if u don't use the G, then u own't use higher, unless u r gonna get a bass with a low B string
  15. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    don't take it personally. besides, you should see all the "offensive" comments leveled at extended range players by 4 stringers, many of whom have never played >4 before.
  16. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Allan speaks the absolute truth. Listen to him.

    The bottom line - the number of strings is less important than what you do with them. As long as you are moving forward, and not stagnant or going backwards.

    If you are happy with 4, but don't go above G, and like lower notes, get a 5 string, which gives you a low B (which believe me is helpful once you get used to it). The alternative like a lot of people have suggested is string up a 4 with a low B.
  17. I would say to get a five now, as a six might be a little overwhelming. Even though you say you dont play any higher then notes on the d string, a 5 would have the lower notes you want, and would probably sound better and feel better than putting bigger strings on the four. 5 string bass are made to handle the lower string and would probably sound better then a 4 not ment to have a b string on it.

    Even if you only want low notes now, chances are your tastes or styles might change in the future and then you would have a bass that could handle your playing.

  18. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001

    um... why would you want a 6 string if you don't use the high G? Then you'd just have 2 strings that you don't use. See... the 6 string has an extra high string as well as an extra low one. I say get a 5 or save money and detune your current bass.
  19. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Of course, he could get a six, and string/tune it F#BEADG, then he'd have two lower strings than an E...or would there be some tension problems with that?