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One of those light bulb moments...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by HeavyDuty, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I was afraid this was going to happen…

    A few weeks back, I decided I'd try five strings with a cheap bass, and picked up an OLP MM-3. I've always been a little scared of trying a five, since a) the neck width is intimidating and b) I have a bunch of fours that I really like, and I don't want to find myself not playing them in favor of a five.

    Some of you may be aware that I have a touch of arthritis in my hands. It really doesn't affect me seriously at this point, but my hands can get pretty stiff and painful. Because of this, I've kept a pair of short scale basses around the house - the shorter reach really helps on bad days.

    However, I'm finding the five is even easier to play than the shorties! Being able to shift position up the neck really shortens my reach. This is a side benefit of playing a five that I never anticipated.

    Of course, having that low B is a real eye-opener for me. I've been trying to relearn songs shifted up and over - most stuff boxes very nicely, and can avoid that damn twangy G entirely in almost all cases.

    Next step is to retune one of my fours BEAD to see if I can get the same benefit - my XM2A is a likely candidate.

    This could get expensive. I have a few fours I would never get rid of - my Sterling (in fact I wouldn't mind a second one!), my Ric, my Tacoma, my Steinie - but almost everything else may go on the block to finance a quality five.

    Like a Bongo!
  2. thats cool!

    i used to use that as my excuse for getting a five (i could always play at the fifth fret for E, or sixth for F and so on)
    but i never could fully talk myself into it.

    maybe i just need to find the right five!

  3. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Hey HD,
    So when you gonna' get a SIX?!?! :D


    Seriously...I'm glad to hear that the 5 is expanding your playing experience, challenging you in new ways, and is easing the pain and stiffness of your arthritis.
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    The "Like a Bongo!" comment warms my heart. Get one! Fiver, H/S with piezos :D :D :D. See if you can score one of those sweet Envy Green ones.
  5. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
  6. I'm just wondering, converting it to a permanent BEAD four stringer would probably require a fresh setup, but do you guys use normal four string packs when buying strings? Or do you buy five string packs and throw away the G or something? Always wondered that..
  7. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    I only had to file the nut slightly on mine.....everything else was fine. I buy 5 string sets and just keep the G as a spare for my 4 strings which do break every now and then.
  8. Oh ok, now I gotta decide if I should convert my fna to a BEAD... :meh: The things you guys put in my mind :)
  9. Thanks btw
  10. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    Try it and see if you like it before doing anything semi permanent (like filing the nut). It will only cost you a set of strings and it might be just what you are looking for. There may be a problem with the action being a little high at the 1st couple of frets but you'll get the feel of it and see if it is worth a more permanent set-up. Just a thought.
  11. Wise words, I see what you mean, thanks again, for some reason doing something permanent to a bass always brings up my fna instead of my action bass lol. I'm not experienced with 5 stringers at all, or 4 for that matter :eyebrow: But the articles that I've read seem to put emphasis on a taunt B string, will this be the case? And how is that good? Sorry for going so off topic.
  12. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Same problem, no real solution. I hate to sell any, but its stupid to keep basses I'm rarely playing. But, I hate selling basses....
  13. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Five was the perfect cure for my Carpal tunnel. Except for the fact that I sold it and got a Stingray with a baseball bat neck. Whoops :)
  14. Waddaya know, I´m in the same situation as you! I too bought a cheap fiver as an experiment few weeks ago. And I have also been surprised how easy it has been to adjust. I already feel comfortable with the neck and I actually like the tighter string spacing. :bassist:

    And as you can guess, I´m seriously GASsing for a good fiver. But I´ll try to restrain myself for at least few months; I really like my current 4-strings and I would hate to make a rushed decision that I could regret later. Right now I am contemplating about using my cheapo five on a few upcoming gigs. The pups are a bit noisy and I´m not sure how well it will stay in tune, but my fingers are just itching for that b-string...