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When switching to 5 string do you have to say goodbye to 4's?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ricman28, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. ricman28


    Oct 23, 2004
    I just recently got a 5 string and i am hoping to move to 6 later on, but is there a way to play 4, 5, and 6 string basses and still be good at playing all of them even though they are ver different?
  2. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Pfft no way. I just defretted my 4 string. I plan on selling my 5 string and getting a 6 string. So in response, no. Do something cool with your 4 string though.
  3. Yes. I've never felt playing a five string hurts my ability on a four....playing, regardless of what format your bass is, always helps ability. IMO.
  4. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Keep the 4 for slapping. An open E slap is just so much more satisfying on a 4 (or a 5 tuned EADGC) than on a 5 tuned BEADG or a 6.

    My main bass is a 6 and I have a 5, and I'm thinking of maybe getting a good 4 to round out the stable (maybe a Geddy Jazz since I love thin necks.) I traded up my first 4 for a 5, and part of me wishes I'd kept the 4.
  5. CaracasBass


    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain
    No way!!!!

    i just bought a Fender P-bass (4 string) after more than a year of loving my ATK 5 string.

    I never realized how much I missed a good 4 string until I got this P-bass.
  6. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I have 4s, 5s, and 6s and I think each one has a different impact on how I play. The 4s tend to be better playing older music because you feel and timing are similar to the originals because you are having to go all over the neck (think 60's/70's Motown). When you are playing a 5 or 6 you can stay in the same position. Theoretically playing the same notes, but usually feel suffers a little (I'm not sayin' you can't groove).

  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I play fours, fives, sixes and twelves. As long as your hands know what they are playing, and you know what you are doing, it's not a problem. At least not for me. I suck equally on all of them.
  8. Robear22

    Robear22 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Beach Park, Ill
    I have a 4, 5, and a 6. I find I play each one different. I used to get rid of my old basses when I got a new one but now since I have joined Talkbass I am keeping all my basses unless I absolutely don't need it. Each bass brings something to the table and I find myself using the 4 for slap and grooving. The 5 when I need the low B but still have some slap room. The 6 is used when I need the range and oppurtunity to play in the higher ranges. Also to experiment with chording and the like. I play what I need and usually don't go anywhere without two of the three. Versatility people, versatility. :D :D
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    We are very bad influences, aren't we?:D
  10. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I play 9s, 12s, and 15s but keep goin back to the four.

    I've yet to make a succesful transition. I think in my case I really need to exclusively play a 5 for a while and then go back to the 4. When I go back and fourth from gig to gig I get frustrated and confused. I'm used to playing on automatic pilot - I don't think all that much about what my hands are doing when I'm playing, and the shifting gets me all stupid.

    Getting a Bongo five soon and I'm going to commit to playing only that for a couple of months to see what happens.
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Sure... grab a basss and play it.

    Any problem is all in your head;). You can play anything you want to. I use 4, 5 and 6 string basses interchangeably. I do the same with fretted and fretless basses.
  12. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I actually got a 5 then sold it and went back to 4 after a short period of time (maybe 9 months).
  13. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have a fretted 5 and a fretless 6. Both are active - with bypass. But I am looking for a good passive "P" bass - 4 string. I can do everything I need on the 5, but there's just something about a good 4...
  14. seansbrew


    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    I started out playing fours and now play fives in addition. Sometimes only a four will do, I tend to think differently on a four as compared to a five. I create differently and visualize differently, I often take both a four and five to a jam session.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You don't have to, but you will want to.
  16. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    IMO, you'll always find songs that you prefer playing on your 4-string. I mainly play my 6-string, but I still love my 4's. I play my P-Basses alot at home, and I always take a 4-string to gigs as a backup. I generally play about a set's worth of material on a 4-string at each gig.

    - Art
  17. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    I play 5 and 6 strings mostly, But I dont use any notes that I couldnt on a 4 string, I just like that its comfy playing in a few close positions...

    That being said, Im really gassing for a 4 string FNA Corvette, and a Mag 300H/Schroeder 1210. I would have to shave the 'Wick neck 'tho.
  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I played four for 20+ years. Once I picked up five, I knew it was "just right" for me: I sold my fours and never looked back.

    I can still play four string if I have to, and can even get around on six or seven OK... I just have no interest in 'em.

    But (obviously) you don't have to limit yourself as I have. Lots of bassists are fluent on a variety of strings.
  19. I had a 5 for a while and didn't like it (and didn't feel I had any need for it), so now I think I'll stick mainly to 4's.
  20. ERIC31


    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    Since Jo Jo Garza (Los Lonely Boys) has come into my life, I'm seriously considering jumping from 4 to 6 strings. He grooves so hard on the six and it looks fun to do some chording stuff on the higher strings. Watching him live was just incredible. I never thought I could work a six but now I think I could. That low B would be good for playing heavier stuff too.