6-String Bass Newb Question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JennySuzuki, Mar 25, 2014.


  1. JennySuzuki

    JennySuzuki

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2013
    I stopped in my town pawn shop (mostly because it's right next to the Subway where I bought lunch) and they have an Ibanez Soundgear 6-string on the wall. It was behind the counter, and I wasn't interested enough to ask the clerk to get up off his stool and hand it to me. But thinking about it later, I find myself wondering about it.

    Are six string basses tuned like six string guitars, with a different musical interval on the highest strings, or are they tuned as a continuation of four-string / five-string basses, with the same interval between all the strings?
  2. JPrinos

    JPrinos

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Typically the latter.

  3. JennySuzuki

    JennySuzuki

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2013
  4. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I tune b g d a e b so it's like playing a guitar. Most tune first string C.
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  6. BassCliff

    BassCliff

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Hi,

    Typically B, E, A, D, G, C from the fattest to the thinnest string is the "standard" tuning, all in 4ths. That way your scale patterns and arpeggio patterns stay the same.

    I hear the SoundGear basses are a very good value line of instruments.


    Thank you for your indulgence,

    BassCliff
  7. JennySuzuki

    JennySuzuki

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2013
    It looked nice. I didn't handle it, so I can't say how it sounded, or its weight or anything. But the neck looked... unweildly wide.
  8. jasonmasters

    jasonmasters

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    Oregon
    I like to tune mine like a 6 string guitar, but i play my bass a little more like a guitar too :)
  9. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    I only have one 6 string. I call the fretboard the "aircraft carrier" :)
  10. jasonmasters

    jasonmasters

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    Oregon
    THIS is a large fretboard :) [​IMG]
  11. jasonmasters

    jasonmasters

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    Oregon
    granted it has a 7th string as well...
  12. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Proper technique goes a long way. If it was an Ibanez soundgear, then you were actually looking at a relatively slim and narrow neck as far as 6ers go. They're much easier to play than they look once you start getting used to them.
  13. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Location:
    Camarillo, CA
    My 6 string is a Soundgear SR706. The necks on these are generally very thin front-to-back, with a slightly square shape on the back. Width-wise, they're actually on the narrow side for a 6'er, with a fairly narrow 16.5mm string spacing at the bridge. The tone is definitely on the modern side, with a somewhat scooped midrange and extended highs and lows, but can be very punchy if you EQ it right. They're very light as far as 6 strings go, but have a slight tendency to neck-dive.

    I hope this helps!
  14. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Location:
    Camarillo, CA
    Who made this bass?
  15. jasonmasters

    jasonmasters

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    Oregon
    It's made by Benavente. I had him make two 7's. one fretted and one fretless. here's the sister bass

    [​IMG]
  16. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    ^^^ My goodness!
  17. jasonmasters

    jasonmasters

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    Oregon
  18. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    I say get that pawn shop clerk off his stool and get that bass in your hands. I have two Ibby 6ers: an SR206 and an SR506. Both are absolutely killer basses. Both were near $200 used. Incredible buys! They have tone for yards and super thin fast necks. I positively love them!

    Mine are all tuned BEADGC even though I also play guitar. The reason is that using bass tuning you can move your patterns up and down or side to side on the neck for transpositions and changing keys. The whole thing of a 6 string is really the cross-neck scales. Well, that is if you aren't into chords and solos.

    If the extended upper range is wanted for those things, sometimes guitar players will tune a 6 string bass like a guitar so they can use their guitar knowledge on the bass letting them use guitar licks and chord configurations. But when you do that you lose the ability to slide your patterns and scales from side to side string to string.

    So again I say, if there is any interest at all in extended range both up and down for creative purposes, grab that Ibby off the wall and see what kind of deal you can make. Even if you end up hating it (as some do) at least you will have learned what a 6 string bass is all about.

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