Six to seven?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Parkerblades, Mar 15, 2014.


  1. Parkerblades

    Parkerblades

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    I'm thinking of switching to try a seven string. Don't really need it but thought it might be fun to play around with. Any of you went from six to seven strings? How was it did the extra width hinder you any or did you find that you never used the seventh string? Just kicking the idea around. Thanks.
     
  2. superbassman2000

    superbassman2000

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    I went from a six to a seven...I like the high F :)
     
  3. Parkerblades

    Parkerblades

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    Cool thanks for the input. I am thinking I will like it also. I play a lot of music that the low bass parts are not so much needed so I tend to play a lot of chord shapes and stuff in those parts. I think the extra range will give me more options in that part of the music. But I do like to here from experienced players that have been on both sides.
     
  4. bassbenj

    bassbenj

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    Well, I'm a 7 string noob too so I don't know how much this helps.

    What I found was not that i never use the 7th string but rather I didn't know what to do with it! In other words the notes were there but my knowledge of them is what was lacking. Sure I can extend the cross neck scales to infinity and that is cool, but if you've learned some chords for 6 string it takes some woodshed to get up to 7 string knowledge I've found. Plus the notes up the 7th string (like for stratospheric solos) are unfamiliar teritory too. So I'm working on it and I DO love it! But play out with it? Not yet.

    As for neck width I'll say I've never had a problem with 6 string necks being "wide". Cripes there are folks here in TB who whine about FOUR string necks being too wide! But that being said let me say that I've found my 7 string basses at the LIMIT of what I find comfy in neck width. I do not have a problem playing 7 but if I had an 8 or more string with similar spacing I can see that comfort would vanish and my whole approach to the instrument would be more along the lines of tapping than standard playing.

    So a man does have to know his limitations.
     
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  6. Parkerblades

    Parkerblades

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    Great info. Thanks for your post
     
  7. Radio Face

    Radio Face

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    It seems that the 7th string is being confused with the 1st string. Weight, cost of strings and comfort in playing are things to be considered before switching to a 7.
     
  8. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

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    I added a 7 string after playing 6s exclusively for about 20 years. It's actually a little easier in that it just adds another octave set (G-F) so a lot of fingerings translate. I used it on my main touring gig for about 4 years. I'm seldom using it these days, and sometimes even take a 4 to my gigs depending on what they are, although my default is back to a 6. It's not that much more of an adjustment to add the additional string.
     
  9. Parkerblades

    Parkerblades

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    Thanks Roy. And thanks radio face. I am considering the comfort of playing and availability of strings into my decesion.
     
  10. chucko58

    chucko58

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    I got a Benavente 7 from a friend a while back. String spacing at the bridge is a full 3/4" (19mm) and I found the neck to be too wide for my hands. The other downside I discovered is that a plain F string sounds nothing like the other wound strings, and a wound F isn't practical at typical bass string tensions - the core wire is too small for the tension.

    On the positive side, having that extra range gives you more room to solo, and play chords. If I played jazz or had a solo act, that would be great, but a lot of people look at you funny when you bring more than a 5 string to a rock act.
     
  11. chucko58

    chucko58

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    String availability isn't a big problem IME. At least Dean Markley, Ken Smith, and Kalium (formerly Circle K) can take care of your needs for the standard B0 - F3 tuning. Those are the brands I've used to date. There are others.
     
  12. Parkerblades

    Parkerblades

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    Thanks chuck. That's the first I have heard specifics of that f string. That spacing on a bass I'm looking at is 17 3/4mm.
     
  13. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

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    I never had a problem with wound F strings. I used .022s and it was fine. So your mileage may vary there.

    I went from a 4 to a 7 to a 4 tuned in fifths. It's an adjustment for sure, but if you're already playing a 6 it shouldn't be a big deal. It just didn't fit my needs and wants as much as my current fretless 4 tuned in fifths.
     
  14. Parkerblades

    Parkerblades

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    Nice input Eric thanks
     
  15. ole Jason

    ole Jason

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    The tension of a wound F is no problem at all. I use the SR2000 .022 and have never had an issue with it. I did have a string break one time but DM sent me a few replacements. I will agree with others that an unwound F sounds pretty strange. The wound high string is a must imo.

    I went from a 6 to a 7 and didn't really have any issues adjusting. I tend to favor tighter string spacing so ymmv on neck width.
     
  16. Blue_Whistle88

    Blue_Whistle88 Supporting Member

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    The string spacing on the bass you're looking at is good, should make the neck roughly the same width as a 6-string with 19mm spacing. I've played Ibanez BTB 6-strings before, and I believe they're 19mm; the neck width is very manageable to me, and if you're used to playing 6-strings you should be fine. As people have said, you'd need to spend some time learning the notes on the new string, but that's doable.

    I've played two 7-strings, one being an Ibanez Soundgear and the other being a BTB. The BTB's spacing was around 17.5mm, so the neck was pretty wide, but it quite playable. The only issue for me was the massive weight of the instrument, as BTBs are already quite large as they are.

    The Soundgear was terrible though, because the neck was about as wide as a normal Soundgear 6-string (and their spacing is already 16.5mm). I could play it finger-style, but slap was basically impossible. You could get used to it, but the neck just doesn't need to be that narrow IMO, so it's a bad design. So in short, get a wider neck if you can handle it, and TWO truss rodes is compulsory (obviously).

    Regarding strings, I can't remember if the ones I played were wound or not, but as stated, unwound strings will sound very different. Get wound strings for sure, because you're going to have enough issues as it is with tonal discrepancy across so many strings. One of the reasons I switched back from 6-strings to 5 was that very problem, as I found a lot of 6-strings to have weak C-strings. You'll have to go with custom string sets for a 7-string too, so just bear that in mind. Heck, The Bass Centre in Melbourne didn't even stock 6-string sets when I was there last.
     
  17. spade2you

    spade2you

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    I think 7 strings are just a hair too much neck for me since I'm a very small guy. I have a fretless 7 and enjoy it, but 6 string seems a lot easier on my hands. Mine was strung with a high E. I didn't really use the upper register as much as I thought I would,either.

    That being said, I play a lot of 7 string guitar.
     
  18. Parkerblades

    Parkerblades

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