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should I go for a 6-string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by supernaut, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. I want to get a bass to mess around with. I don't really need new bass but have some money and think it would be fun to get one. I play mostly rock and blues with some metal stuff so all I need is a 4-sting but have been thinking that something like a 6-sting might just be fun to play around on. I have played several 5's and dont have any problems playing them, but I am not sure about just going for a 6. for people that play basses with 6 or more strings do you find them difficult to play or just different. just considering it thought I'd get some opinions. I was going to get a 5 but then figured that since I would just be getting it for personal enjoyment mostly and not band use then I might as well for for a 6.
  2. if JT was here...he'd say go for a 7
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    No. Five is the number of strings. Count ye not to six, nor count ye to four, lest ye proceed immediately to five. And seven is right out.
  4. sethlow3

    sethlow3 Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Nashville, Tennessee
    5 is all I'll ever want.
    Those who play 6s usually go for a high C or low F#.
    IMO the high C is too "guitary" sounding, doesn't cut well, and is just a crutch for those who can't shift well into high positions.
    A low F#. Cmon you'll barely hear it.

    But thats just for me I guess. Adam Nitti kicks A$$ and he plays a 6.........
  5. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    As long as your fretting hand technique is relaxed (ie. you don't keep your thumb cramped round the top of the neck), the width of the neck shouldn't be too much of a problem. String spacing is more likely to be an issue - if you're used to the 19mm of a Fender, then dropping down to 15 or 16mm will seem very tight.

    I'm very happy that I made a decision to switch primarily to six string several years ago. I wanted extended range but wasn't sure which way to go. As it turns out, I make use of both the B string (lower notes and the option to play patterns on lower strings higher up the neck) and C string (a great bonus when playing around with chording) a lot.

    The bottom line though is that it's your decision. I'd suggest trying a good number of different instruments out. A lot of my decision was based on the fact that six strings 'felt right' to me (as well as the question about low B or high C, five strings seemed uncomfortably 'assymetric'). Find what suits you - great music has been made with everything from one string upwards....

  6. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland
    Dont you have a friend or someone like that so you could borrow a six for 2 weeks or so. Make yourself familiar with it and then you can make the decision yourself. I have a six and i love it. I dont see myself playing 4's anymore. :eek:
  7. stuie86


    May 9, 2003
    mckinney, tx
    i say go to a GC or your fav guitar shop and play with one for alittle while.... see what you can do with it stuff like that, then deside if thats what you want to do

    (for all of you who dont like that word, "BASS" shop... you sillly people you)
  8. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I play a 6 in my R&B band, and I use it to write with. You can get some VERY interesting chords by using the B, G, & C strings.
  9. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I have a 6 mostly for chords, tapping.

    I play different styles and songs on that bass from the ones I do on my 5.

    Now I want a 4 too.

    Go for a 6, but not a cheapo.
  10. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
  11. furiously funky

    furiously funky Guest

    Dec 28, 2002
    the only problem i had when switching from a 4 to more stings was sight reading or reading kinda new stuff. i always ended up playing an F when i ment a Bb! it was okay other than that, and i got over it quickley.
  12. thanks. I'm thinking about getting a peavey cirrus because I played a 6-string and it played very well. better than some 5's I've tried. I know if I don't get a 6 I will probably get a 5-sting cirrus. I just need to figure out if that higher string would be fun to have or just kinda overkill. I'm not really going to be playing with any band regularly over the next year so I am just thinking about something that I could have fun with.
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    A lot of it depends on the music that you are playing. I don't use the high C much at all when I play oldies. But when I play at church, I use it for chords, and it sounds great popped. Pluse I will throw in some melodies that go up that high from time to time. With my originals band, I use the high C a lot.
  14. I have a six string I am selling, want it?
  15. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    A sixer ? Depends on what kind of bassist you are (or want to be). If bass solos and chording are your thing then a six is essential.But some see bass solos and chords as oxymoronic and view the bass as a rhythm instrument.Solos and chords rarely contribute to the groove.If you're a groove player then 4's and better yet 5's should be your choice.
  16. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    If you're not playing with a band, then I'd say that could make the six string more useful, especially if you start exploring chording to fill out the sound of your lone bass. What kind of music do you see yourself trying to make?