#2
It takes a bit of adjustment, but its not that much harder to play. The advantage is greater fretting hand efficiency and you don't have to drop tune on certain songs.
#3
another advantage with 5 strings is that some songs are easier to play if you play across the strings rather than having to rapidly jump up and down many frets. and as anarkee says, it just takes a bit of adjustment.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#4
And, most importantly, that fifth string can act as a thumb rest while you play the other four.
#5
Depending on what music you wish to play, you will need a five-string bass. They are not harder to play than a four-string bass, but as others have said, it does take some getting used to.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#6
The advantages listed above are real. There is a downside though. If you prefer slim necks you will most likely have to get a bass with 16.5 mm string spacing.

If you prefer 18 mm or 19mm string spacing you will NOT have a slim neck.

I have a 5-stringer with 16.5 mm spacing and have adjusted to it but I can't play it nearly as accurately as my 4-string bass, so I don't play it unless I have to.

Just saying that all the differences are not necessarily positive. After all, even though you might play more efficiently, it may come at the cost of comfort and/or accuracy, and you do only add 5 additional notes with a 5-string.
Last edited by VeloDog at Jun 23, 2015,
#7
Quote by VeloDog


Just saying that all the differences are not necessarily positive. After all, even though you might play more efficiently, it may come at the cost of comfort and/or accuracy, and you do only add 5 additional notes with a 5-string.


I have just two basses -- a cheap 4-string and a Carvin 5-string. I really don't see much of a drawback to the 5-string, including in fingering space (on that particular guitar, of course). The four is perfectly adequate for most bass playing. It's a 21- or 22-fret bass.

In this case, there are MORE extra notes (than just five) on the 5-string, since it's a 24-fret bass. This five-string is a neck-through (smooth neck heel) and much more comfortable playing in the upper fret regions than the four, which is a bolt-neck (not that I'm doing a ton of bass solos, but some folks do). As mentioned, the fifth string is there in large part to help you stay in a single position on the neck rather than requiring you to move toward the headstock. That can save you several inches of moving around, and changes the way you think about bass runs.