1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Why 5 string for Country??~??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Impulsee, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. Why is it that all country bands have 5 strings??~?? or anytime i hear TB'ers talk about country bands, they gotta have a 5 string, why is that??~??
  2. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Why play a five string in any other type of music?

    It seems that everytime I hear about a metal or hard rock band they always play five string basses and I dont see why. Id get along fine in one with a four and have had to do this on ocassion like when I broke my B or when I had my bass in the shop for a setup.

  3. a metal band these days still tuned to E is gonna have problems being gutterally brutal, but its still possible to make a black metal or heavy metal band.
  4. 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
    A lot of country bass players like to go down below E. Same for other kinds of music.
  5. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    My band drops to D and I stil hold up quite alright on a 4 string tuned to E. I could probably do fine even if they tunned down to C, B, or even A on a four.

  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah, the question is really "why 5 string at all?" The quick answer is, greater range of notes in each position. Yes, that's also a reason to go to 6 or more strings. But 6 is uncomfortable for my average-sized hands (and yes, I've spent some time playing sixes out of curiosity). Wide 5 is a perfect fit, ergonomically speaking... 4 feels too narrow now. As always, YMMV.
  7. You might think so, but I have yet to hear a 4-string tuned below D that didn't sound like crap to my ears. The extra mass of a 5-string neck adds stiffness, which enhances the sound of the low notes.

    I play 5-string because I want to have a wider range of notes from which to choose without negatively impacting my playing.
  8. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    You broke a B string??? How the heack?? :confused:
  9. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    They play a 5 so they can go lower than E. Just like people in pop, rock, etc, play 5 strings
  10. sobie18


    May 5, 2002
    Shaw AFB, SC
    Low B....for the country....Sounds fatter playing root-5th with G and LOW D....

    Now, for straight ahead rock, I'll take my Yamaha Attitude ANYDAY!
  11. I play in four bands currently, and one of those is country. My fiver is left at home for that one, for country I play REAL bass......yep, a 4 string upright! And the guys in the country band would'nt have it any other way.
  12. It all boils down to personal preference-- for any genre of music.
  13. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    To my experience , a 4 strings will sound better than a 5 strings, I have tested A/B with Sadowsky 5 and 4 also F Bass BN4 and BN5, that is why I chose Sadowsky 4 instead of 5 [ I have 3 by the way], the same like F bass , my 4 string has much better sound than 5.
    Once I have asked Roger why, and he told me that 4 strings has less neck mass than 5 which makes sound better.
    Out of 20 basses I have only 2 with more than 4 strings, BN5 and Alain Caron 6.
  14. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    In addition to above, country ace Michael Rhodes plays a Sadowsky PJ5. Maybe check his website (assuming he has one) and he'll discuss his choice of gear.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well, surely this is total rubbish! Tone is subjective anyway, but I can't believe that one less string makes any difference!!

    I have tried hundreds of basses over 20 - 30 years and most of the 5-strings have sounded better to me - but I wouldn't say that the number of strings affected the tone in any way?
  16. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Imagine being a bassist in a country session, and the producer asks you to play a low Eb or a low D on a particular tune. You say "gee, I only brought a 4 string bass, sorry." Odds are, you don't get a call from that producer or artist again . . .

    You gotta be versatile. HAVING a low B string accessible doesn't mean you have to use it. Heck, sometimes I'll do a whole show without using the B string for anything else but an anchor for my thumb when playing fingerstyle. But if I need the low notes, or if the mood hits me, at least I have them accessible.
  17. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Yep. I actually think a five is extra handy for country.

    You have the lower notes, and you also can play all those traditional box patterns higher up the neck and still have your low 5th. Plenty handy in country as it makes the key changes, which are pretty common in CW, a snap.

    You can never go wrong having a five. If you don't need the B, then don't use the B.
  18. DB5


    Jul 3, 2001
    Austin Texas
    It seems that everytime I hear about a metal or hard rock band they always play five string basses and I dont see why. Id get along fine in one with a four and have had to do this on ocassion like when I broke my B or when I had my bass in the shop for a setup.


    How do you break a B-string :confused:
  19. I am country bass player and I see many 5'rs out there. I am a dedicated 4 man, but I can see the use of the low c in a root-5 in G (the most common key IME).

    What I cant understand (logically, of course:)) is the use of a six in this genre. If you want to get a dirty look/fired fast, do something interesting or fun or challenging. You'd never get to play it ;)

    Seriously, most Country bandleaders are stuck in the "olden days" and dont believe the bass is an instrument, just a bottom-feeder. "
    If hank's bass player only played one string, so should you!"
    I prove 'em wrong on that all the time! :D
  20. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Why 5 string for country?

    Because they can. That's why.

    Interesting use of the question mark and the tilda, btw. Does it mean anything?

Share This Page