Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by chavz2005, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. chavz2005


    Sep 13, 2005
    hello. i current play a 4 string bass guitar ...and was thinkin about gettin a 6 string. Can someone breifly explain to me about the bass and why is it in B tuning and all that stuff??. AND can i harmonize with a guitar on the top 2 strings still??..and what can and cant I do with a 6 stringer?...cuz i figure its pretty much like a guitar.
  2. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
  3. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    No, it's really a bass in every sense of the word ;)

    Very generally, 6 string basses are tuned B-E-A-D-G-C (low to high), a series of fourths. However, the world of extended range basses (ERB's) uses a lot of alternate tunings, so it's a little difficult to say that the standard is the tuning indicated above ..... probably more accurate to say that B-E-A-D-G-C is the most common.

    You can use ERB's for chording, and in fact it's one of the primary reasons players move to the extended ranges. Some will tune a 6 string E-A-D-G-C-F to increase the upper ranges for both playing chords and soloing. Some 6 string players quickly move to a 7+ string bass once they begin dabbling in the extended ranges.

    In addition to the higher end, there are many players that decide to go lower, tuning the 6 string F#-B-E-A-D-G (low to high) to give a deeper voice to their playing. Some players use both the lower and higher ranges by playing an 8 string tuned in fourths F#-B-E-A-D-G-C-F (low to high). Obviously, moving to 9+ strings only broadens the options further.

    There are some players that tune their basses in 5th's rather than 4th's :eek: , providing an even greater range of notes. (The guys who tune in 5th's are most likely considered a danger to themselves and others and shouldn't be allowed to operate heavy equipment :bag: )

    In essence, moving to a 6 string bass broadens your options when playing and gives greater flexibility in tuning, soloing, chording and sub-bass range playing. IMO, these options do not restrict your ability to perform the "bass" function of providing the groove. Rather, the extended ranges just give you a broader palette to color your tone .... :cool:
  4. MODNY

    MODNY Guest

    Nov 9, 2004
    what exactly is " sub bass" or " sub contra bass"

    i've been hearing this alot lately
  5. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It's the latest trendy term for basses that go beyond the normal range. I'm not sure how carefully it's been designed but it makes me think of those guys who take the wires off telegraph poles to give them a low F#, C# or below.... ;)

  6. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    To avoid starting a minor riot, just do a search for "subcontra bass" or "sub-bass" here on TB. Tons of information, and controversy, for your reading enjoyment ;)

    In short, a subcontrabass is a term applied to ranges below the standard E of a bass .... BTW, opinions on this vary widely, as you'll see if you do the search .... :cool:
  7. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    Bass = Low E
    Contrabass = Low B
    Subcontrabass = Low F# or C# (lower than a Contrabass)