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Re: 4 string vs. 5 string

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Posted by splatbass on October 22, 2001 at 01:09:08:

In Reply to: 4 string vs. 5 string posted by Mark on October 21, 2001 at 22:08:14:

: I have played nothing but four string troughout the years.All the people that have ever influenced me has also played 4 string Steve Harris,Cliff Burton,Geddy Lee.I know its only got five lower notes but you can always tune the E down to achieve that.My qeustion is Am I missing anything by sticking with the trusty four or What?

I played 5 string for 2 years, but switched back to 4 because the tendonitis in my left hand bothers me more with the bigger neck of the 5 string, but there are plenty of times I would be better off with a 5 string. It not only gives you those 5 lower notes, but it gives you another place to play the low E,F,F#,G, and Ab, notes that only occur in one spot on 4 string. This can make some songs easier and more convenient to play. I also prefer the sound of the low E on the fifth fret B string to the open low E on the fourth string, it just sounds more solid. And if you play country like me, where you are often alternating between root/fifth, it allows you to use the low D as the fifth on the G chord, instead of having to go to the D above. To sum it up, it makes things more convenient, but you can certainly do just fine with a 4 string, especially if you have a Hipshot DTuner to drop the E to D without having to stop and tune. As you pointed out, most of the great bass players played 4 strings. My favorites are Jaco, Geddy Lee, John Paul Jones, Jack Bruce, and Allen Woody, all 4 string players.

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