5 to 7 String Transition

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DiG, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. I'm not sure if this is the write place for this thread, but it seemed somewhat fitting.

    Well, I have been playing an Ibanez K5 (great bass) for about a year and a half - 2 years, before that I was playing a cheaper (like $200) bass and didnt have any problem with getting an extra string.

    Now, I have a Conklin GT-7 7 String Fretless on the way, I haven't owned a fretless before, nor played one much, nor have I ever played a 7 string (or even a 6 string) before.

    How big of a step up will it be, for the extra two strings, and for the fretlessness?
  2. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Like most things in life, it will only be as difficult as you decide it will be.

    I switched from 4 to 7 string (and converted it to fretless a few months later) and there was no problem. I'd played 6's and 7's in stores before that but had only owned 4 strings for a few years.

    Don't think of it as being difficult and it won't be.
  3. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    wow. you did in a day what i have been trying to do for like 3 years. lol. id take 7 but dont have the b*lls for a fretless 7. YEESH!

    basically, when you get it, practice a lot. when (and i do mean WHEN) your hand starts to ache, stop playing and shake it out. we don't wantcha gettin carpel tunnel on us now. for fretless, just start playing by "feel" meaning, try not to stare at your fretboard like most basses (like me) because it won't help. it will take time and patience and a lot of swearing, but just remember to practice, practice, and practice. and then rest, and then practice.
  4. my two main worries are:

    1. the neck size (how much bigger is it than an average 5 string, as my hands arent that big)

    2. going the fretless, as i have only once played one, but I love the fretless sound
  5. oversoul

    oversoul fretless by fate

    Feb 16, 2004
    You know how to read music? Pick up some written stuff and start playing until you dont confuse strings anymore, and this of course will make you stop staring at your hands. trust me, will become easy to visualize.

    edit: the GT-7 is a lined fretless, only thing to worry is acctually use the added expression of the instrument to a good result.
  6. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    I feel your pain Bro'! :crying:
    I'm currently transitioning from 5 to 6 string (and that's tough enough!). I could imagine your transition would be even more difficult! But hey, I make progress every day and have actually played 3 gigs with the 6 sting now. I was probably more concerned about switching back and forth between the 5 and 6 (my fretless and other 2 fretted basses are 5's) but I think it's going to be OK. Several TB'ers have offered some great advise that would be applicable to your situation too. Here's the link to my thread:


    For what it's worth, I started out just playing the 6 like a 5 (not using the additional "C" string) and have been gradually incorporating the "C" string. That allowed me to get use to the wider neck and the "presence" of the extra string.
    Have fun! :hyper:

  7. thanks,
    reading your thread gave me quite a bit of good tips :D :hyper:

    im still going to be waiting about a week before I get may bass...

    ... I hate waiting... gah :mad: :( :scowl:
  8. cods


    Sep 16, 2003
    i went from 4 to 7, and it was only bumpy for a couple of weeks.
  9. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i went from 4 string lined fretless and fretted to 7 string unlined fretless when i made the switch 11 years ago. it was rough for a bit, but i got through it. it helped to think of the instrument as something different and unique, and just work at it. good luck. :)
  10. No more than two weeks ago i switched from only ever playing a fourstring fretted to a brand new six string, unlined fretless Fbass. It took about ten minutes to get adjusted to the new strings. No wait . . . eleven (I spent a minute in awe before i plugged it in and tried it out :D ). The frettless hasn't been quite the challenge i've expected it to be. Three days after picking up the bass i used it at a jazz trio rehersal, and virtually no problem. The only tough part has been everything from around the ninth fret and up. As i move higher and high up the next, my fingers start throwing off the tone by more significant intervals. But my high C is there, so it hasn't slowed me down at all.

    my 0.02


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY

    Just DO IT! You can always go back...

  12. Hey John you wouldn't by any chance be involved with the Car drifting industry lol? There was a dude with your name and your face lol! And hair on The Discovery channel hahahahhaa! As to this post.......DEVILMAN says it all!
  13. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hmm. car drifting. heh, if i am involved with that industry, they owe me some money, 'cuz i havent' been paid yet :hyper: .
  14. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Buying a Conklin GT7 from a TBer in 3 weeks.. I only play fours right now, so I'm looking for something new :).
  15. I too will hopefully be buying a GT-7 from someone too soon (hopefully VERY soon). They seem like awesome basses, and 4 strings simply are startign to make me feel a little bit like a straitjacket.
  16. How much are Gt-7s going for these days?