#1
Ive always wanted to play bass and ive got money to spare so I know im gonna buy a schecter stilletto custom with the natural satin and gold finish but I cant decide on a 4 string or a 5 string. Ive played the 5 string at guitar center and I really liked it but im not quite sure which one to buy. The 5 string is only like $30-$40 more so thats not a big deal
#2
Which would you find more comfortable to play? Would you really use that B/C string as much a you think you will now?
Quote by skater dan0
Damn you and your ninja-like modding
#3
Go with what you feel most comfortable with. If you're starting playign bass, then one won't be more difficult than the other (well, neither are more difficult anyway, it's just that 4 string players seem to have some sort of stigma against 5 strings quite often). Now the obligatory economy of motion spiel- a 5 string gives you more notes in a single hand position meaning you don't need to move your hand about as much, saving you energy.
#4
I prefer 4 strings because I slap alot and I'm not used to the five strings. It's basically just a matter of what you think works best for you. For most beginning bassists I'd suggest a 4 string though.
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#5
I started on 4 went to 6 back to 4 and now 5 there is no way that I'll revert to 4 again too many limitations.
Anyone considering a fiver must make sure your amp especialy the speaker is up to it.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
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#6
I think a 4 might be a tad easier to play but im afraid i would regret the decision as I progress, its only because my mind thinks more is better! I would rather have 5 donuts instead of 4!
#7
Quote by morganite14
I think a 4 might be a tad easier to play but im afraid i would regret the decision as I progress, its only because my mind thinks more is better! I would rather have 5 donuts instead of 4!


I started on a four string and went to a 5er, and honestly, its not really harder to play. But like someone said above, make sure ur amp can handle the low b.

Also, if you plan on playing anything in the future that requires a b string and you only have a 4......you'll either be or .
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#8
Thing is, a 4 isn't easier to play. fivers are just as playable as a four string. Sure, string spacing might be tighter, but it really isn't by too much. Sure, exercises may only be written for 4 string- but you can take the knowledge you're learning and apply it to the low B, reinforcing what you're learning- extending scales below the root, for example.
#9
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Thing is, a 4 isn't easier to play. fivers are just as playable as a four string. Sure, string spacing might be tighter, but it really isn't by too much. Sure, exercises may only be written for 4 string- but you can take the knowledge you're learning and apply it to the low B, reinforcing what you're learning- extending scales below the root, for example.


well said. By the way TS, my neighbor owns the bass you wanted in the five string version and it sounds great on my amp but when he plays it through his amp it sounds terrible because his amp can't handle the low b string. So like everyone else said, keep that in mind.
MM Stingray
MIA P Bass
MIM Jazz Bass
GK 700RB-II Head
GK 410SBX Cab
Sansamp 3 Ch. DI
Crybaby Bass Wah
Bass Big Muff
DD3 Delay

MIA Strat
Nashville Tele
Martin 00015M
Hot Rod Deluxe
Big Muff
DS1
Hendrix Crybaby Wah
#10
3 octave D scale with a 5-string FTW. I personally am a 4 string man but everyone needs a 5er sometime.
#11
Just bought a 6 for above reasons. And because John Myung uses one, and if he uses one, then it must be perfect for everyone else as well.

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#12
what amp does your neighbor have and also what do you have? I was thinking about running it through a 100W acoustic amp or 50W ampeg
#13
Quote by John Swift
I started on 4 went to 6 back to 4 and now 5 there is no way that I'll revert to 4 again too many limitations.
Anyone considering a fiver must make sure your amp especialy the speaker is up to it.

Oh...crap.

Can mine handle a 5 string?
#14
He has a 15 watt fender rumble. It's mostly a practice amp. I have a 480 watt gallien krueger 700rb-II head that has a switch on it for 5 string mode. I also have a 100 watt ampeg combo that his five string sounded fine through so I think you'll be okay.
MM Stingray
MIA P Bass
MIM Jazz Bass
GK 700RB-II Head
GK 410SBX Cab
Sansamp 3 Ch. DI
Crybaby Bass Wah
Bass Big Muff
DD3 Delay

MIA Strat
Nashville Tele
Martin 00015M
Hot Rod Deluxe
Big Muff
DS1
Hendrix Crybaby Wah
#15
im planning to learn 4 string first then if im getting any better i might get a 5, so i have two basses then LOL
#16
Quote by jeremiii
im planning to learn 4 string first then if im getting any better i might get a 5, so i have two basses then LOL


yes LOL indeed
MM Stingray
MIA P Bass
MIM Jazz Bass
GK 700RB-II Head
GK 410SBX Cab
Sansamp 3 Ch. DI
Crybaby Bass Wah
Bass Big Muff
DD3 Delay

MIA Strat
Nashville Tele
Martin 00015M
Hot Rod Deluxe
Big Muff
DS1
Hendrix Crybaby Wah
#17
At gigs, for some songs I will play with my 4-string, and then for another revert to my 5-string. I personally have no problems with either.

But, if you're a beginner, I would suggest you start with a 4-string.
Signatures Are Stupid
#18
Quote by Bassist1992
At gigs, for some songs I will play with my 4-string, and then for another revert to my 5-string. I personally have no problems with either.

But, if you're a beginner, I would suggest you start with a 4-string.


See, I really disagree with this. If you're just starting out, there's no ingrained notion of what's "harder" or more "difficult to learn." It just isn't the case.
#21
Quote by Uber Man
4 strings ftw. you only need a 5 string if your guitarist has a 7 string, or plays in dropped tuning and you are way to lazy to drop tune yourself.


Not true. There are many other advantages to having that 5th string, which have all been said in this thread. Read through the replies.
Quote by skater dan0
Damn you and your ninja-like modding
#22
Quote by Uber Man
4 strings ftw. you only need a 5 string if your guitarist has a 7 string, or plays in dropped tuning and you are way to lazy to drop tune yourself.

Out of the mouth of inexperienced babes, go stand in a corner.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#24
See, I really disagree with this. If you're just starting out, there's no ingrained notion of what's "harder" or more "difficult to learn." It just isn't the case.


I guess you are right. It's just that I started with a 4-string bass, and think that the traditional 4-string is the best place to start.
Signatures Are Stupid
#25
Quote by Deliriumbassist
See, I really disagree with this. If you're just starting out, there's no ingrained notion of what's "harder" or more "difficult to learn." It just isn't the case.


I see it like this - You're not doing yourself a disservice as a beginner if you're buying a 4-string bass compared to a 5. 4 String sets are cheaper, generally the basses are too, and the wider string spacing feels better (this is opinion to everyone). It might be less intimidating to pick up a 4 compared to a 5 or 6. Although this reasoning might be illogical (like manual transmission is more difficult than AT when you have no concept of how to drive a car), I don't think it's right to dismiss that it exists. It is possible for a beginner to have an ingrained notion of "whats harder", and it shouldn't be considered wrong, because it might steer him in the right direction as to which bass is most comfortable for him. It is not realistic to expect someone to try every bass at the store.

Also, you cannot deny the pressures one feels to buy a 5-string when the guitarist(s) in your band decides to play dropped tuning or buys a 7-string. Especially in metal or any type of music where you are chugging an open note. Aside from changing you strings to a 5-string set, buying a 5 string might be the best option, and in that poster's mind it's probably the only thing he'll use it for. Whatever.

I personally have two four strings: one in standard and one in BEAD. I've never had to deal with issues of range of motion, frankly because I'm creative enough to work around it through different arrangements. I might buy a 5 or 6 string, but I have no need for it right now.

Don't assume that a 4-string player has a stigma against a 5-string player, don't rule out that sometimes less is more, and to each his own.
#26
i am sad by the lack of love all i'm saying is that when the bass goes so low that the guitar can't even get an octave above it, i think its gone to far and starts sounding to unsupported. :P

EDIT btw @fleajr_1412, i read through all the comments before posting :P
Last edited by Uber Man at Jul 21, 2009,
#27
Quote by Uber Man
i am sad by the lack of love all i'm saying is that when the bass goes so low that the guitar can't even get an octave above it, i think its gone to far and starts sounding to unsupported. :P

EDIT btw @fleajr_1412, i read through all the comments before posting :P

5 string basses were not designed solely for drop 'D' tuning, the origianal reason was that with the advent of Synthesisers the standard tuned Bass was being outplayed in the lower registers hence the bottom 'B'.
Luckily modern speakers and amps can now cope well with the low frequencies of the 'B' string which was not always the case previously.
I personaly have found better bass response to songs that I've played for years on a 5 string Bass especialy when I move up the fretboard and drop back one string, the depth is still there but with much more punch.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
2x10 + horn
1x15x10 + horn
#28
Honestly, it's personal preference as most will say. I owned a five stringer for a long while, rarely played it (did only maybe 3 or so shows with it) because I felt lost, with 4 stringers I felt more comfortable, and felt like it forced me to be a better player than I could be with a 5. I say this because it was what was good for ME, for some a 5 is perfect, maybe a 7 string is more than necessary, or maybe all you need is a 1 string washtub. Like anything in the musical world it requires experimentation, and it is a rigorous process that can't be decided by a few mooks giving you their own opinions.