MindMyMind
UG's second South-African
Join date: Jul 2005
434 IQ
#1
What's the difference between a 5 string and a 4 string, why would you need/want the extra string, and what kind of bands use a 5 string?

Sorry for the noob question but what can i say, i am one lol
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angerisagift03
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Join date: Mar 2004
286 IQ
#2
well u get a low b, metal bands like it cos it gives u a chance to get the really deep dark sound that u dnt get from playin a 4 string.
i prefer a 4 string, thinner neck and cleaner sounding!
VelvetÆnema33
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Join date: Jul 2004
88 IQ
#3
It's how clean it sounds doesn't mater if you have a 5th string...

But it's basicly for more playability options. You'll be able to get that deeper note, a lot of heavy metal bands will use a B string for stuff. Like I believe KoRn does a lot (yes I know it's numetal) Dream Theater uses the B string a lot too, but also the C string on a 6 string Bass. But it's just basicly so you can do more with it. It's all pretty much a personal preference on what you want to use. If you want more options, get the 5 string. But if you're new, just start with the 4 string and work your way up if you'd like.
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mountaindew88
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Join date: Aug 2004
2,429 IQ
#4
5 strings are more for metal but a lot of other guys use them too. I like 4 myself. What angerisagift03 said about being "cleaner", he didn't mean the actual tone, but the overall vibe of the 4-string bass. It's one of those, "You know what I'm saying?" things.
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tubadude
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Join date: Mar 2005
1,797 IQ
#5
actually, for a 5 you can get a low B or high C (beadg or eadgc, i use low b) but i play rock/ punk and i use my 5th string all the time, i dont think there is a song in our band that i dont use it in. bit for me, its harder for me to slap with. but i dont slap much so it isnt too bad.

also, the new ozzy stuff (down to earth CD) there is alot of 5 string stuff, same with deadsy
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herrly
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Join date: Apr 2004
1,049 IQ
#6
Originally posted by tubadude
actually, for a 5 you can get a low B or high C (beadg or eadgc, i use low b) but i play rock/ punk and i use my 5th string all the time, i dont think there is a song in our band that i dont use it in. bit for me, its harder for me to slap with. but i dont slap much so it isnt too bad.

also, the new ozzy stuff (down to earth CD) there is alot of 5 string stuff, same with deadsy



Wait... wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

When does punk music use a low B? Isn't that a little too complicated for those people.

haha I'm just kiddin.

Anyways, slapping isn't hard on a 5 string, it's just as hard on a 4 string. All you gotta do is work on your aim. The spacing on some 5 strings is pretty small but you just gotta have better aim when playing on one. I had the same problem and I worked on my aim for like a day and now I can hit any string from a mile away without striking any other.
Originally posted by Fendon
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tubadude
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Join date: Mar 2005
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#7
i came from playing metal, so itsnt hard for me but i was never a good slapper, but ive been practing slap and im getting more accurate, still need to get my thumb slap tone down, but i really have no need to slap, so it dosent bother me too much
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Quote by steven seagull
You don't argue with tubadude on Washburn-related matters, he flosses with the G string from a set of 0.12's y'know....and it's WOUND!
jimmeh
Captain of the Guard
Join date: Sep 2003
145 IQ
#8
5 strings are generally associated with metal, although they are used really anywhere. I remember reading an interview with Bob Babbit (the guy that took over from James Jamerson doing all the motown stuff) and he said he wanted a 5 string.
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Last edited by jimmeh at Jul 26, 2005,
John Swift
Registered User
Join date: May 2004
899 IQ
#9
Originally posted by jimmeh
5 strings are generally associated with metal, although they are used really anywhere. I remember reading an interview with Bob Babbit (the guy that took over from James Jamerson doing all the motown stuff) and he said he wanted a 5 string.
5 string basses became necessasary with the advent of the modern keyboards which were outplaying the standard bass at the bottom end, early 5 & 6 string basses had top B & E strings not bottom B.
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Replicant
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#10
Can't you tune it like E A D G B? Or C G C F A (My preferred tuning)
John Swift
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#11
Originally posted by Replicant
Can't you tune it like E A D G B? Or C G C F A (My preferred tuning)
Of course you can, buy a six string set and dont use the bottom B.
If you tune C G C F A which I find rather strange to say the least going up a 5th, 4th, 4th 3rd, what you will find is that it will pull the neck in with the extra tension due to over tuning so the truss rod will have to be adjusted accordingly.
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#12
Aw crap. Can ya just repeat that? I gotta buy special strings to tune it to C G C F A?
John Swift
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Join date: May 2004
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#13
Originally posted by Replicant
Aw crap. Can ya just repeat that? I gotta buy special strings to tune it to C G C F A?
If you downtune standard strings (E down to C etc) they will just flap and rattle as each string is designed for a particular note.
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#14
Can't I get a 5 string set up for E A D G B tuning and be able to tune it down?
John Swift
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#15
Originally posted by Replicant
Can't I get a 5 string set up for E A D G B tuning and be able to tune it down?
If you do you will get fret buzz/rattle as the strings are designed to work at a specific tuning therfore tuning them too low will leave them slack, you could raise the action but then it wont be easy to play.
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#16
Can't I get the store to SET-UP the string so it is standard tuning. I heard you could do that.
BassBeats098
UG Member
Join date: Mar 2004
287 IQ
#17
I have a five string (low b) and i can still slap easily, and i dont always have to drop down to D from some songs like i would have to on a four string, and the used guy uses dropped C tuning a lot on his four string (which i think is really stupid) and i just use my fifth string.
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boba899
Im Burning Star IV
Join date: Dec 2004
405 IQ
#18
The little drop C conversation thats going on:

Firstly, your writing the notes down a bit funny, your saying a five string is

E A D G B

But it in fact goes

B E A D G (the B is the lowest string, then E then A etc)

Secondly, thicker gauge bass strings will be able to cope with being tuned A C G C F.
However, normal guages can also cope. Mine don't rattle around the frets or give me fret buzz when I down tune my bass to that. Thicker strings will, however, 'cope' better which being tuned
A C F C G and will hold the tuning for longer.

Hope i helped an itsy bit.
Originally posted by jimmeh
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jimmeh
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Join date: Sep 2003
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#19
Originally posted by John Swift
5 string basses became necessasary with the advent of the modern keyboards which were outplaying the standard bass at the bottom end, early 5 & 6 string basses had top B & E strings not bottom B.

I'll take your word for it, but in this interview he's saying he wanted the lower notes.
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lost_it_again
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Join date: Apr 2005
536 IQ
#20
the five string isn't just a metal thing, alot of funk bassists like it aswell because of the options it opens, i like it because it gives you the option of adding one of five really low notes that you can't get on any other string, i also like it because even with the notes you get on other strings of the bass you can play them on the b string and get a completely different tone, alot thicker and darker in sound, i also like the crazy new tuning options that can come out of it although i don't really see other bassists experimenting with mixed tuning like that, i tune my bass to ABGDG just for fun
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