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My 5 string makes sense now

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gord_oh, May 10, 2010.

  1. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Midtown Guitars Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    Something clicked with me and my Ibanez 105ex the other day. I have had it since November as a birthday gift from my dad, it is my first and only 5er, I havent gigged with it and hardly ever even play it. Got it to see if was my thing, which at the time it wasnt. I decided to pick it up and practice with it the other day. After fumbling around on it making some lines and messing around, I look at the clock and an hour had passed. Wow. That was the most practice time it has seen in one sitting I think. The past few days I have been getting it out and playing on it. Putting it down and picking up a 4 string is almost uncomfortable now. I may have just become a 5 string bass player officially.

    the pic is from gbase, but thats the same beauty.

    Thought I would share my enthusiasm. I was planning another Warmoth build for later this year...it may have just turned into a 5 string. I was so excited to finally get some play time on it, and was surprised to how awkward my 4 string basses feel in comparasion.

    Thanks for reading,
  2. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Don't count out your 4 strings yet. Switching was difficult for me too when I bought my first 5er and it took a long time for me to get used to switching back and forth (it takes different people a different amount of time to get used to it). During that time I sold my main 4 string bass, a 70s Precision modded to suit me perfectly. I totally regret it now.
  3. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Midtown Guitars Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    oh, i have too much attachment to my 4 strings.
    im not counting them out completely, just getting used to adding a string.
  4. jpTron


    Apr 19, 2010
    I'm surprised with how many people find the switch difficult. I had bought a 5 string a few months after I started playing bass (on a 4 string) so maybe that's why it was a smooth transition... and maybe also because my band played 7 strings and I was tuning all the way down just to match so my fingerings were the same with an added high string. I don't know, but even now when I go from 4 to 5 and back it's flawless. But that's great to hear!
  5. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I Grow Organic Carrots
    I was a stubborn 4 string only player for years. Then I got into a band where I needed a low D to properly play 10 or 15 songs on the set list. I tried drop D that that was lame and cumbersome so I tried DGCF and that worked for a while until I needed a low D flat. So I got a 5 string bass. At first the 5 string was awkward. I kept grabbing the wrong string. But eventually I retrained my brain and got muscle memory on the side of 5 strings and now the 4 string bass seems wrong to me.
  6. Blake Bass

    Blake Bass Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Montgomery, Texas
    I think the transition can be more difficult depending on the type of music you are playing..When I made the switch from 4 to 5 I was doing a lot of reading gigs and a quite a few jazz gigs..it took almost a year to feel completely comfortable reading and soloing on the 5 string..that was 20+ years ago and I haven't had the desire to play 4 string since. So hang in there even when it feels awkward ..you'll get used to it and probably grow to love it.
  7. After a few years of angst about what instrument I prefer - 4 or 5 it seems to me a limiting idea in the first place. Like a golfer only saying he is a driver kind a guy and trying to make his way around the course with just that when sometimes you need an iron and a putter... there ends the sporting analogy... if golf is a sport that is...
  8. My first year was spent on a 4 string. I then sold it, got my first 5'er, and haven't looked back in 19 years. I never saw a need for another 4 string; that EADG was right in my hands with every 5 I've held.
  9. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I like and play both
  10. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007

    Once you get used to it, its easy, and its cool to have both.:cool:
  11. tdub0199


    Mar 4, 2010
    Atlanta, Ga.
    I play a 4 string, a 5 string & a 6 string all in one 45 minute set..... never been a problem to me....

  12. Pretty much the same for me. I started of a 4 banger but switched to a 5er pretty early. I haven't had any problems going back and forth. And as a bonus string spacing has ceased to matter to me!
  13. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    Sometimes I feel like a low B. Sometimes I don't.

    Keep both around. Switching between the 2 is easy for me.
  14. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    Once I got it in my thick head that 2 octaves are within only a 4 fret span playing the 5 string got much easier. Still reach for the 4 most of the time.
  15. Heh, I like the golf analogy. Several people are always asking why I have more than one bass, this might be useful. For that matter, my sister is a photographer; the next time she says something about me having more than one bass, I'll think I'll respond something to the effect that you can't use a 15 mm wide angle lens for a job that requires a 500 mm telephoto lens... nor can you use a $60 point and shoot for a job that really requires a full SLR. Thanks!

    I got my first 5 string late last year, and while it took a little while to get used to, I really enjoy having that low 'b' string handy, even if a lot of the stuff I currently play doesn't use it very much. It sure is easier than having to down tune...
  16. See, this is a perfect analogy! I wish there were something equally fitting for someone with no "involved" hobbies like many of my friends or my dad who all ask me the same question constantly. I used to be so excited to show my Dad a new bass that I had bought now I just don't even bother, lol :p.

    And to the OP, congratulations! I didn't try 5 strings for a while either (thought for a totally different reason), now all my basses have 5 strings!
  17. Hehe, as much as I like this analogy I find it a tidbit extreme. Putters, drivers and irons all have totally different jobs where as you can there is A LOT of overlap between 4 and 5 string basses. I can however, understand and appreciate the point you are trying to illustrate :).
  18. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    I'm in this camp. I sold my fours to get my G&L, then added a bunch of fours back into the mix. Some are EADG, some are BEAD and the two fives are BEADG.

    Love them all, but should have strung my Trib L2000 BEAD. Love playing the middle of the fretboard. So easy and so fast.
  19. audiophile21


    Jan 19, 2010
    I started on a five string and then switched to four, then found my five uncomfortable. Then i decided to regard them as two different instruments and not as "basses" but a four string and a five string, now I play both of them all the time and feel no awkwardness when switching. It's better to be able to play both of them then only play one or the other. If you can do both, you'll be a better bassist.
  20. bwoodman

    bwoodman Supporting Member

    Five string has always made sense to me - that is ever since I heard cats like Nathan East and Jimmy Johnson playing them back in the 80s. The Hipshot D-tuner came out around then too, but it made more sense to have all those extra notes instead of re-thinking your lines with your E string tuned down. I had no trouble with the transition from 4 to 5 - used the B string as a thumbrest until I needed it! When you have guitarists that tune down and maybe have to transpose songs, the 5 comes in real handy. I have both 4s and 5s, but the 5s get a lot more play time at gigs.

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