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Country music and Six string basses

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Fire-Starter, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    Please forgive me if this seems like a stupid question, but I am curious. Is there room for a six string (and above) basses in country music, or is anything over a five just too much, I have seen from time to time bass players who seem to be playing five strings basses more common, and maybe there are some six and above players and I have not seen them?

    Just curious??
  2. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I have been drawn to more and more country these days, especially the current charted material. Today's country has some really sweet production values, especially in the bass. My listening and playing experiences have led me to believe that the five-string is king right now. It seems that the contemporary sound is in love with the low B, especially if it is on a Stingray 5. Is there a place for the six-string? Most definitely! I am convinced that Patsy Cline's version of "Crazy" features some sort of baritone guitar that doubles the acoustic bass and gives the song that cool percussive "click" in the lower register. Probably one of those Fender VI things. I associate six-and-up basses with progressive music, so you may be hamstrung by traditional country bass roles that relegate the bass to a support position. On the other hand, you may be on track to break those traditions and redefine country bass. Just my $.02

  3. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    You can basically play anything with anything. The exceptions are few. Prejudice is on the other hand plentiful.
  4. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    The number of string has nothing to do with,
    what style you play.
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I don't see any reason why you couldn't play root-five all day on a six string. :bag:

    what was the question again? :p

    seriously though....this
    is a false statement. If you plan on playing chords a whole lot, then you're going to -need- a six string or the style won't be open to you. If you want to play extended low range you -need- a fiver. :bassist:
  6. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Ah, but those are merely technical approaches, not musical "styles". Semantics, I know.
  7. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Well I've been trying to hook up with a group that considers their sound "Southern Rock" but to me, it sounds pretty country. I haven't played much in this style, but made the assumption that I should take my P bass out to play with them rather than my EDB605 5'er. I thought that the Ibanez ergo 5 was maybe a bit too "modern" in it's tone and I didn't want assumptions made about my playing based on my weapon of choice. I've since decided to go ahead and use the 5 becasue I find it to be a lot more playable (for me) I also found that a lot of their music is in the key of D and I end up playing pretty far up the neck on the 4 string - That made me want to play some of these numbers on the 5 an octave lower. My question for tha bass player experienced in country music - Are you seeing bassists in the country genre utilize extended range basses these days? Are guys playing the D below low E?
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Tell that to Mike Dimin.
    Definitely more challenging on a 4...

    Regarding the original question-
    I've been playing in a side band that opens for various New Country acts...I've seen a few 5s but mostly 4s(still). No doubt the Nashville studio guys are more into 5s vs. the 'road bands'.

    I think Keith Horne(Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks) uses a 6.
    Horne usually gets a long 'solo' spot; most backing bassists...don't get/deserve that luxury.
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...almost forgot.
    One Summer(in the above mentioned band), I re-strung & played BEAD; the tunes just didn't really require a "G"-string.
    Now, I'm back to EADG.
    Sometimes I "D"-tune the "E"-string.
    Sometimes I use the OctaBass("higher" note's pot is turned to "0").

    Sold both my 5s awhile ago.
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Or Jonas Hellborg.


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    if you can play a 5 then why couldnt you play a six? after all, it only goes about 5 notes higher...

    people need to stop worrying about the number of strings and start paying attention to whats being said with them...
  12. A few months ago there was an "bass player wanted" ad in the local paper which specifically said "NO 5 STRINGS". The ad seemed cool up to that point, but after I read that line, I concluded whoever wrote that ad must have cranial-rectal inversion.
  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I woulda showed up for that audition with an 4-string Ashbory bass...if I had one.
  14. I've never played a 6-string in my life; As a 5 player, it's probably not hard to play fingerstyle but I could see it being a hindrance when I slap; I do a lot of G string popping and to have than damn C string in the way would annoy the hell out of me.
  15. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002

    You made an interesting point as far as the high c and the slapping goes, I feel ya on that! btw,,,is it a sin to slap in country music :eek: :eek:
  16. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    We used to open with "Play That Funky Music"...actually, we called it "Play That Country Music".(Root-5 over the chorus).
    I was told to slap the line on the verses by the leader, too.
  17. jb63


    Jan 3, 2002
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I spent a couple years in Nashville and in my opinion you absolutely have to have a 5, and I saw more cats playing 6's than I expected. Keith Horne being one of those 6er guys. Most of the bass players I met there play country because it is what pays the bills. If you go to some of the local clubs and catch the top players just jamming, the last thing you'd hear is country.

    If you get a chance, listen to 'Daddy Won't Sell the Farm' by Mongomery Gentry. During the bridge the bass part goes all the way down to low B. I'm not sure who played bass on that cut, but if I had to guess it was either Glen Worf, Michael Rhodes, or Mike Brignardello. Those guys play on most of the major label stuff that comes out of Nashville.

    I suppose if you really wanted to play a 4, get it set up for BEAD tuning.

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