Five string recommendations


I’ve been playing on my four string basses for awhile now. However, I am being asked to play several songs now that require me to hit that low Eb or below. Moving up an octave just doesn’t work. I am looking at a five string Fender Precision, but I thought I would ask the group first on recommendations. Thanks, Brian


That is a tricky one, Brian! I guess it depends a bit on whether you have the budget for several basses or not, but let’s just say for the time being you’d want to stick to one of each (4 string and 5 string). I personally would then try to find a 5-string that is complementary in style to what I already have, i.e., not the exact same bass model/type with just an extra string added. In that way, you’d get a different type bass to choose for certain songs according to style, not just when you need a low D or so.
Do you have a music store close by where you could test a few different models? I heard (but am not 100% sure) that the low B string might sounds differently depending on the scale of the bass (i.e. how many frets there are). So, while this is probably more aesthetic or depending on personal taste, this might also play in.
Good luck and please share your experiences in finding the perfect 5 for you!


Good suggestions. Thanks. I am planing to check out some basses at my Sam Ash store before I make any decision. I will certainly share my experiences with the group. -Brian


What’s your price range on the bass?
I would recommend trying many as many five strings as you can and so you can see what you like. Sire basses are not bad if you are on a budget. I have the Sire M2 and it’s pretty nice. Although lately i have GAS for a Dingwall bass. Your personal taste might be different


I really only like 5-strings that have an extra long scale length. The Fender 5 strings, in my experience, were pretty flubby on that low B. Ibanez had some nice thumpy 5 strings that were affordable - so did Peavey… not sure what else is available, but make sure you play tons and tons of 'em!!


Yes I am going to check out as many as possible. I am willing to spend around $800. Your recommendations are helpful. I am also looking at a Warwick.


I would definitely include the Yamaha TRBX##5 series (## = a bunch of different numbers; probably going up along with the price of the bass) in your search. I don’t know how easy they are to find in the US, but Yamaha makes great basses for different budgets. One other thing you might consider is to get one that lets you switch between active and passive mode. My five string is only active, which is somewhat limiting and can be challenging when the battery starts to fade while you play…


Solid basses! I like their 5 Strings. Plenty of definition and tension in their low Bs!


What kind of music are you needing those low notes in? That would inform my choice of 5-string a lot. I would just see what players in that style are playing, and then copy cat! (as long as I liked playing the bass enough, I guess)