im a beginner and i probably already made a mistake

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by maiyah, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. maiyah


    Aug 31, 2018
    so i just got my bass guitar today and i have no experience with guitars. the only music experience i have is playing the flute from 4-9 grade. i got my bass and realized it has 6 strings and looking around online, i only see beginner tutorial for 4 strings and people saying its a bad idea for a beginner to learn 6 string first. should i return it? any tips on how i should begin learning as well?
    drummer5359 likes this.
  2. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Does the store have a good return policy?
    If so, bring it back and try every 4-string bass there you can afford.
    Bring a friend who knows something about bass, if possible.

    Some people might suggest you stick with the 6-string and tell you “Plenty of good 6-string players out there" or "Hey, I learned on a 6-string" or "Just use 4 strings and ignore the outer 2" but don't let their personal preferences influence you...this is your bass, not theirs.

    Lessons might help if you can find a good instructor, but they're not cheap, and there are plenty of youtube videos to help you get started.
    Take it slow, learn the strings, learn the frets, learn a few scales, practice an hour a day...never practice so much that you start hating it...and in a few weeks I'll show you a song you can learn with ease. Because once you're familiar with your bass, applying what you know will make you feel great!
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  3. maiyah


    Aug 31, 2018
    alright will do! thank you
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I suggest some web surfing after searching for things like "how to get started in bass guitar."

    But I agree with the posts above that starting with a 4-string bass is probably a much better way to go.
    Jim Carr, ppiluk, FilTurd and 3 others like this.
  5. Mister Boh

    Mister Boh

    Oct 23, 2016
    Annapolis, MD
    I agree. Stick with a 4.

    Get a strap and do your practicing with it on, learn how to pluck a note properly and how to hold the instrument properly so you don't get bad habits or hurt yourself.

    If something hurts, take a break.

    Get a teacher if you can afford one.

    Check YouTube for free lessons. Find some music that you like that has a simple bassline and play along when you get sick of practicing lesson stuff.

    Have fun!
  6. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    How did you end up with 6er in the first place? Not that there's anything wrong with that.:)
    lfmn16 likes this.
  7. maiyah


    Aug 31, 2018
    dad bought one.. ONLINE lol. it was kinda a surprise, was hinting to play bass and kept asking him but since he doesnt know anything abt music he just bought one that seemed cool i guess. he wanted to make it a surprise, and even though i appreciate the gesture, we still have to return it lol i wish i couldve looked with him.
    mbelue, retslock, Herrick and 3 others like this.
  8. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Hey, plenty of dads out there who wouldn't buy a bass for their kid...consider yourself lucky.
  9. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Or, just go with the six and learn from there. Do all the 4 string tutorial stuff you like, ignoring the outside two strings. And when you're confident with that, throw in the other two for extra fun.
  10. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Exchange it for a 4 string bass.
  11. RobTheRiot


    Aug 31, 2016
    las Vegas, nv
    I agree with what’s already been said pretty much.

    First thing I’d do is thank your Dad for being cool enough and supportive enough to buy you a bass and help you pursue music! That’s awesome.

    Then, like has been said, try to explain that learning on a 4 string will be a lot easier, both physically and just as far as materials available for a beginner.

    If it feels comfortable, I guess you can try, there are no hard and fast rules, but getting your hands moving around a 4 string neck will more than likely be a lot easier.

    Either way, welcome to TB and good luck!!
  12. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    Lompoc, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I will swim against the grain here (maybe).

    What kind of music do you like, and what kind of music do you want to play? May be the same thing, may not.

    Do you have a teacher? If not, find one, even if it is just for a lesson or two.

    There are plenty of bassist who mainly or exclusively play 6-string bass, and other than tradition, there isn't a hard/fast rule that you have to learn on 4-string.

    If you love Motown and want to play that or classic rock, then a 4-string may be the ticket. If you're into more modern music, then a 6-string might be a better fit. If you stick with playing bass, this won't be your last instrument so it can work if you want it to work.
  13. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Typing 1 hand lefty for about a month. Slack! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    Some of my favorite bassists play six strings! 28279835_1582061578539972_8493984769967183730_n-jpg.jpg

    This isn't one of them!

    (Just kidding @BassCliff !! TB wouldn't be TB without you and your great gig reports!! You're definitely my favorite six-string player! :D ) (John Myung's right behind you, though)
  14. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    I will also post a contrary opinion, as someone who didn't start on a six but migrated soon after buying a four-string.

    It is unconventional for someone new to the instrument to start on a six, but it isn't impossible. There are likely tutorials out there that apply to a five-string bass that will transfer better to your six (as they will include the low B string).

    The theory you'll learn, and the approach to the instrument, will be the same whether you're using a four-string, a five-string, or a six-string. In fact, because the six is a "superset" of a four string, you can treat the bass as though it only has four strings and ignore the bottom and top strings.

    The main differences will be physical, not musical - some are listed below:

    1.) The width of the neck. Six-string basses are generally wider; depending on your fingers and your technique, it may be a challenge to span the fretboard. However, as an upside, this will force correct fretting technique - mainly, playing in classical position with the neck up and your thumb on the back of the neck, not wrapped around it in a death grip.

    2.) String muting. This is an actual issue, but like everything else can be learned. There are techniques for this, some listed in Talkbass threads.

    2.5) (People will say that string spacing might be an issue, but if you've never played bass, anything would be natural to you.)

    Of the three items above, the only one that's worth thinking about is string muting. But honestly, as a beginner, all of these issues must be overcome on any bass, and they absolutely can be learned.

    If you like the bass, I'd say keep it. If you're really interested in learning the instrument, you'll probably play it whether it has three strings or seven. People will say it's "harder to learn" and it's "unconventional", but those aren't really concrete reasons. You can learn rudiments and fundamentals on any instrument.

    If you decide to keep the bass and you have any questions about technique, Talkbass has a great forum for this, and I and others here will be happy to answer any questions you have.

    Good luck!
    Wasnex, hrodbert696, retslock and 6 others like this.
  15. Maynjo

    Maynjo Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2014
    Jacksonville, NC
    Now is this a regular 6 string bass or is it something like this?
  16. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    That, right there. When you're starting out, it's all new and fresh.
    Felken and Captain Chaos like this.
  17. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    Bass VI is itself an awesome and fun instrument - I totally love mine and just recorded a 5 song EP with it as the only guitar. And it can also be used as a bass.

    But, IMO, a 4 would be a better starting instrument, then move to the Bass VI.

    But never, under any circumstances, consider a V.

    Let the flame-age begin ...
  18. Wish I'd started on a 6er, they feel pretty alien to me at this point but I sure like the options available to me when I play one. I'd say to at least see how it feels to you... Just because you have six strings doesn't mean you have to play them all! You could follow four string instruction on a six and just ignore the outer strings
    nilorius likes this.
  19. maiyah


    Aug 31, 2018
    there are a crap ton of responses on this thread so i'd like to answer them in a list
    1) i did thank my father hehe
    2) i do have pretty small hands considering im a petite person
    3) a lot of people are saying that i can keep the bass and ignore the top and bottom string and start practicing with the middle four and others are saying that 4 is more convenient for a beginner -- how did you guys personally learn?
    4) upload_2018-8-31_19-58-42.png
    (We did not buy from this website) ^^ this is the guitar i got
  20. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    Do note - if it's not clear - there izza difference between a 6-string bass, and a Bass VI.

    EDIT: that's not a bass in yer photo - it's a guitar, (altho' somewhat similar to a Bass VI).
    hrodbert696 likes this.
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