Everyone. I need your opinions!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mark Wilson, May 9, 2005.

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  1. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    Well. First things first. I've been playing bass for nearly 3 years now. I've had ONE bass through it all, and i'm getting my Geddy lee. But after that, what should I get? I don't mean to sound to "Jaco-esque" but i'm the baddist at my school. I feel horrible saying that, but my teacher refers to me as Jaco :hyper:

    JT if you're reading this, you'll like this. But 4 isn't enough, and I don't like 5's. I want to go 6. At a music store I worked at, we have a Groove Tools 7-string. I LOVED it. It was the best bass I have ever played. Does Groove Tools make 6-strings? Conklin is too expensive for me. :( Also, if I can't get a 6, should I just goto 7? I mean i want to challenge myself. Gah! Please help!

    PS. i LOVE The Ibanez BTB-6 as well.
  2. I dont know but personally I dont think more strings = more skill.

    You can be just as challanged improving on a 4 or 5. but if strings is what you want, go for it.

    if you want 6 strings buy a guitar :)

    Sorry for being no help at all.
  3. Broach_insound


    Jan 25, 2005
    New York
    lose the more string more skill mentality "Jaco" ha
  4. spindizzy


    Apr 12, 2004
    Your skill is in your head, hands and heart, not your bass. Your talent supersceeds the cost of your equipment. Practice makes perfect. More strings is simply more opportunity to express. If your heart says I need more room then more room you should have. As a seven string player myself I won't tell you that it improved my playing. There are still some things better left to a four or five string just like there are some things better left to fretless. What I will tell you is that I enjoy the "room" to express. I like the challenge. Also remember that when you tell any group of folks of any plan you may have some will think you are crazy, others will think you are foolish, yet others will scold you for the idea. In the long run though it is you that you face in the mirror each day, not them. Play your bass, one string or twenty, just give it all you've got.
  5. 1. 3 years with the same bass isn't a long time, believe me. :D

    2. Beware of hubris - it can kill you. :eek: :eek:

    3. If you feel unable to express yourself with 4 strings, try a 6 or 7, but always bear in mind that it could be your apparent inability to express yourself that is the problem rather than the number of strings on your bass. ;)

    Good luck with it all. :)
  6. WordShaman


    Apr 26, 2005
    Yeah, you might want to be careful tooting your own horn. The minute you THINK you're good, you'll never find room for improvement.

    On the other subject, I started on 5-string basses because I thought they'd give me more possibilities. What I found out was that it didn't. The 5th string just got in my way. I ended up moving to 4-string basses as a result.

    If you think you'd like it though, go for a 6-string. There are people out there that prefer the lower and upper range they offer.
  7. karrot-x

    karrot-x Banned

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    Seems like you have Jaco's mind, why not stick to 4 like him.
  8. Kurt Hans

    Kurt Hans

    Mar 17, 2005
    good advice.
  9. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Slightly similar case to me. I started with a 4, went to a 5 (for then justifiable reasons), went to a 6 (for then justifiable reasons) and now my main player is a 4. It took me a long time to realize that I don't really need the extended range and that 4-strings is more than enough for me. To be honest, it feels liberating to be rid of the 5th and 6th strings. However, since I still own a 6 and do have fun composing on it I have all the respect in the world for those who make ERBs work brilliantly in their musical contexts. I certainly don't need one and am finding, expressing, and improving my potential on a beautiful 4. Such a comfortable neck...makes my 6 feel like a landing strip.

    However, perhaps our friend needs to experience the extended range for himself before deciding whether it's his home or not. I certainly had to. It took me a long time to realize that the more I thought I needed extra strings, the less I really needed them. In that case, I'd recommend one of the less expensive 6-strings out there such as the Peavey Fury, Ibanez SR506, ESP/LTD B206, Spector Legend 6, Samick Fairlane 6, or a good used 6 like a used Carvin or something.

    Best of luck in your search for the perfect bass. It's a quest we've all partaken in and/or continue to partake in. Whether your perfect bass has 4 strings or 40 strings, it's all good, so long as it allows you to feel and sound like yourself.
  10. You're suffering from "big fish in small pond" syndrome. If you allow yourself to think you're good, you tend to slow down your improvement. Get some exposure to other area bass players and you may find that by checking out a bigger pond, you're actually still a small fish.

    People are basically suckphobic, they fear sucking at stuff, especially stuff done in public, will work hard to improve and avoid that. Once you think you're the shiznit, the pressures off the progress slows way down. Nothing like competition to keep you focused and working towards improving.

    I'd recommend getting some recordings of Jaco to play along with, see how that goes. You may be doing really well for the time you've been playing, and the "Jaco" comments are meant to convey that, and provide encouragement. Its probably not meant as a literal comparisonto Jaco. I'm pretty sure it took him more than 3 years to get where he was.... :D

    As to whether you "need" a 6 or 7 string bass to express yourself, look at your playing. Are you ending way up the neck and running out of room up there? Are you trying to play chords, and that's forcing you way up the neck? If the answers to those questions is no, its not the lack up extra strings and the higher notes they provide that's holding you back.

    The extended range basses (6,7, maybe even 5) are harder to slap with, probably harder to play in general, so be aware you're giving up some capability to gain others. With only a few years under your belt, do you really want to add unnecessary additional difficulty now? There's plenty left to learn on bass ahead of you without adding extra strings in the mix. How old are you, are your hands full sized yet? Adding a wider extended range neck to small hands could be asking for tendonitis.

    I'd say at least wait until you've stopped growing and your hands are full sized before going beyond a 5 string. Make sure you're not doing it because of a "status" thing, to be the only guy in school with a 6 or 7 string.

    Can you pick up songs by ear quickly? Do you practice playing with a metronome? A good ear, solid grooves, and good meter will get you WAY WAY farther than a couple of extra strings and good soloing skills.

  11. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I used to think that 6 was for me. Got one, played it a couple days, then stopped playing and continued on my fretless jazz and precision. The two extra strings are totally useless to my playing style. One day I will get myself a nice sixer if I find I have to do a lot of quick intense reading (Broadway shows, etc.), but for jazz and improv and everything else I do, 4 is my bag.

    But that's my story. You have to try it for yourself. Try to make it as inexpensive an experiment as you can. ;)
  12. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    +1 good advice. Also, IMHO, FWIW, calling yourself Geddy Lee and listing your home page as Rush's might be a bit much.

    +1 as well... really. Sounds like you have great potential... use it wisely.

    As a side note, to sorta' echo others here... keep in mind that Jaco, Jeff Berlin, and Victor Wooten are all players who have done truly amazing things without having to add strings. In Victor and Jeff's case, they continue this even today... all on just 4 strings. Yes, Victor has 5's, but when I saw him, he played 4 90% of the time.
  14. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Hey - it could be worse. He could be calling himself "Jaco"!

    D'OH! ;) :D
  15. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    the best bassists of this world only need 3 strings,i can beat anyone with six,i use 4 and kick their ass :cool:
  16. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have 2 questions and some advice;

    How old are you?
    What school do you rule?

    Now, get over yourself. Without knowing more, and assuming you are a good player, it sounds a lot like big fish, small pond syndrome. I am a high school teacher and I see it ALL THE TIME with kids. I think a piece of "humble pie" would serve you well.

    I am not trying to be rude or crush your dreams, just honest...
  17. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    the best chords i ever hear,was made with a four string bass,ex,Stu,Jaco,Sheenan,Manring etc,etc and also when i have my 5 string i play nice but my style of play was a 4 string set up basically,ok bad english but everybody can understand me..really? :p
  18. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I'm curious to find out what you mean by "four isn't enough". When you say you want to challenge yourself, do you mean more strings = more challenge? Developing as a player doesn't necessarily mean moving on to a different instrument.

    I think what I'm saying is, focus on what you would like to do next, rather than what instrument you would like to do stuff on.

    Have you thought about why your teacher might have chosen to call you Jaco? :eyebrow:

    Best of luck with your music!
  19. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    i think the DVDs of Scenes of New York(Metropolis 2000) and Live at Budokan can damage brains....... :rolleyes:
  20. Maybe his teacher actually called him "Jacko"? :eek: :eek:

    :D :D :D :D

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