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How many strings used Jaco ? (4)

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Alla, Jan 3, 2001.


  1. Alla

    Alla

    Sep 25, 2000
    Italy
    Hi people
    I know , Jaco used 4 string , but my question was a little provocative ( sorry for my English , hope you understand ) . I read yesterday many of your threads in basses forum . In many of these I read things like : “ I have a bass with 8 string You only with 7 J “ or “I have more strings over my basses even if You have more basses than me J “ (John Turner rules , greetings John J ) . I asked to myself : “ Are we losing the sense of being Bassist ? How many string I really need to make a great groove or to become recognized worldwide as a great bassist ? “ . I feel 5 string is the upper limit and this is only my opinion . Look at Jaco I said , or look at Victor or to Stanley Clarke. I have received for Christmas his (of Victor) first solo album . Wow with only FOUR strings he made all that ?! Now there are great bassist like Steve Bailey or Anthony Jackson that use 6 string basses and they are really great , and I love a Peavey Cirrus 6 , but I know that if I would have enough money , first bass I will buy is a Fender 5 jazz bass or a Fender Roscoe beck model or a G&L 2500 ( already have Fender Jazz Bass 4 string American standard ) .
    Hope you really understand me and you want to answer .
    Peace to all

     
  2. ka-tet

    ka-tet

    May 2, 2000
    It doesn't matter how many strings a person has. The music and notes they play is all that matters. Some people seem to buy extended string instruments as a gimic. They think they have to be up on the latest things or be "hip". The key to playing four strings or 100 strings is to be musical. It's just as hard to be musical with 4 as it is with 6.
     
  3. Sorry guys,

    Since this thread is more about bassists, and the number of strings their basses have, and not really pertaining to actual Q&A about strings. I'm going to move this thread to the bassists forum. You'll get a better response there.
     
  4. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I still contend bein' creative on a ONE-string bass would be the more difficult.
     
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think that this is a particularly unhelpful choice as woth Jaco, the instrument he used was irrelevant in comparison with things like : his compositional flair, note choice, innovative solo techniques and imaginative way of supporting and grooving, to name but a few. He could pick up any instrument and still be distinctive, as is demostrated on his video, even when he wasn't at his best or in fact very far from it. It was his mind and hands that made his sound and everything else was a long way behind.
     
  6. Alla

    Alla

    Sep 25, 2000
    Italy
    Yes I know that it doesn't matter how many string you have but how much you arew a great musician .... I agree in this with Bruce ... but I believe that a bassist with more than 6 string tend to become more a guitarist ... it's a great temptation . Only Great Great bassist would maintain the spirit of being a bassist and this only cause they are also great great musician ( see Micheal Manring for details ) :)
    Bye to all
     
  7. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    I play a 6, and take offense at the concept that I play in an "overly guitaristic fashion" (paraphrase, not a quote) just because of the number of strings on my instrument.

    Just because the notes are there, you don't need to use them. It's a matter of appropriateness in your playing, using that nebulous thing: "taste".

    Bottom line, if you're counting the strings on my bass, you're NOT LISTENING. You can't HEAR if Jaco or someone else had a particular number of strings. And don't use the line of thought that "sure I would have, he would have played a note lower or higher than is possible on a 4". WRONG. He could have played a 10 string bass, and just chosen not to use those notes.
     
  8. Alla

    Alla

    Sep 25, 2000
    Italy
    Ehi people
    I dont want to offend anybody . It's just my opinion . I don't tell " if you have a 6 or 7 strings bass you are near to become a frustrated guitarist and this is sure " . If you read the first thread , i said that I love a peavey 6 cirrus .. so please don't take offense . I want to tell only that you don't need 6 or 7 string to become a grat bassist or to make a great groove in your band and give sustain to the music in general !
    Peace to all
     
  9. ka-tet

    ka-tet

    May 2, 2000
    I would wager that not one person believes you have to have a 6 or 7 string bass to be a great bassist or groover in a band. If you have a 4 string does that instantly make you a good bassist? Again I say it doesn't matter how many strings. Of all the bass players you listen to and like, do you like them because the amount of strings they play or what music they play? If you answered correctly this topic could be pointless.
     
  10. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    I am getting a 5 string shortly, the reason is, I've used all the capablities of my 4 strings that I could rip out of them, so a 5 string with a few more frets will open some more avenenues. I know a lot of people who get 6 strings, just ot impress people. If they use it to it's full capable, that's great. If they use it to just look sophisticated then that's a waste of money.
     
  11. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999

    Congrats...
     
  12. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Alla -

    I apologize for my diatribe, but I've been accused of "not being a bassist" more times than I can count, and all because of the number of strings on my bass. I tend to react fairly negatively to the implication that counting strings can be used as a critera for judging my ability as a musician and a bassist. Your longing for the Peavey Cirrus 6 is a reasonable one, if I were in the market for another 6 string bass, it would be at or very near to the top of my list of choices, an excellent instrument.

    For the record, if you check my profile, almost every one of the bassists listed there are primarily 4 string bassists (even Roscoe Beck, who has a signature series Fender 5 string usually uses his custom shop 4 string version of that bass onstage).
     
  13. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    You can use three colors to paint a masterpiece or you can use eight million.

    My personal philosophy is, though, that I will not pick up a bass with 5 strings until I master a four. I want to have enough confidence and enought knowledge to say "Hey, I'm done with this four crap, bring on a five!" That, sad to say, will probably not happen for a very long time. The only problem I see with 4+ stringed instruments is when someone who struggles on four goes out and buys a six. That just makes them suck on two more strings.

    If you have the talent and the confidence to get more strings, I envy and respect you. I'm not at that level yet, and I'm very happy with my four.
     
  14. Alla

    Alla

    Sep 25, 2000
    Italy
    My choose of a 5 string bass is just because I can have the low Eb with the playability of a 4 on the other string :),
    I'm not so skilled in 4 string to say : " Ok I take another string :) " . I envy and respect all the bassist that has a 6 , though I envy them only for their basses :)
     
  15. Many things I have read here I find insulting to me, as a 6 string bassist. How can you be that narrow-minded? Did you ever hear truck drivers talk about how many wheels their truck has and how it improves their driving skills? Does my 64 kb/s ISDN modem make me more succesful on the Net over someone with a 14k4? My boss drives a $80,000 BMW. Is he a better driver than me in my $2,000 Fiat?

    Bottom line is, as with almost everything about bass: It's what suits the individual. I can play better on a 6 string bass. Let me have my 6 strings!!! Even if you think I suck on a 4 string (again, that's a matter of taste), that doesn't make me suck 2 strings more on a 6!

    And finally let's deal with the misconception that playing a 4+ string bass is harder than a 4. It's not. Actually it's easier: you don't have to slide your left hand as much to get a higher or lower note. Actually, the more strings you got, the lazier you are as a bass player!

    That's my 2 cents.
     
  16. Samie

    Samie

    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    I find that with today music a 5 strings comes in extremely handy. You get nice lows to compete against those ugly keyboards and samplers.

    Woten sometimes uses a tenor bass to play songs like more love, I think is tuned adga hmmm if you had a 6 string you have both in one bass
     
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I certainly agree with Joris that a 6-string bass is notany harder to play than a 4. I would say that acoustic, unamplified double bass with 4 strings is much harder to play than any 6-string electric I have tried!

    On 6 it is very easy to find places to play any riff or line and then transpose it without having to change the way you play it. After playing 6 strings for a while, I found it much more difficult to play 4 strings as I was always running out of options and had to "re-think" every time I went "off the end" of the fingerboard. As all the strings are tune in 4ths, it's no different playing higher or lower - it's the same things as you would play on 4 string, but shifted up or down - no problem. 6 strings actually give you more options and make it easier on your wrists and fingers as you don't have to stay in one position all the time and can always vary if fatigue sets in, in long numbers or sets.

     
  18. I would love to own a well made one or two string bass with a two octave neck. I think it would help to emphasize musicality as opposed to pure technique. Kind of like what Mark Sandman did.
     
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    The ideas of running out of things to do on a four or mastering a four are pretty common but... I've known and heard a lot of bassists and I still don't know of anyone who considers themselves a master and... the only way I could see of running out of things to do on a four would be by being able to do everything anyone has ever done on a four. That I'd pay to see. Unfortunately it might be more chops than music.

    Joris, I have no idea why any of the comments would be insulting to you.

    Gard, just keep on keeping on. I wouldn't let the "not being a bassist" thing be an issue. Consider the source. If someone really equates being a bassist with the number of strings, here's my stock answer:

    Okay...if you say so:rolleyes:

    Unfortunately some people think this but you can easily mess with their head by asking what would seem to be a simple question: when I play the same notes in a song on a four and a 6, at what point do I cease to be a bassist?

    I, too, have found that there are quite a few things that are easier to do on a 5,6 or 7 but the same goes for a 4. Until you reach the outer limits of that particular instrument how would a listener know which you were playing?

    There's all kinds of diplomatic ways to say people are entitled to their opinions but the "you're not a bassist" type IMO is simply not very bright. You'd need to hear the player first to pass that kind of judgement:D
     
  20. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    not to toss wood on the fire here :D but i've played quite a few different 4 strings, and i'm really sorry, but my 7's and 8's are harder to play. simple fact - more strings to take care of, more muting, wider stretches. the geometry of the instrument makes doing the same thing harder on a 7 or 8, in my case, than on a 4. then again, the range of my 7's and 8's make things possible that are impossible on a 4, so in the long run, i guess it evens out.

    so many people have called me a frustrated guitarist i usually don't even respond anymore, or i just smile and show them one of my basses next to a guitar. if i am a frustrated guitarist, and play an instrument that is 2x the size as the biggest guitar, what's up with that? :D