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4 or 5 string bass?

Discussion in 'Backline' started by Fugdup, May 16, 2012.

  1. Fugdup

    Fugdup Fus Ro Dah

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    I'm about to get myself a bass, but i have no idea if i should get a 4 or 5 string bass.

    The thing is, i switch alot between tunings on my guitar.
    Sometimes i'm in E standard, while sometimes i'm in B standard.

    Would a 4 string bass work for songs in B tuning?

    If i got a 5 string bass, can i just leave the thickest string alone when playing E tuning stuff?

    What would you guys recommend?
    I'm a big noob when it comes to bass, so any help is appreciated! :)
     
  2. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    Buy a 5 string.
     
  3. Adrian Warren

    Adrian Warren Member

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    If you buy a 5 string it will probably come tuned to B-E-A-D-G which is the standard tuning with an additional low b. With this you will be able to play in e standard and b standard tunings.
     
  4. Severu

    Severu No SSL for you!

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    If you want to use 120 gauge string for the B string, you can use a 4-string. If you want to go thicker than that, you must file the nut on a 4-string so might as well get a 5-string. But the fact is that 4-stringers are more comfortable to play (for me at least). I play in drop C and use only 4 string basses (including some vintage Fenders, I would never file the nuts on those) and it works great with no mods. Haven't tried BEAD though...
     
  5. LoftMusicRob

    LoftMusicRob Member

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    I would get the 5 in your case. Lots of good affordable options out there.
     
  6. Fugdup

    Fugdup Fus Ro Dah

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    If a 5 string comes tuned with B-E-A-D-G, it seems like a good choice as i wouldn't have to change anything when switching between B and E.
    Guess i'll start looking for 5 string basses then :)

    Severu: How is 4strings more comfortable? Is it because of the neck, or?
     
  7. Loren Littlejohn

    Loren Littlejohn Lover of all boobage.

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    I have both, the 5 is much more versatile.
     
  8. Djentkitty

    Djentkitty Member

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    A 5-string BTB
     
  9. Headof75

    Headof75 Somewhere in Brum

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  10. Leon--

    Leon-- Member

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    5 For me.
    First of all it's better for low tunings,and secondly if you play fast/technical stuff it's much easier since the strings are closer to each other
     
  11. Jordon

    Jordon Member

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    I'm gonna be that guy: 4

    The number of strings doesn't matter in terms of how low you can tune, it's all about the scale length. A 35 inch scale 4 string will hold lower tunings better than a 34 inch scale 5 string.
     
  12. Rex Rocker

    Rex Rocker Call me Hugo!

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    I play 5-strings and have for a while...

    ... and quite honestly, I regret ever getting a 5 string bass instead of a 4-string and having it down-tuned. I've tried to sell it and get myself a 4-string, but the used market's kinda shitty here... :(

    I personally always felt a 5-string just has an extra string that I never use that's just "in the way". IMO, of course.

    5-string sets are more expensive and you've got an extra string to worry about keeping quiet when you're not playing it. Plus I personally like the feel of the smaller necks on 4-strings.

    Hell, if they made 3-string basses, I'd probably want one of those, lol.
     
  13. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    If you are just buying it and leaving it in a tuning that makes sense but since he's switching between B and E the 5 seems like a no brainer.
    I don't know of any off the shelf 35" 4 strings. Is anyone making one?
     
  14. lelahel

    lelahel Member

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  15. Maybelater

    Maybelater Member

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    5 string is a no brainer for me.
     
  16. colonel kurtz

    colonel kurtz Member

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    i do the same myself with the whole changing tunings thing, and have a 5 string schecter i use for my bass tracks...glad i have it, life would be that much more a PITA with a 4 string!
     
  17. DanLights

    DanLights Santa Hat Forever

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    For both tunings, 5 is the best option by far. I've used a five string for years and I no longer play in any bands where I actually need the low B, I'm just used to it. But when I had two bands, one tuned in D and the other in A, buying a 5 stringer was my savior
     
  18. AD Chaos

    AD Chaos Wreak Havoc

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    I bought a 5 string bass mostly because I didn't want to feel 'second class citizen' :lol: with only 4 strings. Even though I use just the bottom two :D


    Srsly though, 5 strings for drop tunings and such, as has been mentioned.
     

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