getting used to 6 ers

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by slapper3, Jun 7, 2001.

  1. slapper3


    Jan 13, 2001
    how long does it normally take to get used to have 6 strings?
  2. Cornbread


    Jun 20, 2000
    Lawrence, Ma
    A few months, depending on your dedication.
  3. slapper3


    Jan 13, 2001
    good lord......i want a galveston six yellow with bat's awesome
  4. G


    Apr 12, 2000
    I just recently made the switch to 6 strings, so maybe I can offer some advice.

    Being discouraged is alright. Whatever you do, don't give in and go back to the four because it is easier, or more comfortable. Stick with it.

    Give up the four, or the five, or whatever you were playing on previously for a while. You can play the same stuff on a six that you can play on a four. Or a five.

    Learn the extra strings as quick as you can, mapping the fretboard is key.

    I haven't touched my other basses since I got my six, and I really haven't missed them. Well, maybe the fretless, but still...
  5. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    Has anyone here gone from a 4 directly to a 6. I was just wondering if you feel it would be harder to adjust from going from 4 to 6 instead of 5 to 6 (not saying that going from 5 to 6 is the way you are supposed to do go).

    Or do you think going from 5 to 6 is about the same as 4 to 5. I have a 5 and I would love to get a sixer and I was wondering if it would really be more difficult.
  6. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Well, I went right from a 4 to a 6. I think it might have been a little harder than going from a 5, because I found that the low string threw me off more than the high string. I also found that the way to get used to it was just to play it. I had my 6 for about a week, then I had to do a gig, so I took the 6 without backup. I have to admit, I played some funny lines that night--my band members were wondering what was going on--but I learned a lot in a hurry. The good part was, what I was doing tended to be off by a 4th below, which is a fairly consonant interval, so things didn't sound as bad as if I was consistently off by, say, a whole step or a diminished 5th. (They just didn't sound right!)

    I actually think going from 4 to 5 might be harder for most folks than going from 5 to 6.
  7. Well, well... i´ve moved from a 4 to a 6 too soon... i didn´t have techniques such as slapping and tapping, and i´m having a hard time to get them... i think i´m gonna move to a 4 again... when i learn those wonderful and - why not to say - necessary for today´s demands techniques i´ll be moving to a six again. Don´t move to a 6-string if you don´t have´em yet. You´re gonna be frustrated.
  8. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    im on a 4 right now, for 2 years + 1 before that on upright, and am moving to 6 soon. the only reason is that i feel like i know enough on 4 and am getting quite bored with the small range.
  9. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Sorry, could not disagree more. IMO slapping and tapping are utterly irrelevant to whether you can/should play 6 or not. They're fine if they apply to your personal style, but there are a lot of people who don't want or need those particular techniques but who still have a definite use for the extended range a 6 provides. It would be silly to say those people shouldn't be playing a 6.
  10. i'm surprized no one has brought up JT, he went from a 4 to a 7 (i think, either that or a 5 to a 7), and he's one of those believers that you should get what you want, and not work your way up.

    I believe that if you want a 6 string when you start, get a 6. I think it will actuly be easyer to use because you wont need to "re adjust" because you'd be used to having them there, and it wouldnt be weird unless you took them away. Guitar players start out with 6 strings. you take away the two high strings from them (a good guitar player that doesnt just play power chords, and only power chords), and they'd think you were crazy. Also, when you're just starting out on guitar, you dont nessasarily use all the strings. same applys for bass, dont use all the strings if you dont want to use them. But if you want to have them there, have them there. My basic opinion is if you're buying a 4 string bass, and gonna work your way up to a 6 string. Why not use the 4 string "within" the 6, so you're not, not used to haveing the extra strings there.
  11. I found that moving from 4 to 5 was much harder than moving from 5 to 6. The only thing I had to learn with the 6 was muting the C string when not in use, whereas a new mindset is required to accomodate the B string. I left the 4 at home and made mistakes when I moved to 5, but you learn quickly when you're on the bandstand. Going to the 6 from the 5 was no problem.
  12. Undertaker


    May 29, 2001
    South Gate, CA
    Go 6 man, seriously you wont regret it. My first bass was a 6'er the reason being is that i wanted more range, also the 4 looked to boring to me. Keep on at it and you will get playing soon, the lower string thows me off sometimes but you can adjust fine.
  13. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    yeah, (thanks muttluk ;)) i went from a lined fretless 4 to an unlined fretless 7. it was hard, very hard, to adjust, but i made it, and i haven't played a 4 since (that would be '93).

    i heartily endorse G's comments - if you wish to play a 6, leave the 4 behind. splitting time between the 2 will just make it take longer to get competant on the 6. once you've gotten comfortable and competant on the 6, you can go back and forth if you wish, but until then, doing so is just going to prolong the agony.
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I went from a 4 to a 6.

    I had played 4 string for 14 years, and decided that I wanted a 6 string.

    Bought the bass, and gigged with it the same week.

    There were a few misadventures with the B string, but they went away pretty quickly.

    What John T and G said about devoting all of your time to the 6 makes sense, at least for a little while until you learn your way around the neck and get used to the extra strings.

    But you don't have to play it exclusively once you get it down.

    I play 4, unlined fretless 4, 5, lined fretless 5 and 6 stringers and can easily switch back and forth from one format to another.

    The only thing that ever throws me off when playing a different bass is string spacing. If all of my basses had the same string spacing, I wouldn't even notice a difference, except of course for the number of strings.

    Good luck!:)
  15. slapper3


    Jan 13, 2001
    i never expected such a turn out! I'm gettin the six sometime over the summer so I'l report back in later!