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Questions on 5 strings

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bushfire, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. Now this will seem really basic to most (read:all) of you, but the lowest string on a 5 is a B right?

    So is it logical, if I am in a rock band that uses drop D a lot (all the time) to buy a five string so I can use the D from third fret B rather than tuning up and down constantly?

    And also, are 5 string bass' consistently more expensive than 4 strings, and if so, by how much?

    Thanks for all the help in advance
  2. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia In Memoriam

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    Yes. yes and yes. Though some people are string with a hi c , so the low string is an E, but most go for the extended downward range.
    One of the beautiful things about fivers is having that instant access to those low notes. Before i played a 5, i went to try a Kubicki ( it was circa 1982 ) and the extender lever was confusing. Then i saw a Tobias 5 string and that made all the sense in the world.
    Yes, a 5 string will cost more than a 4 of the same model, but not much. Anywhere from $100 to $500 more, I'd say, depending on the bass.

    If you have any doubts, I sa go for it. I did it in '82 and never looked back.
  3. The main reason IMO for a 5 stringer is so you dont have to tune down, which rocks the proverbial Khazbar.
    Yes a 5-er will cost more, because from I what I can gather they generally come with on board pre-amps (the good ones anyway), I bought a warwick 5er and love it, good luck.
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Adrian nailed it. When I tried a fiver in Y2K, I switched over completely. I love it so much, I wish I'd had the foresight to switch back in the 80's as Adrian did... though I'm sure the Hipshot company is glad I didn't!
  5. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    The lower notes are nice to have, but I don't use them all that often. For me the real reasons I bought a fiver were:

    1) after playing g****r for a lot of years I wanted to try something new (bass) and since I was just starting out I figured I'd start on a fiver right away.

    2) You have access to more notes in a given position and if you choose, you don't have to shift as often (but can of course still play it like a four if you want).

    3) It gives you an additional tonal option. You can pay a given line on lower strings for a deeper, meatier tone. Also, when you shift down the neck the frets are closer together, so it's also somewhat easier to play. That's important for me since I have small hands and recently switched from a 34" scale to a 35" scale bass.

    Happy fiving!
  6. thanks for all your replies
  7. Wait a minute. Just out of Idle curiosity, is there something you can clamp on at the third fret so when I play "open" D I don't have to have my fingers moving like a madman?
  8. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia In Memoriam

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    my brother, my .02? forget that stuff, like Prince said : You gotta do the work! ;)
  9. metalguy2


    Dec 26, 2004
    I think that is what you call a Capo.

    I am always working the B string into my music. It is a bass.. BASS!! LOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW. They should have put that string on there in the first place :confused:

    Now working the C string into a song is something I have not done yet. I will have to wait for the bass solo! :D
  10. Will any old capo work? Like a guitar one?
  11. Acepiloto


    Aug 25, 2000
    I play fives, but I still tune down to Drop D. Just because of the number of hammer ons/pulloffs used in most of our riffs. The riffs we normally come up with are rather awkward when playing them in a "standard" tuning.

    I like five strings for the aforementioned playing without having to shift your hand up and down the neck. And it gives great access to the low notes when utilizing two handed tapping.
  12. Razman

    Razman Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    I tune my E to D for one song I play, only because the riff in it requires the speed back to low D.

    A fiver is great, but only if your B string is worth playing. My first five, a Peavey TL-5, was a nice bass, had a relatively solid B, but still the tonal difference between it and the E and other strings was too great to be of much use. DISCLAIMER: I am not trying to start a "who's B is better" war here (there are plenty of those threads here and you don't have to go far to find them) but just wanted to make a point. PLAY one, or take someone experienced with you so you get a good one.

    Not only will you be able to hit that low-D at will, you'll be able to play in the lower registers higher up on the neck. That helps a lot with runs, etc. as you don't have to keep sliding your hand up the neck to reach them.


  13. Thanks for all the help

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