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moved to 5 string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by stubbuai, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. whats up all? I just recently moved into a 5 string bass from a 4 and wondered if any of the bassists on here might have any tips to make the transition easier. I used to have an ibanez sr400, :bassist: while at the store the other day the salesman suggested the sr505 w/ bartolini pickups... I had just got my tax return to i figured what the heck! But i would appriciate any suggestion....thanks in advance!
  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    The only tip I can give is to play it as much as possible in every situation you play in... You're gonna make mistakes, so learn to correct them quickly... I'd only ever played a five string two or three times before I bought mine... It arrived the day before a gig, so I sucked it up and played the gig with it, having a four along as a backup... The guys were very supportive... I basically played it as a four, throwing in the occasional low D...

    I've always felt that learning on the go is the best way, so that's usually my approach.

    Good luck!!

  3. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    I've heard people suggest using a black tapewound string (i.e. a DR Black Beauty) on your low B and regular round wounds for your other strings. The black will set your low B apart so you have an initial visual reference. (EADG= silvery, B= black.)

    Eventually you'll want to remove that, but I would try that if you have gigs coming up and not enough time to get acclimated to the 5.

    Though the acclimation process shouldn't be long, but it takes longer for some people, shorter for others. I adjusted from a 4 to a 5 and from a 5 to a 6 fairly quickly.

    EDIT: I had a chance to play an SR506 at a Guitar Center recently. Nice bass.
  4. thanks for the advice anymore?
  5. Jean Baudin

    Jean Baudin

    Aug 27, 2003
    redwood city, ca
    Endorsing Artist: See Profile
  6. You're not alone. I just bought my first 5 string bass last night off eBay. It is in my price range right now...and I figured I'd get something to learn on before making any big money purchases. It may be a cheesey bass. Anyone ever play a Brownsville vintage style 5 string? :hyper:
  7. I loved it when I first played my six string with my band. The guitarists can really play but they suck at remembering chords. So they would turn round to me and look at the note I was fretting and if they were lucky I'd be playing the root.

    When the six came along they'd take one look at all those strings and give up. They've since started writing the chords down.

    Enjoy your five.
  8. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    When I started I put my four string down and didn't touch it for approx 2 1/2 to 3 months. That is just me though....I've heard of plenty of people being able to shift easily between the two. I actually can shift easily now but at first...no way....had to just plug away at a 5 string until it felt as comfortable as a 4.
  9. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Heh, when I first got my 5, I used the low B as a thumb rest until I was comfortable with the extra width, slightly smaller string spacing and just having another string in the way. That seemed to help me acclimate much like the use of a black string, and a lot less costly hehe.

    And like everyone else said, put the 4 away and hide it for a while till the 5 is as comfortable. Then whip the 4 back out and marvel at how fast it feels compared hehe.
  10. CQBASS


    Dec 1, 2004
    Asheville NC
    practice practice practice.....and use it on gigs. Making a mistake on stage sticks with you alot more than in your bedroom. congrats.
  11. When I first started on the five, I found that it helped me to be VERY conscious of the B string. For example play an E on the 5th fret B instead of the open E, G on the 8th etc, etc. That way you'll think of it truly as a five string instead of a four with an extra string. The more comfortable you get the easier you'll find it to choose which positions and sounds you're going for. And just like everyone else suggested practice, practce, practice.
  12. Nadav


    Nov 13, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I think this is a great idea for fretboard knowledge in general - play things in different positions.
  13. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Put your four-stringer aside (for now) and concentrate on five. As noted: practice, practice, practice.

    I felt clumsy performing songs I'd played for years on four. So, I learned a bunch of new songs on five (coincidentally, I was joining a new band at the same time I was switching to fiver). Learning songs fresh seemed to ease the transition... perhaps because there was less "muscle memory" to unlearn.
  14. Hey,
    Congratulations on the five string! Like everyone has said, play it as much as possible and you will get used to it. I let the five sit for about a year before I decided to put my four string away. After about three months I started to hit the groove with the five. Unfortunately the five was a Rogue. I could not handle the loss of sound compared to my Yamaha four string. When I picked up the four again I could not believe how strange it felt. I found my self searching for the 5th string. Needless to say I am shopping for a good five string.

    If you play it you will love it.
  15. i appriciate all the help ans suggestions everyone! Ive obviously found practicing to be the best help! The hardest part so far has been trying to play songs i already no from the 4 string, it just seems that the LB gets on the way so much and i find myself Hitting the wrong strings at times....I dont regret it one bit, but i honestly didnt picture it being like this! But it is growing on me....Not to mention i found a great site for help! Thanks again everyone! :hyper:
  16. Sane

    Sane Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Melbourne Fl
    Muscle Memory... but that will not take long to change. it could be easier just to ignore the B on some songs... makes a good thumbrest:)... but I would try to use it as much as possible. Do some simple finger exercises using the B string as well.
  17. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Congratulations! Now you're a man. *wipes tear*

  18. so what does that makes me when i move to a 6 string....an old man? :D