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8 and 12 strings, can we say ridiculous?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassGrowl, Aug 1, 2001.


  1. BassGrowl

    BassGrowl

    Jul 30, 2001
    8 and 12 strings. Dean is wasting there money on these things, well anyways, does anyone know how to play these things, if so explain how these myths work and if you can play these really good, i consider you a god.
     
  2. Aaron

    Aaron

    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    PM John Turner about the 8-string. I beleive it is harder to play a 4-string than an 8-string because more shifting would be involved in the 4-stringer, but there are lots of variables to consider.
     
  3. CaracasBass

    CaracasBass

    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain
    Listen to Pearl Jam, Jeff Ament use an 8-string bass for some songs (I think "Jeremy")... maybe he´s a god....
     
  4. he's asking about basses which have either 1 or 2 octive strings along with the "regular" bass string. They're just played with a pick, and like a regular bass. I forget which song by pearl jam it is, i know its off ten, but the outero is a 8 string bass, it sounds like bass and guitar playing the same thing, but its actuly just a bass. the bass being referred to as john turners bass, is 8 individual strings, strung B-E-A-D-G-C-F#-B...
     
  5. Aaron

    Aaron

    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    for the ones with the doubled and tripled strings, they would just be played like a 12 string-guitar, no biggy.
     
  6. BassGrowl

    BassGrowl

    Jul 30, 2001
    i thought jeremy by pearl jam was play with a 6
     
  7. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Years ago, people thought that a strange thing that looked like a large guitar was strange. Some crazy guy named Leo took a chance & revolutionized the music industry!!!!

    Years ago, people thought the world was flat, too. ;) I wonder if those scientists wasted their money to prove otherwise? :)

    I work @ a music store & I've sold about 4 8 string & 2 12 strings since we got them & we're a local family owned store, not a big Mega Chain. These are not new things. HAmer has been making them for years. Dean just made them affordable!!!!

    I have to say that I'm very impressed by the Deam 8 & 12 strings & I think in the future I'll have to buy one. :)
     
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    For other great examples of 12 string work check out Gretchen goes to Nebraska by King's X and also Galactic Cowboys eponymous debut.

    Tom Peterson of Cheap Trick has played them for years.
     
  9. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i tune my 8's F#-B-e-a-d-g-B-E.

    jeremy was performed on an 8 tuned, Ee-Aa-Dd-Gg.
     
  10. I play a 12, and if you heard it you would think it sounds great. It is like the Deans a 4 string with octave strings. Tons of tone and even more sack.

    It has its place and takes some practice to get used to the big neck but it is not useless.
     
  11. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Just out of curiosity, why isn't your 8 string tuned G-B-e-a-d-g-B-E?
     
  12. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    well, for one thing, you've got 2x as many strings to keep quiet when you're playing, which is difficult to get the hang of. for another, you have to shift just as much if you wish to keep any kind of tonal consistency going - the thinner, higher strings don't sound the same as the thicker ones playing the same notes. it takes a bit more planning and foresight to figure when you are going to use the thinner strings and when you are going to use the thicker ones at a higher register.

    the larger neck forces good technique - you can get away with crap technique on a 4, but you can't on a big necked 7 or 8 - at least i can't, my hands are too small. good fretting hand technique is essential on instruments with that size neck.

    the only thing that i've found harder to do on a 4 than on my 7's and 8's is play a low F# :D ;) . since most of my basses have at around 2x the range of playable notes as your average fender 4 string, there are quite a few notes on my basses that aren't even available on a 4 string. it's also pretty difficult to arpeggiate 5 and 6 note chords on a 4 string, and i do that often.

    in fact, you couldn't play any of my parts in my band's songs on anything less than a 6.


    oh, and nino, to answer you question, i use the g-b tuning on the higher strings to emulate a guitar - it's something i started doing back in the day, when i started on 7's from 4's ('93). i was trying to figure out what i was going to do with the high 2 strings, so i figured 20 ba-jillion guitarists couldn't be wrong. this way, i learned the neck by learning some guitar parts to songs that i already knew the bass lines to. the lower strings, however, don't really require that kind of offset tuning.
     
  13. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Man, If I'm ever in you area, I have to come see your band play just to see how you play that bass!!!!! :D
     
  14. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hopefully, someday, we'll be "coming to a sh!t-hole near you" to play, so maybe you could make it out :D.
     
  15. A guy by the name of Dave Henning plays for the band Big Wreck, and he uses a 12 almost exclusively. On the albums, it mixes well with the guitars to thicken things up. But live, oh god, it blows your mind how it fills up the room! I love that sound and hope soon to be able to try one myself!
     
  16. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    yeah, 12's are pretty cool - i've played a 12 that was a doubled 6 - sounded really good, very thick and chimy.
     
  17. Having pairs of strings tuned in octaves gives the instrument a unique sound. Mandolins are tuned like this and that is what gives them such a unique sound. The Middle Eastern instrument called the oud is also tuned like this.

    An 8-string bass does not need to be played with a pick. The bassist for Japanese fusion band Casiopea uses 8 and 10 string basses tuned in pairs of octaves, and he slaps and taps on them! It almost sounds like he's using an octave effect when he plays these basses. I've heard him solo on these basses and sometimes it sounds like a guitar player is running unisons with him.

    I'd like to try one out myself and I wouldn't dismiss them as a toy either.
     
  18. 12 and 8 strings are just "tone objects", although very cool, John Myung, from Dream Theater, will actually be playing in a 8 string, in the upcoming cd.
     
  19. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    will that be a 4 doubled, or 8 individual strings?
     
  20. John How bout a 14 string? like a 8 string. i would think that would be cool