Thinking of trying a six...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Shlogo, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Shlogo


    Dec 16, 2011
    Chicago, Illinois
    So I tried out a six string for the first time today (Both an Ibanez SR606 and an ESP LTD).
    And I have to say, it was not even close to how awkward i thought it was going to be to play.
    It really has me thinking about getting a six string for my next bass (which will be my second bass).

    I play a 5 string right now, though most the songs I can play on a 4.
    But I find I either play in standard or some drop tuning that the low B is good for so I like having the 5th string so I dont have to do any DRASTIC change in tuning.

    And I also dont really see a NEED for a sixth string, just as an option to help increase my skill.
    I play in a Trivium-esk band and my band mates are really open to me trying out new things...and I was thinking before I tryout fretless, 6 strings would be fun :D

    SO, I guess the whole reason for me posting here is this:
    Should I get an awesome six string for my next bass, or just save up for a better 5 string and get a cheaper 6 to mess around with?

    And in case it would effect your opinion, by "awesome six string" I mean something along the lines of a, Ibanez BTB (for the 35" scale), or similar price and quality.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Years ago I went straight from 4 to 6. A few years after that I came back to 5 and now I am home. Adding another string won't "increase your skill" at all. People who play 6 string basses are not more skilled. They have just made a choice to play 6 string.

    It is really just a personal choice. There is no "right or wrong". I never got a lot of use out of the C string so I dropped it.

    So all I can say is if it were me I would (and did) spend more money on getting a good quality 5. You can usually find 6 string Ibanez and Carvin basses pretty cheap used so you can always pick one of those up if you decide you really want one.

    I am only telling you what worked for me. Others do amazing things with 6 string basses and that is fine too.

    While we're at it, I used to be on the "35 inch is better for B string" bandwagon too. It just isn't so. Different basses are built better or worse for a tight or floppy B but it has little to to with scale length. My 34" Fender Roscoe Beck has an awesome B string and I play pretty hard.

    Best of luck with your quest either way!
  3. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    I've thought the same thing before. There is a difference between noodling on a 6er and playing one with a band when it matters. For me, I found I didn't "need" the 6 and I've been doing fine with the 5er ever since. I would not mind having one 6 to keep around but I would probably only play it at home.
  4. gumtown


    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    I have played 5'rs for years, and recently added a 6 for the novelty factor. I find playing after a couple of hours, i get wrist cramps, but then going back to the 5 for gigging makes it easier to play.