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I just ran into some 6 string bashing on FB...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by capnsandwich, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Some dude posted on Facebook that every bassist should start on a 4 string P Bass before they get into 5,6+ stringed basses so they can learn how that thing works and learn the role of a bassist. (not arguing with that at all, it's a good idea) However, after reading some other posts about not needing anything but a 4 string, I simply posted that my argument against people who question my 6 string is that it's just a 4 string +2. It makes it easier to go up the fretboard without having to move up the fretboard. So some guy thought I was putting everyone down by what I said. I said no, my comment was not to put anyone down. It was to get people to quit looking at extra strings like it's a different instrument. It's the same instrument, only with 2 extra strings, so I can play the same role as a bassist but it makes it easier to play up the neck without going up the neck.

    It's like moving. Yeah, I can move a lot of my small stuff by filling my Honda Accord up and making 30+ trips back and forth but wouldn't it be easier if I had a truck?

  2. tsar nicholas

    tsar nicholas

    Mar 28, 2012
    I've run into these guys in person; I can't understand the prejudice against extended-range basses. it's like, OK, I don't like to change hand position much when I play, and with a 5 or 6 I can play a whole tune in one or two positions. People who worry about how many strings are on someone else's instrument are wack.
  3. TomA1234


    Jul 27, 2009
    Fareham, England
    I agree.

    My response to those who say "you should only play 4 strings" is:
    Why have 4 basses on stage when you can replace nearly all of them with 1 5 string, saving time unplugging and switching basses constantly improving your audience's experience?

    My main is a 5 but I also have a fretless and a drop D 4 string for songs that require a lot of bouncing off the open, but I play most drop D songs on my 5. My band also has a set list that varies between Standard, Eb and D. I only need to change bass once because I have a 5 string.

    I also view my 5 as a 4+1.
  4. If you think that's bad, spend a little time in a guitar forum. Guys that barely know the guitar are usually "experts" on bass. I didn't last too long before getting banned. Those guitarists can sure dish it, but can't take it. ;)
  5. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Most bassists play way too many notes on four strings already, but if you want a bass with six strings on it...

  6. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies!

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    Why not start with one string then?
  7. chubfarm2001

    chubfarm2001 Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2010
    St. Marys, Ohio
    A guitarist that can't take criticism? I don't believe it. :D

    I moved to a 6 pretty early in my playing, mainly because I'm a big guy and 4's just look silly on me. Now when I try to play a 4, I feel like I'm gonna break it. Not to mention the lack of range that I have become accustomed to.
  8. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I've played all of them (fretted 4-6 and fretless 4-6) and thankfully, other than some good humored ribbing, no one cared what I played as long as I covered the gig. Mostly people just want me to decide on a bass or two already and be done with the constant swapping :)
  9. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    If you want to play a bass with 6+ strings on it, you should just start with that. Those instruments are perfectly capable of fulfilling the "standard bass role" as much as any 4 string. Though it's never a bad idea to have a good standard 4 string P bass as a backup.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
  11. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    Honestly it doesn't matter what bass you prefer or how many strings you prefer. A bass is a bass is a bass. All have their own niche in music. A 4 string bass is best suited for funk/slap, pop, country, rock and some R&b and jazz. A 5 string bass is good for slap but is more suited for metal, heavy music in general, some jazz (dependent on tuning). A 6 string bass is where you get into the range of having an instrument capable of lead and rhythm at the same time. 6 string basses are more suited for finger style playing and tapping, slap is possible but it's tougher since most 6ers have tight spacing. But anything 6 strings + is perfect for more complex, running tunes, sweeping, and octave play. And if you really wanted, you could make some vicious jazz and R&B music with them. It's not about the instrument itself if you know what I mean. It's about what each person plays and what fits best. In a way the people bashing people with ERBs is more bashing for what they play if you think about it. Me, I have no problem with 4 strings or 12. A bass is a bass is a bass. Shut up and play. :bassist:
  12. gigslut


    Dec 13, 2011
    St Louis, Mo
    I play strictly 4 string. Played a five in the past and it worked for me at the time, but for the music I now play, 4 is plenty. My email address even starts with "four_strings", that's how much I identify with 4 string basses.
    But I don't judge those who play 5, 6 or more string basses. I've heard people overplay on 4, I've heard great pocket players playing on 6. I've heard virtuosos playing on basses with more strings than I could count who couldn't hang in my blues band, but were amazing nonetheless and entertaining as well.
    There's plenty of room in this world for different styles of playing and types of instruments, life would be boring if we all played the same music the same way on the the same bass.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    You've added so many rules and limitations to the different string configurations that a bass can have.
  14. Yet, this sometimes seems to be exactly what some bands seek in a bassist. :eyebrow:

    Many moons ago, I auditioned for two bands who ended up handing the gig to people who didn't even own a bass. I took it as a deep insult to my playing at the time, but years later I realized that they simply didn't value bass.
  15. There may be an extent of inherent limitation with an instrument, but I agree that a good bassist can make a bass do whatever he wants and needs. The fact that you can get a P pickup and flatwound strings for a 6 string kinda demonstrates that you can basically do what you want and achieve almost every tone on ERBs.
  16. Bassmunnky


    Jul 3, 2004
    New York and Philadelphia
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball MusicMan Guitars
    The E String on my 72 Jazz is the Same KIND as the E string on my Bongo 6, and my Waterstone 12 String...

    Holding one above the other, in either direction shows a lack of knowledge in music instrument history, that would include more than 50 years....go back 500...

    Thank god people stay online to argue this all day...gets us more gigs cuz they're not practicing!
  17. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    The only bashing or criticisms I've encountered are the ones posted on the internet. Nothing directed to me personally.

    My primary gigs are jazz trio, musical theater, backing up choirs, etc. And the six stringed instrument has never been a problem for my bread & butter gigs. However, I do not have a backup instrument at this time and I recently was asked to bring or borrow something more "traditional" for a gig. If I want to (or need to) work with that particular artist again regularly, I should acknowledge that it isn't about me and the band leader will simply hire someone else who brings a different set of tools to the gig.

    I *do* need to invest in something that fits the big picture, even if it is primarily an issue of appearance. For now, all is well with an occasional ribbing from the guys I play with. peace!
  18. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    I have 4 and 5 string basses but no 6's. I did try one out for kicks and while I found it interesting (very much so) I had no desire to buy it because right now I'm not the kind of player who needs a high C string. But I'm not saying never because you never know what the future holds. Example...I never gave any thought to owning a 5 string bass until I joined the music team at church in 2009. Heard those real low notes in a lot of songs and liked what I heard. But lately I've been playing my 4's more than my 5.

    If a 6 string bass works for you and adds to your music, why not?
  19. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I always love it when people who don't know much about bass start deciding what bass I should use in a given circumstance. I've been playing for 25 years. Trust me, please. :rollno:
  20. thewildest


    May 25, 2011
    ..... I believe a 4 string is a 6 String - 2...

    And, one day Guitars will be tuned all 4ths, getting rid of that minor third nonsense some dude try back in the 1700's and stayed as a standard... you'll see... must be the grandfather of the dude that also thought about putting 4 strings in a bass....

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