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Gear questions \ recommendations

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rockin982, Sep 19, 2004.

  1. rockin982


    Jan 27, 2004
    NJ, USA
    Ok, I'm relatively new to bass, so I have a couple of questions.

    Just a little about me, I'm actually a lifelong drummer expanding into some other instruments, (bass and guitar, and then piano/keys as I am able to add it in). I'm looking to start a new band and hopefully a successful indie career (I've done alot of research on "making it" in the industry and after what I've learned I'm almost sure I never want to sign to a major, but I'd like to have a very successful and financially rewarding music career). So I figure my ability to write and collaborate (as well as perform with other musicians) would be greatly enhanced if I can play the other instruments. I listen to alot of different kinds of music (mostly classical, jazz & fusion, R&B and hip-hop, jungle\drum-n-bass, and rock/alternative rock, but alot of other stuff along the side).

    Now my first question is why one would choose a 6 string bass over a 5. Listening to alot of contemporary gospel and R&B, I definitely understand the need for a B-string, but would I need a C-string too?

    Secondly, I need a recommendation on a bass / practice amp setup. Looking to spend $1000 between the two of them.
    I'm looking for 3 basic sounds from this bass:

    -Extremely deep, low-end growl (R&B\hip-hop,contemporary
    -Funky slap (funky fusion, contemporary gospel)
    -Melodic solo (a la Victor Wooten, Michael Manring, etc.)

    The other main thing I'm looking for is nice string spacing that's wide at the bridge for slapping, but a little more snug at the neck for ease of fretting. That and a comfortable neck. Either 5 or 6 strings depending on the answer to my first question (definitely need a B-string, though).

    This setup will be used primarily for personal practice and writing. May do some occassional jamming (would probably get another amp for this) and recording (will use Korg Pandora's box or Line 6 for this). I would get another bass and amp setup when I feel ready for live performance. I'd appreciate any suggestions.

    P.S. Right now I'm leaning toward the Peavey GRIND BXP NTB in a 5 or 6 string setup. It looks like a little brother of the Cirrus, which I absolutely loved when I played it in the store ...
  2. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I would suggest looking at Peavey for a practice amp. They are affordable and sound pretty good. As for the bass, there are tonnes of options. I would go to a music store and play as many basses in the 5-700 range as I can and determine what feel good for me. Having said that, you can get a decent five in that price range from Peavey (Fury QT V) and Ibanez (SR505). Regarding sixes, you may want to look heavily at Peavey, as they have affordable sixes in the Grind and Fury series. Your other alternative is to buy used if you can. As this is your first bass I would suggest not buying from the 'Net because you will want to get a good feel for your purchase first.

    Good luck, Dan
  3. 6-3-2


    Sep 20, 2003
    Odds are you won't need a high C, at least to me that would be useful for melodies and chords which probably wouldn't be useful for the type of music you're playing.
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    As for getting a six string, no you do not need one at all. If you get one, however, there is nothing wrong with that choice. In fact it give you some extra options as you get better on the bass. If you like the Peavey Grind, I see no reason not to get one. I will mention that you might also want to look at Dean, Spector, and Cort. They all make quality inexpensive six string basses also.
  5. rockin982


    Jan 27, 2004
    NJ, USA
    SO can someone explain to me where the C string comes in? Is it mostly for melodic playing or chording? I may not "need" it, but if has something to offer my playing, I am certainly willing to learn how to use it, in order to become a better player.

    As a drummer, I think about choosing how many toms to have on a kit. Any experienced drummer can play most styles of music with just a single rack tom and a floor tom, but anyone who's heard the likes of Dennis Chambers play knows that those extra toms can definitely be a huge asset if properly incorporated into your playing. My question is really how the C-string incorporates into bass playing (given that I know alot more about drumming than I do bass playing).
  6. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    In the music I have listened to, it seems that the C is used for both chords and melodies. Of course there are always other options I haven't heard.
  7. funkcicle


    Jan 9, 2004
    Asheville, NC
    It's not really to give you "more notes", just more options. In reality the C string only increases your range by a fourth.. and given the fact that you're not playing that high on the neck anyways, the extention of range is pretty much moot in most cases.

    But options.. you can play the same things in different ways..on different parts of the neck giving you a different way to look at something old. You can play a 2 octave run without a major shift in hand position. You've got more room for melodic(soloing) and harmonic(comping) variety.

    Really, they're 2 completely different instruments.. same rudiments, but different approaches and different application, even in the same settings.

    (on a sidenote: this is why i don't like 5ers. They're different enough from what I'm used to that I have to make a conscious effort to compensate.. but not different enough for me to see any inherent advantage. But between the 4 and the 6er I can approach them as two completely seperate instruments.. my thought process is different with each and the music I make is different with each.)

    my $.02