#1
I've been playing guitar for a few years, and have recently been inspired to take up bass. I am mainly looking to play Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dream Theater (I realize that these are not the easiest bands to play but I'm still gonna try). My problem is that John Myung of Dream Theater uses not only 4, but 5 and 6 string basses.

Would it be stupid of me to start playing bass with a 5 or 6 string?

Also, if anyone knows a good starter bass (maybe $200 or less) that could play both of these styles, please let me know. I really need some direction right now.
#2
im not a bassist, but i dont think it would make a difference
❒ Taken ❒ Single ✔ Would like a sandwich


Vereor Deus

Quote by dann_blood
Branding!?!? THAT'S TOO PROGRESSIVE! I say bring back settlement payments in weights of lead and impalement upon wooden stakes!


Quote by Doctor Matthews
Oh! Sorry, I thought that was a braille name tag.
#3
You shouldn't really have much of a problem, however you may have slight trouble playing slap like the chillis with that many strings. (although probably not)
If music was the food of love I'd be a fat romantic slob.
#4
If your gonna cover any Dream Theater songs, you'd def want the same amount of strings as Myung. Or if you think you'll play a lot of bass solos, go for five or six strings
Although seeing as its your first I would stay around four and wouldnt go higher than 5
Hope that helps!
#5
Quote by Mr_Jubby_Jubs
You shouldn't really have much of a problem, however you may have slight trouble playing slap like the chillis with that many strings. (although probably not)


that's sort of what i was worried about. does anyone have experience playing slap on a 5 or 6 string?
#7
learning to slap on a 5 or 6 string can be quite difficult, because the space between the strings is considerably smaller. if you think you can tough it out though, i'd say go for a 5 or 6 string if you really want.
My Rig:
Yamaha RBX 375 bass
Peavey Millenium BXP bass (won at Summer Slaughter 2010, signed by all the bands)
Eden Nemesis NC410 320w combo amp
Check out Tyrannicide, my death/thrash metal band:
http://www.myspace.com/tyrannicidemetal
#8
Quote by TheTortured
learning to slap on a 5 or 6 string can be quite difficult, because the space between the strings is considerably smaller. if you think you can tough it out though, i'd say go for a 5 or 6 string if you really want.


I slap on a tightly spaced 5 string. Nothing practice doesn't sort out. I say just go for what feels comfortable. If you are learning, the number of strings is irrelevant, as that is what you get used to.
Warwick freak of the Bass Militia. PM Nutter_101 to join

Quote by elliott FTW
Damn you and Warwickyness

Quote by ScottB
Quote by CLIFF_BURTON
gm jack knows everything
+1
#9
Quote by Deliriumbassist
With decent slap technique, decent being with the thumb running parallel to the string, you won't have a problem.

If you slap with your thumb perpendicular to the strings, you'll run into problems.


i have to disagree i have always slapped thumb perpendicular (more diagonal but still) and i've never had a problem on my 5er. i am a strong proponent of the way one slaps does not matter
I shot JR

Oh Canada Our Home and Native Land
#10
Well, neither should have problems with tighter string spacing. However, I find it clear that if you are going to slap with your thumb perpendicular to the strings on tighter string spacing, you need to be far more accurate comparatively to not hit the neighbouring strings. Not impossible, but I think it is making things a bit more difficult for yourself unless slapping that way feels much more comfortable to begin with.
Warwick freak of the Bass Militia. PM Nutter_101 to join

Quote by elliott FTW
Damn you and Warwickyness

Quote by ScottB
Quote by CLIFF_BURTON
gm jack knows everything
+1
#11
I learned on a 5 string bass, slap and all, and now it is incredibly easy (yet still awkward) to slap and play on a 4 string. As long as you learn to be completely accurate with your fingers, you shouldnt run into any problems. Go 6 if you want, but 5 and 6 string models tend to cost more than 4 strings, I dont think you will find many for around 200.
#13
If your going from guitar to bass, the sheer width of the neck on a 6 string might give you some real problems. Then your not only moving to a much longer neck length, but the extreme width of a 6-er as well. I'd recommend a 5 string, they're about/just as easy to learn on as a 4 string. Look at the Ibanez GSR205 ($250 new) for that.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
#15
Quote by Uber Man
four


Why?


Get as many as you want. It seems reasonable that it should be easier to learn on a 5 string than learn on a 4 string then switch to 5.
#16
You could play about 99% of John Myung's bass parts in the Dream Theater catalog with a 5-string bass, and probably about 70% of that with a 4-string bass. That high "C" string is mainly for flights of fancy. And if there is a tune you like that has a few notes on the "C" string, you can just work around them.

As for slapping on a 6-string, it can be done, and people do it. Some 6-string basses are more conducive to this as their string spacing is wider, like a Fender's. Still, you can slap on a 6-string with a tight string spacing. Hey, if you can do it on a 5-string, then why not a 6-string?
#17
With proper technique, neck width won't make a difference either.

I'd recommend getting a 6er straight off the bat if you're sure it's what you want. No point in buying a four string then spending half your time not being able to play what you want.

EDIT: ^ I use my C string more than my B string.
Quote by ChemicalFire
The point of underground bands is their not popular or famous most of the time. Thus there is a good chance they suck.
Last edited by eazy-c at Oct 25, 2009,
#18
If you think you are going to use the high c alot, get a 6er. The first bass shouldn't matter how many strings, if anything get what you are aiming to play when you get good.
#19
Quote by TheTortured
learning to slap on a 5 or 6 string can be quite difficult, because the space between the strings is considerably smaller. if you think you can tough it out though, i'd say go for a 5 or 6 string if you really want.


I slap with little difficulty on my 5er, and that bass was originally a 4 string, so the string spacing is pretty small.
Quote by C0_0kie
guitar solo - "meh, every song got one"
bass solo - "OMGZ0R U IS PRO MENZ"


Quote by lucertia.
fapfapfapfapfapfap


burgerburgerburgerburger


Quote by DeAd-RiP
Sir I would like to sex your bass.
#20
2-String D-A-D!
"Black gives way to more black."




I have UG Black Style and I can barely read my signature.

Also, I like black.


~DawnwalkerALL HAIL COMRADE DAWNWALKER
#22
Quote by Spaz91
Isn't that 3?

if my primary school taught me anything it would be 4 nah im only kidding.

Im gonna say try out all 3 as you will find which inevitably will suit you as a player much better.
Guitar Gear
Guitar: Ibanez GRG140 (black)
Amp:Peavey Vypyr 75


Bass Gear
Bass: Fender P-bass MIM,Peavey Millenium 5 BXP (x2),Epiphone Thunderbird
Amp:Ampeg PF500 w PF210 cab
Pedals: ODB-3,Big Muff.
#23
D-A-D is a band name. Its the band with the reverted J-bass
"Black gives way to more black."




I have UG Black Style and I can barely read my signature.

Also, I like black.


~DawnwalkerALL HAIL COMRADE DAWNWALKER
#24
Stig from D-A-D is awesome, he only needs two strings! It's pretty fun, but pretty simple. I play a 4 and rarely use my G string at all, so I'd love to have a 2 stringer just for the fun of it.

and TBH, it depends on what kinda music you play. Personally, I play hard rock and I will never need more than a standard 4-banger
Baaaaaaazz
#25
I've allways played on a 5-strings. And I have never had any problems with learning any tec. The problem is not what you start to learn with. The problem is what your used to play on i say. And if our not used to play on any base. Then go for the 5-string ! Espacially if your going to play some of that Dream Theater stuff!