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moving from 4 strings to 6 strings!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by adisu, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    Hello all
    I'm playing 4 strings bass guitar for quite a long time now.
    I have high skills but of course i can always learn more.
    I was thinking about moving to 6 strings bass guitar (not 5 strings because if i'm moving forward
    i'll go all the way and not only half).
    How do i know if i'm ready to move on ?? do you have any skill you recommend to obtain before moving on to 6 strings?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. If you want to "upgrade", it will be alright, I guess. You'll probably be a bit lost during the first couple of weeks, but you'll definitely make it. Do you already have a specific BG in your mind?
  3. MrWalker


    Apr 3, 2002
    Basically, you're ready to move on when you feel like you want to move on. There's no special skills required, just a little practice to make sure you mute the strings you don't use and to get used to the extra strings. If you already have high skills, I'd say that you'd be up and going in a week or two. That's about it. I went directly from 4 to 6, and it wasn't a problem (except financially and physically, since the bass was very expenssive AND heavy). ;)

    Note that there are things that are harder to play on a 6-stringer than a 4-stringer, but of course also the other way around. If you can afford to hang on to your 4-stringer, at least for a while, you may want to do that. Personally, I always wanted a 6-stringer when I had a 4, and a 4 when I had a 6. ;) Now that I can afford both, I'm happy. :D
  4. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    You'll be fine. The string spacing will be smaller, but good technique and practice will quickly make that a non-issue. I made the same jump, and the biggest thing for me is that sometimes I would fret on one string and pluck a different string if I wasn't careful. In time, that goes away too.
  5. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    If you get a 6, I'd keep the 4-banger around as well. There's nothing quite like doing that open E-string slap without a low-B string getting in the way.

    You also want to assess if an ERB is suitable for your needs. If you're playing stuff like Patitucci or Dream Theater, it would be a good idea to grab a 6 since those artists use 6-strings. As for me, I went from a 5 to a 6 because when I was teaching kindergarten, I was playing a lot of kid's music and Disney stuff, and since kids' ears aren't quite as attuned to the lower bass frequencies as adult ears are, I needed to be able to grab the high notes more easily. I also like my 6 when I'm transposing stuff from treble clef to bass clef.

    Try a bunch before you buy. The neck is a good deal wider than a 4 or 5-string neck, so if it hurts in a bad way when you play it, then think twice.

    And you're in luck because it is possible to get a decent 6-string at surprisingly affordable prices. A few I recommend are:

    -Peavey Fury 6. The Fury line has consistent build quality and the Fury I played in a store looked, felt, and sounded like a bass costing a lot more money. The neck is thin and fast. Excellent instrument.

    -Ibanez SR506. This bas also has a thin neck, but it's wenge so it didn't feel as fast as the Peavey's maple neck. For a budget 6, it's nice.

    -Samick Fairlane 6. This bass has AFAIK the narrowest 6-string neck I'm aware of. It's 2" at the nut and 3.1" at the last fret. The aforementioned basses are 3.25" at the last fret. But it's the neck that fits my hand the best. It's a hair thicker than the Peavey and Ibanez but narrower.

    I haven't played the ESP/LTD B206, but it seems like a nice bass. ESP always has good quality across the board and the new '05 models have EMG pickups. Older ones had ESP pickups.

    The Peavey and Ibanez also have separate battery compartments while the Samick and ESP do not, if that matters to you. Though I had a repairman install a Carvin battery box in my Fairlane so...
  6. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    First of all thanks alot for your answers guys.

    Yea i thought about the slap thing and i'm sure gonna' keep my 4 strings bass around.
    I guess It's always nice to have it simple when you don't need to use the all 6 strings. ;)

    Hey mate thanks for the indepth review of them 6 strings bass guitars , i have 2 questions if you can help

    first does narrower means better or maybe if it's too narrow it can mess up my play???

    second what do you think about warwick's 6 strings bass guitars?? have you tried them??

    Thanks in advance :)
  7. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Narrower means faster usually, but also more cramped. You might find the spacing too small to slap on, but like mentioned above, you can get used to just about anything with practice. If your keeping your 4's to slap on, you might consider a narrower spaced 6-string. If your hands are small, you might also consider it. If you can find a 18mm+ spacing at the bridge on a 6, that would be my choice. A little smaller, but not so huge as to pose major problems.
  8. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Pfff... 6-string is only half-way. If you're a real man, play this:
  9. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Is narrower better? That's subjective. It all depends on your hand and personal tastes. I happen to think the narrow neck on my Fairlane is very comfortable for me to play and I've found Peavey and Ibanez 6-string necks too wide for my tastes- and they're among the slimmest. But my hands are not yours. My bass is difficult to slap on unless you pay close attention to your thumb, but I'm not much of a slapper, so no biggie. The average person on here would think my bass's neck is too narrow for them, especially for slappers. But it's just right for me. It's Goldilocks and the Right Bass.

    I haven't tried Warwick 6-strings. I did really like the Thumb 5 I tried and am snagging a Corvette 4 from a fellow TBer. There are a couple of things that do turn me off about Warwick 6's though. Bubinga, ovangkol, and flame maple are very heavy body woods. On a 4-string they ain't bad but on a larger bodied 6, the weight can be an issue if you gig often. I fail to see why Warwick doesn't chamber out their 6-string models to reduce weight or offer some of their swamp-ash bodied basses such as the Doublebuck, FNA, or Katana in a 6-string version. In addition, I don't like that Warwick 6-strings only have a single truss rod. For a neck as wide as a 6's neck, I feel there should be dual truss rods in place. I believe Ibanez 6's have dual truss rods and my Samick has dual truss rods. However, I do like the thicker neck on Warwicks.

    If it were up to me, I probably wouldn't go for a Warwick 6, but I am a fan of their 4 and 5 string models. The FNA Jazzmans and DoubleBucks are hot.
  10. useless

    useless Guest

    Mar 11, 2004
    hey dont hesitate to go to 6. As was stated above, you will adapt to the 6 string easily if you have the right frame of mind. You just need to remeber that a 6 string is just a 4 string with one higher and one lower string. That's all....

    as far as Warwick 6 strings go, you need to play one to know how they feel. I've never played one personally, but I've heard that they are either heavy and/or have neck dive issues. But if you like the warwick sound that may be the way to go. :bassist:
  11. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I went from 4 to 6 and found that by staying "grounded" in the middle 4, I could adapt most songs I originally played on a 4, right away. Then I began getting a little more daring, venturing down for a lower fill or up for a little quick melody. Gradually, I began to expand my horizon and feel as comfortable on a 6 as I do on a 4.

    It takes a little patience and practice, but if you're diligent, it won't take you that long to get accustomed to the extended range.
  12. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    What are you nuts??? don't show me that 12 strings guitar
    i have enough problems in my life already. :bawl:
    :D :D :D

    O.K. guys thanks to all of you.
    Actually i used to play the Ibanez SDGR 4 strings before i moved the jazz bass , it was too nerrow then but maybe
    for the 6 strings it's gonna' be good.
    I guess i'll go to the store and try all kind of 6 strings basses
    and find out what is better for me.
    I never payed attention to the weight of the 4 string basses
    but i guess in 6 strings it's something i must take into consideration.

    BTW does anybody knows what 6 strings pattatuci plays??

  13. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    Pattitucci plays Yamaha custom models, I think they're a variation on the TRB. The Warwick 6 is heavy, but the tone is incredible. In the studio I work at, they insist I bring my fretted. Pattitucci used to play a Ken Smith and those are also very nice basses.
  14. o come on i cant imagine anyone needing that many strings how is that thing tuned? F# B E A D G C F A# D# G# C#!!! :ninja:
  15. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    every guitar player I know started with six strings, and they weren't even all tuned in 4ths, the number of strings just gives us more range and flexability, but also more chances for error, but it will pass quickly with practice as stated earlier..As far as the low E "slappability" decreasing with the presence of a B string, I have never found this to be a problem, just find a bass with a bridge string spacing that you are comfortable with and practice your accuracy...piece of cake!!
  16. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Thte 12-string belongs to Garry Goodman and is tuned C#, F#, B, E, A, D, G, C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab.
  17. i played a 4 string for about a month before i walked in to a guitar shop and saw my sixer. i bought it the same week even though i had no money. i love it, its nice to be able to go for the really melodic stuff sometimes. but keep your 4 string. when you pick it up you'll find it alot easyer and you playing will be better.
  18. Patitucci plays a custom Yamaha TRB, on which the JP model is based. I have a TRB-6 and it rocks.
  19. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    a bass is a bass is a bass

    not really much to it...just takes time to get comfy

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