Should I switch from 4 string to 5 string?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by kwelch28, Oct 26, 2001.

  1. kwelch28


    Aug 31, 2000
    Allegany, NY
    I have been playing bass respectivley for just over a year and I have gotten pretty good, and i was wondering if i should switch from a 4 string to 5 string? can anyone help?
  2. Gman


    Jan 4, 2000
    Indianapolis, IN
    Ask yourself:

    Do I want to play a 5 string ? Do I need a 5 ? Why not play a 5 ?

    And the last and most important question is, what does "playing the bass respectivley" mean ? ;)

    It's all a matter of personal preference. Nobody can answer that for you.

  3. Yvon


    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    moved to misc.
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    There is nothing magic about switching to five string. It is certainly a farse that you are somehow "taking the next step" by switching. It is all a matter of personal preference and the requirements of the bass within the band.

    I suggest you look through the archives. There are countless posts with some very good discussions on this matter.
  5. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    That's entirely up to you. I just switched to 5's after 17 years of playing. I hated 5's for awhile; the string spacing, muting the big ol' B and then, one day, I changed my mind and got a 5 string. Try some out in a local music store (if there are any in Allegany. I'm not far from you in Jamestown, not much around here either. ) Try some nice ones before making your decision. A cheap 5 (Fender Squire) isn't going to give you a good idea of what a well made 5 is capable of tonally.

    Remember too that changing to a 5 isn't a sign of player evolution or ability, just a matter of preference. Wooten is still on a 4 and he does on less what I will never be able to do on more.
  6. kwelch28


    Aug 31, 2000
    Allegany, NY
    thanks's everyone!!!
  7. Can I throw in my worthless HK 2¢ in the mix? (Ok, so the smallest valued coin you can get in Hong Kong is a 10¢ coin, bite me. :p)

    I thought it'd be neat to get a 5 string last year around this time, thought it'd be fun, plus, I had the necessary HK$3,100 in the bank at the time anyway. So, I fiddled around on it for a while, talked to a couple friends who I was with at the time, and ultimately ended up buying it. I loved it like a son...for about 3 months.

    Since then, the novelty's worn itself out. BUT, it is still fun to noodle around on it and try playing some stuff using that low B string, and it's extra handy for the band situation, since they're thinking about playing some Limp Bizkit songs.
    No, not my favorite band nor my choice listening, but it's fun enough for me to just be playing music with other people, so I don't mind. :D
  8. bought my first 5 for no other reason than I love the low notes but I also prefer to play in the middle of the fretboard, I will never go back to a four or up to a six;)
  9. 5's dont require extra skill, you dont need to evolve to a five, you could start on one if you wanted to. move your fingers up that few mm and you got a lower note. just remember slap and pop(if you play it) will be a little more difficult, the strings are closer and you'll have to stick your fingers between to pop. just remember, jaco played a four and so does wooten, and they are insanely good. dont think the number of strings determines how good you are. look at fieldy...
  10. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    I'm not aware of any law that requires you to make that switch.
  11. I personally wouldn't ever make the switch to a 5 string unless the music I had to play required one.

    In my Jazz Band however we have to play Livin La Vida Loca... there is about 4 LOW D notes in there....after 8 F notes. I've somehow convinced my teacher that it is impossible to retune a bass like that, so the band department budget will have to buy a new 5 string bass that I will pick out.

    I might be pushing it a little to far with the picking out...but oh well.
    It may not be mine, but I get to play it. Hehehe.. its fun to play.

    Now...there really is no reason for this one will probably read it....but I don't really care.
    A 5 sting is nifty, but I'd only use it for a songs needed, and switch back to the good old 4 string.
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Let me help you cut through the crap here. OF COURSE you should switch to 5-string. Jeez.
  13. i had a SR-506 (6-string Soundgear)

    and i sold it then bought an L-2000 (4 string)

    that B-string will only be fun to play with for a while if you are just gonna buy a 5 or 6 string bass just to buy one.

    other than that, ask yourself if it is really what you NEED.

    just like someone said in this thread
  14. i totally agree!!!

    HAHAHA!!! :) ...Fieldy...:)
  15. i think i heard flea say this one time.

    "a bass should have four strings and played from the hip"

    you only need a five if it has something to apply it to.

    if you want to start writing using a five that would be cool. Or more and more cover songs need a low d or c# these days, but i seem to do fine with four.

    I also agree with a previous statement "if you had to ask you don't need it."

    also "switch" sounds kinda permanent.

    that is all

  16. wow, someone finally agreed with me. but, although fieldy is a horrible disgrace to bass, and could play 4/5 of their songs on a 2 string(BE), his slap slap slappin goes good with korn, and makes them original and sound different in their own crazy way...
  17. yes you should get a 5 string.
    even if you don't use the low b often, it gives you something more comfortable to rest your thumb on, assuming you use fingers.
    plus, by resting your finger on the b, you have more playing room by being able to comfortably playing closer to the neck, which i find gives me a better tone as opposed to playing at the bridge.
    one thing is odd after playing a 5 string is going back to play around with a 4 string, it just looks so much different when you are looking at it, and you find that you can do more songs, again, like limp, staind, korn, and much much more like primus and some rhcp and some ratm and some other cool stuff. a self recommended must buy!:D
  18. Well I Got a 5 And Im Really Happy With It. I Play hard rock and punk and ska ect... and i found it useful. The B string i use alot too. For Some Of the hard **** i play (Some Of My Band's Songs) i want to have a hard edge :D. Plus you can play alot of primus seing that he doesnt use the c string a whole lot (Err lemme put it another way, he uses the B more than the C (I think ;) )) AND! You Can Play Fieldy Stuff *HORRAY* :rolleyes: Anyway...itz all up to you tho. Just To Let You Know My Opinion. I Wouldnt Give Up Mine For Anything (Mabey 20 Mill or Bill?) If u play one at the store and find it comfortable, go for it! (Just a warning though, the first day i had it i hated it...i always hit the e instead of a but you will get used to it though, i did the 2nd day!)

    Argh...I think TB Needs A Spell Check... :D
  19. That's what I'm for. ;):p

    While we're on the topic, you don't have to capitalize half of an entire sentence, unless half of the sentence is proper nouns. :p
  20. hey! shut up! ;) hehe for some reason i think it looks better when the first letters are not doin it alot n e more though. :rolleyes: