Is there any reason to have a 6+ string Bass if you don't play chords

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nighttrain1127, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    Just wondering what the general TB consensus is on more than 5 strings if you don't play chords? And what 6 or more string basses they would recommend .

    Thanks in advance
    Ellery likes this.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Arpeggios. :D
  3. BassmanM


    Feb 17, 2011
    Hamburg, Germany
    You also have a few more high tones for melodies and solos.
  4. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Soloing, chords, added flexibility, because you like playing higher up the scale.
    dpbass66 and CereBassum like this.
  5. If you play covers and need to transpose for a singer it is so much easier on a 6 string.

    And, why not play chords?
    Stumbo, MobileHolmes, jfh2112 and 4 others like this.
  6. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    To learn how to play chords and integrate in your baggage... You might use it one day...
  7. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx!

    Oct 31, 2006
    Western Hemisphere
    the sound
  8. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    Reading charts. When I was in college and in the Army Band I used a six for reading. It made reading and sight reading in particular much easier. No shifting. Many more notes available in the lower positions.
  9. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    Learning to play Chords and arpeggios is something I should look into doing but at this time I don't have the time . I guess the extra notes without shifting is a plus. Where would be a good place to start learning to play chords?
  10. MMiller28

    MMiller28 Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2003
    If you play a 6 people will assume you're really good.

    But seriously, they're just fun. I have one that I reach for fairly often.
  11. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    gebass6, spade2you, zon6c-f and 2 others like this.
  12. Afc70

    Afc70 Time & tide wait for no man Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Northeast Arkansas
    Dropping a low F# string, bass bomb, is a thing of beauty:laugh:
  13. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    I've never seen a 6+ player with a band play more than three notes at the same time ever.

    Jaco sometimes played four notes.
  14. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    fewer shifts when reading.
  15. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    The six, seven, etc. allow you to play chords with more notes in different voicings without it turning to mud. In the lower registers, you're limited to two-note intervals, and maybe a third note if it's a fifth of one note in the interval. On my six, I like chord voicings like 1-5-M6-M3 and 1-5-M3-M7.

    That said, yes, you can also play it like a four-string. It's the versatility that makes it worthwhile for me.
  16. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Solo bassists tend to gravitate toward 6 strings. It just give you a few more options on the high end.
    gebass6 likes this.
  17. thehindteet


    Jan 15, 2013
    they're fun. I rarely ever play mine on gigs but I love to noodle on it.
    gumtown, ERIC31 and jazzburst77 like this.
  18. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile, ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀ Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    Same as a fiver isn't just about a few extra notes below E, the main advantage in any bass with more strings is more notes available without position shifts, like many above have mentioned. Great for reading and visualizing scales and arpegios. Fewer shifts also means better economy of motion which means you can play faster.

    Damn, I've almost talked myself into one.

    Trade-offs: string spacing (hard to slap). Weight. Variety. Availability.
    Marikk, Afc70, zon6c-f and 1 other person like this.
  19. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
    Yeah. The F# thing.:woot:
    Jon Muir, Bassgeer, Afc70 and 2 others like this.
  20. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Easier to transpose on the fly, more positional options, need to shift less often while sight reading.
    FretFree and Afc70 like this.