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Is it OK to show up to an audition with a 6?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by John Conte, Jan 16, 2017.


  1. John Conte

    John Conte

    Oct 3, 2012
    Would that be considered slightly off putting? Would a 6 string bass make an unwanted statement in the eyes of traditional band members? Just curious what the prevailing opinion is around here.

    Perhaps this isn't the proper forum for this question. Mods, please relocate as appropriate. TIA
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  2. I guess it would depend on the type of music being played, more than anything.
    If you are auditioning for a ZZ Top cover band, no.
     
  3. SchnaiderGT

    SchnaiderGT

    Jan 11, 2017
    It would be a little shocking only if they are a very traditional band, or if they really cares about the aesthetics. That being said, if you can do your part correctly, I don't think your bass bothers anyone.
     
    bassplayer1494, d-dave, Eckie and 4 others like this.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Depends on the context for sure. And the other personalities involved. I think it also depends on whether you're auditioning as an equal creative member or basically as a hired gun sideman. If the former, sure, go for it. No sense in playing with people who won't let you play what you want (unless the understanding is that they're paying you to play a 4).

    Also, never hurts to ask the band beforehand. :)
     
  5. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Showing up with a six string and playing it poorly would be a problem. Otherwise you should be okay.
     
  6. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    NYC
    Go with the six string. You can't go wrong with a six string bass anyway. Good luck.
     
    TinyE, jfh2112 and Garret Graves like this.
  7. garp

    garp

    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    As previously noted, context is important. A few years ago, when auditioning for a classic rock band, I elected to bring a 4-string Jazz. After passing the audition and being offered the spot, the guitarist thanked me for "not bringing some 6-string or 7-string monstrosity, like all the other candidates did." So...don't discount the fact that some musicians still hear with their eyes.
     
  8. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    And guitarists have such fragile egos, don't want bassists stepping on their "frequency turf". Bah humbug.
    grumpyoldman.
     
  9. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    NYC
    Yeah, and showing up with a four string and playing it poorly would be a total disaster. just saying.
     
  10. el_Bajo_Verde

    el_Bajo_Verde

    May 18, 2016
    USA
    Some people are intimidated by a 6-string, but as long as you don't play badly, there is no problem. It's still a bass guitar and it's capable of hitting all the notes they want you to hit.
     
    Zane DeBord and John Conte like this.
  11. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I still remember the first time I took my first 6 to a band practice - the guitarist was dubious. The fact that I knocked his pictures off the wall when demo'ing the low B didn't help my cause.
     
  12. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    if you're concerned, why not ask your contact with the band you're auditioning for? btw, when i was playing guitar in any of my various bands, i'd have been stoked to have a bass player show up with a 6 string.
     
  13. Do any of the songs they play necessitate 6 strings?
     
  14. Mvilmany

    Mvilmany

    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    People shouldn't care. Some people care.
     
  15. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    Why do you have five extra strings on your bass?
     
  16. But it's more likely your playing that got you the spot, not the number of strings.
     
    JRA, GuilhermeBMotta and John Conte like this.
  17. Les Ismoor

    Les Ismoor Masochist of the First Order

    Sep 10, 2015
    SW Ohio
    I replied to an ad once for a "bluesy/jam" band, and mentioned that I played a fretless 5; guitarist/contact says "cool". I showed up with it and guitarist/contact says "Oh, didn't think you were going to actually bring that". The audition didn't last long.
     
  18. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Best thing to do is take a look at the photos if the band has a website to give you an idea. Yeah, it could, although it shouldn't. If it were me, unless the music called for, I would bring a 4 or 5. Once you get the gig, you can always bring it in.
     
  19. It depends on how open-minded and enlightened the other musicians are, the genre, and the needs of the music.

    For sure, most musicians, especially most non-bass players, would be a little disoriented to say the least, and some might be downright spooked.

    But if you get in with the right bunch of players, it won't be a problem. Ask @BassCliff, who plays a sixer in his country band. They work just about every weekend and sound great, so I don't think anyone is complaining.

    In my band, I would question the need, because I'm the music director, and if the bass started going into other instruments' sonic space routinely, or if playing a sixer led to my definition of "overplaying," I'd be concerned. So, your personal style has a lot to do with it as well.
     
  20. Garret Graves

    Garret Graves website- ggravesmusic.com Gold Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Arcadia, Ca
    If you want to play a 6 string bass, all songs necessitate a 6 string bass.
     

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