#1
I know this question was probably asked before but i wasn't around for that. I've only been playing for a couple of years and have been told i should learn to play a 5 string. i play mostly r&b, soul and funk and if i like the song just bout anything with a nice bassline. I have a couple of 4 strings just don't know about investing in a 5. What do y'all think?
#2
Do you want what a 5 string provides? A 5-er gives you better economy of motion and extended range. They're not any harder to play the a 4 string, and while the necks are a bit wider, they're not the massive tree trunks you'd find on ERB's.

I'd say go for it, especially if you have one or more suitable 4 strings already.
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#3
Having a 5 string is good because you have an extended range of notes, and you have notes that are in 'easier to reach' places because of the low B string, but it is down to personal preference and the type of music that you play. Try a 5 string out and see if you like it, and then decide whether the deeper notes that are available for you to play are suitable for your type of music.

Personally I play mostly metal, where a deeper, lower sound is better, but I've found that playing other genres it is useful to have the low B string anyway, but if someone forced me to pick 4 or 5 string I would have a real tough time because I use both, so it's always good to have a 5 string in your arsenal.

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#4
I just recently bought a 5-string, as my first bass. I would have preferred a 4-string, but I got a great deal, so I took it. It's just a matter of preference really, if you want the extended range of the low B, however if you plan on self-teaching be sure to buy a book for 5-string if thats what you decide on. I bought a 4-string book, and its working great, but some of the material in reference to hand positions is off and such because of the 5th string being there. Thats slightly picky, but its my two cents from a beginners standpoint
#6
If you really love playing funk, soul and all that jazz (See what I did there? ) then go ahead and get one. Like many others have said, it's no harder to play, however, I shall add, it will take some getting used to, so don't get one the day before a gig.

I think you should get one, but go to your local music shop and try some out.
#7
I'm actually working with a sax player on some hip-hip jazz stuff. so i should of added that to my main musical genres. I just noticed that many of the great were not known for playing five or more strings. wondering if it's neccessary or just a great toy to have.
#9
i thought wooten was almost religiously a 4 string guy?

anyway yeah fives are great. I personally love playing the fifth and 7 blow the root a lot during arpeggios so the low be really helps in things like that when playing in any key below A.
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#10
Quote by the_perdestrian
i thought wooten was almost religiously a 4 string guy?

anyway yeah fives are great. I personally love playing the fifth and 7 blow the root a lot during arpeggios so the low be really helps in things like that when playing in any key below A.


He has a Compito 5 string.
#11
I know there are some really great erb bassists claypool, patitucci, jackson even geddy lee has a five. i know i'll eventually get one.
#12
Whether or not to get an extended bass is really your choice. There's no right or wrong.

I think one of the first things to look at is whether the bass players who you consider influential to you use them. Personally, I was toying with the idea of a 6 string for a while. I ended up getting one, but it didn't last long. It dawned on me that pretty much every single bass player who I draw influence from uses a 4 string, and that I wasn't utilising the extra strings.

Since getting rid of it I haven't looked back, I don't feel limited by having 4 strings, so I don't consider it a problem.

That being said, many great bass players use 4 strings, and many use more. So just ask yourself whether you'd make use of it, and if you think you would, then you might as well go for it.
#13
While almost everyone has mentioned that the lower range is a great addition, I feel like tuning up (EADGC) also has it's advantages. I tune my bass this way andthis helps a great deal when reading standard notation in which the bass is in a particularly high register. On top of that there's something about being able to easily reach those incredibly high notes that really gets to me.
*cough*
With all that aside, a five string is much like a four string, except with more range. If that's what you're into, then go for it. Also, sticking with a four string because "the greats" used them is hardly a reason at all. The music industry needs ingenuity and originality to thrive and be succesful. Though if you want a five string because everyone else has a four string bass, I'd be against that as well.
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#14
Man, I don't go on here much... Are there one of these every ~5 days?

5's are alright. Strings are a little closer together, i.e. faster string switching (I even feel like I can finger pick faster because my finger rests on something quicker because of the smaller gap... Maybe I'm crazy). If you like 5 extra half steps to go down to, go for it.

I personally have never played a 5er I felt comfortable on. The neck size is too awkward for me. I'm really partial to a 6er, and sometimes enjoy a regular 4 (I guess I am crazy).

But bottom line, play both. Play a variety of both. Don't pick up the first 5er you find and be like "Oh, this sucks" because maybe that BC Rich Warlock plywood/plastic piece of doo doo isn't the best representation of a 5er for you =)
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#15
Dude, seriously this is the truth. Five string players will say 'get a five', four string players will say 'get a four' The reality however is that when you pick up a five you know if you're going to play it. I picked up a five and just felt weird the whole time whereas my friend grabbed one and went ''what the f***?! this is amazing!!''
You either get the vibe or you dont - so go and try one out!
#16
Quote by p town massive
Dude, seriously this is the truth. Five string players will say 'get a five', four string players will say 'get a four' The reality however is that when you pick up a five you know if you're going to play it. I picked up a five and just felt weird the whole time whereas my friend grabbed one and went ''what the f***?! this is amazing!!''
You either get the vibe or you dont - so go and try one out!

And people who play both will say it's up to him, like it has been said already. It's great to play both anyway, the only realy problem with playing both comes up when you are going to buy a new expensive one, which is what I'm dealing with atm. I'm planning on buying a Music Man Bongo, but I don't know whether to get the 4 or 5 string version, because I like both types for different reasons, so there is no reason why the TS can't use both, just get ready for problems when you're buying new ones.

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#17
thanks for the advice it will ultimately come down to how i feel when i play one. i never buy anything on a whim hence the post
#18
I'm another one who has a 5 and tunes it up. I don't know why you're asking the forum this question though. Try one, if you like it, get one. If you end up not really using it then sell it. And the circle of life continues.