5-String Bass Guitars

If you need something with a little extra low-end, the 5-string bass is your best way of getting it. Tuned to standard with an additional low B string, the huge sound of this instrument is capable of shaking the room and adding a layer of complexity to chord shapes and bass lines. Whether you need to add a beautiful Music Man piece to your collection or want to get started with an entry-level model from Eastcoast or Ibanez, you are sure to find something amongst the outstanding range at PMT.


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Although most 5-string bass guitars will be set up with a low B string as standard, at PMT we recognise that sometimes that just doesn't cut it. The extended scale-length on these instruments means that they will still handle drop-tuning extremely well, allowing you to go to new depths without having to fear for your intonation. Check in with your local PMT Store for rates on set-up cost if you want to try out something new!


If you plan on playing around with the tuning of your 5-string bass, it's probably worth thinking about the types of pickups you're going to need. The extended frequency range covered by 5-string bass guitars means the pickups will affect the sound more than on a standard-tuned 4-string bass, and when you drop-tune the lowest string this range is increased further! For the most clarity from your bass at the widest frequency range, Active pickups might be an attractive option. These pickups require batteries to operate but ensure that across the entire fretboard the sound is clear. Passive pickups, on the other hand, are preferred by many due to the warm, sustained tones that they can offer - so make sure to consider what would work best for you before splashing out.


  • What are 5 string basses good for?

    The main reason for a 5 string bass compared to 4-strings is the added low range the 5th string offers. It allows the player the use of lower notes with more choice for scales, arpeggios, and chords compared to 4 string.
  • How do you tune a 5 string bass?

    Usually, extended-range basses are tuned in fourths. Five-string basses are normally tuned B-E-A-D-G, with a lower B string in addition to the four strings of a normal bass guitar.
  • Is a 5 string bass good for beginners?

    Choosing a new bass guitar is tough enough for beginners, and adding an extra string into the mix just compounds the conundrum. For newbies who don't know, a 5-string bass includes an additional low-B string, which gives the instrument a much deeper range
  • Is 5 string bass better for metal?

    The Ibanez SR305E, for example, is a lean, stripped-down five-string bass which would be perfect for technical styles of metal. The wood grain on the weathered black finish is stunning, and gives the impression of a bass which means business.