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Bass VI: Let Ed clear Up the Controversy

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RED J, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
    Ed, as usual.

  2. mfbolton

    mfbolton Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Lot's of talk of how difficult this type of instrument is to play finger style. Looks to me like Ed didn't have any problems. Just takes a bit of practice I imagine.
  3. halfjackson


    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston, MA
    You can absolutely play a Bass VI fingerstyle. I have smaller hands and fingers but like Ed says (something or other) "...you can get used to anything...". And for that matter, you can slap on it. It's a bit underwhelming but you can do it. All that being said, it sounds best to me when played with a pick and that's almost exclusively how I play on it.
  4. I never understood the people that want their strings 3 inches apart. It's pretty easy to adapt to any string spacing imo.
  5. iunno


    Dec 16, 2010
    I don't see the point of these unless you're a guitarist who doesn't really want to learn bass. They just feel like a guitar.
    jazznrick and devntran like this.
  6. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Play a bass VI like a regular guitar, though, and you'll just get mud. I find them intriguing and keep flirting with the idea of getting one. The thing is that I feel like I'd be underutilizing it if I only used the bottom strings for bass lines, or if I only used the top strings for chords, and I don't have the technique to work in both. I'm betting I could if I had time to practice and figure it out - some kind of Chet Atkins approach - but I'd have to take the plunge and buy one to do that... and meanwhile, I don't really have a gig I would use it on. Maybe someday...
    Shardik and GrumblyRumpus like this.
  7. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Really depends on how you play it. Chords with the low E definitely get muddy. Chords with A and above are okay. It really has a unique timbre. I've been messing around with looping/overlaying parts with different combinations of pickups, note ranges, and bass cut. It's actually been a lot of fun. If you can spare a few hundo the squier is a really good introduction to the bass VI. Loving mine so far.
  8. 6stringpanda


    Aug 9, 2013
    I play both bass and guitar and do not use a pick with either.

    Love tight string spacing-do admit that most bass players might have a problem playing these instruments.
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I've never understood why some want their strings 3 millimeters apart. :p

    Different strokes, of course. I could play tight spacing if I really had to, but I don't have to, so why should I go outside of my comfort zone?
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Came across this on YouTube the other week: John Lennon's isolated Bass VI track on the Beatles' Helter Skelter.

  11. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
    I think this is where a lot of people get hung up. It's definitely not for everybody. A player has to see it useable in the context of their playing and music, and be willing to accept it on it's own terms. In that, its a really versatile instrument.
    It's definitely not a matter of everybody has to accept it. Ed's demo definitely is the best I've seen that shows a balanced and insightful review of how it was originally conceived. I had a Dano blaster VI and am sorry I let it go. The Squier VI is my "last item" (sure) on my bucket list once I sell something else to make room.
  12. Pelham Bleu

    Pelham Bleu All you need is fuzz.

    Apr 4, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    Playing the Squier VI finger style is very doable. After a couple hours practice, it's no problem.
  13. ChopperDave

    ChopperDave Hai-ohhhhhhh!

    Nov 14, 2012
    Boston, MA
    If you're a bass player with any shred of imagination, then you'd find a use for this. Maybe not in your current project or whatever, and I don't know what your style is. But the possibilities this instrument affords make it a worthy candidate for any bassist's stable.

    As for finger-style, I've had luck so far playing it like a wannabe classical guitarist, which is how I have often played guitar (before I was precise enough to play arpeggios with a pick).

    With a pick, I get a lot of cool sounds playing a root on a bass string and, while that's ringing, quickly hit a complementary three-string chord on the high G-E strings. For example, imagine in a 6/8 tune hitting the low note on the 1 and playing the chord on beats 4-6. It's like having a simple bass line accentuated by a low rhythm guitar ...
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Did you watch the video? Ed explains very well.

    And what ChopperDave said.
  15. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    That is the best bass vi demo I've ever seen.

    I think Ed takes care not to say anything negative about instruments he reviews.
    I think his comments range from "not bad" to "fantastic", so when he says the whammy bar on the Eastwood Sidejack bass vi comes back in tune... "not bad" I imagine it's actually got problems with coming back in tune.

    Of course I use real cam-driven Kahler bass whammies, not that plate style.
  16. Yeah I guess I've just never understood the strong opinions people have about it ("I HAVE to have 19mm spacing!"). Personally I've never encountered a bass I couldn't adjust to within a few minutes unless there was some kind of setup issue.
    Flad likes this.
  17. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    I really want one of these. SO MUCH.

  18. iunno


    Dec 16, 2010
    Meh, rhythm guitar is pretty unnecessary with a decent bassist imo, and I don't really see the point/creativity in doing an okay job at 2 positions, rather than being exceptional at one.

    It's not so much that there's isn't possibility for a EADGBE bass, it's more that these don't lend themselves very well to lower register playing.

    Yeah, it's a detuned guitar. That's pretty much my impression of it, and I still don't get it. It's an unrefined idea that was fixed with the P bass.
  19. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I don't really care if you like the Bass VI or not. I just got mine this week and it may be a year or more before I know if I really like it. The Squier VI is a well made example so I have nothing bad to say about it in terms of fit, finish, and quality. But will I really jell with it? Will I really be able to master it? Don't know.

    I can tell you that it is not a detuned guitar any more than a normal bass is a detuned guitar missing two strings. The Bass VI is a purpose built bass instrument on a guitar platform. The traditional electric bass is a bass guitar: it is a little more of a bass than a guitar. The Bass VI is a guitar bass: it is a little more of a guitar than a bass. Both are bass instruments but the VI does feel and play more like a guitar. It even has a whammy bar. There is no harm in not wanting one and if you don't want one then to an extent you probably don't "get it". But surely you "get it" to the point where you can see why some might like it. If every last one of us was the same we would all be playing single coil Precisions. That obviously is not the case so something like the the Bass VI is bound to appeal to at least some.

    As to being "unrefined" and "fixed by the P bass", those notions are nonsense. The Bass VI came out a decade after the Precision so if one was marketed to fix the other it was the VI that fixed the P bass. But of course that is nonsense too. In terms of refinement the VI was the second to last of the classic Fender guitars to come out, only the Jaguar was later. So right out of the box it had all the refinements Fender had made to its product line. And once the Jaguar did come out Fender backfilled two of its refinements into the VI: the claw pickups and the strangle switch. The VI had a limited initial run and then a long history of availability from Japan and the Custom Shop. It probably was a bit ahead of its time when it was first released but judging from the huge backlog of Squier VI orders its time may have come. It will never be a must have for everyone but it may be here to stay this time.
  20. I'd really like to try the Ibanez SR Crossover. It seems like more my thing than the traditional style of the Bass VI.
    ScottMatt likes this.

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