Pros and cons of 5's ....I'm really surprised

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Posted by Kenny on July 25, 2000 at 06:47:27:

I have to say that I'm really surprised at alot of the misinformation given in the thread labeled "5 string pros and cons" I'm not trying to be a jerk, I just read alot of things that just don't ring true in my ears. First of all, there have been 5 string basses around for hundreds of years, not just the last couple of decades. Next: the string spacing on 5's can be made in three different sizes: same spacing as a four......larger .......and smaller. Some companies offer the option on new instruments and others make their basses one way or the other. Someone mentioned a heavier string gauge to increase tension on the B string, I believe it would really be the other way around. i started out playing 5's with .130 gauge and they were a bit sloppy, but I switched to .125 and made a few bridge adjustments and the B is just fine. As far as slapping goes, the B string will certainly be in your way at first....but like anything else......If you want to be effective and play a 5... you learn how. If you think about it, it is no different than putting you thumb to the A string. (the E string is right there) Another small point is that anyone who thinks all B strings sound sloppy and bad haven't been playin the right ones.
Lastly, it seems that alot of folks missed the point of playing a 5 string bass. Those few lower notes are not the only reason for playing the instrument. Infact, I would say they are only a piece of the reason. The 5 offers you fingering options that you just don't get on a 4. If you are playing in position with your index finger on D(a string) and you want to go low......say to an F...F#......or even a do not have to move. The notes are right there. Stay in position and use that B string to free you up to play more. This just a stupid example, but my point is simply that the real benefit of a 5 is getting the chance to be a more efficient player and to open up options that you did not have previously. And if you dare to look at the B string in a more creative sense rather than a mechanical one you might be surprised at your findings. one should misunderstand me......I AM NOT knocking the 4 string bass. Of my 16 years of learning and understanding the bass I played 4 strings for 8 of them and loved it. Later on it turned out that the 5 was better for me. (played one and never looked back). peace everyone........remember......this is just my humble opinion...Kenny

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