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Just how effective can a 6 string be....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nunk6, Nov 26, 2000.

  1. nunk6


    Jul 29, 2000
    i was wondering if any players who are using a 6 string, or higher, bass actually use the extra strings (as opposed to 4) significantly... and how so... slap? finger style? pick? or other...

    links to sounds samples and such would be appreciated
  2. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    All the time!!
    I have always found that slapping on a six string is cool because of the fake pops i get from the C string..
    Also for double riff tapping it is great.
    You can also avoid shifting left hand positions when playing any tune thanks to the addded strings.
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    nunk6, I play mostly 5, IMHO the higher strings are more gu*tar sounding than bass sounding, but of course, this is due as much to the fact that my 5 string cost twice what my 6 string did. :D

    The main advantage to playing an extended range bass IMHO is the ability to play across the neck as opposed to constantly shifting positions, for example, when plaing in G, I play the root at the B string 8th fret rather than the E string 3rd fret, for a couple of reasons.
    [*]I have short fingers, and in 1st position the stretch is a bit difficult, but at the 8th fret, I can get the root with my index finger and grab the 2nd octave on the G string 12th fret with my pinky. That stretch is impossible for me in 1st position.
    [*]The fat string played further up the neck sound fatter and more full than thinner strings played in lower positions, so with 5 or 6 strings you have more tonal options available.

    These 2 benefits are often missed by people wondering why anyone uses more than 4 strings, but the other benefits are pretty obvious.

    [*]Chord voicings are much less muddy and dissonant in the upper registers than they are in the lower ones(ever play a min2 or min6 chord on a 4string in the first octave?;))
    [*]The extended range lends itself very well to tapping and harmonics as well, although plenty of people do these things well on 4 stringers.

    I think, to sum it up, I will paraphrase John Turner:
    You can do anything that you can do on a 4 string on a 5,6,7, or 8 string, but there are things that you can do on extended range basses that are impossible to do on a 4 string.
  4. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    umm..what do you mean by fake pops?
  5. noweapon


    Feb 10, 2000
    I say everything mentioned above and this...DYNAMICS! As a 6 string player you can be much more dynamic as a player. In my band we have no rhythm guitar player, so what I try to do is lay the foundation and add in some higher notes. It really opens up soloing as well. Take a listen to our song "Agony" at http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/154/engines_of_creation.html This song is a good example of 6 string chord work in a rock setting.
  6. AngelOfMusic


    Nov 27, 2000
    I have all kinds of basses with deferent amounts of strings and I mostly like my 5 strings over my 4 string & 6 string. haveing more then four strings is asume, I pick my string so they get the best sound, well at least I thing my playing sound best that way.All bass playing depends on what you play.Six strings are best for metal (in my eyes) and 4 strings are used for other rockers, but no matter how many strings or what style you play, just remember you are a bass player eather way.
  7. basslax


    Apr 20, 2000
    Washington, DC
    do they make 6-string basses with two extra low strings, instead of an extra low and extra high? there is not much you can do with a 6 string that you cant with a five string cus the stuff played extra high string can be done on the G string of a five string?? has anyone ever seen a bass like that?
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    You can string 'em however you want, you would have to reslot the nut, put on heavier strings and probably adjust the trussrod.

    John Turner tunes a couple of his 7s and his 8 similar to this, with a low F# string.

    The problem with this is, that you need a new rig to produce tones that low. A lot of combos on the market have problems with the 31.5hz(or so) of an open B, the 21hz or whatever of a low F# requires MASSIVE amounts of power and square inches of speaker cone, or a special setup like the Bag End Elf, which is pretty expensive just for the cabinet and processor, and still needs at least a 1000 watt amp.

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