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ERB ers! Should I even stop at 5 or go straight to a 6?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by syciprider, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Toyed around with an Ibanez Soundgear 6 in GC today. I have medium sized hands but was able to pull off simple 3 to 4 string lines like Brickhouse with little or no arch problems.

    5ers of course, feel almost like 4ers to me.

    So what are the pros and cons of 5 vs 6?

  2. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005
    I'm in your same predicament. I am going to skip playing a five and start with a 6, so thats what I'd suggest.
  3. I do not see the necessity of having C there.
  4. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    If you want one, get it. It's as simple as that. I really can't see how anyone can have a problem with the width of the neck.
  5. Fretless5verfan


    Jan 17, 2002
    if you want to get into necessity you don't really NEED the E,A,D, or G either :eyebrow:

    I'd say jump straight to 6. saves you the trouble (and money) of switching from 5 to 6....and you WILL want to switch :ninja: :D
  6. Aerolithe


    Jan 23, 2005
    Columbia, MO
    I just want to say not to let difficulty deter you from a 6, my friend went straight from a 4 to a 6 in a matter of hours, no problems, and he was playing great after a day. If you want a 6 get one, don't let anyone tell you you need to take it one step at a time.

    Other than that, all I can say is why not use a 6 if you are just as comfortable playing it? No need to sacrafice range if the neck feels good to you.
  7. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    It's not about the number of strings you have or should strive for, it's more about what type of music you play and do you think the extended ranges are necessary. ;)

    That said, once you start using the additional notes you will likely look for even more notes. I went from a 4 to a 5 and stayed there for three years. Once I went to the 6, it was only a matter of 6 months before I went to the 7 .... the possibilities are endless once the ranges are expanded :cool:
  8. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    What's your problem with 5s?
    It's much easier and cheaper to get p-ups and strings for 5s - some are not even available in 6. Also, 5s in general are cheaper and easier to get, and some basses are not even available as 6s.
    that's about it for cons. Oh, and some will be put off if you show up with a 6. A lot of times if I took my 6 when trying to get into another band, they though "oh, a 6, must be an overplaying show-off wanker, we just need someone to play the roots"

    some more notes
    more chordal capabilities
    easier soloing up high
    even less moving around/more notes at a position
    confuse some people with what instrument you are playing
  9. Excellent comment. I think, personally, I will stick with 5 for a while simply because I need no more for the music I play.

    I find that the ERB players are brilliant at the more exotic, beautiful music in existence.

    I play in a fairly straight-ahead pop/rock band and don't think I need a 6 or 7 etc at this stage.

    GAS always attacks, however, and I have a seed growing inside that tells me I will own an ERB before too long... ;)

    it won't be a Wishbass...however....
  10. Why stop at 6?

    And root notes sound the same whether you play them on a 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 or 10 string bass. Muting becomes more important, but the notes are still there.

    Whether it's intimidating to other band members is a whole other ball game, and surely not relevant to us as bass-players.

    Of course, IMHO, YMMV, OMG, BBQ... ;)
  11. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    What do you need? That's what you should get. I had a 6 for a while. I found that I really didn't NEED it, and it was tough on my tiny hands. I'm happy with my 5.
  12. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I've only played a 6'er like two or three times but it's extremely fun. I might get a Brice 6'er to mess around with.
  13. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    I forgot to mention that one drawback for BOTH was... I'm going to need a new bass amp for home theater lows like that heehee. But what an excuse to buy new gear huh?

    I play mostly rock tunes and then only in the privacy of my home and my only public gig is Catholic Mass on Sundays.

    But I admit that I like improvising/filling/wanking if the notes will fit in the measure. And it's so easy to do two octave improvs from the E or A string with a 6! :bassist:
  14. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Oh just get the 6, you know that you want it and that's reason enough.
  15. Pruitt


    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    I was recently in a similar situation, having only played a 4 string for 25 years. I decided to just go for a 6 and I don't regret it in the least. I decided to get something inexpensive to start with and bought an Ibanez SR-506. It's all I play at the moment. If that's the model you're thinking about getting, go for it. I love mine. For the price, I think it's hard to beat.

    Now I want a fretless 6 and I'm considering betting a Brice. Once again I'm just looking for something inexpensive to get used to. Next year I'll be looking to order a Custom 6 though, It's just a matter of if it's fretted or fretless. Heh heh...

    Have Fun! :bassist:
  16. clanner

    clanner Token Black Guy.

    Apr 27, 2005
    ummmmm, marietta GA
    if you go with a five or six, go with an SR, my 405 sounds great and i'm saving for the 506. go for what feels right.
  17. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    The reasons I've stopped at 5:
    1) Five has the range I need
    2) I've never played a C string I liked (and I've played some very high-dollar sixes)
    3a) Don't wanna mess with tighter string spacing
    3b) Don't wanna mess with a wider neck
    4) Don't wanna keep any more strings muted
    5) Don't wanna pay more for strings, or search harder to find 'em
  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    As noted, *I* have stopped at five. But anyone who wants to play six string bass should absolutely start on six string bass!
  19. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    I agree with much of what the previous Bob said.

    I played 4s until two years ago and went to a 6 with narrower spacing. It took me a week to feel comfortable and I played it on a gig with no problem 2 weeks after buying it.

    I find that for what I've been playing, I really don't use the C string much, therefore when I got my fretless, I went with a five. Now that I've had the fretless for a few months, I find that I like to use both depending what I'm playing.

    Go to a 5. Go to a 6. Just go and have fun!
  20. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I played a 6 for quite a while, not to go higher (how many of us are really using notes in the last 5 frets on the high C?!), but to play more positionally when going upward. I liked it a lot at first, but eventually found that I favored the fatter sounding high notes higher up the neck on the G string whenever possible. The high C is really cool for adding some double stop color along with lower notes. I'm back to 5ers for the forseeable future.

    If you feel it, do it ... but don't view it as a "progression" like as you get better -> you add more strings. It just depends on where you want to go with your playing.