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I'm an intermediate bass player. I play a 4 string Ltd vintage 204. I thought about buying a 5 string BTB775. I love how the 5string bass feels.

Here's my question, I play every kind of music, I solo a lot. Mostly, I play blues with my band and I'm thinking about playing jazz.

Would the 5string Ibanez btb775 useful for me? And why?

Thank you for your time. :)

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closed as off-topic by MrTheBard, Shevliaskovic, Bob Broadley, Dr Mayhem Apr 14 '14 at 20:13

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking recommendations for equipment are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve." – Shevliaskovic, Bob Broadley, Dr Mayhem
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Hello Ali! This kind of questions are off topic here. (btw, yes a 5 string would be useful for jazz, because you'll have a more wide range. I play jazz using a 6 string bass ) –  Shevliaskovic Apr 14 '14 at 18:35
One thing to consider, the more strings a guitar/bass has, the worse the intonation will be, due to the variation in string tension and gauge. –  Basstickler Apr 14 '14 at 18:51
@Basstickler - isn't that the main reason why basses have adjustable saddles? String tension is going to be fairly static through all the strings - that's why we have different gauges.Convince me I'm wrong. –  Tim Apr 14 '14 at 20:58
Yes - you can adjust intonation. Some of the 12 and 16 string basses have quite novel ways of doing it, but it is possible. –  Dr Mayhem Apr 14 '14 at 22:57
Is this question slanted more to 'Should I get an Ibanez', or 'Should I get a 5-string bass' ? –  Tim Apr 15 '14 at 16:16

1 Answer 1

This is a really subjective question. If you like playing on a 5 string bass then by all means get a 5 string bass. You might even want to try a 6 string before making that decision. Use however many strings you are comfortable with. There really isn't an absolute answer.

Any number of strings is good for any kind of music. In any standard configurations, no matter if you're playing 4, 5, or 6 string basses, four of those strings will be the same. The style of music generally is about your tone not how many strings you have.

One obvious advantage of having more strings is a greater range, one that's greater without as much movement or a different setup on a four string, rather. One thing to consider though, is with that greater range whatever your current amp set up is may or may not accommodate it. Along with getting a new bass you might have to get a new amp/cabinet on top of that.

An up/down sides to having more strings is usually they'll be spaced closer together than a four string. They also tend to have much wider necks but not always which leads back to the first statement. This is where a lot of subjectiveness comes in. Some people find it easier, some don't.

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Good answer, +1. I think your comment about price range is a little misleading. The concept is that 5/6 string basses cost more than their 4-string counterparts. So, a single model will be cheapest as a 4-string and if you compare that to a 5/6-string of different model in the same price range, it probably won't be as good. I think the thing missing from your statement, if I'm interpreting it correctly, is that the 5/6-strings that you are stating are lower quality are a different make/model. –  Basstickler Apr 14 '14 at 18:50
I'll remove that last part and just move it down into the comments to answer your question. It's a better place for it. In my experience, I find if you set a budget of $x, in general, a 4 string bass will be of better quality than a 5+ string for the same $x. This line of argument is generally less valid as x increases. And of course, there are exceptions. –  Tony Apr 14 '14 at 19:03
Yeah, that's what I thought you were trying to say but it almost sounded like you were saying the 4-strings are better than 5/6-strings and I know a lot of people would have that argument for days! A lot of my bass buddies get so frustrated when they play my 5-string and argue that it is completely unnecessary and don't get them started on a 6-string! –  Basstickler Apr 14 '14 at 19:06
Thank you for your answer , it's really helpful , But i was asking if the 5string bass tone can fit the blues\jazz in a good way , i'm talking about the Ibanez btb775 5string :) –  Ali Abdelkhalek Apr 14 '14 at 19:31
String spacing - with 5-string basses, the choice is keep the 4 string width neck, and fit 5 strings, or - keep the 4 string spacing, and have a wider neck. Any 5 string will be better for jazz as you not only have a lower sounding (usually) string, between open and 5th fret, but the facility to play under normal E string wherever you are on the neck. 6-string will give the facility to play partial chords (on top G and C), much to the chagrin of guitarists. –  Tim Apr 15 '14 at 16:14

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