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Six to seven?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Parkerblades, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. Parkerblades


    Feb 23, 2014
    I'm thinking of switching to try a seven string. Don't really need it but thought it might be fun to play around with. Any of you went from six to seven strings? How was it did the extra width hinder you any or did you find that you never used the seventh string? Just kicking the idea around. Thanks.
  2. I went from a six to a seven...I like the high F :)
  3. Parkerblades


    Feb 23, 2014
    Cool thanks for the input. I am thinking I will like it also. I play a lot of music that the low bass parts are not so much needed so I tend to play a lot of chord shapes and stuff in those parts. I think the extra range will give me more options in that part of the music. But I do like to here from experienced players that have been on both sides.
  4. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Well, I'm a 7 string noob too so I don't know how much this helps.

    What I found was not that i never use the 7th string but rather I didn't know what to do with it! In other words the notes were there but my knowledge of them is what was lacking. Sure I can extend the cross neck scales to infinity and that is cool, but if you've learned some chords for 6 string it takes some woodshed to get up to 7 string knowledge I've found. Plus the notes up the 7th string (like for stratospheric solos) are unfamiliar teritory too. So I'm working on it and I DO love it! But play out with it? Not yet.

    As for neck width I'll say I've never had a problem with 6 string necks being "wide". Cripes there are folks here in TB who whine about FOUR string necks being too wide! But that being said let me say that I've found my 7 string basses at the LIMIT of what I find comfy in neck width. I do not have a problem playing 7 but if I had an 8 or more string with similar spacing I can see that comfort would vanish and my whole approach to the instrument would be more along the lines of tapping than standard playing.

    So a man does have to know his limitations.
  5. Parkerblades


    Feb 23, 2014
    Great info. Thanks for your post
  6. radioface


    May 2, 2013
    It seems that the 7th string is being confused with the 1st string. Weight, cost of strings and comfort in playing are things to be considered before switching to a 7.
  7. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    I added a 7 string after playing 6s exclusively for about 20 years. It's actually a little easier in that it just adds another octave set (G-F) so a lot of fingerings translate. I used it on my main touring gig for about 4 years. I'm seldom using it these days, and sometimes even take a 4 to my gigs depending on what they are, although my default is back to a 6. It's not that much more of an adjustment to add the additional string.
  8. Parkerblades


    Feb 23, 2014
    Thanks Roy. And thanks radio face. I am considering the comfort of playing and availability of strings into my decesion.
  9. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    I got a Benavente 7 from a friend a while back. String spacing at the bridge is a full 3/4" (19mm) and I found the neck to be too wide for my hands. The other downside I discovered is that a plain F string sounds nothing like the other wound strings, and a wound F isn't practical at typical bass string tensions - the core wire is too small for the tension.

    On the positive side, having that extra range gives you more room to solo, and play chords. If I played jazz or had a solo act, that would be great, but a lot of people look at you funny when you bring more than a 5 string to a rock act.
  10. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    String availability isn't a big problem IME. At least Dean Markley, Ken Smith, and Kalium (formerly Circle K) can take care of your needs for the standard B0 - F3 tuning. Those are the brands I've used to date. There are others.
  11. Parkerblades


    Feb 23, 2014
    Thanks chuck. That's the first I have heard specifics of that f string. That spacing on a bass I'm looking at is 17 3/4mm.
  12. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I never had a problem with wound F strings. I used .022s and it was fine. So your mileage may vary there.

    I went from a 4 to a 7 to a 4 tuned in fifths. It's an adjustment for sure, but if you're already playing a 6 it shouldn't be a big deal. It just didn't fit my needs and wants as much as my current fretless 4 tuned in fifths.
  13. Parkerblades


    Feb 23, 2014
    Nice input Eric thanks
  14. The tension of a wound F is no problem at all. I use the SR2000 .022 and have never had an issue with it. I did have a string break one time but DM sent me a few replacements. I will agree with others that an unwound F sounds pretty strange. The wound high string is a must imo.

    I went from a 6 to a 7 and didn't really have any issues adjusting. I tend to favor tighter string spacing so ymmv on neck width.
  15. The string spacing on the bass you're looking at is good, should make the neck roughly the same width as a 6-string with 19mm spacing. I've played Ibanez BTB 6-strings before, and I believe they're 19mm; the neck width is very manageable to me, and if you're used to playing 6-strings you should be fine. As people have said, you'd need to spend some time learning the notes on the new string, but that's doable.

    I've played two 7-strings, one being an Ibanez Soundgear and the other being a BTB. The BTB's spacing was around 17.5mm, so the neck was pretty wide, but it quite playable. The only issue for me was the massive weight of the instrument, as BTBs are already quite large as they are.

    The Soundgear was terrible though, because the neck was about as wide as a normal Soundgear 6-string (and their spacing is already 16.5mm). I could play it finger-style, but slap was basically impossible. You could get used to it, but the neck just doesn't need to be that narrow IMO, so it's a bad design. So in short, get a wider neck if you can handle it, and TWO truss rodes is compulsory (obviously).

    Regarding strings, I can't remember if the ones I played were wound or not, but as stated, unwound strings will sound very different. Get wound strings for sure, because you're going to have enough issues as it is with tonal discrepancy across so many strings. One of the reasons I switched back from 6-strings to 5 was that very problem, as I found a lot of 6-strings to have weak C-strings. You'll have to go with custom string sets for a 7-string too, so just bear that in mind. Heck, The Bass Centre in Melbourne didn't even stock 6-string sets when I was there last.
  16. I think 7 strings are just a hair too much neck for me since I'm a very small guy. I have a fretless 7 and enjoy it, but 6 string seems a lot easier on my hands. Mine was strung with a high E. I didn't really use the upper register as much as I thought I would,either.

    That being said, I play a lot of 7 string guitar.
  17. Parkerblades


    Feb 23, 2014
    Thanks spade