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Pondering an 8 string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by szego, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. szego


    Jul 26, 2004
    Hey all, well heres the deal, im 16 years old and have been playing for about 2 years on my 4 string, ive come to be pretty good, so now i want to buy a new bass, saving up for the marcus miller jazz, but that went up in price and my bday is rolling around, my father (also a bass player) offered to buy me an 8-string, just as something to have since it may be another year till i get my new 4 string, now obviously the 8 string wouldnt be my main bass, but i just wanna know what exactly it's used for, don't wanna blow that money on something i might never pick up, what kinds of songs can i play with it, and would i be able to play songs onthe 8 that i normally play on my 4? Or would i have to write songs around it? Just looking for some feedback if anyone can help. Thanks.
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Eight octaved strings (EeAaDdGg) or Eight individual strings with an aircraft carrier neck.

    I assume you're speaking of the earlier, and frankly, it's not a very useful beast. It's like a twelve string guitar, only a lot more useless. Listen to some Cheap Trick or King's X for ideas of the sound.

    I find them to be a little more like a "novelty" bass, and not a primary player.
  3. szego


    Jul 26, 2004
    No, not 8 individuals thats rediculous, but if i did buy it, would i be able to play some stuff? Like if i were to write songs around the 8 string, would it have a good sound and still fit in with all of the other instruments?
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Depends what kind of instrument it is as to whether it'll sound good? What model/manufacturer?

    What style of music do you play?
  5. szego


    Jul 26, 2004
    Well i have no idea which one i would buy, I'm just saying that sound in general compared to a 4 string.

    As for what music i play, mostly rock, prog. rock, some jazzy/funky things for fun, just basically anything that has a nice line
  6. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA

    "Rediculous" deux fois..

  7. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Prog rock would probably get the most use. Gotta remember standard 8 string tuning has octaved strings so you basically hit your pitch and the pitch an octave up simultaneously. You can also try other tunings with 5ths involved for a fatter sound.

    I still wouldn't call them very versatile, but theres a lot of room for experimentation.

    Not that I'm trying to talk you out of one, I'm actually pondering one in the near future.
  8. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Funny, I've been pondering an 8 string too...individual strings, however, like Mr. Beems.

    Maple/Purpleheart neck
    Rosewood (or some dark wood) fingerboard
    Alder body, black stained top.
    Passive electronics
    Custom pickups (Well, it's an 8, duh. No particular brand in mind).
    Lightly fanned frets 35.25" B to 32" Bb

    Simple, but useless.
  9. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    An 8-string is a big full sound. It can do the job of the bass and rhythm guitar at the same time. They're sometimes used by trios or guitar-free bands for that reason. It's a bit harder to play fast complex stuff on but not by much.

    I had one for a while. It was hard to use when there were other instruments making a lot of other sounds at the same time... took up more sonic space thus limiting my options, if you know what I mean.
  10. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    heh i call your "rediculous" and i raise you "ludicrous"


    (on topic - 2 8 strings on either side of my doubleneck)

    :hyper: :eyebrow:
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    John, you were at 15,700 posts a couple of weeks ago. Your new Ritter has done wonders for your post count!:smug:
  12. szego


    Jul 26, 2004
    Alright so whats the verdict, if you were me, would you get one? (not 8 indivisual strings, 4 strings with the octives), and would it be worth it?

    and Pklima, were yuou talking about 8 indivudual strings or the one i want?
  13. mattpnolan

    mattpnolan Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    That is the reason why I haven't gotten one yet, but I have thought of getting one to play some experimental and metal music with. Szego , try to imagine what songs you would play an 8-string in and how it would sound. How you would fit in with the rest of the band, and how your bass would influence the other sounds. If you still believe that you will contribute something "special" to the sound, then buy one. If you can't imagine how you would use the 8 string, don't buy it. I don't think anyone here is going to clearly tell you "YES" or "NO" :p
  14. The Hammer

    The Hammer

    Jul 13, 2004
    I have played an 8 string for several years now. I was very influenced by Tom Peterson of Cheap Trick and wanted to get one. An 8 string is great in a power trio. You don't have a "drop out" when the guitarist solos. It is a very full sound and works best if you use 2 amps, one with a clean bassy tone and another with a little distortion. The 8 string has a natural chorus sound so you usually don't need alot of effects. The band I am in now has a keyboard player and a guitarist so I rarely use my 8 string as there is not as much sonic space for it. If you have been playing only 2 years I would suggest holding off on getting one unless you find yourself in a band situation like I described where you need the extra full bass tone.
  15. szego


    Jul 26, 2004

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