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Thinkin about buyin a 6 string, any tips on transition from 4 to 6?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Viper, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. Viper

    Viper Guest

    Jun 2, 2004
    Williamsport PA0
    I found a nice peavey grind 6 string neck through body bass, thinkin about givin it a go, I liked it and it felt alright playin but I'm not sure how easy it is to go from 4-6 I kept trippin up when I was playin, comments, downtalk, laughter are appretiated have at it.
  2. jvbjr


    Jan 8, 2005
    I would use tapewounds for the B and C to begin with so you can clearly see the original four strings you are use to.

    Truth is you will still play 95% of the time on the middle four, but the added range gives you options, that's all.
  3. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks!

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Not really a GI thing. Let's go to Basses...........

    Chris A. :rolleyes: :bassist:
  4. I don't play 6s, but when I first went from 4s to 5s, I kept going for the B string when I wanted the E. I think a lot of people have experienced this. It took about 3 months until I was completely comfortable on a 5, but now 4 string basses seem restricted to me.

    Something else I do: I hardly ever play above the 4th fret on the B string. I almost always play the open E rather than at the 5th fret on the B. I like the way it sounds better.

    It may take a little time to adjust, but I think you'll really get into the extended range.

    Good luck.

    Mike ;)
  5. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    It doesn't really take much effort to go to a 6-string. The only real issue you might have is wrist fatigue, it might take you a bit to get used to the extra stretch to the lower strings. Other than that just play stuff you already know on a 4, using just the middle 4 strings, until your used to it. Don't try to play something that uses all 6 right away. Just get used to how the middle 4 feel first.
  6. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    I did it 2 years ago. Just put your 4 under the bed and don't touch it for at least a month. Play your 6 every day- even if it's not more than 30 minutes a day- and you will be ready to gig in three to four weeks. That's how I did it, and it worked for me. Now I play both, but primarily the 6.

    Good luck.
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Strings are gonna be more expensive.
  8. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    With practice and an open mind (and time), I think that you'll amaze yourself at how easy the transition can be if you put in the work. ;)
  9. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Practice before you take it to the gig. I picked my first 6 about 15 years ago and took it straight to the gig. THIS IS A BAD IDEA :rollno:
  10. You might have to reconsider your right hand technique if you are used to anchoring your thumb on the pups. I use the 'floating' thumb technique where the thumb rests on a lower string and moves along (up or down) with the movement of your right hand.

    Otherwise I agree with the others, the transition is not very difficult.
  11. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I switched from a 4-string to a 6-string last summer; It wasn't nearly as big of an adjustment as I thought it would be. I hit wrong notes, started on the wrong string, you name it! :D But I'm quite comfortable with it now. I personally found going from a 4-string to a 5-string was a bigger adjustment, but I have no idea why.

    I love the 6!!! :hyper:

  12. Viper

    Viper Guest

    Jun 2, 2004
    Williamsport PA0
    Thanks everyone this should be a lot easier (I don't think my 4 will fit under my bed >.<)

    never thought about the wrist fatiguing (SP?) or using tapewound c and b strings thanks a lot y'all
  13. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    just practice every day. and remember that when you are practicing, you are allowed to make mistakes. go slow, and if your hand hurts, STOP and shake it out. dont want another carpel tunnel case...
  14. Just go for it man.. I went from 4 to 6 about a year after I started played. I stumbled for a little bit, but nothing bad. I find it harder to go to a 5 string for some reason than a 6 string. Damn odd numbers!

    Now-a-days I'm going back to playing 4 for giggles and to have extra space. Once you play 6 for a while, and go back to 4, it'll seem like there's FEET of space between the string. Its nice though when you have that funk tune you really want to dig into.
  15. Nadav


    Nov 13, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I made the transition a couple of months ago. Don't worry too much about playing the two extra strings in the beginning - just get used to playing and eventually you'll be comfortable enough to use them. I also found it much harder to play six at the store than at home, so you may be pleasantly surprised. It only took me about a week to get used to it, and I just gave my 4 string to a friend (well, I took it from him originally).
  16. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    Yeah I made the transition a few (8) months ago. Although I wouldn't reccomend this to everybody, but playing it at a gig (maybe a dodgy seedy one) can really get you going with the familiarity of things. Really opened up my eyes as to what I could do with my sixer.
  17. Besides that Jaco-remark, another phrase that irritates me is the "You don´t need ERBs in real band situations". Yeah, sure, you can get by with a four-banger for 99% of the time. But then again, 99% of "real bands" don´t create anything new or original.

    I don´t mean to say that an ERB automatically makes you a original and interesting player. But at least you can be fairly certain that an owner of such beast has a relatively open look to new things and has a progressive attitude towards music.

    Vice versa, playing a four doesn´t mean you´re a washed up recycler of old stuff. But bashing ERBs on public forums sure makes you look like one ;)
  18. Sorry, posted on a wrong thread. Mods have been contacted, move along...
  19. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Best of luck. I made the transition from a 5 to a 6 about 8-9 months ago after years of playing a 5. Oddly enough, I find the neck of my Fairlane 6 much more comfortable than the neck on my Ibanez TRB105. Unlike my TR, I was able to fret every single note quickly without a sharp pain in my wrist around the 12th fret on the A & D strings.

    Like others have said, I too made all the classic mistakes (hitting wrong notes and such) but nowadays, the bass feels more like an extension of me. It wasn't difficult for me to ignore my TR since, well, the Fairlane had a more inviting neck.

    I'd personally recommend the Peavey Fury 6 over the Grind since the Fury has more consistent QC and isn't as heavy, but that's just me.
  20. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    This technique was taught to me and is extremely useful. I now use it for warmups before I play. It's great and mutes strings simultaneously.