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It's not as hard/is harder, then it seems

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassfacekevin, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. Well, to all of those who are thinking of making the jump to an ERB (extended range bass) I say do it. For my entire musicial career, I've played 4 string basses, and felt that it was pointless for more strings. Then I joined a band that downtuned, and for some reason, the thought of drop tuning wasn't very attractive to me, so I started looking at 5'ers. Well, then i decided that if I'm gonna move up, I might as well MOVE UP so I got myself a Carvin LB76 (phenominal bass, tone for days, best playability ever) and it wasn't as hard as I thought, but it is. little things 4 bangers don't have to worry about like ringing strings, hand position, reach suddenly are front row, center on my playing, but even though it's only been a couple days, i couldn't imagine playing anything but a 6 anymore. Just thought I'd share in hopes I'd convince someone to pull the trigger on an ERB, it's worth it!!
  2. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    Someday I'll get a 6, but now, 4 suits me just fine thanks!
  3. de la mocha

    de la mocha

    Aug 20, 2005
    I'm only now just getting deeply rooted with my skills with my 4 string in a very solid way. I've always thought about the idea of ERB, but i'm not ready yet. :bassist:
  4. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
    The next bass I decide to buy will be a 6-string of some sort.
  5. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA

    I agree! I have 2 fives tuned E-C and am thinking about a 7 string.
  6. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    agree, its not such a stretch going from 4 to 6. but the 5 to 6 change is even easier - like the C string just appears when you need it. its fantastic.

    my next bass will be another 6 in fretless.
  7. sanray


    Nov 8, 2005
    buying a 6 string bass cleaned up my technique by miles, I have a 4,5, and a 6 and I play them all, but now I am more aware of how I play
  8. steve4765630


    Feb 27, 2006
    I think how many strings you have is irrelevant. You always run into guys that say, "I'm a 4 (or 5, or 6) string player, so I'm not even going to consider anything else." or "I'm a real bass player, I play 4 string." This always strikes me as odd. I thought you were a bass player, no matter what. What I'm saying is, who cares how many strings you have? Not me. I play 4, 5 and 6. No big deal. They are all just as easy as the next. People come up to me and say, "Wow, I can't believe you can play that 6 string bass. I can only play 4." I always respond saying, " Sure you can. It the exact same thing." Adding or taking away strings gives you NO edge. Added range is nothing if you don't use it properly and most people don't use properly. I would play a 9 string if I found one that was a good deal and played well, but it's no more special than my 4 strings, nor am I a better player for using it. There is one saying I do believe in, "If you can't do it with 4, you can't do it with more." Extended range is fine, heck I play my 6 string fretless a ton (I'm a bass god, hahahaha, feel my wrath;->), but don't categorize yourself like that. You're bass player, period, and that's cool enough. Isn't it?
  9. mariner


    Feb 18, 2005
    Front Royal, VA
    I agree..

    I'm the proud owner of a Brice Prestige Z and I've never been happier. It took me about a week to get used to the extra strings, but the reality is that not having to drop tune anymore was the biggest benefit.

    How cool is it to strum some higher chords to fill out some dead space?

    I always get comments like "I only need 4 strings", but the reality is that once they hear the sweet tone, they tend to wonder where they could get one.

    Most 6's are made of much heavier wood that gives them more sustain and better tone.

    I'm hooked!
  10. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    To me, there were two tough parts to the ERB adjustment.

    First, I found that I think very spatially about the notes - more than I realized. I was always playing notes on the wrong strings, especially in the lower registers. At a certain point, I joined a new group and had to learn four sets of music I'd mostly never played before. All the woodshedding on tunes that my brain had no preconceptions about really cured that ill.

    The second issue, which at least one person already mentioned, is the need to keep track of more strings and prevent them from ringing. 6 is more than 5, which is more than 4, and most people, self included, had to re-learn how to dampen the strings when playing.

    I used to mainly keep my thumb on the back pickup on 4-strings, but now I often rest it on the B string to keep that string quiet. The side benefit here is that I now have an easier time moving my hand from neck to bridge to achieve different tonal colors, since I'm not looking for any anchor other than the string.

    I've had a little trouble with the C string on sixes too - evidently I approach notes on the D and G strings with my fingers sort of flat to the board, and I have a tendency to mash the C string and generate an unwanted note.

    In any case, all of these issues go away with time and practice, and as an ERB bass player you are left with an instrument that gives you a wider variety of tones to use. Plus, you end up having more interesting conversations with people between sets if you've got more strings. They're usually just interested to find out about it since they haven't seen an ERB before.

    Good luck everyone.
  11. Coop Soup

    Coop Soup

    Aug 24, 2005
    I'll second that... I've had both 5's and 6's and I actually liked the way that I was playing on a 4 afterwards that I went back. I'm really thinking about picking up a 6 and stringing it E-A-D-G-C-F. I've never really used or been a fan of the B, and I love tapping a chording. Especially now that I'm just a bedroom rocker.
  12. 4 strings are fine for me, eventually when i have the money and most of my 4 banger GAS is settled i'll get a 5er, but they'd be useless to me right now
  13. gravaged


    Dec 9, 2005
    I hear a lot of people say they won't pick up a 6 string because they have small hands... it's probably a lot easier than you think. Your hands would have to be remarkably small to not be able to play one, IMO.. the weight isn't a big deal either unless you are old or in real bad shape :D

    and you should put a dash, and write mitch hedberg in your sig Platypus :D
  14. ah, thanks, i knew something was missing
  15. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I can do four, five doesn't seem right, and six is right up my alley. Soon on my GAS list.
  16. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    I went from 4>6 recnetly.

    I'm lovin' it.

    I made a joke to my friend about my next having a low F# or maybe a high F too...

    ERBs have a way of growin' on you I guess, although I doubt i'll go beyond 6 unless I have mad money layign around one day.
  17. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    Once rondo starts carrying a 5 or 6 string I'm probably gonna pick it up
  18. +1/2; I'll go for a 6 someday, but for now I've got 2 5's, fretted and fretless, and I'm comfortable with that. ...of course "comfort" doesn't challenge after a certain point...! Then it's time to move up!;)
  19. steve21

    steve21 Banned

  20. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    What the F@$! I SO wanted a 5-string! But I didn't notice that they had one... Dammit all! Gah!!!!

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