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Too soon ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kagroth, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Kagroth


    Mar 25, 2009
    Hello, all. This'll be my first post here on the forum, but I need this issue tended to.
    You see, my band is pursuing a progressive metal/art metal approach, and I play bass. I currently own an Ibanez Gio GSR205FM 5-String bass and a Johnson JG-622-E Jumbo acoustic bass. I only started in November of 2008 on a Dean Edge, but I received so much encouragement (I was "a natural", supposedly =/ ) from the guitarists in my friend circle/family that I sold it to a friend and scraped up enough money to afford the Johnson and Ibanez.
    And this happened in... February, I believe. I felt bad for switching so quickly, since my bandmates had been playing their guitars for over six years, or were playing their father's twenty-year-old Lead II (The pickups just crapped out at the last practice).
    And, now, I'm having another delusion of grandeur... The ESP LTD B-206 6-String bass. It's sort of pricey($440), or at least for me it is. If I tossed both of my guitars I could grab it up, but... I'm not sure if I want to do that, primarily because, well...
    I don't know, really. I just get this overwhelming guilty feeling when I think of getting a new guitar, since I'm not part of the richest family in the world, what with out cramped little apartment. On top of that, I'm afraid of what my bandmates will think when a newbie is waving around a $400 six string.
    Help ? D=
    Side note: I've played various "symphonic" instruments over the years and have a comfortable understanding of theory. And, yes, I got a band as a noob... They liked my playing that much. I may have to mention I'm only 14... And that's why I don't have license to pull money out of thin air... Also, this "band" actually has talent. It's not just a three chord rinse-and-repeat garage band.
  2. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Do you really, really need a new bass. I know that many people around here buy/have a lot of basses, but this is more a function of having played for very long (and thus amassed instruments over the years) and disposable income. If I was you, I'd start saving for a good head+cab setup, especially in metal. No use in having 3 basses and no amp.

    Also, bandmates shouldn't care what you play and the price you paid, unless you can't do the job properly.
  3. Jimmy Bones

    Jimmy Bones

    Feb 24, 2009
    Baxley, GA
    On top of that, $400 is really middle of the line for a 6er.
  4. Kagroth


    Mar 25, 2009
    I'm not saying it's a matter of me NEEDING it, but I get what you're saying. But, if I were to use the money from the two basses I already have, I'd just have a sixer to stay with and hang on to, you know ?
    As for an amp, a buddy gave me a nice one when he upgraded. ^_^
    My band could just make so much use of an extended range bass. All I'd need would be that and I'd be cool.

    I'm just, like... Dirt poor, personally. It's not like my family's living in a box, I just, personally, have nothing. xD
  5. Jimmy Bones

    Jimmy Bones

    Feb 24, 2009
    Baxley, GA
    I know the feeling. :)
  6. Osprey


    Jun 20, 2005
    Sounds as if you've made a great start: not frightened of theory and playing with a band at 14. But please don't get trapped in the arms-race for equipment. You need to work on your technique, practice practice practice. Listen to recordings of the whole range of bass players. Get a teacher, if only a few lessons: don't waste time thinking you can re-invent the wheel. The basses you own will do for this, if they are half-decently set-up. And you'll soon need a better amp & cab, whatever your present one is like, unless your band-mates are more restrained than any I've met. If you start to believe a new bass is all you need you might as well sit around wanting a new bike, a particular car. Let yourself become a musician. You'll love it.
  7. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    That's how GAS starts! Trust me, there's ALWAYS something else waiting in line to be the next "all I'd need"....

  8. funkmangriff


    Dec 29, 2007

    ain't nothing wrong with three chords! in fact 3 chords are often better than using every chord in a key signature! talent ISN'T classed by how many chords you can play in a song.

    why a 6 string may i ask
    whats wrong with 4 strings

    i myself play a 4 string and am ONLY going to get a 5 string because i don't want to be throwing a spare bass thats tuned Eflat around with me. Even when i come across a low D that 5th string will be helpful.
  9. Kagroth


    Mar 25, 2009
    I'm just using the term to describe the starry-eyed teenagers playing sub-par, stereotypical garage rock. While simplicity is sometimes a good thing, that's not exactly what we're going for.
    I'm not hating on the four string. I just think the extended range could easily be made use of in my band's music. Even after this band, (Though I hope I can cling to it as long as possible), an ERB is never a bad thing...
  10. being a newbie,...

    are you aware that a 6 string is a big step up from even a 5 string? I started on 5 strings and have been playing for 2 years but when I pick up my teachers 6 string I sound like poopoo as you need perfect technique and muting else all you will get it is unwanted noise! not to mention width of the neck etc...

    if its your dream fair enough I won't discourage you (just like I started on 5's cos that was my dream)... but in a band setting to start off with that high C string may not be entirely useful. using the low B on a 5'er you have the option of not tuning down plus playing in a smaller fret range without jumping around,... I've just personally never liked 6'ers and quite comfortable with my 5'er for metal and rock :)

    and like has been stated yes this is how GAS (gear Acquision sydnrome) starts! that said I've gone from 4 basses down to 2 and hopefully it stays that way for a while!!!
  11. markkoelsch


    Sep 6, 2008
    I will be honest with you, I have played a lot of prog metal and I have two six strings...frankly, I want to go to five strings. I really learned to play on a 4 string, and the c string tends to be used very little by me. I love the low B, and do not want to be without it.

    My advice is to stick with what you have for now. Spend a year or two with it, and really explore what you can do with it. From there you should be able to determine a bit better if a 6 string is what you really need or want. Also, a $440 6 string is really cheap. Personally, in that price range though I would look at a Peavey Grind 6 string...fairly nice for the price.

    So, patience is a virtue. Practice, spend money on new strings and lessons. The better/more string bass can and should come later if you need or want it.
  12. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    As much as I'm a fan of GAS, and prob have more gear than I need, at your stage of bass development I would stick with what you've got and invest in amplification if you really want to spend money.

    Learn your instrument inside out before moving to something bigger. A 6 string is a big jump, bigger if you're not completely familiar with the 4. I only got my first 6 recently after over 15years of playing 4s and 5s, and man, it's hard work. Not to mention the wider neck and extra reach for the low notes can kill your left hand.
  13. the engine

    the engine Guest

    I wouldn't say that getting a six banger at this point is a BAD thing. It just may not be the BEST thing to do at this point. First of, you are putting a lot of eggs into this one basket. Translation...this band looks great right now. I've been in bands before that I thought would never break up. But it could go away in a flash. Second, you are really into this kind of music right NOW. Six months from now things may turn out to surprise you. Third, I own a six string and play just about every kind of music you can think of. It's amazing how few times I play a note on the C string. Fourth, (as stated by a few other guys) a $400 six string probably isn't all that great. Fifth, if the guys in the band really dig your PLAYING then they shouldn't give you a bunch of crap over your GEAR! I can't really walk a mile in your shoes so I can only tell you what I would do. If it were me, I would play with the current bass and rig just for a little while...just long enough to get a feel for what direction the band (and your preferences) are going to go in. All the while, save up what you can in a gear fund. If you end up hating the bass and the band, you can put the money into a car in a couple or years.

    After ALL of that, let me just add this. You sound like a really mature 14 year old. If you were to buy a 6 string, and it ended up being a mistake (for whatever reason) it's not the end of the world. So if you just can't get the idea out of your head, go for it and let the chips fall where they may. And best of luck with music, gear, and teenage years! Enjoy!
  14. I wouldn't say it's too soon to get a 6er, but if you're in a band, the best basses in the world aren't gonna do much without a decent amp. Since you're planning on eventually getting a 6, you might need something that can send out the lows and highs nicely.

    One thing about 6ers is that you NEED a nice neck profile, balance, and lower action. Without one or more of these, playing a 6er becomes more of a chore than anything else.
  15. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Go play a bunch of six strings basses before making any decision. As was said, 440$ does not exactly give you an instrument you can "hang on to".

    Also, I'd keep the money myself for gas money, emergency repairs, strings, cable, etc. Once you start gigging, you'll realize how much little the stuff that is necessary (spares, notably), are costly.

    I also played cheap P-basses knockoffs (first a Barracuda, then a Memphis) for a very long time when I started out. And I was barefoot, in the snow, and I played uphill both ways.
  16. If you have the money and that is what you want, go for it. I have been playing 5 years and have owned 5 basses, and 4 in the past 18 months. I flipped them in a quest for finding something better than I had.

    Don't feel guilty if you can afford, feel guilty if it is unneccessary. What is unneccessary? I don't know, draw your own line.
  17. Iroquoi


    Sep 18, 2008
    don't do this, a 6'er for a begginer is kind of not necessary, stay with what you have and practice
  18. Old Ell

    Old Ell

    Feb 24, 2002
    St. Paul, MN
    I bought a 6er when I was 16 after playing for two years. I was really into Primus trying to emulate Jerry Was a Race Car Driver and Tommy the Cat, etc. and the GAS hit hard for a 6. I ended up going to musicgoround because they had one and I wanted to try it out to even see if I even liked how playing a 6 felt (I'd never touched one before). It was a Fernandes Gravity 6 that I ended up buying later that day for $250. Definitely one of the best purchases I've ever made - fantastic bass.

    That being said, after my Primus phase ended, I found that I didn't use the high C string very often at all and basically treated the bass as a 5 string, mainly using the C to play more high notes in the same left hand position. Now I really only play a 4 or 5 string at gigs, only bringing the 6 when I have a special desire to rock the Fernandes. Also, I find the C gets in the way sometimes when I'm slapping in certain patterns.

    I guess my point is, unless you think you will be playing a lot in that extra-high register that a 6 offers, a 5 should suit your needs just fine, as far as practicality goes.

    As others have said, go try out a handful of 6 strings, see how you like them. It's definitely a different feel from even a 5 string. If you are dead set on a six and you have the money, I'm sure you'll enjoy it if you get a decent one. However, make sure you spend a good amount of time with whatever axe you are thinking about buying to make sure it suits you. A six would be a chore to play if it didn't play fairly easily (i.e. action too high, uncomfortable neck, etc.).

    Also, if you do decide to go for it, I can put in a personal recommendation for the Peavey Grind 6 - great bass for the money and looks absolutely beautiful - that is if you can tolerate the 35' scale.
  19. funkmangriff


    Dec 29, 2007
    i remember being like u. it took me a while to mature into bass playing, and i still am!!!

    i still see kids trying to be 'awesome' and just sound like crap because they try to hard playing stupid chords stupidly fast trying to be cool and 'new' to all their friends and they forget about the main focus of a band - THE MUSIC- the song- and the emotions that you can create.

    i fancied a 6er but this 'extended range' your talking about is just, well, to me, just mindless. your a bass player, you play the low end, 5's as far as most as a lot of people would go for good reason.

    you should listen to some James Jamerson to get the gist of what a bass player does, before buying unnecessary equipment. (4 string P bass for ftw! ohhhh yeah!)
  20. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    Actually, reading some of the comments made since my post, I should add there's nothing wrong per se about getting a 6 string at your stage of bass development, but, I really would hesitate selling your existing basses to fund one, so the 6 becomes your only bass.

    You would do better to save up more money and get one later so you have your 4's and 6 which you can chop and choose between.

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