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Opinions, please

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Phil313, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Phil313


    Feb 20, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I am a beginning bassist. Through a series of unusual events, I have been given a four bass and a five string bass. So..my question is, which do I learn first? Should I learn on the four-string first and easily adapt to the five string? Or vice-versa?
    What are the pros and cons?
    Many thanks in advance for your time and opinion.
  2. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    I don't think there's a right answer, only relative opinions. The 4 string will b a bit easier to learn on, both ergonomically and in terms of theory, but that doesn't mean it would be better to start with a 4 from the long-term perspective. Personally, I'd start with the 5 and forget the 4 altogether. There's nothing you can play on a 4 that can't be played on a 5.
  3. It's all what you want. In theory, the four string is easier, but I can't play a four very well anymore. The extra string comforts me in times of need.
  4. Phil313


    Feb 20, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Thanks, Morris, for your considered opinion. If I understand you then: If I learn on the 5 string, I would be able to play the 4 string, right?
    Is there any reaon I would want to play both? Keep both? If you were in my situation, would you sell the 4 and keep the 5?
  5. Okay:

    In theory if you learn 5, 4 should be easy to adapt to. I have trouble going from 5 to 4, but you might be different. You'd want the 5 for a low B or a high C string. Which basses are they?

    I'd keep the 5'er for now, depending on which basses they are and what quality it is. Some like 5's, some hate it. You have to try what's more comfortable to you.
  6. MyUsernameHere

    MyUsernameHere ?????????????

    Nov 3, 2007
    Lexington KY
    There is not much discernible difference between a four and five string bass. Sure one has a low B or high C the other doesn't, but honestly the difference isn't great enough for someone to say one is better than the other to learn on first. The important thing here is "to learn." Keep 'em both for a while (if you can) and see which one you like better as you gain some experience playing. Chances are good that one or the other will stand out for you and you'll end up neglecting the other one anyway. At that point you could sell the one you don't like playing as much if that's what you want to do.
  7. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    switch back and forth while learning. some people (not all!) learn one way and have difficulties changing. myself when i went from 4 to 5 i had a hard time with 4s which resulted in my selling basses i should have kept. nowadays either is fine (thanks to a jonesing for a P a while back) and i'm even thinking about a 6.
  8. Rudyboy98


    Jan 25, 2008
    South Bay, CA
    If I were making the recommendation to a Padawan learner...start with a 4 string and get comfortable...then when you are ready...(the Master Jedi will let you know if you are ready...) you start playing the 5 string bass!

    May the Force be with you...

  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    If I had it to do over, I would have started playing a five or six string 25 years ago. I can't imagine how much more comfortable that I would be on a six today if I had been playing one for 25 years!

    Go with what feels 'right' to you. Play them both at first, and I think that you will find one to be more 'you' than the other.

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