CAn it be done?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dragen, Jan 29, 2001.

  1. Dragen


    Aug 31, 2000
    I like my 4-string Jazz Bass. I have never played a fretless, but it's tempting. In addition;I like the diversity of a 5 or 6-string. Now, the question is: Can I play all those instruments at the same time without too much diversity (no, I don't mean exactly at the same time).
  2. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Dragen, my basses include an 18" fretless Ashbory to 35" 4-string fretless to 34" 5-string. Sure you can play different axes with different configurations. Some would argue that you can become 'better' by concentrating on one bass and getting to know it as well as possible.

    On the other hand, what is 'better' is relative. For me, it is better to be able to grab a 5-stringer and play a song that requires it competently, than to stay on a 4-stringer and 'fudge' my way through it, impressing everyone with my hand flying all over the neck.

    Ultimately, you have to decide what works for you.
  3. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    IMHO, the more you play, the "better" you'll be.
    And enlarging your "style" and your "musical vision" by playing different instruments can only be good for anyone.
    Perhaps at the beginning, you might have some difficulties switching from one to another but you will adapt yourself.
    I personnaly play 5 and 4 strings bass, (though less and less 4) and guitar (sorry) recently.
    I'm also thinking about getting a fretless.
  4. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    if you can afford them, you can play them too
  5. Dragen, get as many basses as you possibly can. I put off
    getting a fretless for about 5 years for no particular reason, all I can say is: Don't wait! I finally bought one
    last July, and my playing got better all around. From playing the fretless, I now pay more attention to positions, and when I go back to the fretted, I'm a little
    faster because I don't have to be as careful where my fingers go.(love those frets!) I thought I'd just drift off
    into the fretless Jazz world and never come back, but, it
    made me appreciate fretted basses in a way I never did!
    As for 5 strings, I don't own one yet, but the first time
    I played one in Sam Ash(gotta get that plug in there) it
    was so natural. I didn't make mistakes because the neck was
    wider, or get confused about what to do with the "extra"
    string. I just stated with a few scales, and just slid onto
    the B string. The only thing that surprised me was how good
    those really low notes sounded. If you've got the bread, and
    don't have a girlfriend that'll smash a new bass over your
    head "because it looks like the other one" go for it man!
    Multiply thine basses, and subdue the Earth!

    Delay not, my good man. Buy what you can afford. Life is too short.
    Mike J.

    Mike J.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dragen, you mind might work differently than mine does, but I switch back and forth between 4, 5, 6, fretless 4 and soon fretted 5, and other than the fact that more shifting is required on a 4 string, it poses no problems for me.

    But you have to keep your hand in. It takes a lot of practice, and not just on your favorite bass.

    My favorite is 5 string, and that's what I play 80% of the time live.

    But I practice exclusively on 4 and 6, and so have no problem taking a 4 or my 6 with me and playing as well as I do on my 5.

    The only real problem that I have ever had was when I first bought my 6, it was the only bass that I played for several months. I joined an olides band, and when they saw my 6 string, I was told that I needed to bring a more traditional looking bass.

    I had a little difficulty switching back to 4, because it had been several months. Like John T says, kinda like picking up those fat crayons from kindergarten. :D

    So I decided that I needed to be able to play all of my basses, and changed my practice so that I could rotate them all in.