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Should I.....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bass_Machine, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. Bass_Machine


    Oct 29, 2004
    .....get a 6er?

    I know this topic has been discussed a lot, but the search function brought up a lot of stuff, and I could only give vague search terms.

    I was wondering whether people generally thought I should explore the world of the 6-string bass.
    I have been playing bass for around 2 years now and I own a fretted yamaha bb604 and an unlined fretless vintage v940fl. Both of these instruments I really love, and can't see myself getting rid of; but I am thinking of getting a 6 string as my next bass. I play in a couple of bands some blues, jazz, funk and a modern rock/indie type band. Between my fretless and my fretted I have all of these covered.
    However, I am quite into chordal stuff, and I'm really feeling these days that I would like a high C. I wouldn't use it as much as C, but I also feel the need for a low B, in case I wanna go lower than E (sometimes required) without detuning.

    I feel there are no 6 stringers in my area ( :scowl: ) and I would be the only bassist playing such an instrument. I kinda feel that people in my bands/others my look down on it. I also feel myself that it would seem a little ungainly to have such an instrument when I only need a 4 for that particular song. I also worry about getting used to the physical and psychological sides of a 6er.

    My price range is around £500-£700, so could you guys recommend some 6ers around that price that would be good to start out on? It would have to be quite versatile and have a nice B string (not too floppy). I've looked at Dean Q6 basses and they seem quite nice.

    Generally, what would you guys recommend to a guy who is comfortable on fretted and fretless 4 stringers and is looking to up his string count but is a little overwhelmed by the choices? Should I go with a 6, a 5 with a low B or a 5 with a high C? Can anyone assuage my fears that getting used to a 6 string wouldn't be so difficult and recommend me a good 6er to start on?

    Thankyou, Hector
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    For me, I'm a four string player, and I find the jump to a six easier than the jump to a fiver, even though I seldom use the low B, I want it mostly for chording and whatnot.

    A lot of people find 6 easier than 5, and others don't.
  3. Aj*


    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    I'm in a similar position but right now I think I've found the bass for my (and your) budget - a used Peavey Cirrus 6, absolutley gourgeous bass. And their used value takes a massive hit. Question is where are you in the UK and have you already tried a 6er. If you're anywhere near Manchester, go to Manchester Sound Control Salford, they have a Warwick Corvette 6er and a Streamer S1 6er that will give you some idea if you like the concept of 6 strings. The cirrus has a better B than both of those though because it's 35 inch scale and so the tension is greater. In my experience, people playing 6ers have got a general response of "Wow, that thing's a bass, sweet!" or "Wow, you can play that thing!".
  4. Bass_Machine


    Oct 29, 2004
    I'm near London, so getting to Denmark street is an option one weekend before/during the christmas holidays.
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Why are you asking us? Will you have an easy time getting used to it? Who knows? I know guys who took to 5's and 6's immediately. I, OTOH, played nothing but a 5 for 4 years and never got used to it.

    However, if you're looking for recommendations, I would recommend the Hohner 6'er that the guy in Los Lonely Boys plays. Sounds killer and it's pretty cheap.
  6. Aj*


    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Oh well if you're near London, go hit the London bass gallery and the bass centre, there's plenty for you to try there.
  7. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    Tim, I jumped directly from a 4 to 6 well before my first 5, and also found it surprisingly easy to do. My theory is that when moving from a 4 to 5 you're "adding" a string and dealing with an odd number, while with a 6 you're "bracketing" a 4 with an extra string on each side - it's much more symmetrical. Then again this is only my POV and I realize that have a thing for symmetry in real life, and that a five is symmetrical with 2 strings surrounding the A. :help:

    Hector, as I stated above I also "skipped" a five-string and went directly to a 6 with fairly little trouble. The physical aspect is one that you can alleviate by choice of neck size and string spacing (for instance, a tight-spaced Ibanez Soundgear 6 @ 16.5 mm vs. an Ibanez BTB 6 @ 19mm.) Psychological, I found it best to jump right in and use my 6 for everything the first six months I owned it - at the end of that period I felt I had a pretty good handle on it, enough so to start gigging and doing sessions with it. She was my main player from '97 to '02, and while I've realized that at heart I'm a fiver (I simply don't use the capabilities of a 6 in the majority of my playing) I'll always have one in my collection for chordal, tapping, and upper-range work.

    You've got a pretty good budget to work with, so I'll simply post these two as examples of where you can go in regards to tight vs. wide spacing.

    Good luck!
  8. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Since I got my 6 string, I couldn't have been happier. I'm all over the B string, and having an extra high string didn't make it harder to play it all. Tapping is real fun on a 6'er.