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Bass VI putting us out of work?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by NoShogun, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. NoShogun


    Jul 15, 2013
    Cincinnati, OH
    So I just watched a few videos of guitarists jamming out on the new Fender Pawn Shop bass VI's and the Squier ones, and those things really are basses. But I was wondering after I watched the video: What's the disadvantage of the Bass VI (or anything similar) compared to a "regular" bass? And what can a bassist offer that a guitarist with a Bass VI can't?
  2. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    The ability to play like a bassist.
  3. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    A guitarist that picks up bass is generally a root player or even worse, super busy at the wrong time. It really isn't the same instrument (I play a bit of guitar as well).

    My initial thoughts about what the bass VI "can't do" would be slap and most fingerstyle playing. The bass VI really calls for a pick as the spacing is super tight.
  4. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    A typical Bass VI is tuned higher than a typical bass and is used for "flavor" in songs as opposed to doing the job of a bass guitar. Plus, something like a Bass VI has been around for a very long time and people didn't really ever quit using bass guitars.

    Ironically, the Fender bass was designed to allow guitarists a way to get more work by playing bass using guitar techniques without having to play an upright.
  5. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I had this issue when I transitioned from guitar to bass. When I sing (poorly) it's easy when playing guitar but hard to impossible when playing bass, so I know I'm approaching the instruments differently and have for a long time now. Ironically when I played guitar I never wanted to be a musician despite playing in bands, which I did to get female attention. A friend convinced me to buy a bass and play in his band, so I bought my first bass (2nd if you include an EB something I noodled on as a little kid and have no idea what happened to), a Fender Precision, and immediately loved it.

    I'd like to try a Bass VI not to play guitar or bass on, but to see if I can combine them both into something that is useful in a band setting. I don't think that the VI will have the sound I want to be the actual bass in a band; I play in a 3 piece + singer and a good bass sound and flow is critical for me.
  6. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    You're thinking of a baritone guitar. A bass VI is tuned one octave below a guitar and the 4 low strings are the same as a 4 string bass.

    I have the Schecter version, the Hellcat VI.

  7. Drucocu


    Jan 24, 2007
    I played a 6-string bass (a Jerry Jones Longhorn tough) in my last Outlaw Country Band, 50 / 50 with Double Bass. it delivers everything a 4-stringer does, except playing styles Slapping, Fingerstyle. (well, Jack Bruce proved that you CAN actually play fingerstyle). I used it in songs, where I usually wanted to provide more melody in my bassplaying, also some harmonies with the electric guitar player (we had an acoustic guitarist too).
    I dont think that guitarists will take over the low frequencies because of the 6-stringers - they have been around for over 50 years, and guitarist don't play like bassist either.
  8. Don't worry, the original ones came out in the 1960's and didn't change anything in bass playing and won't this time.
    They're cool instruments but there not the same as a full scale proper bass.
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Bass VI's are considered specialty instruments, and guitarists who play them still alternately do well and suck at playing bass regardless of what instrument they use. Effect on bass player marketplace: nil.
  10. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I would love to have one to tinker with, but figuring out how to use it in an actual band setting would be tricky. I've tried them in stores; strumming open guitar chords sounds terribly muddy. If you just pick a regular bass line you're not really using the extra strings. So to get the thing to both give you a decent bass line AND make use of the higher strings for chords would be a trick. I'm figuring some kind of Chet Atkins-style technique would be really good on it, but pulling that off would really depend on the skills of the player and the music being played. So like JimmyM said, nil effect on employability of bassists.
  11. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Yup, sell all your equipment and give up because the latest fad is going to replace what has been an integral part of every band since the '50's.
  12. Yeah, and if the Beatles can't make them popular, WHO CAN? No, in all half-seriousness as JimmyM stated, they are a specialty instrument, so their impact will be nil. I almost liken them to electronic drums: they're cool to play around with, may be fun for a little while, and may even tempt one to rethink much of what they know about the instrument, but we all know acoustic drums are better and will last longer. Maybe a bad analogy, but think about it...:eyebrow:
  13. IPA


    May 5, 2010
    Don't forget the true threat to basskind-- THE OCTAVE PEDAL :eek:
  14. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
  15. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Yamaha, Fender, Rickenbacker, BSX. I'm Marc!

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    That style of bass guitar was introduced by Danelectro in 1958 to help in achieving the Nashville Tic-Tac sound & make the bass more accessible to guitarists. Fender's was introduced in 1960 or 1961 - I forget. It wasn't terribly successful then - I doubt it's gonna be that much more successful now, even if it is cool to many of us.

  16. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I'm having a flashback to the 80s. "The synth is gonna replace the bass!"
  17. halfjackson


    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Yeah, I wouldn't sweat it. I just ordered one, but I'll use it for my own original ideas, and I doubt it'll get much playing time in any band that I'm currently in. I'm not worried about losing out on a gig to someone with a Bass VI. I suppose it could happen, but I guess I'll have one too :eyebrow:
  18. Mark Nye

    Mark Nye

    Sep 18, 2012
    Columbus, OH

    Guitarists are always going to play like guitarists, and bassists are always going to play like bassists (double agents exempted). I own a Bass VI and gig it regularly, playing regular bass lines, like a bassist, through a bass rig, simply because I like the tone(s), and because the thing is damned fun to play.

    Personally, I don't worry about guitarists using Bass VIs to encroach on my gig territory. For years, frustrated guitarists have been making the switch to bass "because it's easier," and that hasn't affected much, either. People are either going to be good bassists because they truly love the instrument and its role in music, or they're going to be crappy bassists because they don't. Your competition is the former, not the latter.
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Try to slap one of those or try to play it fngerstyle. It is a bass for guitarists.
  20. might be a cool bass to double on up on all paul gilbert style virtuoso guitar stuff ;)