Jump to content
Why become a member? Read this.... Read more... ×
Grouse

5 String Advice?

Recommended Posts

Can anyone recommend a bass with a slim, fast 5 string neck? I have short fingers and find thin necks better but am not sure how 5 strings stack up. I'm thinking Ibanez but not sure?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have short fingers but a narrow string spacing is important for me, too.  I have a MM Sterling 5, Yamaha BB425, Fender MB-5 and Hohner BV - all these have slim necks with tight string spacing, especially at the nut.  I found that 5 string Fender P or J generally have wider necks or are too heavy for me.  Can't comment on Ibanez as I haven't tried one.  I am sure there are plenty of others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have small hands and find the neck and spacing at the nut on my Ibanez perfect. The trouble with some 5s is too narrow spacing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had an ESP LTD, such as this one:

https://www.bax-shop.co.uk/right-handed-bass-guitar/esp-ltd-b-205sm-ns-electric-bass-guitar-5-string-natural-satin?gclid=CjwKCAiA-KzSBRAnEiwAkmQ156cBGCpD454gys32lugMWrGYQkfBqfbkSUHG9Ijo3XZfnQaNCcNoPRoCqx4QAvD_BwE

Mine was fretless and the neck was really good and fast IMHO. As @lownote12 has suggested, I found the string spacing too narrow. 

You do really need to try out some basses. The answer might be to send off for some on mail-order and send back what you don't like; which might be all of them.

Don't feel bad about doing this - they have to honour this under EU legislation. The mail-order companies have under-cut and driven high street seller out of business, so its the service they must now offer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Another thought - I don't know your playing experience, but when choosing a 5-string, don't forget, a 5 is predominantly played lower down the neck. If you watch Gary Willis you'll see he rarely ventures up to the 3rd fret. So over all the playing experience is simply different.

Edit: for lower - read that as "nearer the body"; so actually it's higher up the neck

Edited by Grangur

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Grangur said:

Another thought - I don't know your playing experience, but when choosing a 5-string, don't forget, a 5 is predominantly played lower down the neck. If you watch Gary Willis you'll see he rarely ventures up to the 3rd fret. So over all the playing experience is simply different.

What an interesting point.  Never thought about that...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, lownote12 said:

What an interesting point.  Never thought about that...

Edit: for lower - read that as "nearer the body"; so actually it's higher up the neck.

Yes, the whole thing of a >4 string bass is not having to move about so much.

Anthony Wellington will tell you: "A 4 is the hardest bass, 5 is easier, 6 is easier than a 5, 7 is easier than a 6."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally agree. I play 5's now and spend most of my time around the 5th - 8th fret. Makes life so much easier.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 02/01/2018 at 17:31, Grangur said:

Edit: for lower - read that as "nearer the body"; so actually it's higher up the neck.

Yes, the whole thing of a >4 string bass is not having to move about so much.

Anthony Wellington will tell you: "A 4 is the hardest bass, 5 is easier, 6 is easier than a 5, 7 is easier than a 6."

ive only just woken up and im suffering from man-flu so excuse me if im being dumb but how does that work? i mean doesnt depend entirely on how the instrument is tuned? for example, if its a 5 with a low B then surely you would spend more time playing nearer the headstock to use the "new" notes that you access to ie the B, C, C#, D and D# on the B string?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ne.  In principle you're right but the real world usefulness is to be able to access low D, Eb and E but that little bit higher up. Not necessarily the low B and C.  With a six in particular you can gallop straight across one set of frets without having to dog leg back and fourth like on a  4.  The ONLY thing I hate about 6s is losing the plot on so many strings. Life may be easier on a 6, but the pictures and string spacing are easier on a 4.  5's to me are neither fish nor fowl.     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For an example of the playing difference between a 4 and a 5, go and play a 2 octave G Major scale on a 4 string. Start using the G on the E string and go up 2 octaves. To do this you will then end on the G at the 12th fret on the G string.

If you do this same on a 5 string bass, you can, of course use the same E string G. As an alternative you could use the 8th fret on the B string. A is the 10th fret on the B and then drop to the E string for the next 3 notes etc.  You can complete the entire 2 octave scale between the 8th and 12th frets. 

So, provided you like the attack tone of these notes for the song you're playing, most of what we play on a 4 string bass can be played between the 7th to 12th frets on a 5 string.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And an E-C 5 or a 6 make things similarly easy if playing classical, avoiding long stretches and gallops up to the 24 fret. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/1/2018 at 23:25, Grouse said:

Can anyone recommend a bass with a slim, fast 5 string neck? I have short fingers and find thin necks better but am not sure how 5 strings stack up. I'm thinking Ibanez but not sure?

I've just bought a used Ibby SR605.

Fastest neck I've ever owned.  I haven't particularly short fingers but I haven't had years of stretching exercise to help span the first four frets equally well with each finger either.  It's easier on this neck somehow.  I think the string spacing is about right for me.

I am happy to recommend you try one for yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what its worth...I had a G&L L2000 Tribute and I loved it except i thought the neck was very wide.I ended up getting an G&L L2500 and I have to say I find the neck far more comfortable than the 4 string !!!

I would recommend trying out a G&L L2500 tribute , I think you'll be pleasantly surprised

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Bass Collection SB 5er, which has pretty much the perfect neck to fit my weirdly-shaped hands (biggish square-ish palm, short-ish fingers). 

So comfortable that half the time I forget that I'm even playing a 5. Mind you, I have the 4-string version of the same and the neck on that is stupidly slim.

Which is all welcome to digits that are as often as not used for (whisper it!) guitar-pickin'.....'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both the Cort Artisan B5 / A5 and the Ibanez SR 5ers has slim necks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/2/2018 at 12:29, Grangur said:

Another thought - I don't know your playing experience, but when choosing a 5-string, don't forget, a 5 is predominantly played lower down the neck. If you watch Gary Willis you'll see he rarely ventures up to the 3rd fret. So over all the playing experience is simply different.

Edit: for lower - read that as "nearer the body"; so actually it's higher up the neck

C'mon guys..the magic is in the B..actually the open B..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But you don't need to use your left hand to play that ...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By benh
      Hi,
      Bought this on a whim from eBay as I really fancied trying one. Lovely bass, made in Japan I believe somewhere between late ‘80s - early ‘90s. I believe there is a way to check with the serial number, alas I haven’t been able to find it. These retailed for quite a bit IIRC when new, the 2nd hand prices really don’t reflect the quality of these. Really well built instruments.
      This is a 5 string SB310 range, it has a brass nut with quality Gotoh tuners, all original. In great condition other than a small mark at the back of the headstock (shown in pics). Other than this it’s in great condition, especially for its age. I haven’t done anything to it except play it since I bought it so could probably do with a fresh set of strings of your preference and a set up. Comes with used but perfectly usable hard case.
      Reason for sale is that it’s just not getting played, don’t think the Mrs is very happy with it being bought and just sat there! Don’t want to make anything on this of course, I bought it for £250 including postage but happy to take £225 posted. EDIT: now £215 posted.
      Any questions, please ask via PM.
      Cheers!





    • By thenightdoctor
      bass guitarist required to complete line up. currently two guitars and drummer. we do originals and covers of 60's type stuff.. kinks stones beatles etc
      if interested I  can forward some more of the original stuff (to add to the ones on here) to let you hear the style
      no egos in our bunch just good fun although the music is of quite a high standard.. looking at few jam nights first then poss festival charity stuff before who knows what!
      any age or sex... were all 50+ but act like we're 13... 
      07803138662 if interested.... 
      6. children of the night.mp3
      1. saddest man in town.mp3
      5. i will.mp3
    • By MikeBass
      1993 USA Musicman Stingray SR5-H black 5 string

      up for sale is my Musicman Stingray SR5-H 5 string bass  in great condition..
      Black gloss finish.
      Poplar body,
      MusicMan humbucking with hum-canceling phantom coil and unique 3-way pickup selector (coils 1&2 in series/coil 1/ coils 1&2 parallel)
      3 band active EQ,
      Black pickguard.
      6 bolt neck plate
      chrome battery cover
      hand rubbed birdseye maple neck & rosewood fretboard.
      weight is approximately 10 lbs 8 oz. or 4.5kg
       
      one or two very light scratches .....  it’s 25 years old (SN 53724).. .. 
      a solid, versatile and well built instrument.

      053724 - DOB: 07/23/93,  

      £1095 with MM case in good condition but with one hinge broken off.
      £1075 with shaped Hiscox case
      £1050 without

      will listen to very close cash offers but ridiculous ones will be ignored.
      bass is located in Lancashire near Burnley - 25 miles north of Manchester.
      prefer collection/meet up but could deliver if fairly close for an agreed fuel price.
      can post fully insured at the buyer's expense.










    • By basstrappist
      Sale only No trades.
      Reduced £3250
      Sadowsky NYC 24 Fret 5 String Natural Flame Koa/Mahogany #5971
       
      Sadly under used so decided to part company with this beautiful NYC Modern 5 String.
      Pretty close to mint condition, it has a neck upgrade to toasted birds eye maple which looks stunning, see pictures.
      C/W Sadowsky semi-hard gig bag.
      Please pm me if any further information needed.
       
      weight? = 3.27Kg/7.23lbs (US)
      year?=2012
      scale? 24 fret/66cm(bottom of fingerboard to nut)
      string spacing? At bridge saddles = 19cm
      pickups? electronics? Sadowsky soap bars in modern location.
      Body = Koa on chambered mahogany body (protective layer is still in position on back of body)
      Neck = Standard madagascar rosewood fingerboard on upgraded roasted birds eye maple.
      To specify this bass would currently cost around $6500 if ordered from Sadowsky  in NYC
      https://www.sadowsky.com/master-grade-wood-gallery/gallery/koa/
       























    • By Marcus♥Bass
      My first post, so hello everyone! 
      My Ibanez Mikro (PJ style) bass has developed a fault in which it buzzes when I am NOT touching the strings. Also, the J pickup has become microphonic. It sounds like I am tapping a live microphone especially when playing the A note, and tapping it with my hands. I don't know if these 2 faults are linked, I am guessing its an earthing issue. 
      I have attached some videos to try and show the issues.
      Any help would be appreciated! :)
      IMG_0715.MOV IMG_0716.MOV
×