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Confusing basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stangg, Dec 6, 2000.


  1. Stangg

    Stangg Guest

    What are the strings on a 6-string bass? I assumed they'd be like an electric g***ar (E-B-G-D-A-E), but i could be wrong. same question with a 7-stringer.
     
  2. MJB

    MJB

    Mar 17, 2000
    I'm gonna go from low to high here. Some 6 stringers are like guitar, EADGBE, some are BEADGC and I'm sure other tuning variations are at the discretion of the user, I believe John Turner here uses many different tunings on his 7 stringers but I'll let you get that from the horses mouth.

    Mike-not calling JT a horse. :D
     
  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    neeieiiggh! :D


    my 7's are tuned mainly b-E-A-D-G-b-e (low to high) with the capital letters corresponding to the strings of a 4 string bass. i also heavily use f#-b-E-A-D-G-c and sometimes E-A-D-G-c-e-a.

    my 8 (soon plural) is/are tuned f#-b-E-A-D-G-b-e.


     
  4. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Early versions of 6-string bass, called "tic-tac" basses because of their tone, were strung EADGBE like guitars, and were indeed not much more than guitar bodies with extended necks. The string spacing was similar to a guitar's so manufacturers could use the same hardware. These appeared in the 60's, the most popular being Fender's Bass VI and a Danelectro Longhorn. They commonly had 30" or so scale lengths. I know John Lennon and George Harrison played a Fender VI on some occasions when Paul McCartney played guitar with the Beatles. Country musicians used them to double string bass parts to make bass lines more radio-friendly.

    The BEADGC 6-string was championed in the early 80's (?) by Anthony Jackson who got Fodera to make him a few. They had 34" and longer string lengths and wider, more bass-like string spacing. These and their descendants are what most people these days refer to as 6-string basses.

    I bet JT is gettting ready to tell us when his buddy Conklin got into the game...

     
  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    bill started making instruments 16 years ago. his first 7 string bass was in '91 i think.
     
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Although people have stated the common ways that strings are tuned - nobody has explained the reasoning behind it.

    The point is that basses are tuned in 4ths and bass players mostly play patterns across the necks - scales or whetever.
    So if you add more strings above and below the range of the "normal" 4-string bass, it makes sense that they follow the exiting "pattern" - so the additional strings bear the same relationship to the strings above or below that all the other strings do - this was the main "idea" behind the 6-string bass (or contrabass) as introduced by Anthony Jackson and others.

    So you end up with an instrument with a wider range and this helps you to extend scales (for example) across the strings rather than running out of strings and having to make position shifts. Or, say you have a little riff that you play on the 4-string - now if you want to transpose this to another key, you might find that it goes off the range of the 4-string, so you have to alter the way you play it. But with 6 strings - the chances are, that you can play that riff in exactly the same way but using the additional strings above or below, the normal 4-string range.

    Now is that more or less "confusing"? ;)
     
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    :confused:

    how do you focus on sound in a catalog? do you mean talk about pickups and such?

    i mean, i agree with the concept that it would be nice if all the different types of pickups and preamps that he has used and their different sound qualities were listed - shoot it would be good to have the same kind of thing for all the different woods, but if it comes down to the choice between listing a bunch of technical specs and putting up pictures of his work, i think bill is going to go for the pics every time. i mean, words are cheap and unverifiable, put pics are hard to fake, and very descriptive.

    besides, conklin is just a 2 man shop. how many 2 man shops are there out there with any catalog at all, let alone one that nice?

    in fact, he's in the process of remaking the catalog, that one's been around for a couple of years, so it's time for a new one.

    maybe i can get him to put a sound page in it :D ;)
     
  9. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    But the question was, when did Bill make his first 6?

    And more importantly -- was it FRETLESS?

     
  10. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i don't really know, eli. i'll ask him and get back to you.
     
  11. VictorLeMonteWooten

    VictorLeMonteWooten

    Dec 6, 2000
    There is really no point for a six string bass

    if you want more than five strings, get a baritone guitar. 97% of bass playing only uses four strings, 2.99% uses five.
     
  12. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
  13. i think if i read corectly the Tic Tac bass sound came from one of the bass players from Patsy Klein, great stuff, they mixed the Double Bass and the six string Dano so the bass would stand out more and by mistake created a new sound, i am more of a classic rock, blues and funk bass player but if you can't apreciate someone like patsy klein i think you really need to rethink your role as a bass player
     
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    What's the source for these statistics - I can't imagine that it would be possible to collect such facts? Nobody knows how many basslines on records have been done using 6-strings - I would imagine, though that actually it's quite a lot.

    There was an article on session players in Bass Player and I can remember one of the Nashville guys saying that he always took his Ken Smith 6-string along as he knew it could cover anything that was required and this guy was doing several records a day!! I also remember them saying that low D was almost compulsory on "New Country" records - which made me laugh! How many records has Anthony Jackson been on?

    I should imagine a lot of session players use multi-stringers as they know they can cover any key changes easily and any range that's thrown at them. A lot of session players will also be asked to cover lines developed on synth bass which often go below the range of the 4-string - keyboards being biased towards a low C below the E string.
     
  15. I join Bruce in wondering where this amazing statistic came from.
    I also question the blinkered attitude, especially when the man who's name you borrow (VLW) owns and uses a six and an eight string.

     
  16. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

     
  17. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hey, that's cool, i hope i didn't seem like i was busting your chops, just curious what you have seen before and what your thoughts were.

    actually, a soundpage would be very cool, or even better yet, a little piece of ram + an mp3 player with some samples that would play when you opened the catalog would be cool - sorta like those birthday cards that play a song when you open them.

    seriously, though, i think the point behind what bill is doing in the way his catalog is laid out is to sell the qualities, and workmanship, that make his basses unique. the woodworking is a relevant factor - every bit of it at conklin is done by hand by 2 guys. no CNC machines punching out identical pieces, but hand carved necks. all of them. by showing examples of his skill bill is conveying the fact that when you buy a conklin, even a 4 string, you are getting the work of a skilled craftsman, a master woodworker.

    but then again, nobody needs more than 4 anyway, right? :rolleyes:

     
  18. Interesting.. over in the Basses forum, you said if you were a millionaire, you'd have a Carl Thompson 6-string.
     
  19. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Touche'!

    Ironic, isn't it?
     
  20. don't need six?
    how about don't need four, tony levin has a three and he seems to like it, how about don't need three, mark sandman played a two string and he sounded great, how about don't need two there are plenty of wash tub bassists with one string that sound great. don't need six? yea what the hell are patituchi, burbridge, and claypool thinking :D