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Moving from a 4 to a 5/6

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Spikeh, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. Spikeh

    Spikeh Sex Strings

    OK... I've got GAS again, it didn't last long! Really got it... I love my Fender Jazz 4 so sooooo much... it's not even 6 months old, but I'm really gassing for another bass. Not cos I want one better - I don't ever want another 4, this one's perfect... but I want that extended range. I really wanna go for a 5 or 6 string bass.

    Thing is, I'm the kind of person who'll spend a lot of money to get a nice bass, rather than spend a little and upgrade later on - and if I get that lower end (I play rock, metal, funk, blues, jazz) I'll have everything I need in one bass.

    What do I do?! I wanna go for a Conklin or a Spector... cos most of the ones I've seen have looked amazing. Not played any of them yet though.

    This is so hard, I love my Jazz so much I don't wanna stop using it... but I can only play one at a time :(
  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Lot's of 5 string Jazz Bass type instruments (including Jazz 5's by Fender) out there. If you love the Jazz Bass sound, just get a 5 string Jazz Bass to go with your 4!

    If you want something different, there's an overwhelming number of 5 or 6 string basses out there in every price range and every tone... from 70's style J Bass single coil sounds to the fattest humbucker, warm mellow tone. Lot's of reviews on this site of many of the best of these lower and higher priced basses (Music Man, Fender, Warwick, etc.)
  3. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Print your post out and save it, so that you can look back and laugh as you start GASing for another 4. Because you WILL start GASing for another 4, eventually. "Perfect" is a really strong word. There is NOTHING that is perfect in this world.

    Picking a bass solely because of its looks is kind of like choosing a meal because you like the color of the dishes. I don't know about you, but my ears don't see too well...the whole point of the thing is how it sounds, not how it looks. (Which is why I just bought a Bongo...it sounds incredible and I don't give a rat's nuts what people think of its looks.)

    Play a bunch of basses and think about tone and versatility. Will the bass perform well for the kind of music you play? This is subtle judgment-call stuff and it's really hard to nail down, especially in the context of trying something out in a music store. What sounds great soloed doesn't necessarily sit well in the mix when the whole band is playing.

    I know this doesn't help with your specific question, and sorry about that...consider it food for thought. Good luck with your search.
  4. I just bought my first 5 string, a Spector Rebop and love it, after playing a 4 string for 15 years. The thing I noticed was, most of the 4 strings feel pretty similiar in string spacing. The 5 strings however, feel drastically different from one to another. Some had wide spacing but really wide necks, where others had really close spacing making it difficult to pick out each string. If youre going to a 5 or 6, id defiantley try em out first hand.
  5. Spikeh

    Spikeh Sex Strings

    Aye, I know that I need to try basses before I buy one... but the problem is that NONE of the music stores around here stock 5's or 6's. I'm not sure what I could do tbh? I mean, they won't get them in stock just for me to try them :(

    Heheh... and adouglas - I'm sure you're right... but I really don't feel the need in getting another 4 string until this one's so knackered it can't be played? I can't see that happening tbh... it's such a nice bass that I don't think any other 4 could be THAT much better that I'd GAS for it...
  6. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Yeah, but the funny thing is that your tastes may change. For example, you could have the nicest rosewood fingerboard bass in the world, and start getting curious about maple fingerboards! The good thing is, you might actually be able to own more than one 4-string at a time...
    My personal recommendation for a 5-string would be a Music Man. Yeah, I'd always play an instrument before buying it, if only because different pieces of wood sound different. But, having said that, Ernie Ball (maker of Music Man basses) seems to have great quality control and consistency, so you might just be able to buy one unplayed. They are different from Fender Jazz Basses, but I'd wager you'd love them.
  7. Spikeh

    Spikeh Sex Strings

    I mean... at the moment, all I need / want is that dropped D / C without having to tune it in all the time (I don't wanna warp my neck), so a 5 string strung BEADG will do me. I thought I might get a 6 string just to get that extra range if I need it in the not so near future.

    A 5 string with 24 frets would be best - I'd get the full range of the songs I play / want to play in the future.

    Having never played a 5 string... I would presume that the B string is a dropped B? 3 steps below the E? Wouldn't the string be REALLY thick? I mean, I love my heavy gague roundwounds...

    Gonna need to try one I think... I might not like the size of the fretboard yet, or the string spacing, or the width of the B! hehe...
  8. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    this is funny

    after just getting my dream bass - sadowsky ultra vintage 70's metro 4 string, i suddenly have totally unexplained gas for a Ibanez SR506 six string to much around on....
  9. Pruitt


    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    Not necessarily true. I played 4 string for about 25 years and in the past year decided to buy a 6. I no longer have any interest in playing a 4 stringed instrument anymore. I sold one of my 4's because it was taking up room and I knew I'd never play it again (I'll never sell my '79 Stingray. It just sits in its case now). The only GAS I have now is for a fretless 6, or maybe a 7, 8 or 9 string. Nothing like having all those extra tones at your fingertips! :)
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I am primarily a 5 stringer, but I was a 4 stringer for almost 20 years. I made the transition very easily, but still play 4, 6 and twelve string basses in addition to the 5.

    You should definitely try a 5 or 6 before you buy one. And try to play a narrow spacing and a wide spacing version before you buy too. There is a big difference in feel anc comfort.
  11. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    4-5 transition is easy, no problem. The strings are still tunes an equal distance from each other, so it's really simple.
  12. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Wait a minute... you sold ONE of your 4s? You did indeed GAS for a new 4 at some point. The original poster believes he's found the perfect 4 string bass and will never want another 4-string bass.

    Pish, I say.
  13. Pruitt


    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    Yeah, but I had those 4's before I had the 6. And none of the were perfect (though I do love my old Stingray. It just sits in its case now though. I wish they made an SR6. heh heh...). :)

    The point I was making is if he buys a 5 or 6, he may find that's what he likes and GAS for more of those and not a 4 anymore. ;)

    Have Fun! :bassist:
  14. Spikeh

    Spikeh Sex Strings

    Hehe... I was saying that if I get a 5 string, what's the point in buying another 4 string, or even playing it? I can't see any benfit to it...

    The question was more one of dismay than ability - I'm not worried about the transition... I mean, my hands are huge, as long as the string spacing is similar to my 4, I reckon I'll be fine with a 5 or a 6. I'm more worried about losing interest in my beautiful 4 string Jazz :( Which I really don't wanna do, but I know I will if I find a 5 string that'd allow me to play all my songs.

    After all... who'd upgrade to a Mercedes then drive their 3 wheeler around (if finances aren't an issue!)?
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I played a 5 for 3 years exclusively and came back to the 4. Sometimes you just want to drive a 3-wheeler. I wouldn't compare it to a 3-wheeler, though. I'd compare it to driving a sports car as opposed to a Mercedes. Sure, the Mercedes is bigger and looks more regal on the road, but you can fly in a sports car.

    Not everyone gives up the 4's when they buy a 5 or 6 string. My 5 string sits on the rack except for maybe once a year while I bring my Jazz on every single gig I do.
  16. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    Wanna buy my Zon legacy 5? ;)
  17. Spikeh

    Spikeh Sex Strings

    If you didn't live 3000 miles away, I might consider it ;P
  18. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I am one of the ones that still plays my 4 bangers.

    Like I said in my previous post, I consider myself a 5 stringer. It just feels right, and works well for the music that I play.

    But I love to play the sixes, and my twelve stringer too.

    And sometimes it is just fun to pull out a four stringer and have at it!!!:bassist: