Alright, so, I've been playing guitar for a little while now, and I wanna start bass this Christmas.

So, I have a few questions:
1: Should I get 4 strings, or 5? If I get 5, can i still play songs that use a 4 string? I usually play Metal/Hard Rock and such, but like to play a bit of everything. and would like to learn to play bass with my fingers and eventually slap, as well as with a pick.

2: Are LTD Basses good? Specifically, the B-50, or B-55? Also, is the LTD starter pack any good (It comes with a B-10, so I dunno if it's worth it)? Cuz I need an amp as well, and my budget is probably a max of 350-ish.

3: Would you suggest a different bass instead for the same price or less? I looked at LTDs first because I love their guitars, and they're a company I trust.

Thanks, and please tell me if there is anything else i need to know, or if you need more info.
I cant give advice on a bass. But yes you can still play 4 string songs on a 5 string bass. its just adding a low B you still have eadg strings dude .
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1)imo a 4-string bass is perfect for metal/hard rock. the 5th extra string isn't really needed. of course you can play any song with a 5-string cause it's just an extra string.

2)LTD basses are good but i'm not a big fan of starter packs.
I prefer 4 strings, but it's all about preference. A 5 string will give you more notes, but I personally like the smaller neck of a 4 string.

I don't know anything about those basses. I think that Epiphone Thunderbird's are pretty good. I would highly recommend looking for a used Mexican Jazz Bass on your local Craiglist, but again, it's all about preference. Just try some out.

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So, would I then just ignore the B string, and only play on the higher four, or tune higher to ignore the G string, and play on the lowest four?
A five string would allow you to play the lower notes of metal on your low B string and still have the standard EADg on the higher strings. But if your hand isn't comfortable with the wide neck its not a good idea to get one.

Edit: whatever floats your boat really. there are people with thier five strings tuned EADGC or EADGB (to match a guitar) its all up to you. but remeber if you try to change your tuning from BEADG to EADGC you need to change to lighter stings or you will harm the neck
no sir away a papaya war is on
Last edited by the_perdestrian at Nov 25, 2009,
Just focus on EADG. H is extra, and not very used, it's nice tough. It's way easier to play on 4string bass. Or more relaxing. But for example 5 string is nice when playing cannibal corpse.
Just start with 4string.
I wouldn't say a 4 string is way easier. its still the same basic thing. it just might be a little unnesecary at first but the extra string comes in handy. you can the same arpeggio in more places that way.not a whole lot, but more.
no sir away a papaya war is on
just buy a 4-string, it seems that 5-strings are too confusing to you
Alright, thanks, I'll probably start with a 4 string then, and maybe get a 5 later on. I don't have very big hands, and I usually find it uncomfortable to play on a 7 string guitar, so maybe not a good idea to get the 5 string right away.

The only thing I wasn't sure about is if you'd need a 5 string for when you tune way down (past drop C) or if a 4 would be fine for that. I don't usually play past drop C, but sometimes I do for covers.

Also, it's not that it's really confusing, I've just always wondered how you'd do a 6 string cover on a 7 string guitar, or the same for bass.
Last edited by Scar1337 at Nov 25, 2009,
it depends on the size of your strings really. what is your usuall tuning?
no sir away a papaya war is on
I usually play in Drop C, or D Standard. Sometimes lower or higher, but that's where I usually am at.
well if your not comfortable with the 5, you could always just but larger strings on a 4. There was a thread not too long ago about a guy asking about tuning his bass BEAD ( lowest four stings on a 5 string)
no sir away a papaya war is on
Well, then I think I'll go with a 4 string, put bigger strings on it (like I do for my guitar), and then if I really get into it, buy a 5 stringer later.

Also, since I'm already here, if I get the LTD B-50 for $235 (from Musician's Friend), what's a good amp I could get for about $100 or so?
LTD's are good enough, but I'd take a look at Squiers and Ibanez's too if I were you. Squier makes great basses, as long as you stay away from the affinity series, and the Ibanez GSR200 is one of the best basses you can get for under $300. Best thing would be for you to try out as many basses as you can afford to see which is most comfortable to you. As for an amp, look at the Peavey MAX series, the Acoustic B10, and the Kustom KBA10, all are good, sturdy practice amps for around $100.
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Thanks much for the help. I'll take a look at those other basses (Especially the Ibanez, as I have an Ibanez guitar, and love it), and check out the amps when I can get to a GC.
Quote by Scar1337
Well, then I think I'll go with a 4 string, put bigger strings on it (like I do for my guitar), and then if I really get into it, buy a 5 stringer later.

i wouldn't put huge strings on at first, on my first bass i got these insanely huge ones by elixir and i found it hindered the crap out of me learning (due to the extra force needed) you can if you want just might be easier to become more precise with normal strings first
If your planning on eventually switch to a 5 string later on, I'd say just start with a 5. 5 strings can feel really cramped on a fretboard if your used to the larger spacing of a 4 string, especially on stingray style basses (or ibanez atk)
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its all about preference. get out and play some basses. i personally cannot play 5 strings. i am used to 4 strings and i love them. they just feel "right", whereas my friend loves his 5-er. and has vowed never to play a 4 string again.
i'd go for a 4 string right now, when you get some more money if you really want a 5 string get one.

Go for an Ibanez GR200 and some kinda 30-50watt amp. thatd be about $350
Are there any amps in that price/size range (30-50w) you would suggest in particular?
Quote by xbitmetal
Just focus on EADG. H is extra, and not very used, it's nice tough.

He is probably foreign. I know in Germany and Russia b becomes b natural and b natural becomes b flat.
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As has been said, if you're going to get a 5 string eventually anyway, just get a 5 string. Contrary to popular belief they:

1) are not confusing to play.
2) do not have necks wider than the Humber Bridge
3) will force you to apply things you learn onto the low B, helping you to then reinforce what you've learnt across the other 4 strings
4) are not difficult to play slap on
5) do not have unmanageable string spacing

If you're just beginning, you have no reference point for difficulty. You know what you want, so there's really no point in starting with something different first.
Hey all, so, I went to the GC today and picked some stuff out. After a lot of consideration, I decided to get a 5er. I got a black Ibanez 5 string, cost $200 (I dunno the model, but it was the same price as the 4 string), and an Acoustic B10 ($100), plus it was Black Friday so I got the 15% off.

I figured it would be much better to start with a 5 string instead of a 4, because I wanted to eventually play a 5 anyway.

It was a pretty good deal, and I quite liked the five string. The neck wasn't much bigger than the four stringer I considered. Unfortunately, I don't get it till Christmas xD But it's gonna be sweet.

Thanks for all the help everyone.
Last edited by Scar1337 at Nov 27, 2009,