I'm looking into buying my first bass and amp. I currently play guitar. Should I go with a 4 string or a 5 string? Seems like most songs use 4 strings but a few use 5...and the bass world looks a lot more divided on the "how many strings" question than the guitar world does.

Also, everyone seems to think the SX basses from rondo music are great. Does anyone have anything different to say? They are like, cheaper than a squier, so i'm skeptical Plus I can't try them out before buying...but if they've got a good return policy maybe it doesn't matter too much.
I'd say start off with a 4 stringer. 4 string basses are more available than say, a 5 or 6 string. You can always move up to a 5 string if you find that 4 strings isnt enought for what your doing. IMO there should be no more than 6 strings on a bass, everything else is just pointless.

Quote by greendayguitar
Wow, that looks extremely good, thank you mcuhly RadioHead22, for your amazing gift of foodiness.

I agree with RadioHead22 I would start with a four string...You dont find many songs that even use the extra fith string anyway.
Quote by grimreaper65

But seriously, 4.


Alright, so 4 it is. Any opinions on the SX basses from rondo music?
my first bass was a 4 stringer. it was all i really needed back then. today, alot of music uses a 5 string bass, for that ultra low rumble. if i was starting over, i would get a 5 string.
Seems that the bass world has a much wider array of string choices...hmm. 4 strings, 5 with an added low note, 5 with an added high note, 6 with one low and one high, 6 with two high...

So i've got a few votes for 4 strings and one vote for 5. Maybe i should've just made this a poll :P
It would be a little hard to get used to the note positions after guitar, and it would take longer to get used to the increased gauge of a low B.

You can get 5 strings with a high C, and 4 strings with a low B (BEAD).

EDIT: The even longer neck on 5's and low tuned 4's as well.
Most 5 strings that you go grab off the rack of a guitar store will add a lower note, From low to high: BEADG. However, there are some that are EADGC. Or you can just buy those string tunings.
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So, does anyone know if fieldy off of KoRn uses the 5-string with the extra high note or low note? That is the main reason I am wondering.
this question is not that complicated. a standard 5 string bass has a low B, for the 5th string. they can be de-tuned to lower tunings, as can a 4 string, with the right gauge of strings and the proper truss rod adjustments. and yes, a 5 string can be tuned to a E A D G B configuration if desired. this is not rocket surgery

get it? rocket science - brain surgery?

i may be ignorant, but a least i ain't smart!
Last edited by 83lespaulstudio at Aug 13, 2006,
So, If I have a four-string acoustic-electric bass, can I play Korn songs,if I tune down? Will it sound anything like them???
Fieldy Uses a low b, and tunes it to to a low a, then some other tuning that I can't remember right now. You can play Korn songs on an acoustic electric, but it won't sound like him per se.
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You don't need a K5 to play Fieldy's stuff.

And get however many strings YOU want to use.

If you wanna play something like Heavy/NU metal or whatever, a Low B would be useful.

If you wanna play prog, hell a low B and a high C would be useful.

Just depends what you want/need.
75 strings each one tunned to differnt octave of Bflat and make sure it has only 1 fret which raises the pitch by one octave.

no really i started with a four and moved to a five later on. but its your choice try some out at your local music shop and see what you like
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Quote by Taoistic_Beer

Hm tricky decision. Well, do you think a 5-string will be harder to learn how to play? I mean, there's that extra string in the way when you don't want to use it, something your fingers have to avoid most of the time. Though, I suppose the same thing can be said about all the other strings, when you're trying to play the next highest string...

On a related subject, when you're fingerpicking, how do you avoid hitting the other string? Practice, yes But how?
Buy a four string and move to a five later.

Of course, by the time you move up to the five string, you won't want to play KoRn anymore.
i started on a five string and i just bought a four string as my second bass. If you like a bands that have a 5string bass get one or if you think you will use it in your writing then get it. It is a little bit easier to play a fourstring but the difference is miniscule. Once you get used to playing a five you can play a four string. but if you play a four string switching to five may feel weird at first due to the different string spacings and wider neck.

If you think you'll use it go for the five string but otherwise there's no need.
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i think you should start with 4, then when you'll feel the need of the 5th string, and know what you'll use it for get a 5th. i might be flamed, but "learn on crap first, then move higher."

"Of course, by the time you move up to the five string, you won't want to play KoRn anymore." /Scourge441/
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On a related subject, when you're fingerpicking, how do you avoid hitting the other string? Practice, yes But how?

Its okay if after you pluck your finger rests of the string below it. (Example: Plucking the G your finger can hit the D.) Bass strings are also farther apart so that you can get between them easier. You don't want to get too much underneath the stirng either, that's popping and sound completely different.
I say go with a 5 for metal, and a 4 for anything else. I can suggest a nice 4 string for a starter, google search for an "ESP LTD F104" it has a longer scale so drop tunings are easier to handle, and from experience, this thing is DURABLE. i've put more dents in my ceiling than my ceiling's put on it.
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Personally I'm a big fan of Korn, and I love Fieldy's work. He's better than most bassists out there, and he's pretty ballsy to do what he does with his bass, and anything that doesn't fit with the normal usually is frowned upon. In all reality, if you look at some of his personal work or even at some of the non-singles, Fieldy can do some complicated s*** even without slapping all the time. Now, I started out with a Rogue SX100B, which is a good sounding 4-string considering it was only $100.00 (did have a few problems though). And I figured that since I couldn't play Fieldy's lines on it, I would try out Metallica. The next year I upgraded to a MUCH MUCH better quality Rogue LX205B for only $130.00 which is a 5-string guitar. First thing I did, was try and slap like Fieldy. Sucked at it, and so I kinda shunned it for awhile and practiced other techniques. Well, then this past month or so (still less than two years since my first bass) I was able to do a single finger slap (doing the rotating motion) with my thumb (which is now my signature style of normal thumb slap, haha) and then soon after my pinky started catching up. Personally, I get much more satisfaction nowadays from learning how to slap the bass lines to the Take A Look In The Mirror album (which is Korn's most simple album) then I ever did from learning Orion by Metallica. But that's me, everyone is different. I'm an obsessive Nu-Metalist who loves the sound of Fieldy's slap bass and I've never tired of it. In fact ever since I learned how, it's become more a joy since I've been able to try it out for heavier riffs to songs my band does (even though I usually try to play melodically if I can). So, yeah, try out the 4-string, and then once you have the money, upgrade to a 5-string if you still are interested. But learning how to play like Fieldy takes A LOT of practice. So yeah, that's all I had to say.