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Stop the 4-string/multi-string war!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by tenebrae, May 6, 2001.

  1. tenebrae

    tenebrae nothing to see here move along please thank you

    May 4, 2001
    a major fault line
    Granted, I'm fairly new to this forum, but when I searched 6-, 7- & 8-string posts for like-minded players I was astounded at the arguments generated by these posts implying that contrabass players are egotistic more-is-better noodlers and, conversely, that 4-stringers are a bunch of babies who can't handle the extra firepower.

    What exactly is the problem here?

    The electric bass and the electric contrabass are two entirely different instruments that serve two entirely separate purposes. Comparing the two accomplishes nothing, like asking for scientific evidence proving who is the "best" bass player of all time.

    The electric bass (in any form) isn't even 50 years old....still in its infancy, comparatively. 4-string orchestral double basses and 6- & 7-string viols have lived together in harmony for hundreds of years. Can you picture haughty, bewigged courtiers schmoozing in the parlor, expounding upon the relative merits and detriments of the number of strings an instrument has? I can't either.

    I readily admit that I am a multi-stringer. Just as some purists don't understand the need for 8 strings on a bass, I, on the other hand, am utterly unmoved by vintage Fenders, MusicMan Stingrays, etc. But show me a Jerzy Drozd Prodigy VII LE or a Ken Bebensee Sereph and I get dizzy. Everyone has an opinion. But, as a sarcastic yet wise man once said, "The easiest way to justify your own existence is to find fault in someone else's."

    Bottom line: we all have one thing in common - we are addicted to big, fat, meaty low end. Anyone obsessed with any kind of bass guitar - or even bass frequencies - is OK in my book. We are so busy fighting amongst ourselves that we've forgotten who the real enemy is.......GUITARISTS!:rolleyes:

    Please people....[insert Rodney King quote here]

    P.S. Many apologies for preachiness.
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    tenebrae - Actually, the electric bass in any form is significantly older than 50 years;

    - In the 20's, Gibson's Lloyd Loar had a smaller-sized electric double bass.
    - In the 30's, Regal offered an upright, guitar-shaped, electric, Rickenbacher sold a stick-shaped, electric upright, and Audiovox began creating several electric instruments, including an electric bass guitar. It also made the Model 736 Bass Fiddle, which was somewhat like a guitar in shape, had a pickup, control knob, pickguard, and a cable socket in the upper side of its body.
    - In the 40's, the son of the Audiovox owner offered the Serenader electric bass guitar, and one of the Ampeg founders sold a system for amplifying double-basses with a microphone that was placed into the support peg of double basses, called "the amplified peg, " from which Ampeg got its name.

    Not to be anal, but we geezers gotta bring up the neophytes right.
  3. tenebrae

    tenebrae nothing to see here move along please thank you

    May 4, 2001
    a major fault line
    I stand corrected. Thanks for the history lesson. :D

    Actually, I was referring to the birth of the bass guitar as we know it today (Fender Precision, 1950), rather than its 'amplified upright' forebearers.

    I did say '(in any form)' though, didn't I? And it turned 51 this year.

  4. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Welcome to the board. The answer is the "I am right" syndrome. Please note that beginners and pro on this board have various views on String no.s, frets or not, valves/tubes, effects or dry (do I need to go on?) and sometimes they conflict. Generally people stay away from arguments but sometimes someones attitude gets the blood up (once more into the breach dear boys).

    Its not that bad here try Harmony Central which aint bad but has no moderators.
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    tenebrae - Personally, I really don't give a hang about seemingly inconsequential trivia. But some of the younger guys take info they see here and incorporate it into their school reports/essays.
  6. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Most of the controversy over multi-string basses that I've seen is pretty good-natured. Anyone here (or anywhere) with any decent amount of experience and smarts won't discount the other guy's view, will accept that his views are different and the world's better because of it.
  7. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Excellent point! Talk Bass seems to have a good group of people who discuss and bring up issues or questions with one another. And, dispite the occasional opposing viewpoint, we all seem to get along quite well! I think this works particularly well in the context of some of the oldest-standing issues on the board...

    The only time this issue seems to come out, in my observations, is when a player begs the question, "What should I get, and why????" I don't know that a question such as that CAN produce a single answer...
  8. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I didn't know there was a war.
  9. Well, we all know that 7-strings is the best anyway. 7's the key number here. Think about it. 7-Elevens. 7 doors. 7, man, that's the number. 7 chipmunks twirlin' on a branch, eatin' lots of sunflowers on my uncle's ranch. You know that old children's tale from the sea. It's like you're dreamin' about Gorgonzola cheese when it's clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office.

    - Dave
  10. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Fan of the movie with the same name?
  11. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i'm surprised anybody around here still tries to insult >4 string players anymore. i must be slacking off. :D

    also, before you get too upset by any of the "wars" take a look at the dates of those posts - undoubtedly quite a few of them are from a pretty long time ago, before everybody learned their lesson-i mean before everybody got to know each other and learned to get along :D.

    seriously, though, that kind of tripe don't fly around here too often any more. almost everybody here seems, at least lately (knock on wood), to respect each other without regard to # of strings on their bass.

    now, HAIRSTYLE, that's a completely different story :D.

    good to see another 7 stringer join the ranks, welcome soldier. :D
  12. didnt jaco only have 4 strings?

    long live the mullet!
  13. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    a wise guy, one in every bunch.
  14. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    http://www.mulletsgalore.com :D
    so, is my seven string a contrabass? excuse my ignorance.
  15. tenebrae

    tenebrae nothing to see here move along please thank you

    May 4, 2001
    a major fault line
    *hangs head in shame*

    I guess my forum inexperience is showing.

    I've been playing bass for 15 years (learned on a 5-string) and have gotten a lot of s**t from a lot of players in a lot of bands (i.e. 'we already have a keyboard player' and '4 strings was enough for Jamerson, city boy' - actually, much worse than that but I won't get into it). Maybe I just played in the wrong kinds of bands.

    All this coupled with the fact that I live in [self-imposed exile in] the middle of nowhere after living in the city most of my life and can't find a low-B or a high-C around here, much less a high-F. Thank Krishna for the Internet!

    I was excited to find this forum, and was a little surprised to find any dissention among fellow bassists, that's all.

    You're right though, JT, those posts were a while ago and since last night I happened upon some other forums whose contributors were considerably less friendly.

    snyderz: I guess the war is in my head.

    Dave Grossman: You are a very strange person.

    Acacia: I am asked this question frequently. Yes, I did like Dario Argento's 'Tenebre', but it's tenebrae as in Tenebrae Vision as in Cyberaktif as in Skinny Puppy. Wait a minute, they didn't even have a bass player!

    *preparing for barrage of sharp stones and pointed sticks*:p

    All: Thanks for understanding!
  16. Yeah but can you imagine what he could have done if he had 7?

    - Dave
  17. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    For me, it would be hard to imagine Jaco doing anything *more* interesting or musical than he actually did, no matter how many strings he had at his disposal. Besides, he was certainly capable of excelling at any instrument that he wished play (e.g., perhaps guitar if he had wanted). His choice of the electric bass, and examples of which just happened to have 4 strings, was a very conscious one, IMO.

    That said, to each his/her own. I recently started playing on a 5-string after 28 years of 4-string only. I still don't view 5, 6, 7, etc. as "better" than 4; it's a different tool that is good for some things and not for others.
    - Mike
  18. 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
    tenebrae ~

    I'd say don't take it so seriously. Really, everyone in this forum knows that four-string basses are rapidly becoming a thing of the past, giving way to the five-string as the benchmark bass. The arguments you see in here typically are "devil's-advocate" or hypothetical arguments mostly put forth for entertainment's sake. It's not a big deal.
  19. tenebrae

    tenebrae nothing to see here move along please thank you

    May 4, 2001
    a major fault line
    I know.
    I apologize for bringing so much baggage in here to all you good people.
    Just got a little defensive of my children.

    BTW, I'm thinking of starting a band with 8 bassists, drums and a glock[enspiel] called 'Crayon Flip-Art Explosion'.
    Mark Sandman-esque 2-string slide bassists encouraged!
    Anyone up for some wet weather?

    P.S. I won't pay moving expesnes.
  20. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    skinny puppy was very cool. i dug 'em.

    also, i agree that you shouldn't let it get ya down, although i can understand how it will. geeze, one of our own acacia's first posts was seemingly designed to sizzle my eggs :D . in the 8 years that i've been playing 7+ string basses exclusively, i've heard it all. you should hear the comments when i bring out the ole' doubleneck.

    can't let it get to ya, and as for the band thing - don't settle for somebody elses band - start your own - that's what i did. :D. the guys in my band are too busy trying to expand their own horizons to bother about trying to limit mine.

    where are these forums where they are slammin' on extended range players. i feel the need to kick somebody's a$$... ;)


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