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To buy or not to buy a Five strings?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by drcor, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. drcor


    Aug 13, 2005
    Verona - Italy
    Hi from Verona, Italy.
    I'm going to play in two different tribute bands:
    A Jamiroquai tribute band
    A Toto tribute band.
    I'm 39 years old, I have been playing bass since 1981 and I'm a professional bass player.
    I only used 4 strings and actually I got:
    A Musicman Stingray 4
    A Fender Jazz Usa 4 with S1
    A Laurus 4 (is a professional expensive bass built by an italian liuther)
    I did my homework and I read a lot of forum discussions, articles and so on...I noticed,for example, that Mike Porcaro (Toto) plays live with Peavey cirrus 5, Paul Turner (Jamiroquai) with Stingray 5 and F-bass and other good bass players often play or have in their arsenal a five strings.
    In your opinion:
    For professional reasons (in general) is a five strings a Must Have?
    In my case?
    I like a lot the tone of all my basses but what type of 5 strings bass reproduce the jazz bass tone?
    Any suggestion?
    Thank You very much!:hyper:
  2. Keep playing 4-strings.
  3. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006

    A five string jazz bass.
  4. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    No. Not a "must-have"...

    Not necessarily. Depends on how much of the material you cover was recorded using a five-string - specifically using any of the first five notes of the "B" string: B, C, C#, D, D#...

    Try Sadowsky, Mike Lull, Lakland, Celinder, among others. And of course a Fender Jazz 5...

  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    A five string bass isn't a must-have, but from a professional standpoint, you will be more marketable if you play one... possibly a lot more marketable.

    Other side of the coin: a fiver won't hurt your marketability unless you're playing bluegrass. :D
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Id get a Stingray 5 :)
  7. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I don't know about the 5, but I'd love to play Toto and Jamiroquai!:hyper:
  8. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    I strongly recommend you get a five-string. My first one was a Guild Pilot, bought it in 1991. Took me about 3 months of playing full time to get used to it. I wish I'd gotten one 15 years before that! These days I play a MIA Jazz, and it's sweet! I doubt I'll ever get another 4-string.
    Don't wait! Get a nice one, and I promise you won't regret it!
  9. phillys


    Feb 4, 2006
    I've got a 5 string bass but I always catch myself not using the low B very much. I'm starting to wonder if one REALLY need a 5 string bass or not. I personally wish I have not bought the 5 string and have gone with a 4 string.
  10. I haven't owned my 5 for long but already I can see how useful it is, especially with covers of certain songs. I can play "Sloop John B" and "Sledgehammer" correctly now without downtuning and screwing up my intervals. I don't know too much about your two bands, so it depends. But it's also nice if you have a song in the key of D for example to have that low note instead of riding the high one the whole time.

    And of course you can play the same lines higher on the neck, you can substitute a note with one down an octave to add a little spice, et cetera.

    I'd say that if you don't have a 4-string that you're really satisfied with, get that first. But if you've got nice fours that you're happy with, try a five.
  11. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    the extended range of notes isnt always necessary, but when you find a place to use the extra low note, its very effective. if you feel comfortable playing a five, then get one. you have the b string there for when you need it.
  12. drcor


    Aug 13, 2005
    Verona - Italy
    Thanx for your kind suggestions and answers...This week and the next I'm going to test some five strings...Unfortunately I don't have the possibility to play bass like Sadowsky, F-bass, Roscoe and so on...:bawl:
  13. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    If you're in a Toto tribute band, a five string might be something to consider, their music has lots of room for the low B and I always saw their bass players wield fivers.
  14. drcor


    Aug 13, 2005
    Verona - Italy
    True...I saw Toto one month ago in Milan and Mike Porcaro Played a Peavey Cirrus Custom... even If He recorded "Falling in between" with A F-bass 5
  15. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    What's available in Europe for decent price for good Fender-type sound, I'd say go for Fender Roscoe Beck 5 or G&L L-2500's. They are not exactly Jazzes, but close enough both style- and soundwise I think.

    Should you get one? I think 5-string is handy if you need to go below the normal E-string, and especially if you want to avoid playing open strings. It makes playing scales bit easier, since you don't have to move your hand to get low.

    Of course, if I was getting a new 5-string, I'd shop around for something different than I already own. For example basses like Warwick are completely different from traditional Fenders, which means they can bring something different to your arsenal. Of course European bass building is mainly by small single luthiers, so there are a bunch of exotic manufacturers around.

    Which reminds me, check out Basslab.de for something completely different! A hollow-body Jazz-bass built from plastic composites, I hear they are awesome :)
  16. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
  17. drcor


    Aug 13, 2005
    Verona - Italy
    Thank You very much...I'll do a check:bassist:
  18. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    *LOL* we are of the same...'vintage'.
    I'm 41 and have been playing since 1978 and HAD only used 4 stringers. I became convinced that 5 is the way of the future and bought one and am selling it as I hardly use it. For a couple of songs that need drop-D, I thought it would be nice, but it's faster to just tune down than change basses.

    I don't ever go below D. It's too low for me.

    It should be nice to play stuff that is low on a 4 string on the 5th string around the 5th fret so I can use "fingering boxes". However, after a quarter century of doing this on the 4 string makes this feature reduendant as "the hard way" is second nature.

    Bringing two basses to a gig (a 4 string fretless and fretted) is enough.
  19. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    You may not always need it, but I find the 5th string invaluable. Note: I play out frequently, but I am not a professional.

    As for a 5 string Jazz, If you are in the $1-1.5k range Check out the Lakland Skyline Daryl Jones or Joe Osborn 5 strings. Best 5 string jazz basses in the price range, in my opinon. Incredible components, build quality, tone and service.
  20. drcor


    Aug 13, 2005
    Verona - Italy

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