Find out the truth about does a bass guitar have 4 strings. Here is what you need to know!
Most of the bass guitars come in four, five, and six strings models. However, the standard bass guitar has only four strings, allowing an individual to cover a massive selection of music in all genres. The bass guitar with four strings ended up performing so well in current music that there has been little need to turn away from it. Thus, it remains the primary bass guitar today. The first ever electric bass guitar (Audiovox 736 Electric Bass Fiddle), which was invented by Tutmarc in 1936, came with four strings too. Standard acoustic bass guitars also consist of four strings.
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Does A Bass Guitar Have 4 Strings?
The majority of bass guitar holds four strings. But there are also five-string, six-string, seven-string, eight-string, and twelve strings models, which certain bass players prefer. A four-string bass is customarily tuned in fourths with precise tunings as follows:
- The G string is the highest string tuned to G2
- The D string is the second string, tuned to D2.
- The A string is the third string and is tuned to the A string.
- The E string is the fourth and the lowest string. It is tuned to E1.
Pros and Cons of 4 (Standard), 5,6,7,8, and 12 Strings Bass
4-Strings (Standard) Bass
- One of the finest things about a four-string bass guitar compared to others is that the space in between the strings is much further apart. This makes it easier for an individual to play in general.
- The double space provides an extra room to allow the player to do some techniques, such as the double thumb technique, which would be nearly impossible without the extra space.
- The smaller neck on a four-string bass guitar makes playing more comfortable and reaching the low E string a lot easier. The smaller neck gives you control, specifically on the lower strings where it is required to reach.
- Since it has wider space and fewer notes, the 4-string bass guitar is the easiest bass to learn.
- Because it is the most standard string, it has more options for strings than other strings.
- It is not possible to hit a higher or lower note with a four-string bass guitar.
- It is difficult to play chords on a 4-string bass guitar.
- The additional low B string makes it possible to play that a four-string cannot play.
- It is easier to hit the lower notes.
- An individual can play it as a 4-string guitar.
- Increases versatility.
- More music options.
- There are fewer options out there for five strings in general.
- It is a little bit difficult for the first-time learner.
- It has tight string spacing, which is a bit difficult to play.
- It is easier to hit the higher and lower notes because of the additional low B string and high C string.
- They have a unique appearance.
- It is easier to play chords on a 6-string bass guitar.
- There is more stability when playing six strings because of their bigger size.
- Very versatile.
- Wide tonal range.
- Because of their larger neck, it makes it harder to reach the lower strings.
- The extremely tight strings and close positions of strings make some techniques in slap impossible.
- It is heavy and hence cannot be played while standing for a long time.
- Has got fewer options for strings.
- It gives a wider range of notes across the fretboard due to the additional strings.
- This extra string allows you to play lower notes than six strings.
- An individual can use the extra string to play notes in different positions.
- Most bass guitar players find it more challenging to play them.
- They contain fewer tabs that are compatible with 7-strings guitars.
- It needs a high-level knowledge of music to be able to use it.
- An individual is able to play extra notes that are needed for arpeggios.
- One can hit lower notes without down-tuning the guitar.
- Few tabs are compatible with 8-string guitars.
- You are supposed to have more knowledge of music theory to be able to operate 8-string guitar properly.
- It is adaptive to many genres of music.
- Suitable for accompaniment, especially solo gigs.
- Perfect alternative for filling in a weak guitar tone.
- It is very difficult for beginners.
- A lot of tension on the neck due to extra strings.
- Need to be precisely tuned.
- Inadequate on applying certain techniques.
Are Above 4-Strings Bass Harder To Play?
It is easier to play a four strings bass guitar because the space in between the strings is much further apart. The double area provides extra room to allow the player to do some techniques, such as the double thumb technique, which would be nearly impossible without the extra space.
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How Many Strings Bass Should You Get?
Here are some important aspects to consider:
Consider Your Playing Skill Level
Considering your playing skill level, you are advised to start on a four-string bass guitar for the learners and get the basics before moving to a five or six-string bass instrument. The extra strings beyond four will give you the range for more complex playing, but it is recommended that newbie bassists should learn the basic techniques with a four-string first.
Consider Your Playing Techniques
Considering your playing techniques, an individual should go for the ones with more than four strings if he has more design in playing the bass guitar. i.e., techniques such as hammer-ons and pull-offs. The more strings, the better for players looking to add such techniques to their arsenal. It will eventually give them more space and allow for more creativity.
Consider Your Music And Style
If one has types with lower tonalities, such as rock and metal genres, he will prefer five strings. Six strings are more common in genres where the bassist plays heavy riffs, melodic parts, and solos. You can use a five-string jazz bass for jazz and as a soloist (a more comprehensive range of notes).
Consider Your Physical Capacity
If you have big hands with large fingers and you are strong enough to hold and play for a larger period of time, you can use five strings that have more string strings and are close together; therefore, make making table to play. Six strings are wildly used in the studio for their great versatility or live by the true talents of electronic Bass and soloists.
Consider Your Budget
The price of the bass guitar is an essential factor to consider before making a purchase. The general rule of thumb is that the more strings on a bass, the more expensive it will be. If you are a beginner, you may want to start with a less expensive model and upgrade as your skills improve.
- Get A 4-string bass if you are just starting because it is the standard one recommended for beginners. It does not require a lot of technique and plays a wide range of genres. Also, it is not as expensive as the 5 and 6-string bass guitars.
- Get A 5-string bass if you are advanced and want to extend the range of notes you can play.
- Get A 6-string bass if you are an expert and are looking for a challenge. It will allow you to play complex parts and solos.
- Get 7/8/12-string bass if you are an expert and want to extend the range of notes you can play.
As of now, you have learned all about the number of strings different basses have, and I hope you have an extensive answer to your primary question – Does a bass guitar have 4 strings? I have also gone through several pros and cons to give you a clear understanding of what you can expect from different numbers of strings if you opt for one of them.
The bottom line is a standard bass guitar has 4-strings, and if you are a beginner, you are advised to go for a bass that has four strings. It is great for session musicians as well. However, for a professional who wants to explore the world of bass strings, types, models, and brands, you are recommended to go for more than four strings.
Fred L. Robinson is a young man from Mansfield, TX. He has always had a great passion for music and bass guitars in particular. At the age of 28, he is an expert on bass guitars and their related equipment, materials, history, and origins. Fred works as an author and bass guitar expert at Instrument Insight, where he uses his vast knowledge to help people make informed decisions about their bass guitar purchases.