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How to use a Bass VI in a band?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ferdinandstrat, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. ferdinandstrat


    Oct 7, 2014
    OK guys, I am currently in a 3 piece(so far), I have my Royal Blood rig with me at all times. But my Bass VI is underplayed. I bought this instrument cos I love it but have no idea what to use it for.

    Bass VI users, what do you guys use it for?
    m2466d likes this.
  2. When I had mine it decorated the wall. Works great for surf music and the Cure used them a lot.
    40Hz, LowActionHero, Axstar and 2 others like this.
  3. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
  4. Just listen to the Disintegration album by The Cure and ye shall find what ye be looking for.
    LowActionHero, bassstrangler and ONYX like this.
  5. Jack Bruce used one on Fresh Cream, sounded great. Used flat wound strings.
  6. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    I use mine (a CAR MIJ one from a special run a few years ago) on two of my band's originals (and possibly a third soon). Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to gig these songs before the band split in half, but the singer/rhythm player and I are looking for new members. For one song, the original demo had loads of guitars with a lot of vibrato and delay, so that was the initial impetus for pulling out the Bass VI. It's become more of a spare-sounding arrangement, but the Bass VI still works--the biting sound of the strings being played hard with a pick adds to the atmosphere of it, and I even work in a little whammy bar action when things get weird in the end. The second one is surfy but also kind of odd, and I use an octave pedal to add another "guitar' to the mix.

    I'm sure the Bass VI will never be my main instrument, at least in this band, but it's nice to have it in the toolbox and it provides an alternative tone to my trusty P bass. Once I get a guitar amp added to the setup, I may be able work in some chords with it, too.
    40Hz likes this.
  7. ferdinandstrat


    Oct 7, 2014
    Maybe I should just bring it to practice and see what happens?
    nice_hat, bholder, 40Hz and 6 others like this.
  8. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    I would suggest thinking about your setlist and where it might fit in.
    40Hz and TheDominoKid like this.
  9. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    get a bass player?
  10. ferdinandstrat


    Oct 7, 2014
    Setlist? I just had the first jam with the guys yesterday, we are just a three piece XD
  11. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    I use mine as a bass at times and as a guitar that can go low at other times.
    One band I'm in finds the VI working great to emulate the tones of Holger Czukay on a short scale Fender Mustang with flats.

    In another band I use it to help bridge the gap and overdubs from previous recordings. Sometimes I double bass lines and then go up the neck, use the bridge PU and some dirt and do the guitar parts.
    Axstar likes this.
  12. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I just use mine as a bass. A bass with a lot of range! I play in a church band so if the guitarist doesn't show some Sunday I can try to cover for him a little but there are limits to how much of that I can do. ...
  13. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    Exactly. Theorizing and philosophizing won't answer your original question. Put it into use---if it's not going to work, you'll know it soon enough.
    40Hz likes this.
  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I use it as a bass? :roflmao:

    I never really got comfortable with the tight spacing though, so it's on loan to a guitarist buddy who uses it as a baritone guitar.
  15. PJSim


    Jan 16, 2011

    Zane DeBord and GregC like this.
  16. waynobass

    waynobass Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    I had one for awhile and didn't like it. It's way more of a guitar than a bass. Cool sounds though if you can fit it in!

    You can also hear it on Blink-182's eponymous album.
    bassbully likes this.
  17. azfatboy


    May 11, 2016
    A Bass VI is next on my list, and I have a feeling that it will become a staple.
  18. Pick it up, plug it in and jam with your bandmates. Just have some fun!

    Seriously all the videos above are great examples.
    Jimks and GregC like this.
  19. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I've always found its best use to be as the 2nd or 3rd guitar in a band or recording, not the only guitar or only bass.

    It's definitely something you have to carve out sonic space for. Less lows on the other guitars, less highs on the bass to make room for it.
  20. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
    Works just fine for good old rock and roll. Make sure you have a couple of Acoustic 360's behind ya. ;)


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