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Should I stay or should I go?? 4 or 5???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mondo, May 24, 2004.

4 or 5 String why??

Poll closed Jun 7, 2004.
  1. 4

  2. 5

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Mondo

    Mondo Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    St. Augustine Beach
    I am about to buy a Spector Legend bass with the Bubinga top. But there is one thing holding me back, Should I get a 4 string or a 5 String?? Are there really anything special about a 5 string? I do not have big hands by any means. In fact my fingers are on the short side. Does this really matter? I have played some 5's in the past but only for a hour or two. So if you are a 5 string bass player let me know why I should go that way or why I should stay with a 4 string. Thanks.

  2. I play a 5 just because I love having the options when I’m improvising, like walking bass lines (important for someone who plays blues jazz and funk). I have short fingers compared to many bass players I know but it doesn’t effect my playing, if anything, as the strings are closer together, I’m faster now than I used to be. I still use a 4 for slap though. Go for it but keep a 4 string around the house, the toilet is a good place as you often get bored there and it’s a good time to practice. :D
  3. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    I was faced with the same question awhile ago, and I decided to go 5.
    The reasons for this is because over the past year or so, I've been finding myself wanting to play notes below the E string, and I figured a 5 string would serve me better than a d-tuner.

    It's got little to do with the size of your hand - it really depends on whether you're actually gonna go down to those lower registers or not - does the kind of music/your style require that low B? Same thing applies for 6, 7, 8... whatever number of strings. As long as you know that you're gonna be using them well, then go ahead and get one :)
  4. Racsen


    Dec 6, 2003
    There is 5 string basses with regular string spacing and its good for slaping ;)
  5. Emprov


    Mar 19, 2003
    I have a Lakland 5 and a few 4's. The Fender J (4) see's the most use, I wouldn't be without the 5 though. I guess if it were my only bass, I'd go with a 5. Having at least one of each though is juuuuust right.
  6. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    i thought i wouldn't use it but I bought one anyway. Now it's my main device.
  7. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    I have a Kubicki Ex Factor, 1988 low mileage I might add. I recently got a Marcus Miller 5 string. Needless to say I have hardly touched the Kubicki since I got the MM5.

    I will be getting my old 4 string fretless back after a lot of TLC so that will be an adjustment.

    No doubt I'll be gasing for a 5 string fretless fairly soon. Who wants t buy the Ex Factor :smug:
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Get a five and keep a four around. If you are a slapper, you will probably miss your four. It's not that you can't slap well on a five, for me it's the fact without a B string I can really wail and be aggressive in way that isn't possible when I'm watching out for the B string. You also may prefer the four string tone because the larger neck and different pickups do affect the tone a bit.

    Despite the changes, I think the five offers some real nice playing options in that you can use a non-open low E and all the sub E notes. Furthermore, you play two octave scales in in one position instead of moving around the neck.
  9. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Yes, id get a five but only if you have a 4 that you like. I bougght a 5 and dont enjoy slapping on it too much because the vibrations can cause the B to vibrate and muting it is more work.
  10. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I prefer 4-string, but then I don't play music that requires notes lower than E. I have tried 5-string, but I prefer the neck on my 4-string Jazz.
  11. I'd suggest having both.

    Why should you chose, when you could own both? :confused: :bassist:
  12. 4 or 5.......it doesn't matter. They both have the same 12 notes available.

    Do ever find yourself wishing you could go a little bit lower? If so get a five otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it.
  13. grovest


    Feb 26, 2002
    A 5 not only offers a few more notes, but it has more position options for playing passages you would normally play on E in I. Plus it is nice to play a fretted low E on the B to match the timbre of the other fretted 'string tones' (A D G)
  14. Jones_5s


    Feb 24, 2004
    Quebec, Canada
    i've been playing a 5 string for quite some time and i love it, it gives you more variety and options like you can easily go from an E to D without even detuning your bass i say you go for the 5 its worth it.

  15. If the music you play requires you to play below the low E, then get a 5 string. If not, then stick to the 4 string.

    In my own experience, a lot of songs I play for church have notes below the low E, particularly the old hymns, so a 5 string is ideal for that situation. However, I hardly ever use those low notes when I just jam or do rock tunes with my band, so in those cases I just bring along my 4 string.
  16. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    If your choices were between a good 5 and a great 4, I'd go with the 4.

    All things being equal, though, I'd go with the 5. Better to have and not need than need and not have.
  17. Racsen


    Dec 6, 2003
    Thats my problem too but i love 5 string basses and i think its better E-A-D-G-C- tuning for me . :bassist:
  18. Get a fiver. It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. You can always use the low-B as a thumbrest. Plus, you get 20% more chicks with a 5-string than you do with a 4.

    - Dave
  19. ragepunkrock


    Jan 23, 2004
    i think 4 strings are better for slapping and poping, but a 5 string u can do more types of music, which i am looking forword to :cool:
  20. Not in my experience... :(

    Actually, on second thought, that does work - I've gotten 0 chicks with 4 string, so with a 5 string, I've gotten .20 * 0 = 0 chicks. That does work mathematically... :D