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! :)

8 String Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tribal, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Hey there fellow TB'ers. I'm itching for something different to play around with and was wondering the usual who/how/why/what about 8-strings before I go looking for one?

    I've always loved Jeff Ament's work on Pearl Jam - Ten.
  2. If your local music shop has one, go ahead and try it. I was able to try one in a shop in my area. Playwise, an 8-string is really not too different than a 4-string. It was fun to play around with but then I thought how often would I actually use it?

    I might pick a used one up if I saw one at a reasonable price.
  3. I considered an 8 string once but got an Electro-Harmonix Pog instead. I love it. Now I have 4,5,8,10,12, and 15 string basses in a box. With it set right, you can nail the beginning of "Jeremy" dead-on.

    I'm probably way off because you want a different bass. I'd get a fretless instead if you don't have one. And a Pog.
  4. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I believe Jeff uses a 12. At least he did on Jeremy. I own both 8 and 12 strings and strongly prefer the 12 over the 8.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I would like to respectfully suggest that if you've never played one, locate one locally(if possible) and spend some time with it.
  6. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I used to play a 10 ... 5 string with octaves ... but it got sold ...

  7. Savage_Dreams


    Jan 8, 2007
    if youre looking for the jeff ament 'jeremy' sound, that would be a 12 string, not an 8.

    i started with an 8 because it was cheaper and easier to find used before i went on to a 12. as soon as i went to the 12 i never touched the 8 again. theres nothing wrong with an 8, just be sure the 8 is what your really wanting, and not a 12. as for how much can someone really use it, thats all up to the player. after getting my 12 pretty much everything ive written for my band has been on 12.

    but if you can, i agree that you should try the local shops and see if theres any you can try out. while the 8 isnt really harder to play, it is a different feel. some like it, some dont
  8. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Although slighty different then you guys mention, check this guy's 8 string bass, tuned B-Bb.. Very unique I would say!

    P.s. He is just fooling around a bit, so don't expect some Victor Wooten licks or anything :p
  9. Aside from my comment above regarding how often I would use one, I've favorited and often view this video of Vic Danger playing a Waterstone TP-12, even demonstrating some slapping technique.

  10. The 8 is more practical and easier to play physically. But the 12ver is pretty awesome sounding...
  11. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I've played 2 Hamer 12 string basses and found both of them difficult to handle, but can't say that would be true of all of them. I've owned 2 8 string basses; a Fernandez I sold because I wasn't playing and more recently a converted Tobias from the TB classifieds. Both 8s had very low action (pro setups and tuned standard) and were easy to play with fingers or pick. I've been thinking of getting another 8 and may convert another bass if I don't find one I like stock.
  12. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    I recently bought one. Like OP, I was looking for something different. I'm primarily an originals guy, and was looking for something to inspire some writing. I find I tend to play it almost like a guitar, with lots of chords and droning open strings. But I also love it for bass lines. I prefer its sound with a compressor, and I also love how it sounds with auto wah and/or overdrive.
  13. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I have an 8. I like it, but for me, it is a novelty instrument. A few weeks ago, I had the band do a couple Cheap Trick covers so I'd have an excuse to use it onstage. It is nice with one guitar player, but I found it to be a little much with an acoustic guitar.
  14. I have one I bought here used in the classifieds. I got it for a steal, thinking since the band I'm in is me/guitar/drum/vocalist that it would be really cool and would help fill up the sound. I cant really get into it tho. I would love to use it more, but I cant seem to catch the vibe of it. I get it out and play it some, but cant seem to make it work.

    Some of you who have used it, what kind of effects/amp setup do you use yours with? (hope I'm not hijacking the thread...)

  15. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I've got a Carlo Robelli 8 string I picked up cheap at Sam Ash, but I'm not going to be much help. It's really a great thing play around with but gets very little musical use. Part of the problem is I'd rather have a 10 string because I rarely play 4 strings anymore. And the other is that while there is so much cool potential there, like you I never seem to be able to get into it!

    I've played around with 12 stringers at GC and Sam Ash but those seemed a lot more difficult to play than my 8 banger. So I rather expect until I find a nice 10 stringer, my Carlo Robelli will not be seeing much use.

    I don't use any effects with it and just play it through my usual BXR200.
  16. Thanks for all the responses guys! Looking around there doesn't seem to be much available this side of the pond to even try-out, so I may just take a chance grabbing one online.

    ESP Ltd B-208FM ~ AU$750
    Hagstrom HB 8 ~ AU$850

    I figured the idea of having an 8/12 string bass would be good for those times when I want a break from the 5 - and something that would create a more unique sound with the acoustic stuff we do in our band.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I own a Hagstrom HB 8 and it's not a bad bass at all.
  18. I've found that the best way to get more use from my 8 is to write songs on it and present them to the rest of the band that way. It almost forces a different style of playing and writing, so these songs don't sound quite "right" played on a 4.
  19. Savage_Dreams


    Jan 8, 2007
    exactly! thats how i am with the 12. so many players say theres not enough need or use for it. i guess that might be slightly true for a cover band, but as an original band i make the need for it. theres far more things to do with an 8 or 12 than play cheap trick songs or the occasional cover of jeremy.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    Yes there is.

Share This Page