If you have played a 4 string bass guitar before, you will love playing a 5 string. The 5 string variety is gaining in popularity by the day as bass players are demanding a broader range of sound without having move up and down the fretboard. Five string bass guitars started their rise in the late 80’s with the darker and heavier sounding music that has progressed to the current times. A 5 string bass guitar is merely a 4 string with one added B string on top. The strings are closer together and you can move around the neck with ease. A 5 string also makes it easier to play songs with drop D tuning as well.
If you are new to the bass guitar in general, starting on a 5 string will not hurt you. It will also make a transition to a 4 string bass a breeze should you ever have to play one. Of course owning both a 4 and 5 string bass is the best of both worlds if you can afford it.
When buying a 5 string bass, the old saying holds true. You get what you pay for. The more expensive the bass, the better the quality, features and sound. This does not mean that there are not lower end models out there that will fit your needs. Before buying your first 5 string bass, you should read some reviews. Reviews can be found on various numbers of websites or in bass guitar forums. If you have a local music shop in your city, most will let you try one out on the floor of the shop as well. Pay close attention to the feel and the sound of the bass and make sure it is tune and stays in tune.
Several online retailers are usually the best place to find the best prices on 5 strings. Also eBay always carries a heavy inventory of used and slightly used 5 string thumpers. Pay close attention to the seller’s feedback and make sure to see pictures and get the condition of the bass. For out of date models, you can usually go to the manufactures website and review past manuals to find the features included on the bass. Just because a bass is discontinued, does not mean it is a bad bass. Manufactures are just updating the model and enhancing the workmanship. My favorite 5 string bass is one that was made in the early 90’s.
So in closing, I highly suggest either moving up to or starting on a 5 string, it will enhance your sound and your creativity and you will not second guess the purchase.
Learn more about 5 string bass guitars and read our 5 string bass guitar reviews at 5StringBassGuitars.com.