A question for all 6 & 7 stringers.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by cassanova, Aug 10, 2003.

  1. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Im currently giving serious consideration to buying a 6 string bass guitar.

    Id like to know what made you decide to purchase one and how you specifically apply it in your own playing as well as how often you use it. Be it cover bands or original. Do you use it mostly for soloing in the high registers, to make certain passages easier, chording, harmonics, etc? Any & every reason you can think of that you apply it & why you bought it would be appriciated.

    The bulk if not all the music I play is cover tunes and none of it really warrants the use of a 6 string, hence I have no real need to buy one. Basically the only reason I want one, is to have one, learn it, & see if I like it. Im having a hard time convincing myself that, that is a legitimate reason to buy one, especially when I dont really forsee it being used all that much on gigs.

    I dont forsee myself ever going down the original band route, but if I ever did, then the bass would see a good amount if not the bulk of the playing time.

    I know ultimatly the choice is mine.
  2. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Sounds like you've answered your own question...

    If four strings suffice for what you do then just stick with it.
  3. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I never played my seven-string like I was some soloing madman. I played it the same way I played my five-string that was my main bass for years, except now I could move horizontally across the fretboard onto the C string to play notes I'd usually have to jump up the G string for. I tended to use the F string for only chords and harmonics (as well as the very occasional solo), which is why I'm choosing to only go with six strings on my next bass, which won't be used for chording very often.

    I just got tired of not being able easily access higher notes on the G string on my fiver. I often play ostinatos in the first and second position, but I'd often want to throw in a higher octave of a note for emphasis or put in a double-stop, and the recovery time for such maneuvers is much quicker when you can stay in about the same position and just move your hand horizontally, rather than horizontally and vertically.
  4. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Hey, cass, I mainly use my high string (which BTW is tuned to B rather than C) for playing melodies. Not necessarily solos (though I like to do a lot of those when the situation is right), but anything with a strong melodic component in that range. Of course, not all playing situations need a lot of bass melodies. A fair amoiunt of the time, I could do what I need to do on a 5, or even sometimes a 4, but rather than carry around a 4, a 5, and a 6, I prefer just to play one type of instrument that has everything I might need.
  5. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    That sounds a lot like what I tend to do. I play a ton of ostinatos, and being able to throw in ana accect here or there without much movement is awesome.

    Plus, I just like the extended range. :)
  6. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Im not a solo kinda guy, but if I buy this thing, Im sure I'll start stepping up and trying to learn that aspect too.

    I like the idea of doing strong melodic components in that range. Thats one aspect of the 6 that never entered my mind. I do know Id definatly incorporate that into the music I play.

    Thanks for the input. Like I said in my initial post Im tryin to get as many ideas of what one can do on a 6 as well as why they bought it.

    BTW, why do you tune the C to B? Im thinking like a guitar player here E A D G B E. So Im thinkin its for the same reasons a guitar has dual E strings.
  7. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Yeah, that's pretty much the reason. Something just seems right to me about the highest and lowest strings being the same pitch, and wrong about them being a half step apart. I can't think of a single stringed instrument where you have a clashing interval like B to C on the open strings.

    Partly it's that I started out on guitar, so the "irregular" fingering from the G string to the B string is second nature to me now. A nice, if minor, side effect is that you can easily play a major triad either in harmonics at one position on the D, G, and B strings or by barring across a single fret. Also, the notes are in the same position on the high B as one the low B--e.g., a D is on the 3rd fret. And if you play guitar at all, you can transfer certain things over more easily than if you have to think about a C string.

    But really, it's just individual choice. As far as I can tell, mine is something of a minority choice; more people use high C. But hey, I don't care, it works for me!
  8. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    If I buy this, Im gonna have to try that. Sounds like it might be a lot easier to play it that way.
  9. I want a 6 string mainly for the low B...I mean,I wannna play metal and when the guitarist down-tunes my E string won't cut it:meh: also...It'd be good for slapping...also...there are way more notes then on my 4 string...I picked up a Cirrus 6 at Guitar Center and I loved it...I mean I could do so much more and stuff. And I really like it. It'd take a little to get all the note names down and all that mumbo-jumbo..and technique would change. But I really like it. I think If I have a nice job,and see a cheap 6 in my future...Ima get it:)


    EDIT: also...it'd be good for slap:)