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Movin up to five string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Scrawneybassist, Apr 30, 2001.

  1. I have been playing a four string bass for about a year now and i am looking for my third. I am thinking of getting a five string so i can get the deeper notes. I was wondering if anybody can help me out
  2. 311 fan

    311 fan

    Sep 24, 2000
    La Verne, CA
    Id love to help. What do you need help with? Seeing as I am in the same position as you; A four stringer moving up to a five. Be more specific.
  3. Well, it is kind of a choice between a four string strung BEAD or a five. I am not really sure which i want, but i think the five will give more versitility.
  4. madsky


    Apr 21, 2001
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Get a 5 stringer. I started out with a 5 stringer. Lots of music uses 5 string guitars nowadays. I think I'm odd. :)
  5. AssMan


    Dec 2, 2000
    Minnesota, USA
    I'd say 5. A 5er gives you a double octave, and a lot of 4 strings aren't strong enough to be tuned BEAD, because they're not built to be tuned that way, but it depends on how well it's built. Most good 5 strings are designed with the low B in mind so the necks are made stronger, reinforced with graphite or steel, have a 35" scale (vs. a standard 34"), or a combination of some or all of these things. Alot of cheaper 5ers are just a 4 with a low B tacked on, and some of them get along ok, but most don't and suffer from a floppy undefined B string. Of course these are just some basics. Some things to ask your self before you switch are do I really need a 5, am I good enough at playing a 4 yet, and other things like that. The longer you stay on a 4 and learn to use all 4 strings as best you can, the better you will be at a 5 (I swapped to 5 too early, and I wish I had waited longer till I was a better player to do so, but I managed and learned alot. It would have taken less time to get to where I am though if I stuck to 4 for awhile longer though). But hey, if you want 5, you want 5, so go for it, just think about what you want to do before you walk in a store and do something stupid like buy a bass. *laughs*. Hope I was of some help.
  6. hammong


    Apr 11, 2001
    Sparks, Maryland
    I found that quite a lot of music out there requires a lower tone than a standard EADG tuned 4 string can deliver. I ended up settling on a Warwick Thumb Bolt-on 5 string, and I couldn't be happier.

    FWIW - I'm still "new" at the bass routine, and do not find the 5 string any more or less difficult to play than my Ibanez GSR 200 4-string. I will say, however, that I get virtually zero fret buzz and easier fingering on the Warwick - but that's more a factor of it being properly set up with better hardware, I think.

  7. You may want to provide a little more info. What styles do you like/play? What's your budget? If your username describes your stature you may want something lightweight.

    I got a Carvin when I made the jump to 5 string. Granted I ended up searching for a bit more in the tone department after a while, it was a good value and a good starter 5. It treated me well for almost 5 years.
  8. miktit

    miktit Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2001
    The Musicman Stingray 5 has a nice sounding B-string (not flappy at all)
    The Fender Roscoe Beck is quite nice as well.

    Stay away from the BEAD-basses!!

    You might regret missing the high G later on.
  9. i like five, but i still have thoughts of possibly switching back to a four string....
  11. Licketysplit


    Mar 15, 2000

    Have you thought about getting a six-string instead? Much more versatility...
  12. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    I must respectfully disagree. I started on a 5, so does that make me less of a player than someone playing equally as long, except on a four? To me, I personally think the transition would be HARDER the longer you wait, simply because you develop your technique with what you learn with. If you learn it that way, you're most likely gonna hafta re-learn it to add strings. JT musta had a heckuva time :eek::D

    Obviously, this won't be true for everyone, but it just seems more logical to me. Anyone agree/disagree?
  13. AssMan


    Dec 2, 2000
    Minnesota, USA
    I respectfully disagree, It seems to me that if you learn to do more with the 4 strings you've got, you'll be able to benefit more from having an extra string to work with. When you're starting out, less is more. The better player you become, the easier it is to switch from 4 to 5, or how ever may strings you want. Better playing comes from practice which takes time. If you use standard tuning, you shouldn't have to redeveloped your technique, it's more like adding to your existing technique, your playing doesn't really change, but your range is expanded. Granted you might have to adapt it a bit, but not much, and it doesn't take too long to adjust to a 5 from a 4 anyway. There are things that you can do on a 5 that you can't do with a 4 and vice versa, and those kind of things will change your technique a bit but mostly they add to it. Think what jaco could do if he had 7 strings to work with? This is all I have to say on this. remember all of this is IME and IMO. Oh yeah, hunter585, I never said anything about your playing, I was saying that's how it was for me, I might not have been the case for you because everybody's different. Hunter, have or do you currently played and owned a 4 though?
  14. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    I keep a bass tuned to BEAD....as do many other bassists I know. It works great. And for the music I use that bass for....I don't miss the G string at all.
  15. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    I must respectfully disagree myself.
    Isn't it pretty obvious that the longer you play the bass, the better you become at playing the bass, no matter how many strings you have? Of course you're going to be a better bass player if you move on to a 5-string after shredding a 4 for ten years as opposed to two. But how you possibly can say that one shouldn't get a 5-string bass simply because they aren't all that good on a 4 yet? If you improve, you improve, it doesn't matter how many strings you have! It's all a matter of what you want to play - that is what you should play.

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