1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

6 String Newbie Needs Help IF Possible

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by J-beginner-UK, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. J-beginner-UK


    Jan 12, 2005
    HI all
    I am a new bass player (at the age of 38) never owned or touched an instrument before,and I have no musical knowledge what so ever, but I am prepared to learn. And due to a disability, I have to give up my choosen Hobby, so I need to find something else to keep the old grey matter going, cos I dont want to get brain dead watching soaps.

    Anyway I have an option an a Yahama Patitucci 6 string bass for $600 (£490/£520 UK pounds sterling), so would this be a good buy for an absolute novice.

    Secondly how easy is it learn the 6 string bass, eventhough that I had found out that you only have about 10 extra notes.

    Thirdly, is there chart shows each note played at each fret? and the standard tuning for it? if so where can i get one from, but bear in mind I am in the UK.

    Any help would be gratefully received.

    Please email me at my personal address and I will reply to them all.

    Many thanks in Advance

  2. You know, a username like that isn't going to grow with you. :)

    I think you need to try a few basses and find out what you really want from your chosen bass. As it happens, I realised I wanted more than the standard 4 strings, and my first bass was a Yamaha TRB-6. I still have and play it as my #1.

    I don't think you will have any trouble reselling a Patitucci model for that price anyway, as long as it is in good condition. If you decide not to take it, I will! :)
  3. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Just a quick rundown so you dont need a chart...

    There are twelve musical notes:
    # = sharp a half step
    b = flat a half step

    A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G, and G#/Ab

    Notice there is no note between B-C and E-F.

    Now, for bass tuning. Normal 4-string Basses are tuned E A D G going from lowest string down to highest string. 6-string basses have a string above that range, and a string below that range typically. So B E A D G C for a 6 string.

    each fret is one half-step away from the note before or after it.

    So if you have a string thats tuned to B, the open string is B, the first fret is C (no note between B-C), next one is C#/Db, ect ect. So you can start at the open tuning, then just count down in half steps to find the other notes. As you get better, you'll be able to jump around a lot more and still know what note your on.

    Basses are tuned to 5ths, as in the 5th fret on your lowest string is the same note as the open string just below it. So with a low B string, the 5th fret is E, which is the same as your next lowest string and on and on down the line. After the 12th fret, it all repeats. The 12th is the one with the double dots. So all your 12th fret notes are the same as your open string notes, just an octave higher.

    All that make sense? hehe
  4. J-beginner-UK


    Jan 12, 2005
    HI All and thanks for the quick response, its starting to make sense I think, and I think that I will pick it up slowly, anyway I am taking the six string, not because it looks cool or anything silly but because I really want to learn how to play, not so as I get professional but because I want to enjoy what I am doing and also that oyur'e constaly learning.

    Yes I am buying the Yahama Model, got to pick it up tomorrow, I also have a 50 watt amp is this sufficient to pick the Low B and the other notes?

    Any teaching info anyone could help me with and what to listen too would be magic, Also my major music likes are Jazz/Funk/Fusion as the 1st album I ever bought when I was 12 was Stanley Clarke - School Days (I always wondered how he got those sounds)

    Anyway thanks for all the help and I know my username aint gonna grow with me, but then we are alwys learning, so I think I will keep it, makes sense to me any way.
  5. chimp


    Dec 4, 2004
    South Africa
    well you choose the right music to like for bass players. try Brand X and Weather Report and other jaco stuff, Herbie hancock has had some good bassists. otherwise good luck on starting your playing.
  6. J-beginner-UK


    Jan 12, 2005
    Thanks Chimp, I have tried Brand X, not the style I like but worth listening too, well as for Jaco and Weather Report what can I say? Pure genius, my fav album has to be Heavy N Jazz and Also Heavy Weather, I will give Hancock a go, and see if it grows on me, a friend did say too try, some Chick Corea and Some Keith Jarret (I think this is a odd one) but he did say to try Mark King of Level 42 and the slapping technique, I cant even imagine slapping on a 6 string bass, but it may sound funky.

    I am just starting so, I have to ge the notes on the fingerbaord in my head, this is my first stop, then try a couple of scales I think.

    Any pointers would be great folks, and thanks for the useful comments, they are always welcome, and as I say I think my age might go against me,well the wife thinks I am absolutely mad to take up the bass, but she may be right, but she wanted me to take up the guitar, and I was not interested in that avenue :bassist:

    Gotta Make a big noise in small space.

  7. Slapping on a 6 is pretty common... John Patitucci himself has been known to use the wide spacing of his signature instrument to exploit this.
  8. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Nope, basses are tuned to 4ths, which are reached at the 5th fret of each string.

    Those fanned frets will confuse anybody ;)
  9. J-beginner-UK


    Jan 12, 2005
    OK now

    I am getting confused is it tuned in 4th's or 5th's for a 6 string?

    eventhough I have no idea what this means yet, until I have dome some reading. :help:
  10. jvbjr


    Jan 8, 2005
    Basses are normally tuned in fourths, this means 99% of the world tunes this way.

    You need to take lessons and do a TON of research on line about music theory, the circle of 4ths/5ths.

    Myself, I would begin by by getting LaBella tape wound strings for the low B and high C so that you can clearly see the four normal bass strings. By making the outer strings black, as tape wounds are, you will see the silver four strings more clearly when looking at tabliture, etc.....

    I play 6 string bass, but after starting on 4 string, then 5 string, so I took baby steps.

    Go here and good luck:

  11. J-beginner-UK


    Jan 12, 2005
    Thanks for that, I am taking a good look at this material, actually until I get used to what I am looking at, it could be rocket science for all I know, anyway.

    Picked up my bass and amp today, so got something to go at, 1st things 1st - Learn myself to tune it properly!! :rolleyes:

  12. Basses are normally tuned in fourths, which is to say that each string has the same note as the note fretted at the fifth fret of the string before it.
  13. J-beginner-UK


    Jan 12, 2005

    Thanks Real
    for explaining that, at least its a start, right I have received some advice and perhaps, you folks out there may be able to guide me?

    A colleague has told me to get some bass tab and practice playing this until I get fairly proficient, he says choose one easy piece, and stick to it?

    What do you lot think of this advice?

  14. jvbjr


    Jan 8, 2005
    Start with 12 bar blues and any Police song, that is as easy as it is going to get.

    You need to learn the names of the notes, what note is on the fourth fret of the A string? BTW, which is the A string anyway?

    MelBay books are great for holding your hand when you are clueless.
  15. J-beginner-UK


    Jan 12, 2005

    thanks for the reply,

    the strings are as follows

    B E A D G C (Low to high)
    using a low B tuning is it?

    the note at the 4th fret of the A string is a G Flat (I think)If I am wrong I know I am
  16. jvbjr


    Jan 8, 2005
    Yes those are the strings.

    The note names are:

    A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A

    The notes w/ a slash can be called either name depending on the key signature of the song. On a piano the white keys are A B C D E F G, the black keys are the shraps/flats.

    So the 4th fret on A would be: C#/Db
  17. gruuv


    Jan 23, 2004
    I agree that a chart for this is not necessary, but it could be helpful in visualizing it since you are new. Several years ago Ed Friedland (sp?) did an article on 6 in Bass Player with a picture of a fretboard and all the notes for each position. I'll see if I can dig that up, shoot me a PM with your e-mail address and I'll scan it into the computer at work on Monday and e-mail it to you.
  18. jvbjr


    Jan 8, 2005
  19. A good exercise would be to draw out the fretboard, make several copies, and label the fret positions in various ways (all notes, all positions with F#, all notes in the scale of Ab major, etc).
  20. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Now, if you really want to be smart, get some bass clef music paper and label the notes on the clef with the same color coding that jvbjr uses here. Then get some bass sheet music for some really simple tunes that you know well (like "Happy Birthday" or "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star") and then use the color coding to relate the notes on the clef to the positions on the bass.

    It's a good way to learn standard notation and avoid getting bogged down with tab.