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Should I get a 5 string?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ScottFrettzBass, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. My Uncle offered me his 5 string, noting that he didn't like the low B string, and told me he would sell it to me. I usually Play on my trusty old Fender J, but should i get the 5 string?
  2. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Get the 5
  3. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I totally would. Between the keyboard synthesizers we might try to emulate and the guitar players who all tune down a whole step, you need something with which to fight back. I'm thinking Ibanez SR 505, but we'll see when I actually get a budget.
  4. Ivan M

    Ivan M

    Aug 2, 2010
    Bronx, NY
    Yes 5 string all the way.
  5. Moe Monsarrat

    Moe Monsarrat Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Austin, Tx.
    Endorsing artist:Regenerate Guitar Works Carvin, Micheal Kelly Guitars
    I only play 5s on stage anymore. You have a lot more fingering options & tone options not to mention the extra notes.
  6. ejmy


    Nov 30, 2008
    I would say yes, but only if it's a 35 inch scale. Big difference on the low B string, makes it very usable.

  7. jabsys


    Mar 30, 2011
    If you're happy with the J & don't need a 5 I wouldn't bother.
  8. 5'ers are great for almost any kind of music. Get it! :bassist:
  9. Absolutely get the 5! Scale is irrelevant if it is a somewhat well-made instrument. The B's on my 34" basses I've owned (Carvin, Squier Deluxe Jazz, Sadowsky Metro) are 100% as good as the B's on the 35" ones (Lakland, Spector) I 've owned. But since this is your first 5, if you're getting a good deal on it, go for it and see how you like it!
  10. nyde7


    Jun 27, 2005
    Yes! "Try it you'l like it"! Which brand and model 5er is it?
  11. It's an Ibanez, He only told me about it breifly, so he didn't mention the model. and I'm pretty sure its a longneck.
  12. Jake Saint

    Jake Saint

    Dec 31, 2011
    Mine Hill, NJ
    Ibanez's are great instruments... maybe not as "high end" as a few others that most people play, but i'm very, very happy with my GSR105. (which for some reason i thought was an SR205 when i first got it. didn't realize that the 205 had four knobs, while the 105 only has two.)

    either way, beautiful sounding bass for learning a 5ver.

    *edit* forgot to mention, however, that as it is a smaller 34" scale, and a slightly narrower neck, it can be difficult to get used to at first, thanks to the lack of space between strings.
  13. peanutsfan1995


    Nov 27, 2010
    If you can afford it, go for it! I got my 5'er a few months ago, and I haven't looked back. It's ridiculously more fun to play. Plus, you get tons more options on how to play and what to play.
  14. fivestringgecko

    fivestringgecko Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Absolutely not.

    (just kidding. lol)

    I say give it a shot, but I'm biased. Like Moe, I play mainly 5's and for the same reasons he mentioned... I can't remember the last time I actually played a 4-string!

    I agree with Grateful 100%, a 35" scale bass isn't required for a good low B. I had the mentality of "35" scale only" when I first switched to 5's, but after much more experience with them, only one of my main players has the extended scale. I've played basses with both scale lengths that have been equally as good or bad.

    Jake's right, Ibanez basses are 34" scale. I owned an SR535 for a while. Great bass! Played well and the low B string was actually pretty killer. The Ibanez 5's do have the narrower spacing that he also mentioned, and since I prefer wider spacing, I sold it to help fund a Precision 5... ;)

    Is your uncle's offer a good deal? If you're even thinking about making the switch to the extra string, why not take advantage of it? Once you decide whether you like the extra string or not, then you can decide if it's the right bass for you or if you want something else. :bassist:

  15. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Nah. I have two 34" scale 5ers and the B string is fine. You can compensate for the scale length with a heavier gauge string.
  16. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I've got plenty of 34" 5 string basses that are just fine! That extra inch isn't necessary to have a decent B string. It just makes strings harder to buy. But my 35" bass does have a B string to die for, but then also it's a Modulus.

    The thing that bothers me is the uncle wants to get rid of the bass because he doesn't like the B string. What does that mean? Does that mean he just doesn't dig a 5th string or does it mean the B string on that bass sucks? If it's the latter, I'd say "pass".
  17. xfretlessx


    Dec 17, 2010
    Mohawk, NY
    yes! Go to a 5 and then a 6! thats what I did...and then I went fretless. everytime i changed...I thought it was the best thing ever and never looked back. Soon enough youll be playing a 6er fretless lol.
    anyway, my only reservation would be that its an Ibanez. Ive never liked the narrow necks or feel, but thats personal. If you like how it feels and sounds, go for it!
  18. He says he just likes playing the classic 4 string, since Classic Rock really doesn't call for the B string, and he's a Big Guy and he likes the spacing between the 4 string better.
  19. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    As someone else also said, if he is giving you a good deal then definitely. Only you will know if you should get a five string and you will only know for sure after you have tried one for an extended period. If your uncle's offer is a low cost way to try the breed then you should take advantage of it.

    I am looking at fives myself and after extensive store trials I am starting realize that I have a split personality when it comes to string spacing: my left hand likes the Ibanez narrow spacing while my right prefers the Fender wide spacing. I don't think I will find enough store playing time to resolve the issue before I buy. My present thinking is that my main reason for wanting one is to get the left hand fingering range and options that five strings provide so maybe I should let the left hand decide. But that could change, too bad you can't get kinked strings that would give you both, eh? :D

    At the right price I am sure the Ibanez would teach you a lot about five string basses without being a financial loss if you sell it later because you decide you need a different five string or want to stick with four strings.

  20. Gabriel51


    Sep 30, 2008
    5 Stringers are easier to play, by that I mean you don't need to run around the neck, you can keep your playing more centralized. I'm lazy so it works for me, not to mention the closer string spacing on 90% of the 5's made and
    after you play one for a while you will know exactly what I mean...
    I have owned a lot of good 34" scale Basses but for me 35" really shines and will be all I will eventually own.

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