#1
i am a guitarist who wants to start playing bass because i've been told and i realised that it suits my playing style and talent better
my friend told me i should start out on a 5 string because i'm a big fan of downtuned/extended range metal (i.e. korn, mnemic, fear factory, deftones, suicide silence, whitechapel, machine head. etc)

i just wanted to ask, does it matter if i start out on a 5 or 4 string?
#2
In a word. Nope.

5 and 6 string do have their challenges but then switching from guitar to bass does as well. A 5 or 6 string gives you efficiency of movement.
#3
It doesn't matter what you start on when it comes to learning. But considering your musical preferences, go for the 5-string. I think that if you'd buy a 4-string now, you'd want to buy a 5-string later so why not go for that from the start? With a 4-string you'll have to tune so low that it'll just be one big mess in terms of sound as well as playability.
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#4
If you were just starting bass without being a guitarist already then I'd say go for a 4 string, but since I doubt you'll be going through beginner sort of lessons that assume you only have 4 I don't suppose it will matter
#5
With the 5 string you wont have to tune down to play along with anything higher than b standard, big advantage.
#6
playing a 5 and playing a 4 are the exact same. the nek might be a litle thicker, but thats not really an issue for most people. the techniques are all the same, everything is the same.
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#7
I started on 5string and the only difference i see between and other bassists i meet is that i highly prefer the feel of a 5string. go for it!
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#8
It makes no difference learning on a 5er than a 4er.
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#9
Well all this depends. If you just want the low notes, just slap on some heavy gauge strings and tune low. But if you want high notes as well, a 5 string is your best bet. Plus you can still play standard tuned songs.
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#10
If you can play a 5, you can play a 4. Most people have trouble switching from a 4 to a 5, and vice versa. There's really not much pro or con to it.
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#11
ThrashMetal014 is right, there's no pros or cons to learning on a 5 or 4 string bass. I mean, if you're going to be playing music that requires you to down tune a lot, you might as well get the 5 string, so that's a pro for you personally, but in general it makes no difference.

Kind of off topic: Any 5 string players find going back to a 4 string both really weird and really fun? When testing an amp in a store recently I played a 4 string for the first time in ages and my hands just flew over that thing, it was great.
#12
There's absolutely nothing harder about playing a 5 string than a 4 string, it's just another string like the others, and if you find out you don't really need the extra string, you just won't play it, simple as that.

I started out on a 5-string that my dad had lying around from one of his friends, but I never actually used the B string, it still went very well, and I found the extra string actually helped me as something to rest my thumb on, making it easier for me to pluck the E string
#13
I started on a 4 string, then a few years later after buying 2-3 4 string basses, i moved onto a 6 string bass.

it doesn't really matter, 5 string does have its advantages over a 4, and 6 string has advantages over a 5.