#1
I've been playing bass for about a year and a half, and I need a new bass because the one I have now is practically falling apart because it was a cheapy one. I was in the guitar shop today and saw a 5 string which I could get tomorrow.

I was wondering what are the advantages and disadvantages of 5 strings, and what are some good songs played on them?

Thanks
#2
its just extended range thats the only advantage
disadvatanges, well some people prefer the feel of a four string better, or some have no use for the 5th string
and if u find 2 bases exactly the same xcept ones a 4 string and ones a 5 the 5 string obviously be more expensive
id recomend getting one
like i said its just extending the range
#3
I purchase a 5 string about two weeks ago. It's my second bass, and I moved up from a 4 string. I haven't played it too much, but to me the extra string throws in a little fun. Also, the strings are closer together, so you may or may not like that. The neck on my 5 is longer than my 4, so that makes it a little harder to play. But you should just play the 5 string and see if it is something that you enjoi.
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#4
If you're damn sure you're ready for a new bass, a 5 string won't hurt.

More notes, easier to stay in one area while being able to reach the same notes.
haha
#5
i liked my 5 because it condensed the notes as well, making tapping and wooten songs so much easier. ive never regretted my 5, and it's deffinately a good investment.

the only thing to watch is the amount of unwanted vibration it gives, you'll be playing an open e but have a b over top of that if your not carefull. you have to think of the 5er as a 4 string that has an optional lower range too.
Quote by Mr. T
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#6
Quote by ICanPlayWell
I purchase a 5 string about two weeks ago. It's my second bass, and I moved up from a 4 string. I haven't played it too much, but to me the extra string throws in a little fun. Also, the strings are closer together, so you may or may not like that. The neck on my 5 is longer than my 4, so that makes it a little harder to play. But you should just play the 5 string and see if it is something that you enjoi.

You mean wider?...Because 5 string necks are almost always wider than 4 string necks (although it depends on the 4 and 5 you're comparing)...The neck may be longer but usually its only longer by an inch...The scale length on a 4 string is usually 34 inches and on some 5 strings its 35 inches...And I've never noticed a considerable difference between 34 and 35 inch scales but maybe you do...

And to the threadstarter...Like the guys before me said, the advantages would be an extended range, and not having to change position, and the disadvantages may be a wider neck and tighter string spacing...

And if you're getting a 5 string tommorow maybe you could tell us which one it is so we can tell you if we've had experience with it and whether its good or bad...Just a thought...

BTW I love your avatar!
Kirby's awesome...
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#7
I got a 5-string as my first bass so I can't compare much but I don't regret getting it at all. It's good to have it just in case you're playing songs that need a fifth string or you can use it for a different tuning to save time. I occasioanlly use it as drop A for Citizen Erased by Muse. I also like to have a string below the E string when plaing the E string as it feels much more comfortable.
Admittedly there's only a few songs I actually use the string for (one of which by my band) but I do use it none-the-less. You may find the closer strings a problem when trying to pop any strings lower than the G string but thats only a minor problem.
Overall I'd say go for it just in case you need the extra range or find you prefer it, but try it out first and see if you like it because in the end it's up to how much you like it.
#8
I probably will get it, I was playing it in the shop for a while, I just need my parents or my sister to lend me £30.

Isnt there a lot of Dream Theater songs with 5 string bass? Or is that 6? There was a 6 string in the shop but I thought it was too big.

Quote by XeNoCiDe730
BTW I love your avatar!
Kirby's awesome...



I like yours too, but Im afraid I dont know what it is...
#9
Quote by properBo
I probably will get it, I was playing it in the shop for a while, I just need my parents or my sister to lend me £30.

Isnt there a lot of Dream Theater songs with 5 string bass? Or is that 6? There was a 6 string in the shop but I thought it was too big.



I like yours too, but Im afraid I dont know what it is...


Dream Theater is done on a 6 string bass, but the Low B is more necessary than a high C.
haha
#10
Quote by XeNoCiDe730
You mean wider?...Because 5 string necks are almost always wider than 4 string necks (although it depends on the 4 and 5 you're comparing)...The neck may be longer but usually its only longer by an inch...The scale length on a 4 string is usually 34 inches and on some 5 strings its 35 inches...And I've never noticed a considerable difference between 34 and 35 inch scales but maybe you do...


Well obviously my 5 is wider than my 4, but the neck is actually longer than my 4 string. Although it may only be by an inch, no doubt, it is still longer, and still kills my wrists....
College. ... ? . !!
There's no need to talk when we have medicine.
#11
My four stringer bassist friend once said that the 5 string wasn't very practical, because it only gives you 5 more notes on the low end. Kind of true, but it opens up new positions on where to play on the fingerboard to get the same notes.

The other thing, is that you can string it up using (E A D G C) with a high C, and then you can play chords on it that sound like a baritone guitar. It bugs the heck out of the other guitarists for muscling into their territory... However, if done tastefully, it opens up new channels of playing bass. It also sounds really heavy when played through a fuzz box.

But if you are just wanting to stick to the standard range, a 4 string will do you great. Jaco did fine with just 4 strings. So did James Jamerson.

Tony Levin once had a 3 stringed bass (B E A) made custom for him by Ernie Ball. He played it with his Funk Fingers (sticks that fasten to the ends of your fingers to drum on the bass strings) and it had no knobs on the body--no tone, no volume. It was pure minimalism and perfect for that playing style. It's too bad it got destroyed in a fire... Ernie Ball should just make him another one. It was too cool! Other than the balalaika bass and the Hawaiian stand up stick bass, there aren't any 3 string basses around. They would be so much more portable, with a thinner neck...like a bouzouki's neck. That would be sweet...a 28 fretted 3 string bass...
Last edited by jaco de lucia at Jun 11, 2006,
#12
Quote by ICanPlayWell
Well obviously my 5 is wider than my 4, but the neck is actually longer than my 4 string. Although it may only be by an inch, no doubt, it is still longer, and still kills my wrists....


My sixer is even wider AND just as long. PWNED.

/gloating
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#13
Quote by jaco de lucia
But if you are just wanting to stick to the standard range, a 4 string will do you great. Jaco did fine with just 4 strings.



Actually, Jaco also had a five string that he played quite frequently.
#14
with 5ers, the B may be floppy, which often pisses me off, but EADGC is an easy solution for that, so is just getting a humongous B.

slapping would be difficult if you're starting out, but you can get it runnin' on you're 4 string first until you're good and accurate.

anyways, I'd say go for it.
#15
^Honestly, the low B is much, much more practical than the high C. I think the best solution is to go ahead and get a six. It's not that much wider, honestly. And a 35" scale isn't difficult to get used to. Any playing problems you have on the wide neck are fairly easily eliminated by adjusting your thumb position. I switched to a six string after I had been playing for about 6 months, and I've never looked back. (Except for when I sold it for a five string) The extra notes are invaluable when you want to do high chording and still have the bass notes, or for doing nice grooves with melodic fills.
#17
There is no string(low B or high C) that is more practical than the other. It is all in preference and style of the player.
It does not take much to get use to a 5 string, just practice. As for the floppy B just make sure the 5 string is a 35 scale and if it is still too floppy switch to a lighter guage string.
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#18
B strings are more practical than C strings. A C string holds no bottom end and won't even cut through the mix in most situations. There are uses for it, but there are far more uses for the low B.
#19
Quote by MetalUpTheAss
If you're damn sure you're ready for a new bass, a 5 string won't hurt.

More notes, easier to stay in one area while being able to reach the same notes.



exactly
#20
Quote by Names_mud
There is no string(low B or high C) that is more practical than the other. It is all in preference and style of the player.
It does not take much to get use to a 5 string, just practice. As for the floppy B just make sure the 5 string is a 35 scale and if it is still too floppy switch to a lighter guage string.

lighter?
#21
Quote by properBo

I like yours too, but Im afraid I dont know what it is...


'tis none less than Rocko from Rocko's World, A short lived T.V. Show. A quality one at that.
#23
Quote by Zofar
'tis none less than Rocko from Rocko's World, A short lived T.V. Show. A quality one at that.



Lmfao Rockos World Rofl!!
#24
****, i knew that i was missing something. it just sounded wrong.


.... there is a show called rocko's world. i think.
#25
i've got a 5 string deluxe jazz that i like, however recently i'm beginning to wonder if i really need it enough to justify the purchase. it's a nice bass and i like anchoring my thumb on the low b rather than the pickup when playing the e string, but it's got a chunky neck on it and the low b needs to be approached with caution because of the lack of tension. having said that, i don't think i'll sell it just yet!
#26
To understand the true value of the 5 string you must go back to the advent of the modern keyboards that started outplaying the standard 4 string basses at the bottom end.
'Hey Joe' takes on a whole new dimensiobn when you use the low D, the open E string often used to flap, played at the 5th fret B string it becomes very punchy.
The final thing to remember is that you need to have a decent amp to handle a 5 string.
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Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
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#27
im really glad i got my 5er, i can switch between 4 and 5 no problem, but i noticed that when other 4 string players try mine, they have trouble figuring out the strings...