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Unread 01-07-2012, 08:36 AM   #1
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do worship bassists need a five string?

I was told that worship bassists need a 5 string because of how the songs are written.
I had a 5 string once and i didn't care for it much. I didn't like the neck width as i couldn't comfortably play it. Four is fine for me.

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Unread 01-07-2012, 10:01 AM   #2
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I play bass every Sunday and don't use one. I'm not saying it wouldn't be beneficial to have one...but I haven't NEEDED it yet.
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Unread 01-07-2012, 11:24 AM   #3
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I've had a 5-string in worship for years. I very rarely use the low B. I wouldn't say a 5-string is necessary at all for modern (Hillsong, Tomlin, etc.) worship.
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Unread 01-08-2012, 01:24 PM   #4
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I've had a 5-string in worship for years. I very rarely use the low B. I wouldn't say a 5-string is necessary at all for modern (Hillsong, Tomlin, etc.) worship.
I would agree, the simple guitar based tunes of most modern worship don't require a low B. The only advantage is that a key change for a vocalist will be easier.

BUT, for urban worship tunes like Israel Houghton, Fred Hammond, they are almost a necessity. Especially if you have to double keyboard bass lines. When you show up for Sunday mourning an every tune is either in Eb or AB with multiple key changes you will be very thankful you have a fiver. I haven't had a four as my regular bass for about ten years.
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Unread 01-08-2012, 02:19 PM   #5
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As stated, the answer is no. You can do fine on a four. In the event that anyone here ever plays contemporary gospel, a 5-string bass would be an almost "must have", but even at that, you can still throw down on a four.
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Unread 01-08-2012, 07:38 PM   #6
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Do you need [x] pedal for worship with [y] guitar into [z] amp? No, but if it can benefit the style then there's no harm in it.

I only use my 5th string 15-35% of the time. I usually just stick to E and A (my playing style is extremely simplistic) and that's enough. Sometimes it does add some extra flavour to kick out a low D.

In short: if you use it, great, string not wasted. If you don't, or have no desire to, don't bother.
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Unread 01-08-2012, 09:50 PM   #7
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My wife won't play anything less than a 5-string these days. The other two bassists on the team also play 5-strings.
Just sayin'...with all of the songs written/performed in the key of D, C and especially B, those low notes are beautiful things when they come through the subwoofers.
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Unread 01-09-2012, 09:04 AM   #8
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The other thing I've noticed is that a lot of fivers (especially some of the budget ones) have weak E strings. With a five stringer it definitely requires a lot more skill in set up and construction to get a more even tone and volume across the entire neck. I suspect this leads to more dissatisfaction win initial experiences with some fivers. In fact my experience is that most of the real budget fivers (unlike many of the budget fours) fall far short in this area, In other words you are much more likely to get a good usable low budget bass with a four stringer than fiver.

I even noticed this with some of the earlier higher end fivers and Sixers including an early (still in the shop) Gibson Era Killer B Tobias and a Warwick neck-thru thumb I owned. One of the things that drew me to Sadowsky basses was how even and consistent the tone was across the whole fingerboard. I've also noticed this with Nordstrand, Alleva-copella, MTD, Schold, Pedulla, and Lakland basses.
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Unread 01-12-2012, 06:13 PM   #9
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I alternate between a 4, 5, and 6. Not as a requirement for a certain song, just what bass I'm in the mood to play.
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Unread 01-12-2012, 06:47 PM   #10
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A friend of mine used to use a 12 string bass at church, which sounded quite amazing. Didn't provide that low B though.
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Unread 01-12-2012, 07:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by to_be_released
A friend of mine used to use a 12 string bass at church, which sounded quite amazing. Didn't provide that low B though.
Needs an 18 string bass.
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Unread 01-13-2012, 04:14 AM   #12
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I haven't played a 4 in ages because I really like my fanned fret 5 and fretless 5

I'm not ANTI 4, and I didn't have a problem before I made the 5s........

you never NEED a particualr instrument as Giga Hertz said
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Unread 01-13-2012, 06:05 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Burk48237 View Post
The other thing I've noticed is that a lot of fivers (especially some of the budget ones) have weak E strings. With a five stringer it definitely requires a lot more skill in set up and construction to get a more even tone and volume across the entire neck. I suspect this leads to more dissatisfaction win initial experiences with some fivers. In fact my experience is that most of the real budget fivers (unlike many of the budget fours) fall far short in this area, In other words you are much more likely to get a good usable low budget bass with a four stringer than fiver.

I even noticed this with some of the earlier higher end fivers and Sixers including an early (still in the shop) Gibson Era Killer B Tobias and a Warwick neck-thru thumb I owned. One of the things that drew me to Sadowsky basses was how even and consistent the tone was across the whole fingerboard. I've also noticed this with Nordstrand, Alleva-copella, MTD, Schold, Pedulla, and Lakland basses.
Did you mean weak B strings? It seems that most manufacturers have learned how to build good sounding 5-strings across the price spectrum. And many have done so successfully without having to to a 35" scale. Even Fender (who came late to the 5-string party) has upped their game.
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Unread 01-13-2012, 12:31 PM   #14
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Did you mean weak B strings? It seems that most manufacturers have learned how to build good sounding 5-strings across the price spectrum. And many have done so successfully without having to to a 35" scale. Even Fender (who came late to the 5-string party) has upped their game.
No, I'm actually referring to the E string. In their quest to get a big sounding B, a lot of five string basses have particular weak sounding E strings. I've seen almost 20% volume differences on the B and the E string on some cheaper fives. The B will sound real big and the E is almost unusable in context. And I don't know any one making one that deals with the overall unevenness for under a $1000 (retail).

Fenders when they first introduced five string J's had the weak B problem, Lakland and Music Man beat that problem with a 35" scale. But Alleva-Copello and Sadowsky both proved that you can have great sounding B's on a 34" scale. I mush admit I have played very few Fender fives I was impressed with (One American Deluxe P 5 I played was excellent). But a lot of them still have dead spot or uneven volume issues. OTOH, Fender has built some killer fours. But a fiver takes a lot more attention to set-up and construction to do right.
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Unread 01-13-2012, 02:22 PM   #15
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Needs an 18 string bass.
I actually have designs for one!

Quote:
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I had a 5 string once and i didn't care for it much. I didn't like the neck width as i couldn't comfortably play it. Four is fine for me.
Not an issue. When I built my first bass, I used a four string schecter P-bass neck, and simply put five strings on it. The only additional bits needed were an extra tuning machine, a schaller five string bridge, and I think that was it. I was using a set of EMG J's which use bar magnets, so there wasn't any issue with that.

If you're using a perfectly serviceable 4-string P-Bass, then you should be able to convert it. In fact, back before 5's were readily available, the 4 to 5 conversion was somewhat popular.

Chesh
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