Intro/Amateur bass question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ultravisitor, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. ultravisitor


    Nov 11, 2004
    Greetings all.. this is my first post after recently discovering this site.

    I'm a self-taught, amateur bass player who will begin formal electric jazz bass lessons soon. I am purchasing a new, proper bass in the very near future as well.

    I definitely want a Warwick Corvette Standard but I cannot decide between the four and six string models. I've got rather small hands and I've been told that six string basses are less stressful on such hands. Additionally, if I am beginning formal lessons, is it best to use a four string model? I have not discussed this with the instructor.

  2. if we knew where you were from, we might beable to point you to a dealer in your area so you could try each one out. i would think that a 6 string would be a bit much for someone with small hands. i would start with the 4 string, and as you progress, buy the 6 string.
  3. Hmmm... I would suggest starting with a 4, just because it's less to get your head/hands around. There is no real advantage or disadvatage to starting with either a 4 or a 6. It really depends on what feel better to you. I do know, however, that 6 string Corvette Standard is a heavy bass. It may be too heavy to be comfortable for someone just starting out.

    Try both of them out if you get the chance. If you can't try them both out, i would say get a 4 string.
  4. stamman5


    Aug 10, 2004
    Well, as for the teacher it really just depends. If it is your average Joe teacher at the shop around the corner maybe four would better but who can say. Also, I am not sure how much difference it would really make. I think that decent teachers should be able to cope.

    I agree with the last post though. First try them out. But if you are strictly looking for an opinion, I'd say start with 4 or 5 (is a 5er an option?). Small hands make it harder to play six in my opinion. I have small/medium sized hands I think my limit might be 5, I have owned a six but it was just too big.
    Also, way to start taking lessons. I wish you the best with that and I am sure you will really see your playing open up. :cool:
  5. ultravisitor


    Nov 11, 2004
    Cheers for the replies!

    I've tried both models at the music shops, although I haven't spent a lot of time with the six string model. I am rather worried about the weight of the bass. The instructor is a university-trained hard bop/cool player. I haven't discussed this issue with him, but I believe the four string will be a better model for beginning formal lessons.
  6. A four string is [almost] always the best choice for a beginner. The main thing is learning how to be a good bass player. The low B and high C are in the area of 'fluf' when it comes to playing, not really necessary. They could get in the way of learning to play well. I played 4's for quite a while before going to a 5. I've been at a 5 for several years now and plan on going to a 6 sometime in the future. I would like one now, but skill isn't the problem. . . . . .lack of money for one I'd really want . . . . is. :meh:

    Good luck, and welcome to Talkbass!
  7. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    IMO, this is poor advice.

    A six string bass is no more difficult to play well than a four.

    Calling a tone "fluff' simply because it's fundamental frequency is 1/2 or more chromatic steps above or below some arbitrary standard is narrow minded at best.

    If you focus on learning correctly, the size of your hands will have no impact at all on your success as a player.

    The only concern I might have is with your teacher. I certainly think you should consult one or more of the instructors in the program to see if they have any misgivings. If their techniques and teaching materials are all centered around the idea of a four string bass, (marked positions, shifts, etc) you'll probably be frustrated trying to convert the concepts to an extended range bass. It certainly wouldn't surprise if it were the case, especially since most jazz programs also teach DB, and most jazz guys I know double or at least have some experience with the big bass.
  8. you're much less likely to venture to the high C than you would low B IMO, so 5 would be a better choice, depending on the music you plan to play. If you know you want that extended range at some point, why not start of with a 5? Don't do the "I want to play a 5 or 6 but will just start on 4" routine, it's just wasting time.
  9. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    As many have said, talk to the teacher. He/she will likely have a specific program they follow, and more times than not that program is set up for a 4 string.

    I agree that extended ranges are not "fluff", however, it seems that Dave Custom Made was speaking in generalist terms for a newish player. According to his profile, DCM plays a 5 himself. I personally have no need for the C since I'm really a groove player and not a big soloist, but I've come to love the B.

    Talk to the teacher, tell him what you're thinking about, and then get the axe that makes you feel good. The better you feel, the more you'll play.
  10. Yes, I was talking in terms of the beginner. I play a 5 and will eventually play a 6.

    Perhaps 'fluff' was a bad term. I'm just saying that it will be easier to learn on a 4 and when you get better, then branch out in bigger necks and more strings. Unless you are quite musically gifted. Then go with whatever you want.