#1
OK im trying to weigh up the advantages/disadvantages of both instruments..if anyone could help that would be cool..

4 String
Simpler
Easier to reach the lowest string
Traditional
Cooler..5 strings may look a bit poncy
Easier to slap on a 4 on most songs
Anything past a low C is indecipherable

5 String
Deep sound..no need to detune for anything
Possible to play runs in one position eg E Major Scale all Based on Fret 3
-therefore easier with shorter bassists!
Good for jazz
Can play rest stroke on 4rth string easier
#3
I solved the problem by having one of each.

Truthfully, i rarely use the 5-String because in standard "A 440" tuning, you only gain an additional 5 notes.

To really get anything out of owning a 5-string you almost have to set it up to be detuned right off the bat.

Needless to say, most of my "heavy lifting" is still done by my trusty 4 string
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#4
i have two 4's, one fretted, one frettless, and a 5. i love and play all of them. i like my 5 for finger style and tapping becuase the notes are closer and i dont have to play an open E, and i like my fretted 4 for the space i need for thumbing and crazy stuff like that. if your looking for a first bass or something, id master the 4 first.
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#5
No i can play bass to a good standard (played classical guitar for 15 years) but im a short arse and i find moving positions fairly difficult. I heard a lot about the low B and how it is extremely floppy like a double bass.

Would you say the low B is only used occassionally for the D C and B?..
#6
bugger it, go 6 string! the high C can be versitile!

i did, i am not looking back.
#7
Double bass strings arent floppy at all. Whered you hear that?

I find that a low B is very useful in playing drop d without detuning, scales, and just plain impressing people: Its fun to say "Oh... I play a 5 string bass..."
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#8
I have a 4 string and a 5 string. I play the 5 string way more. More notes for me, not just the lower ones, but I got a few higher ones too(24 frets, my 4 string is only 21 frets.) I have no problem reaching the B string and I have average sized hands. My B string isn't loose or floppy at all, and it's a 34. I love it because I play in a band where the guitarist is downtuned to D, so I just stay in standard and use the B string. I'm thinking about moving up to a 6 string soon, once I have the cash.
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#9
i have a 5 string fretted and a 4 string fretless. i'd start on the 4 like i did (no, i bought the fretless afterwards ). i rarely use the 5 string except for drop tuning and learning songs, i find it a pain to slap/pop on.
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#11
I have a 5 string because I play a lot of Dream Theater, Nevermore etc. In the jazz band at school, sometimes I have to read the tuba transcriptions and they go beyond low E, so having the low B makes it easier than transposing to the upper strings.
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#12
5-string is good for some bands (like Primus along with a lot of others), also like people said, its easy to detune it. The (little) problem I have with mine is that when im slapping the E, sometimes Ill accidently hit the low B, but It just takes some getting used to.
#13
Quote by Metalology
I have a 5 string because I play a lot of Dream Theater, Nevermore etc. In the jazz band at school, sometimes I have to read the tuba transcriptions and they go beyond low E, so having the low B makes it easier than transposing to the upper strings.


yeah that happens often in orchestras,bands , jazz bands etc. dam tuba's :P good thing i got a 5.

also great for funk. tho obviously theres enough funk in a 4 string bass.
#14
also, with 5strings, they tend to be narrower at the nut, which I(among others) personally do not like.

also, you can drop tune more on a 5, like, for example, you could do Drop F if you want the crowd to **** themselves
#15
Quote by Metalology
I have a 5 string because I play a lot of Dream Theater, Nevermore etc. In the jazz band at school, sometimes I have to read the tuba transcriptions and they go beyond low E, so having the low B makes it easier than transposing to the upper strings.


If you're reading tuba parts in jazz band your teacher should be fired. If you have a tuba in a jazz band (which I've never personally seen) what role does it play?

Majority of Jazz is played on 4 string uprights, so naturally it makes the most sense to play jazz on a 4. Unless you get into Jazz Fusion, (which I personally hate. It's basically an excuse for jazz musicians to wank and be praised.) you won't be using much of a 5 string.

Another plus/minus for 5 stringers are that they have smaller string spacing (allowing for quicker runs), but wider necks, so you have to weight those against each other.

And as a note on the 4 string. If you really wanted to go lower than C you can buy custom nuts for BEAD tuning. You will need a set up on the bass as well though.
#16
if i got a 5-string i would have it EADGC personally, i've never heard a low B string that i really like the sound off that much really.. i would use the higher string way more
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#17
ooh yeah, threadstarter, if your really buggered about the lowness of the B, you could do as Name Eman does and give it Tenor strings and tune it E to C.
#18
Quote by Name Eman
if i got a 5-string i would have it EADGC personally, i've never heard a low B string that i really like the sound off that much really.. i would use the higher string way more


I've never heard a C cut the mustard !

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#19
Quote by Mahavishnu80

Easier to reach the lowest string
Traditional
Cooler..5 strings may look a bit poncy


surely on both basses its just as easy to reach the lowest string. (well depends on wot u mean by lowest, in tone, or spacially?)
im not too bothered about traditional, actually, probably not at all. if it sounds great, and i can play it, cool. again, not bothered about looking cool or not looking poncy, just play music! i dont see how 5 strings looks poncy anyway...
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#20
See, i look at someone play a five or sixer and think Pah! I like four strings on a bass, that's how many there should be. I'm getting bored of Dani California now, it;s being played on XFM every hour.

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#21
Quote by bassbitch
See, i look at someone play a five or sixer and think Pah! I like four strings on a bass, that's how many there should be. I'm getting bored of Dani California now, it;s being played on XFM every hour.

BB
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thats xfm for you
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#22
XFM became pop ever since I left the 'States

Bass should, must, ought (and other modal verbs) remain a 4 stringed instrument. A 4 stringed bass is bass at it's natural. You can't add more strings without sacrificing something:
-neck width
-neck profile
-weight
-floppiness and incoherentness of the Low B (on most basses)

Low B is such a string, that it needs some "assistance", in this case Lower spectrum boosting. Without it, EADG would sound "natural", "clean", but the B will sound like a fart. You can't just boost the signal on one string!!! (tough it would be soooo sweet!)

Had the same problem when I possessed Warwick Thumb 5. Had the same problem with Stingray5. Have the same problem with the Yamaha. It's just how it is!

Having owned a 5 stringed bass for a while, I came to a conclusion, that my next bass is gonna be
-Fender Jazz 4
-Stingray 4
-Warwick 4

Yup yup.
#23
4 string in drop c is good enough, I think the C is ridiculously floppy already, but it sounds niiice.
#24
I just want you to know, Bassilo and Bassbitch, that I have extended a large middle finger to your anti-fivestringedness. Now threadstarter, ask yourself this, would you rather want the extra notes and not have them, or not need them but have them there just in case?
#25
^ LOL. I knew Bumper would be along.. The defender of all things five stringed ! I hear you though, and when put it like that it sounds good. but you miss the bad points. string spacing, neck width etc..

BB
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#26
I've got a 5 string, and I prefer the string spacing on my fours. Perhaps I need to play it more so I'm used to it.
#27
I see what your saying bassbitch, but I just love to have lots and lots of notes. I actually prefer a larger string spacing too, it's more comfortable for tapping. If only I could find a six string with a 19mm spacing, ooh that would be great. Also, it's pretty easy to get used to the neck width. When I got my first six string (I had only been playing for a few months, but I'm glad I made the switch) I thought I'd never get used to the neck width. However pretty soon you realize that it's all a matter of positioning your thumb.
#28
Yeah i guess you're right, definitely thumb position is very important. And there has been times i have wanted a low F that isn't right down the neck. Ho hum, i shall put up with it. I'm a Stingray kinda girl and there is no way i am getting a five stringed Stinger ! That's just plain wrong!

What bass were you playing when you with the dude in the basketball top? A sixer? your hand position was very good. how long have you been playing?

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#29
Personally, I like 4-stringers and 5-stringers equally. But 6 strings? HEll no! That's kinda like an electric guitar wannabe bass guitar. you know? for having 6 strings.
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#30
I've been playing for 2 years, and it was a Dean Edge Q6, six string. I think I might get a five string ray next actually, and tune it up like a tenor, EADGC. Of course in my band it would be BF#BEA....oooh, I just love drop B. Oh, and my final show with my last band is tomorrow, so there should be tons more videos of us by monday. I heard talk of mic'ing up the equipment and recording it so we can have at least one half-proper recording done.


^Wannabe guitar? Son you've got it all wrong. Don't make wrong assumptions about musicians and their instruments util you've done your homework. I play a six string bass so I can play melodic lines and build chordsthat help back the guitarists. Also, it makes two handed tapping loads easier. I'm learning Fur Elise, and without a six string it would be very difficult to build those chords, even with two handed tapping.
Last edited by Bumper at May 19, 2006,
#32
No, that was my old band in the videos and we tuned to standard. It was progressive/pop-punk/hardcore muzack. Now the band I'm in plays death metal/hardcore/stuff. We've changed quite a bit since the recordings on the myspace were done. (also I feel it's important to mention that I wasn't in the band when that was recorded, so the bass parts were done by our lead guitarist.


EDIT: Also, I used to be anti-drop tuning. I hated even going to drop D. However now I've gotten to where I like the slackened strings, they make sweeps and tapping so much easier. I think that even if my band didn't tune like that, I'd tune a step and a half down anyways, just for personal reasons.
Last edited by Bumper at May 19, 2006,
#33
Use a 5 string

Its anoying to slap or tap on cause sometimes you hit other strings when you get carried away but that low B comes in handy in some songs such as QOTSA - No One Knows and most metal

4 strings are good but its all down to personal preferance
#34
Personally I believe playing 5 string is easier than a 4 because the strings are much closer together. I also do not find slap that much harder on a 5 or even a 6 string.
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#35
I dont agree with purists who think "4 strings are natural, thats how it was and always should be"

the point is that bass guitars are BASS guitars, theyre MEANT to give the low end, and if you see a dam pianist hitting notes lower than you, you really do get pissed off. Its like
"buddy, you dont play BASS keyboards, so why do you have to go and play lower than me?"

but ive got a lot more reasons for liking 5 string, tho i think both have their place and their reasons. i just wanted to point that out to the purists.