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6 or 7 String?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rob_the_bassist, Apr 14, 2006.


  1. Hey, after recently getting a job for over the summer I decided i wanted to put my earned money into a custom bass. I already own a 4 string fretless and a 5 string fretted so i started to explore the 6 and 7 string basses. What purpose do the extra 2 or 3 strings serve? Why do people normally buy a 6 or 7 string bass?
     
  2. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    For me, it would be primarily for playing solo material, especially chordal stuff. I intend to invest in a six-string (tuned E-A-D-G-C-F), for just that purpose...

    MM
     
  3. so 6-7 string basses arn't typically used when playing with a group
    ?
     
  4. Fretless5verfan

    Fretless5verfan

    Jan 17, 2002
    NorCal
    i use my six in my prog band exclusively (cept for the fretless....but i'm getting a fretless 6 soon anyway).

    There's nothing you can't do on a six that you can on a four....except mabe neck bends. This topic has been covered quite a bit, try and do a quick search for some good info:D
     
  5. cpach

    cpach

    Feb 28, 2006
    Santa Cruz, CA
    I don't play a six (yet! buying one soon), but, aside from solo type stuff, who's to say you have to stick strictly to the bottom in a group? It's kind of cool to be able to play a 1 5 8 10 arpeggio on D at the 5th fret when playing in the key of A, requires less shifting.

    Playing 4 string bass, I find myself playing lines with notes relatively high, sometimes, because I like to play arpeggios, or use high notes for accents. I plan on doing some composing/recording soon, and I'd like to option to pair down arrangements to drums/bass/acoustic guitar and such (no electric guitar), so the bass has a more flexible role.

    Besides, it's not like the inner strings magically disappear :).
     
  6. steve4765630

    steve4765630

    Feb 27, 2006
    For me a 6 string just let's you shift less. I tend to play more across the strings than up and down like I do on a 4.
     
  7. rhythm

    rhythm

    Dec 4, 2005
    Just out of interest who are you planning to get build your custom bass?
     
  8. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Just as suggestion, if you haven't already tried playing ERB's you should check them out first. The classifieds here at TB and elsewhere are always loaded with guys selling 6 & 7 string basses that they bought, only to find out that:
    - the necks are too wide
    - the basses are too heavy
    - the strings are too expensive
    - their amps can't handle the extended ranges
    - they don't "use" the extra strings
    - about 100 other similar reasons

    OTOH, many people get involved with ERB's and cannot go back to 4' & 5's. Just give yourself a chance to really check them out first ....... :cool:
     

  9. i was going to do some things with warmoth.com...blue die on top of quilted maple clean cut with an alder body, satin finish neck, and then i was going to get emg pickups rather than the ones they offer. i would build the bass

    [​IMG]

    so thats the clean cut, either with blue die or that green die. i would have gold/brass hardware..the set up on my old warwick before it got stolen:(
     
  10. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    You do know that Warmoth doesn't go above a 5, right?
     
  11. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    I bought mine after seeing how John Jordan used his Conklin 7 in context with the Chris Duarte band (blues trio). I was intrigued by the way he could fill (subtly, most of the time) the sound during Chris's often extended solos. I approached him at the break, introduced myself, and he actually let me try it out on the spot (John is obviously a great guy).

    I've been using 7's pretty exclusively for about 3 years now. I really don't do a whole lot of tapping, soloing, etc, rather I use the extended range for easier shifting, and most importantly to me, to be able to comp chords in my organ trio.
    I use it in every other group I play in as well. Although most of the time I'm playing more "traditional" bass on it, I've never felt the need to "downsize" to a smaller bass. I will so though, I've been using my newly aquired MTD 6 quite a bit, and I've only missed having that high f a couple of times....
     
  12. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Oops .... I always forget about the gecko stuff .... decent looking body shapes. Have you ever had a chance to play one, and if so, how are the necks?
     
  13. i havn't had a chance to try the necks but i was also looking at carvin. i've tried carvin necks n i like those alot. the body shape on the gecko looks pretty generic for a bass shape but i'll be sure to try it before i go ahead and invest in one. i have until the end of the summer when i'll make about 1800$ for 4 weeks
     
  14. fretless Bob

    fretless Bob If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

    Nov 27, 2005
    Harrow, London, U.K
    i got my six string fretted this time last year and its has been my main bass pretty much ever since, i only don't use it if i need a jazz bass sound or a fretless.

    i must say that i don't spend much of my time up high but i really find that in some surcamstances it is key, like in unison lines with keyboard players. Believe me you have no idea how hard some of those lines can be on a five.

    (i left my six at home once and took my five and didnt really think about it until the song started and i was like "OH S**T, how the hell am i gonna play that line")

    honestly once you get a six or seven you cant believe that you ever lived without one.

    Dave
     
  15. hey thanks alot, that helped alot, its..very convincing.


    and thanks everyone else too for your input on this topic

    now i just hav to decide..6 or 7 string. i'm probably gonna go for the 6 considering i won't really use the 7th string that often. that high of a register is usually covered by a pianist or a guitarist. what about pickups? which do you recommend for a 6 string bass? EMGs?
     
  16. fretless Bob

    fretless Bob If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

    Nov 27, 2005
    Harrow, London, U.K
  17. I'm guessing ERB refers to a 6 or 7 string bass? what does it stand for?
     
  18. Fretless5verfan

    Fretless5verfan

    Jan 17, 2002
    NorCal
    Extended Range Bass:)
     
  19. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Sounds like you're giving this some good thought well in advance .......

    The 6 is very nice, and if you're already used to a 5 string the 6 isn't that big a leap. You'll be surprised how nice it is to have that high C (assuming you tune it BEADGC) .... gets used a lot more than most of us originally think it will ;)

    I agree with fretlessbob, once you get used to the 6 + range it's hard to go back down. And don't completely discount the idea of a 7, if you plan on doing some chording/comping that additional high F (again assuming tuning of BEADGCF) is a beautiful thing.

    I play with a power fusion trio and the chording is very important to us .... I use a Boomerang Phrase Sampler during the soloing sections to loop the bass line and comp/solo over that. Very cool .....

    Good luck with the bass search, let us know how you eventually make out ....... :cool:
     

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