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Switching up basses to increase or decrease amount of strings...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Knavery, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. 4-string to 5 or 6-string

    41 vote(s)
  2. 5 or 6-string back to 4-string

    17 vote(s)
  3. Started on 4-string and remained

    44 vote(s)
  4. Started on 5-string and remained

    3 vote(s)
  5. Started on 6-string and remained

    2 vote(s)
  1. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    I'm curious. There have been a lot of 5-string basses being sold right now on eBay and in the Talkbass classifieds. I formulated a poll to see where a lot of folks lie. I actually was a guitar player for years before switching to bass, and picked up a 5-string for that reason. After years of having a low B in the way I never used, I switched to 4-string. I don't know if I could ever go back.
  2. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    I just switched to five. You can really get a deep groove with that B string, I've learned that over the last few days. I'm still getting used to five, but I like it.
  3. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I played four-string for nearly 25 years. I switched to five back in Y2K and haven't looked back.
  4. I switched from 4 to 6 about 6 weeks ago. Don't think i'll ever buy a bass again with less than 6 strings.
  5. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    Im looking foward to do the same 6 stringers are so da** useful. However my slap technique is really hard to play in anything with a string lower than E.
  6. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I went from 4 to 5...then back to 4. I love the sound of the Low B string, but it just wasn't working for the punk rock band that I'm in. As for the metal band I'm also in...we tune down to C-G-C-F. I just put heavy gauge strings on my 4 stringer. I tried "up-tuning" the B string on a 5er to a C and adjusting the rest of the strings accordingly, but the tension was really weird and I was afraid that it would mess up the neck. Plus, I get confused with all those extra strings floating around the neck! ;)
  7. dcr

    dcr Supporting Member

    I started on 4-string about 27 years ago. Went to a 5 in the early 80's, dabbled with a 6 a few years ago but never left 5's. They're sorta my thing and have been for years. Probably never leave.

    However, my latest bass purchase is a 4-string hollowbody. I serously doubt it'll make me change my mind about 5-strings....but you never know.

  8. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I startd 4, went 5, went back to 4.
  9. loendmaestro


    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    I'm a bit of a purist. I've dabbled with fivers, but for me personally 4 is all that's required.
  10. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I've played strictly fours from the beginning. A fiver or three is in my future - but it has to be just the right make & model. Too many of the five-strings I've played in the stores have B strings that are just too floppy, IMHO...

    I love the idea of a six-string. Alas, I haven't been blessed with hands that are large enough to play one comfortably. My solution: Get a fiver tuned BEADG and another tuned EADGC (plus probably a fretless in standard tuning)...

  11. I started on 4's back in 1980 ,and along the way have aquired a couple of 5's . At times I really get into my 5's but somehow always go back to my 4's .When I feel that maybe I should be only playing 5's I just think of what Jaco did with 4 string's and even what Jimmy Blanton did at the beginning of his career with his 3 string upright !
    I guess I also just love the feel of a good 4 string bass .
  12. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    Went to a six a bit over a year ago. For a while I thought I woldn't get anything with less than six strings again, but I have recently fell back in love with my 4 and am looking for a good 5 to bridge the gap.
  13. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I started on a 4, switched to 5 in 2001. Right now-i'm looking to add a 6 to my gear selection-i'm not sure if it would become my main bass or not.

    That's all
  14. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    After about 7 years on 4s, I picked up my first 5 about 3 years ago. It became my main bass for a while, but I switched back to a 4 as my main bass, keeping the 5 for those special occasions. I've picked up a 6 and another 5 in the past few months, and am starting to think that I'll never have a "main" bass again. I'm always in the mood for something different, so I think I'll be switching between 4, 5, and 6 pretty often.
  15. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I basically only play 4 strings. But I wouldn't mind having an 8-11 string just for fun.
  16. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses, Taurus Amplification
    i`ve started on four, went through a few 5 stringers, bought a 6 string that was my only bass for the last 2,5 years. i`ve bough a 4 string 2 weeks ago, and I really love the comfort and ease of playing. I`ll stick for a while with it, but i`m seeing a 5 string in the future - I don`t really need that low B, but it`s a cool thing to have. I`ll probably won`t buy a 6 string again.
  17. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I started on 4, added a 6-string in '94 and played that as well for about 10 years, but nowadays I'm solely back on 4's.

    I, too, wouldn't mind a mega-extended-range bass to play around with though. ;)
  18. Aj*


    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    I started on 4, currently looking for a cheap 6 (likely a Cort Curbow) to noodle around on and explore the possibilities, I don't see myself ever becoming specifically a 4 or 6 guy, they're both for different things imo.
  19. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    For me it went as follows:

    (6 - Guitar)
    4 - first bass
    6 - main bass
    (4 - an ABG for those acoustic jams; wanted at least a 5, but was inavailable, so I went with a 4)
    6 - almost finished, ready in a month or two

    I'm open to 5s in the future, too, but as E-C.
    I feel right on 6s. Don't see why I'd need more strings (maybe it would be fun to have an octaved 6*2/12-er... better yet, that in fretless :smug: )
  20. I switched to a 5 a few years back and never touched the 4 again until I bought a fretless that I could afford, that happened to be a 4. Now that I know that the fretless will work for me, I'm planning on upgrading to a 5 string as soon as possible! :D