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Switching back to a 4-string from a 5'er

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Deano Destructo, Aug 2, 2002.


  1. Deano Destructo

    Deano Destructo Music Man/Upton addict. Hasn't slept since 1979. Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Has anyone every played 5's for years and then switched back to a 4. I've found myself in a position either physical or mental to where I've played 5's for years and even started out on a 5'er but every time I pick up a 4 its like my technique improves 10 times over:eek: . It seems like my speed improves, but I'm not sure if its just in my head. I've played for 12 years exclusively on 5's. Any thoughts on my "condition" and should I make a "downward" transition to a 4?:confused:
     
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    If you want to. It's no more complicated than that.

    A four can allow more freedom than a five, it's one less string to deal with. I always have fun when I pick up any of mine. The only big drawback would seem to be when and if you need a low B string on a regular basis. You may have to play with more position shifts but it can be done. I play 4,5, 6 and 7 strings... they all have their merits.
     
  3. xush

    xush

    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I've noticed that I'm favoring the 4 lately myself.
    I don't plan on giving up the 5 totally, but who knows what will happen...

    since I'm having the same quandary I don't really feel qualified to advise you, but I'll be watching to see what others think too.

    I feel like I'm going to stick with an assortment; some 5's, some 4's, maybe keep my 6- but I'm definitely focusing on playing the 4, at least for a while. It's my challenge at the moment, and I think it's good to have that now and then.

    A hipshot detuner sure doesn't hurt on a 4...
     
  4. pd_5string

    pd_5string Admin: Accnt Disabled

    Jan 23, 2002
    NY
    You will get it to the point where going back and forth is no easier or harder...stick with it...

    However, for me, my 4's feel almost toylike, and after woodshedding with a 6 for the last few days, the 5 is starting to feel that way too...I still feel though that the 5 is where it is at for me in terms of ample # of strings, and feel of neck width...
     
  5. sejarus

    sejarus

    May 8, 2002
    Milwaukee
    After playing 4 string for 20 years I bought a 5 string (Lakland 55-94) 2 years ago. For the first 6 months I HATED it and had to just force myself to play it at all. For a long time I always went back to the 4 when I had to read music--my brain had a tough time comprehending that the bottom string was NOT an E any more. Then I played a show where my score included some tuba parts that went down to China, so I forced myself to use the 5 for reading as well.

    The other night at a rehearsal I pulled out my 4 string and discovered that I use the low B a lot more than I thought. I now play almost everything in the middle of the neck, using the B instead of shifting down to the lower frets. The neck on my 4 string still feels like heaven, but I don't think it'll ever be my main instrument again.