6 string bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rcamfs, Mar 16, 2001.

  1. rcamfs


    Mar 16, 2001
    does anyone here play a 6 string bass? what are the string names on the 6 string? i know les claypool uses a 6 string and he rips it up. do you know where i can get a 6 string bass? thank you
  2. membranophone


    Mar 19, 2000
    Madison, WI
    I play a 6 string. The strings on a 6er are typically tuned (low to high) BEADGC. Some people tune theirs EADGCF, some tune F#BEADG. I know les tunes his 6er the first way.
  3. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    A 6 string bass is tuned BEADGC (low to high), usually.

    If you dont know what one is tuned, im going to assume youre probably a beginner. And based on the fact you mentioned Claypool, im guessing you want the 6 because Claypool plays one.

    That said, i dont think you should get one. Getting someones gear "becase XXX player has one" is lame, and wont make you like them. And just because he rips on it doesnt mean you will! If anything, you'll just totally suck on the 6.

    As for where you can get one, you can get them at just about any store. For some good online references:

  4. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    Since it seems that you're a beginner I agree with Angus in that you shouldn't go with a six yet. Wait a while. Get good on a four and then when your better get a six. I six wouldn't even do you much good if are a beginner, because they are harder to play and right now I don't think you need extra strings just yet.
  5. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    How about starting on a six-string as early as possible? Then you won't have to make the uncomfortable conversion from 4 to 6 strings later on. You will learn the proper muting technique from the beginning. It's as simple as this: play as many strings you want. Don't stick with a four-string just because people say so. Follow your heart.

    FYI, (I belive) Claypool has downsized from a fretless 6-string to a fretted 4-string these days.

    Agreed. Although I hate to admit I've been there myself... :(
    And a Carl Thompson is a bit out of reach for just about anyone. :p
  6. G


    Apr 12, 2000
    I agree with Oysterman. And Angus. I think that a little knowledge about the bass guitar in general can go a long way... I made the transition from upright to the bass guitar and I now am making the transition to the 6 string bass (the contrabass guitar). I have been playing the bass guitar for almost 6 years. Had I known then what I know now, I would have check out contrabass guitars a long time ago. However, you do what you think is best. Some affordable example of contrabass guitars are the Dean Edge 6 and the Spector NS2000 6 string. Good luck and happy hunting.
  7. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    ..Except Dave Siff.:p:p

    One thing that hardly gets mentioned is that having more strings doesn't necessarily allow you to be more expressive when playing. It's all about what you do with what you have.

    Will C.:cool:
  8. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    That lucky dog! :mad:
  9. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Big Wheel: Great point, very correct. For example, Berlin has 4 strings, 3 octaves. He has some amazing playing! JT has 7-8-14 strings, and has some very awesome playing! How many is irrelevant, its what you do with it.

    Oysterman, while i didnt exactly say what ALX did (im not a firm believer in the "master-then-progress" way of thinking), i just don't think he should get one because Claypool "rips" on one. Hes good, but hes sloppy, and has terrible intonation. The poster didn't know how it was tuned, so how is owning one going to make him a great player if he doesnt even understand what to play? If he gets one, obviously id be supportive and ask him questions, but i wouldn't want him to do something he'll regret when he realizes they are extremely hard to play well. Thats just IMO though.
  10. oo0o00o0oo


    Apr 30, 2000
    How do ya'll know he wants a sixer? He was just askin some ?'s I wish I had started on a six....
  11. It's in the mindset of the beginer I think. I mean, if you never knew that a 4 string played one way, then you would think the 6 string was <i>normal</i>. Do you see what I mean? I mean, it's phsycological. If a human, from birth, always ate off a hubcap, with no outside interference to tell him that it was "wrong", then he'd think it was normal, do you see what I mean? Oh well... back to the batcave!!
  12. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Paste, so if im born thinking im Steve Bailey, will i have his technique and intonation? Mindset is irrelevant in this case. Thinking i can mute strings perfectly and play the bass as well as someone else doesnt mean its going to happen.
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Actually I think it's more a matter of desire than mindset.

    You may not be born with a gift for intonation but if you really want to improve on it and work at it, you'll get better. I know lots of people who begrudgingly tried fives and then gave up, the extra string was too hard to deal with it.

    OTOH I started playing before fives were readily available and a lot of what I heard couldn't be done on a four so I couldn't wait to get my hands on a low B. When I finally got my hands on one it wasn't a problem, it was a revelation.

    Learning how to play bass is work. Learning how to mute takes work. So does anything worthwhile in life. If you really want to do it, do it. You know how badly you want to do something and no one else does.

    In my opinion, if you want to start on a 6 or 7, knock yourself out. Think about it...if you're drawn to music being played on a 6 and are trying to play the same stuff, what's the frustration level in trying to do it on a four?

    There is no harm in trying, if you decide it's too hard and give up completely, it's only your loss. You could always move to a 4...or 5...or 3, etc. ;)
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I am of the 'If you feel you need X strings to get where you want, go for it!' camp.

    But I definitely wouldn't get a 6 because someone else plays one.

    We have all wanted to be our idols, especially when we were young. I used to wish I was Geddy Lee!:)

    But you need to find your own voice. I like Claypool, he plays some cool stuff, but like Angus said, he is sloppy and out of tune on a lot of stuff too.
  15. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    my position on this has always been to start on whatever you wanted to start on. and for whatever reason. becoming a player is hard enough without some kind of artificial external boundaries applied, like "you shouldn't play the instrument you want to play, you need to start on this one".

    this all goes hand in hand with the fact that 95% of people who start playing an instrument quit before they ever amount to anything on it.

    so if someone wants to play a certain bass or a certain style, go for it. les claypool has said before that he got the piccollo carl thompson bass because, among other reasons, stanley clarke played one of school days. who cares.

    i got a rickenbacker just because geddy lee got one.

    just remember, though, that to get closer to being a complete and honest musician, one has to move beyond the simple adoration and mimicry of one's heroes, and create some kind of individual identity. this is the pursuit of a lifetime.
  16. Tuomas


    Mar 14, 2000
    Helsinki, Finland
    This may be a bit off the topic but i had a friend who made decided to start with a six so he wouldn't have to make the change later on. For 7 years he played only 6 strings. Then he tried a jazz bass and said "this is a lot more fun" and now he only has fours. Point? There is no upgrades or downgrades when talking about number of strings and to me, the bottom line is pretty much that i don't give a damn about the number of strings as long as I have fun playing. So go get the bass that makes you smile.
  17. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
  18. Wxp4759cb


    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    One thing you might want to keep in mind is that 6 string basses cost alot more than 4 string basses. So if your not sure that your going to stick with it you might want to get a cheaper 4 untill you learn some of the basics, and then if you still want to, get a 6.
  19. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    That is one of the greatest quotes I have ever heard.
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    There are 4, 5 and 6 string basses available for $500 or less.