Is There A Major Difference Between 4-String and 5-String Bass Guitars?


Bass guitars are fun to play and have been playing for decades now. Bass guitars are available in different body shapes, sizes and number of strings starting from the 4 stringed up to the 6-string guitar and are an integral part of the music industry. There are major differences between a 4 and a 5 stringed guitar.

Is There A Major Difference Between 4-String and 5-String Bass Guitars?

A 4 string is structurally and functionally quite different from a 5 string. These differences are however not big enough to make on guitar more superior to the other. Whichever one lays his hands on, a good player should be able to produce nice rhythms without much problem.

4 String Bass Guitar

4_string_bass_guitarThis type of guitar has a narrower neck than that of a 5 string as it only needs to accommodate 4 strings. This in one way makes in very ideal for beginners, and it is easier to take his fingers round. The 4 string is also much easier to tune.

The fact that the strings are far apart is further useful to a learner interested in slap bass. For starters, the 4 string also becomes easier to learn as they can identify the scale patterns much easier. This guitar is largely used by modern music genres ranging from 1951 to the present day.

5 String Bass Guitar

5_string_bass_guitarThe 5 string is different from the 4 string many ways. If one is going to play genres that require him to drop D, then he will need to re-tune the fourth string every time you are playing it. As one gets used to playing it, he can lick across the neck while avoiding changing the position of his hand. All these cannot be done with the 4 string guitar. The scale length of the 4 string is longer than that of the 4 string. This extra length gives one more tone.

The neck of the 5 string is wider than 4 strings. It makes it a bit more challenging to adapt to. Although the neck is wider than, the string spacing is quite close making is a little more complicated to play. One will need to adjust his techniques accordingly. You also need to be extra careful when slapping to avoid hitting the B string as well. This is not a worry in a 4 string bass guitar.


Both the 4 string and 5 string guitars are good and commonly used. Many musicians, however, prefer the 4 string to the 5 string. Over the past few years, there has been a shift from the 4 string to the 5 string. It is expected that the 5 string will gain more popularity in the coming days.