Fender American Jazz 5 String or 4 String?

Hugh Jass

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I noodle around on bass and record loops to play along with them on drums and guitar. I currently have a Squire short-scale telecaster bass. But I have wanted an American (Deluxe / Elite/ Ultra) Jazz bass for a long while.

The question I have is: Fender Jazz 5 String or 4 String?


I love the idea of a 5 string. But am slightly worried I won't ever get used to the chunkier necks. Also - I am not playing metal (classic rock, blues, and jazz) and probably don't need the bottom "B" string. I don't need it - but if it's there I'd use it - I am just worried about playability.
 

CC Cirillo

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Just about every bassist I’ve ever played with has at one time or another showed up to a rehearsal with a new five string.

But never a gig or a session.
 

Seb77

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Lee Sklar explained his use of a modern 5-string bass as a means to imitate synth bass. His most-used "Frankenstein" bass is a 4-string. A classic range of pitches, most double basses are 4-string as well, 5-string ones are used in orchestral music mostly.
Thinking in terms of arrangement, a low E or F is pretty low already; oftentimes tones higher up the neck are used for more punch.
 

thejohnlec

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I actually gig a lot on bass and primarily play a 5-string (Ibanez BTB with Bartolinis - I love the wider neck). Players who know how and when to use that B string will do so tastefully and won’t overwhelm everyone with that extended low end. It’s nice to have that option, not only for flat/sharp keys, but also for hand positions in the upper register. My Jazz and my fretless are both 4-string, but I’ll spend 95% of the gig on the 5. I don’t play any metal either - country rock, pop, and contemporary worship on Sundays are my primary bass events.

The Jazz spacing across the 5 strings is still fairly close and shouldn’t take long to get accustomed to. It just really come down to determining your needs and what will suit you. Cheers and enjoy!
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Four string. You don't need a fifth string other than the rare low B. Many top players use 4 strings and it's plenty. Obviously Jaco, Victor Wooten, Stanley Clarke, John Paul Jones, Jack Bruce, John Entwistle, on and on.

I have a 4 string jazz bass. The only other bass I have is a 4 string fretless which is a completely different animal. But I can't ever imagine the need for five strings. I've played rock, blues, Jazz and was even a bassist in a reggae band and four strings was plenty to do everything I needed.
 

cruddola

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I noodle around on bass and record loops to play along with them on drums and guitar. I currently have a Squire short-scale telecaster bass. But I have wanted an American (Deluxe / Elite/ Ultra) Jazz bass for a long while.

The question I have is: Fender Jazz 5 String or 4 String?

I love the idea of a 5 string. But am slightly worried I won't ever get used to the chunkier necks. Also - I am not playing metal (classic rock, blues, and jazz) and probably don't need the bottom "B" string. I don't need it - but if it's there I'd use it - I am just worried about playability.
My brother took a friend's 6-string Ibanez for a ride and loved it, but his hands said no within a week. He then went to a 5-string version. His hands said no within two weeks. He's back to his old quad-stringed Ibanez guitars. Old Age gets them all.
 

Treviso1

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A bass has 4 strings. A guitar has more than 4 strings. Sorry, for a Fender Jazz... it's got to have 4 strings. If you must get a 5 stringer, get a different brand.
 

DD

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Couldn’t you go with 4 string and add a Hipshot Xtender option to be able to drop down when you need it? I don’t play bass but have seen those and sounds like very cool option.
 


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