Explain the Fender Bass VI

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jason42, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno

    Oct 20, 2017
    I just recently kind of figured out what these things were. I kind of want one just to fiddle with as I can play a bit of guitar. Having never held one in my hands it's all an unknown quantity, but if I get one it will be one of these, as I'm sure it will meet my needs (which are slim to none) and costs half what a Squier does:
    RedVee likes this.
  2. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    "This product contains materials subject to the convention to protect endangered species (CITES). Delivery to United States is therefore not possible at the moment."
    lizardking837 likes this.
  3. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    Never heard of a Fender bass VI fretless. What model ? What series ?
  4. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    The Fender bass VI is an awesome looking instrument that will inspire creativity. Especially if you're a guitarist/bassist. It has lots of versatility. Though many say you can use it as a regular bass, *you can't. Unless you play in a band that can handle a really thin sounding bass. It also really needs to be played as an entirely different instrument. Not quite a bass. Not quite a guitar. You won't be able to do many of the thing you can on your bass, on the VI (unless you practice relentlessly and develop new skills), and you won't be able to do MOST of the things you can on your guitar.

    If you're anything like me you will buy it, and be thrilled. You will play around with it for a few days. You will think of great things you will do with it. You might take it to a rehearsal. You might play it one or two more times. And then it will sit on a stand, or hide in a gig bag... and you will look at it... thinking... I really should play that thing. And time will pass... and dust will gather, and you will think of selling it, but laziness will win, over and over...

    And then one day, years later, it happens!

    You put an ad up.

    Someone buys it!

    And you never miss it. Not for a single day.

    *Watched some of the videos in this thread. I can't.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  5. I never had the chance to play one of the these basses but I saw a bass player using it during a concert.

    I really liked the sound. To my ears, it reminded a guitar played with an octave pedal (with the octave below activated).

    It's a great instrument full of possibilities. I wish I have one of these beauties.
    RedVee likes this.
  6. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    Is that an original song? You guys sound amazing!!!
    catcauphonic likes this.
  7. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    I could listen to it all day long.
    catcauphonic and Spectrum like this.
  8. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Works pretty well fingerstyle too (meaning guitar fingerstyle here).
    lizardking837 likes this.
  9. BwanaDust

    BwanaDust Inactive Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2019
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Lincoln Learning Solutions - Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center
    The whammy is so you can play the intro to Twin Peaks.

    It's bass-like and all basses are guitars. so yes.
    deirdresm, doggo, HaphAsSard and 4 others like this.
  10. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    In addition to her solo stuff, Julie also uses the VI exclusively in her two-bass band EchoTest, with Marco Machera on a five-string. Much of the time she plays it much like a guitar while Marco holds down the low end, but frequently they'll switch and she'll take the "bass" part while Marco goes high. This band is amazing. Check out this live set:

    (Video should start around 8:45 at the beginning of the set (after interviews).
    Simon Fretless, Toptube and Mike.C. like this.
  11. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    The Glen Campbell song is the best example of the Bass VI. It has that unique , solo, guitar sound. Duane Eddy used it on some songs also like, " Tiger Love And Turnip Greens", and Spaghetti Westerns, 60's Surf music, etc. I had the Eastwood for awhile. I found that I liked it out of a bass cab better than a guitar version. Also, according to Carol Kaye, that's the Dano Bass VI on " La Bamba ".
    RedVee likes this.
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I notice in the Cure video he’s pretty much above the 12th fret for most of it. Which is the same thing as playing below the 12th fret on a regular guitar n’est-ce pas? ;)
    RedVee and matante like this.
  13. Forgive me if already posted, but I cant read the while thread at work. Search engine how many hits had the Fender 6. It's a cool list.
  14. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    I've got one of these ( mine is the same turquoise color), the Danelectro 6 string bass, tuned E to E, like a guitar an octave lower. I've never used it in a gig situation, but I have taken it to a few private blues jam sessions. It's a lot of fun to play.

  15. I have always wanted one. As a lefty bassist though, I cant afford to lose a lung or something to afford one. But they are kinda cool. People keep posting videos of the vi used as a bass. Here is one of it used as more of a guitar. Van Halen on the song Spanked.
  16. Jebberz

    Jebberz Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Quebec city
    I have the Gretsch Baritone stung with Bass VI strings. I use it live for one third of our songs in my cover band. I use it to play regular bass, mainly, ans also a bit of a guitar (in some intros, or where there is pace for a 2nd guitar and no bass). I is very fun.
    HaphAsSard, RedVee and Dabndug like this.
  17. Cave Puppy

    Cave Puppy "Humph Bo, he's wond!" - John Lennon

    Jan 13, 2015
    Someone mentioned the Squier Bass VI is heavy. I can certainly vouch for that. It's probably the heaviest (weight wise) instrument I have. The Squier Bass VI is difficult to intonate, so much so I put a Mastery bridge on mine. There are horror stories about trying to intonate the low E especially. The tremolo is pretty much useless unless you want to tune every time you use it. I have flatwound LaBellas on mine as well. It does mimic that '50s "tic-tac" sound pretty well now, though. I have debated several times whether or not to keep it. Might as well at this point. I should also mention the build quality is ok, not great. I have the Olympic White with the tort guard but the "tort" started to peel away so I peeled the whole thing off so now I have a white on white Bass VI which I think looks much better than the peeling tort.
    Simon Fretless and RedVee like this.
  18. dalo

    dalo Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    I have a Fender Pawnshop Bass VI. It sounds like a bass when played through a bass amp and like a baritone guitar when played through a guitar amp.

    Chords can be a little muddy and it definitely needs to be played with a pick. But overall it is a very cool instrument. I haven't gigged with it, but I do like having it around as another tonal option.
  19. rashrader


    Mar 4, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    I’ve know a guy who strings up his 6 String Thumb Bass in the Bass VI Style of tuning. It sounds amazing.
    Simon Fretless and RedVee like this.
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