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Questions about six string bass players

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by de la mocha, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. de la mocha

    de la mocha

    Aug 20, 2005
    1) Can you play the same chord a guitar player is playing at the same time to add some bottom to the guitar chord?

    2) What six string would you recommend with a really thin neck?

    3) I know a six string is tuned BEADGC, is that the same as a guitar, I forgot.

    4) A friend of mine wants to jam and she plays guitar, I was wondering, are the bass chords on a six limited compared to the guitar?

    The reason I ask is because she writes a lot of songs but only plays alone and I'm the only one who will be hearing her songs which are very personal and she wants me to bring my bass over. But I only have a 4 string and I wanted to be able to match her chords a little. Plus it will give me a perfect excuse to cure my 6 string GAS! :p :bassist:
  2. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    You should search for ARPEGIO.
    Guitars are tunned EADGBE (standar) but there are lots f other tunnings.
  3. barthanatos

    barthanatos Insert witty comment here

    Feb 8, 2006
    South Carolina
    1) Yes. But in a way, you are always doing this. Even when you just play the one root note, that is still (typically) part of the chord that the guitarist is playing and you are "adding bottom".

    2) Couldn't tell ya.

    3) No, a guitar is tuned EADGBE (in standard tuning), and of course to a higher pitch.

    4) Well, they're limited by what your hand can do. Maybe a 30" scale (like on the Rob Allen Mouse) would be easier to chord. A fretted bass will be much easier to chord than a fretless (you won't have to worry about intonation). But all the chord extensions exist on a bass the same way they do on the guitar. If you learn chord theory you'll be able to figure out how to play any chord you want just based on the name. Some notes in the chord are more "important" than others. I.e. you can leave some notes out and it will not be incredibly obvious to the ear. So you can experiment to find out what those notes are to make it easier to chord something.
  4. 1) Can you play the same chord a guitar player is playing at the same time to add some bottom to the guitar chord?
    - Not exactly, unless you do EADGBE tunning, which quite a few Bass players will, but playing the same chord note for note an octave lower may not sound as good, for instance just hit the lower four notes of a Eminor chord on ur four string, doesn't sound on a Bass an octave lower as it does on guitar does it? The lower you go, the worse more intricate chords will sound, IMO. If you are doing the same octave then yes you can hit the same chords and it will sound good, just you can't hit the highest notes of the chords a guitarist is playing

    2) What six string would you recommend with a really thin neck?
    - I play a Carvin six string so I gota recomment them, idk what you would consider really thin, but it seems pretty thin to me, and plays really well

    3) I know a six string is tuned BEADGC, is that the same as a guitar, I forgot.
    -Nope, Guitars usualy tune EADGBE, however you could tune ur 6 string bass however you want, from F#BEADG, BEADGC, EADGCF, BEADGB, EADGBE(ocatve below guitar), are just a few popular ones

    4) A friend of mine wants to jam and she plays guitar, I was wondering, are the bass chords on a six limited compared to the guitar?
    -well yes, but for the most part u don't need to be playing the full chords a guitar does, atleast not all the notes at teh same time
  5. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    1. Yes!! depending on your tuning.
    2. Schecter 6, Ibanez sr 6, Spector Legend
    3. someone answered this already
    4. no.
  6. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    1) Answered already
    2) Ibanez SR506 or SR1006 if you wan't higher quality
    3) EADGbe is guitar
    4) Dunno, I'd assume not
  7. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    I may get flamed for this, but in my opinion, strumming chords on bass tends not to add bottom because the higher strings will drown out the lower strings which will get in the way of the "bottom".
    Personally I find that an approach similar to fingerstyle guitar tends to work better, i.e. you mix root notes with chords. Listen to some fingerstyle guitar players, they usually play the root note with their thumb and add chords with their index, middle and ring finger.

    And yes, chords in the low register tend to sound really terrible.
  8. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    Not just that, chords on low register make horrid vibrations and overdrive too much to be nice to hear.
  9. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    for muber 2, I suggest a high end Ibanez. I've said this many times before and I know I'll say it again, I absolutely love me SR1006, and it's my main bass. The only thing I can do on it as of now that I can do on a 4 is slap. But that's why I have a 4 on my hands.

    Good luck

  10. +1 on the Spector and Schecter.

    If you want to play guitar chords on a bass, then sell your bass and get a guitar.

    The bass provides the foundation...it's what everything else in the group is built upon. If the foundation isn't there, it can't stand.

    Let her play her songs...you provide the support so that you're not doubling what she's doing. Just play the roots of the chords to start out, then see where it leads.

    Besides, guys are always providing the support for women anyway - whether in the form of a shoulder, all the way through alimony ;) ).
  11. jzucker


    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    The new Ibanez BTB series 6 is very good and inexpensive.

    Regarding playing guitar chords, why not. Music doesn't have to be defined by what everyone else is doing. Create something new. As a guitarist as well as a bassist, I enjoy playing with a 6 string bassist who is not trying to duplicate the chords I am playing but one who compliments my playing. When I'm playing chordally, he needs to stay out of the way and when I'm playing single notes in the upper register he may be playing more fully with chords, etc.

    This is not about the instrument, it's about being a musician! :)
  12. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    I want to weigh in only on one point, that's the chord question. Yes, bass players can play chords. I also agree with the post that suggest it's good to explore different roles for the bass. Great! That's how inovation happens. Caution, let the music be the judge. Does it work musically?

    In a "traditional setting" each instrument has a range and function. As long as your on the same page with the other musicians those definitions can be rewritten. I encourage you to try.

    One last observation, 6 string allows you to comp (play chords) and play the bass line at the same time. Other basses too but 6 has extended range. Many players tap the chords and hammer the bass lines. Victor Wooten for one. Once again, redefining the role of the bass. Very handy in a trio situation or in your case, duo.
  13. sanray


    Nov 8, 2005
    Play however you want, you are the happiest then
  14. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    That may be so, you may also find it hard to find anyone that wants you to play on their gig or recording. Play the right sheet and make it groove!
  15. sanray


    Nov 8, 2005
    I completely agree with you, but the man says he is playing with his Galpal and not planning on making money.

    I love to just jam and don't pay attention to what i am doing, but when I am in a jazz situation for instance, yes I look at the music and play what is written, but there is nothing wrong with defying the laws of tradition.

    maybe he will invent a new style of music
  16. jzucker


    Feb 3, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Hmmm - When I'm in a jazz situation, I close my eyes and just play. ;)
  17. Just please be aware that particularly with more complex chords, playing the exact same chord on bass as on guitar will more often then not sound muddy. Typically you'd pick a few notes form the chord. Not saying you have to limit yourself, just don't surprised that when you do play the same chord on bass that it will sound a lot different and will do more to the chord then just add "more bottom" as one would expect.
  18. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I'm having a 7 string Bee Bass build currently that will be similar to your request.

    (link in my sig shows the progress so far)

    It will be tuned B-E-A-D-G-B-E (same as a 7 string guitar but one octave lower) and strung with light guage strings. I play chords an my 4, 5 & 6 string basses... and I play some guitar too.

    as stated too many notes too low will cause mud

    the soundgear 6 has a smallish neck

    you will need to play with voicings to see what works for you. try a bridge pickup soloed and a bright tone to reduce the mud.
  19. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    maybe, since you seem new to the 6 string bass thing, and since i think (i THINK) your galpal is a strummer, try picking up tapping. your left hand can support her in the low roots, while you can be building melody with your right...

    if she can sing and you can play the harmonica at the same time, you technically can sound like a 5 man band with only 2 ppl!

    on a serious note, 6 strings make good tapping basses. and zons have nice small necks.
  20. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    I have a six string Warrior bass. If you're looking for high end basses with very thin necks then the Warrior might be for you. People comment all the time to me on how thin the neck is on my bass.

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