#1
I am planning to buy a bass guitar, but I doubt if I will buy a 5-string or a 4-string. I like progressive metal and if I look at for example Dream Theater and Symphony X, they play on a 6-string and a 5-string. If I look at the tabs from Symphony X, Michael Lepond doesn't use his 5th string that much. So I was curious about what your opinions are on basses with more then 4 strings.
#2
Buy what you want, it's as simple as that.

Personally, if I was going to play those styles, I'd use a 5. I'd feel like a 4 would hold me back while playing DT and SX type stuff.

Having said that, there are plenty of amazing and technical bass players who just use 4 (and I've seen some players just use 3 but I'll keep my opnions to myself on that one )

EDIT: forgot to mention; the reason I wouldn't use a 6 string is because they just feel wrong to me, I haven't found one I was close to liking. So, yeah, preference.
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Last edited by gilly_90 at Jan 21, 2012,
#3
Quote by gilly_90
Buy what you want, it's as simple as that.

Personally, if I was going to play those styles, I'd use a 5. I'd feel like a 4 would hold me back while playing DT and SX type stuff.

Having said that, there are plenty of amazing and technical bass players who just use 4 (and I've seen some players just use 3 but I'll keep my opnions to myself on that one )

EDIT: forgot to mention; the reason I wouldn't use a 6 string is because they just feel wrong to me, I haven't found one I was close to liking. So, yeah, preference.


For sure. 5 strings for days.
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#5
IMO you should only get a 5 string bass if you're really going to be using that 5th string.

Just remember its going to be more expensive to get a quality one.

4 strings for lyfe

Edit: also if youre already used to a 4 string bass, its going to be fun getting used to the 5 stringer, your E feels like your A and your A feels like your D.
Last edited by slap-a-bass at Jan 22, 2012,
#6
Quote by slap-a-bass
IMO you should only get a 5 string bass if you're really going to be using that 5th string.

Just remember its going to be more expensive to get a quality one.

4 strings for lyfe

Edit: also if youre already used to a 4 string bass, its going to be fun getting used to the 5 stringer, your E feels like your A and your A feels like your D.


The difference between a Peavey Millennium BXP 4 and a 5 is only 20 euros. So the price is not the problem I think. Does anybody has some experience with this Peavey?
#7
Quote by slap-a-bass
IMO you should only get a 5 string bass if you're really going to be using that 5th string.

Just remember its going to be more expensive to get a quality one.

4 strings for lyfe

Edit: also if youre already used to a 4 string bass, its going to be fun getting used to the 5 stringer, your E feels like your A and your A feels like your D.


It took me about 30 minutes to get used to mine the first time.

And if you get a 4 when you'd rather have a 5 because of a slight price difference then you've bought something at full price that you don't want, just to save a little money. That doesn't make sense.

Well thought-out posts for life.
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#8
Quote by 0rion2309
The difference between a Peavey Millennium BXP 4 and a 5 is only 20 euros. So the price is not the problem I think. Does anybody has some experience with this Peavey?


The active version was my first 5er. A workhorse of an instrument.
#11
Quote by CJ Noble
More strings = more range and more range is never bad


I never understand this point of view. Why not just buy a 1204 stringed bass then?

Buy what you personally feel comfortable with, and what works for you. Try some out. For that kind of music, perhaps a low B would be beneficial, but you could get that by restringing a 4 BEAD, I doubt you'd be using the upper frets on the G very often.
#12
Quote by 0rion2309
The difference between a Peavey Millennium BXP 4 and a 5 is only 20 euros. So the price is not the problem I think. Does anybody has some experience with this Peavey?

I played both a 4 and a 5 in a music shop today, and they were both fantastic. The setup wasn't what I'd call perfect but that's just because I didn't set them up myself.

Quote by Ziphoblat
I never understand this point of view. Why not just buy a 1204 stringed bass then?

Buy what you personally feel comfortable with, and what works for you. Try some out. For that kind of music, perhaps a low B would be beneficial, but you could get that by restringing a 4 BEAD, I doubt you'd be using the upper frets on the G very often.

Well obviously I mean within reason. For a bass I'd put 7 strings as the upper limit before you start reaching absurdity.
Last edited by CJ Noble at Jan 23, 2012,
#13
If you have a need for the 5th string then get it. I bought one "cuz I thought it'd be cool and I'd use it for teh metalz" and I never have.
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#14
Quote by CJ Noble
Well obviously I mean within reason.


Of course, my point was that the definition of 'within reason' varies from player to player and there is no cut-and-dry right or wrong.
#15
What's my opinion on basses with more than four strings? Absolutely essential to me. I need the range. At least six, but seven would be ideal for the music I write.

If you ever think you'll use it, then get one. Better to have a string and barely use it, than to not have a string and need it.
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#16
Quote by Ziphoblat
Of course, my point was that the definition of 'within reason' varies from player to player and there is no cut-and-dry right or wrong.

So for that lone person who defines 'within reason' as 1204 strings, your side of the argument is totally invalid. I choose 7 as the upper limit because any more and you have to change your play style to something more like a chapman stick.
#17
I'd say from my point of view, the more strings you have the more likely you are taking a more solo/melodic counter point to your music. It just depends though if you can still groove. Recently I saw a oldies cover band and their bass player played a 6 stringer and wanked more than a guitarist and really took away from the set.

In the end if your playing an extended range bass and wanking with 2 drop tuned guitarists fuzzed to hell and gain at 100% it'll be hard to hear live, and not noticed by any non musician.

In most circumstances a 4 string works, a 5 enables more selection while maintaining standard tuning if needed. Really as long as you maintain your duties in your band or play alone and like what you do, but can still keep a soulful on time groove, it doesn't matter.

Edit: I can drink in my dorm, how cool is that?
Last edited by askrere at Jan 24, 2012,
#18
Quote by CJ Noble
So for that lone person who defines 'within reason' as 1204 strings, your side of the argument is totally invalid. I choose 7 as the upper limit because any more and you have to change your play style to something more like a chapman stick.


It was a hyperbole, unless you can find somebody who actually plays a bass with 1200 strings. And disagreed, look up Yves Carbonne. 12 is perfectly within reason for him, though for, say, Geddy Lee or John Entwistle it rarely exceeds 4. I repeat, it depends on the individual, what works for one, doesn't always work for another.
#20
I personally never liked the spacing of a 5 string.

I enjoy playing 4 strings, however the only 2 basses I own now are 6 strings and I love them to death.
But this is all my opinion.

You have to think, though. 5 string is tuned BEADG. You're really only adding 5 more notes to your bass and they're such low tones that they're hardly heard once anything is put on top of them. Granted, you do have the rest of the neck and if you're doing more chordal/legato/other advanced techniques then the 5th string adds a little more room for that kind of dumb shit.
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#21
Quote by King Of Suede
I personally never liked the spacing of a 5 string.

I enjoy playing 4 strings, however the only 2 basses I own now are 6 strings and I love them to death.
But this is all my opinion.

You have to think, though. 5 string is tuned BEADG. You're really only adding 5 more notes to your bass and they're such low tones that they're hardly heard once anything is put on top of them. Granted, you do have the rest of the neck and if you're doing more chordal/legato/other advanced techniques then the 5th string adds a little more room for that kind of dumb shit.


Tempted to use that 'shut up' gif again.

You can make a point without being a dick, try that sometime.

Also if you don't like the spacing of the strings on a 5er then do what I did and get a 5 string with the spacing of a 4 string.
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#22
Quote by gilly_90
Tempted to use that 'shut up' gif again.

You can make a point without being a dick, try that sometime.

Also if you don't like the spacing of the strings on a 5er then do what I did and get a 5 string with the spacing of a 4 string.

Not trying to be a dick. I do that stuff all the time.
Get your B string outta your crack and relax. G's are more comfortable.

And where did you get a neck for that? Sounds like a custom job to me?
If I ever got a 5 string, I'd just restring it EADGC so it'd be like a tenor 5-string lolololol.
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#23
Ibanez BTB675

5 string with 19mm spacing.

Also, what if I like B strings in my crack
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Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

**** you gilly, it's not what you think
#24
Oh. Thats a pretty bass. OK. Welp, I'll just stick to my 6 strings. I don't play them anyway. Upright has taken over my life. No complaints though =)
Quote by Banjocal
sht up u flthy librl foogit stfu u soo mad n butthurdt ur ass is an analpocolypse cuz ur so gay "my ass hrts so mcuh" - u. your rectally vexed n anlly angushed lolo go bck 2 asslnd lolol
#25
Quote by King Of Suede
I personally never liked the spacing of a 5 string.

I enjoy playing 4 strings, however the only 2 basses I own now are 6 strings and I love them to death.
But this is all my opinion.

You have to think, though. 5 string is tuned BEADG. You're really only adding 5 more notes to your bass and they're such low tones that they're hardly heard once anything is put on top of them. Granted, you do have the rest of the neck and if you're doing more chordal/legato/other advanced techniques then the 5th string adds a little more room for that kind of dumb shit.


Much depends on you amplification and speakers when reproducing your bottom 'B' frequencies.
Playing bottom E at the 5th fret gives much more punch and cuts through better than the open bottom E.
Only when you've been around long enough and played through different versions will you really know, but I would recommend starting as you mean to go on
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#26
I played 6-string for a few years but recently switched back to 5. The low B is great because it's really only there if you need. With a high C you're constantly reaching over it and, in most cases, rarely using it. I reccomend any starting bass player to go straight for the 5.
#27
Quote by 0rion2309
I am planning to buy a bass guitar, but I doubt if I will buy a 5-string or a 4-string. I like progressive metal and if I look at for example Dream Theater and Symphony X, they play on a 6-string and a 5-string. If I look at the tabs from Symphony X, Michael Lepond doesn't use his 5th string that much. So I was curious about what your opinions are on basses with more then 4 strings.

That's because you typically don't play on the B string like you would on the E string.

I like playing some things starting on the b string higher up the neck though. You don't have to move your arm around as much to reach notes. It lets you kinda keep you starting position in the middle of the neck instead of in the first 5 frets (depending on what key your songs are all in of course).

Or you can play some riffs straight up the b string and have a consistent and fat tone all across the riff instead of it thinning out as you move up to smaller strings.
Last edited by BlackVoid at Jan 28, 2012,
#28
Quote by 0rion2309
The difference between a Peavey Millennium BXP 4 and a 5 is only 20 euros. So the price is not the problem I think. Does anybody has some experience with this Peavey?


Great bass. Don't know why I sold mine. Well I sold it to get another peavey lol. I personally like having 5 strings. This is partly because I play in low tunings but also it allows you to remain in one hand position for more notes. Also I think if you can't hear below the low E then you've either got hearing problems or a crap bass amp
EH


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Last edited by eddiehimself at Jan 28, 2012,
#29
Quote by Donkey_Punch
I like the comfort and ease of play of a four more than the extended range of a 5.

really? as far as comfort goes i happen to be a lot more comfortable on a 5 then a 4. i guess it probably has to do with the fact that the b makes for a really good thumb rest when playing on the e and also because i started out on a 5 string. but that's just me.
#30
I bought my first 5-er last September, and I wish I'd done it sooner. Going back to my 4-strings just feels odd now.

If string spacing is an issue for you though, or neck width, check out the Hohner B Bass. It's got a crazy-narror neck for a 5-er - pretty much the same dimensions as a 4-string P Bass.
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#31
Quote by Felkara
I bought my first 5-er last September, and I wish I'd done it sooner. Going back to my 4-strings just feels odd now.

If string spacing is an issue for you though, or neck width, check out the Hohner B Bass. It's got a crazy-narror neck for a 5-er - pretty much the same dimensions as a 4-string P Bass.


I think the "string spacing" issue is about the distance between adjacent strings rather than the width of the nut.
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#32
5-strings are definately a plus for playing progressive but then again, most of the best progressive rock/metal bassists use 4-strings! (Geddy Lee, Justin Chancellor, Troy Sanders, Martin Mendez)
#33
Quote by lavalamp360
5-strings are definately a plus for playing progressive but then again, most of the very well known progressive rock/metal bassists use 4-strings! (Geddy Lee, Justin Chancellor, Troy Sanders, Martin Mendez)


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Quote by Cb4rabid
Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

**** you gilly, it's not what you think
#34
I've been playing bass for 40 years now and have been playing only 5 string basses for the past 6 years. I have 4's and 6's but the 5 string bass is the best for me. Do I play progressive? No but the 5 string bass lets me play up the neck 5 frets and is more comfortable than always playing down by the nut. More versatile for any style of playing, period.
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#35
5 string or die!
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#36
I thought you had to be 13 to make an account here?
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Fuck you I'm trying to be caring and shit


Quote by Cb4rabid
Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

**** you gilly, it's not what you think