i want to learn to play the bass but whats better for a noob a 4 or 5 string and how long would it take for me to get all the tabs notes down and i can play the bass like nothing not pro but like a song
It doesn't really make a huge difference. I'd say 4 strings because most music is written for 4 but starting out on 5 is also ok. Practice an hour or 2 a day and you can nail most beginner songs within a month.
its all about preference really and what you fell comfortable with, im a guitar player but whenever i play bass i prefer a 4 string, however, the bass player in my band loves 5 strings and that all he plays, so you should really just go to the store and try some out.

As for playing ability it all just depends how dedicated you are to the instrument. if you only play like 5 minutes a day and your not very interested in it then you wont get good very fast. But if you play like 2 hours a day and dedicate yourself you will be a good player in no time at all.

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I'd say more strings is better if you're not sure; you can always simply not play the extra strings, however you can't play a string that isn't there.

And with regards to songs, it very much depends on the song. Simple stuff you can have down within a week or 2 doing maybe half an hour a day on it, but nasty stuff you need to spend a month or 2.

*edit* I'd say around £150 is the lower limit for a beginner's guitar, I'm guessing basses will be about the same. I've never looked at basses, but Epiphone and Yamaha are the "best" beginners' guitars from what I've heard/seen.
Last edited by MopMaster at Aug 24, 2008,
well squire makes a mean 4 and 5 string bass, and there cheap ( about 200) as for the choice between them, the only thing is your hands will be a lot more limber quicker on a 5 string but thats cause the neck is longer (usually). but its much harder to hit notes so a 4 string is the best way to start
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Buy a 4 string bass if you're just starting, there's no point overcomplicating the issue.
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Yeah I don't recommend starting out on 5s. As someone already said, the Bass FAQ has some good recommendations. Ibanez, Squier and Yamaha are probably the best brands for starter basses at the moment.