DISCLAIMER: This is not a slam against those who do play 4 strings. I'd just like to get everyones thoughts on this. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Being a member of several online music/bass forums, I see repeatedly this concept of "mastering the 4" before moving to a bass with X number of strings. From where does this mindset originate? Theory is the same whether one uses 4, 5, 6, or X number of strings.... It's the same twelve notes.... One can apply the same techniques to basses with only 4 strings and those with more than 4. Once a person learns the fundamentals of playing they're applicable (for the most part. Stuff like altered tunings, etc. not considered) on any bass regarless of the size of its bridge. Is Anthony Jackson a better bassists than Jeff Berlin because he uses 6 strings? Using the "master the 4" line of reasoning it would seem so because Jackson has mastered both 4 and 5 and has now moved to 6. Looking at it from the opposite side; as great a player as Victor Wooten is, how much more is there left for him to learn on four? A lot of people have told me: "I learn something new on my four string everyday." That's great! One should always strive to learn something new about their chosen instrument. But it's been nothing (that I've seen) that couldn't be learned on a 5 or 6 string bass... How do you know when you've mastered the 4? At what point do you say "I've taken this as far as it can go... Time to get a 5 string." I'd like to keep "comfort" responses out of this discussion, please.. The issue is not (it seems) with what someone is more comfortable with but rather one of time & experience to "justifiably" move to what many consider "the next level of progress".