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Discussion in 'Barker Bass Forum' started by bad_andy, Nov 7, 2005.
Any chances that a 6 string bass could be had?
Thanks for the question. We've built one 6 string prototype. Joel Barker has it in Portland. I think sixes will eventually be in our line but not quite yet.
I see you have a Bossa--beautiful instruments. I was introduced to them by Hussain Jiffry, a bassist in LA (who played his Bossas as well as a Barker when he toured with Yanni).
Thanks for the prompt reply! Yeah, the Bossa OB-5 is my main axe and Hussain is a really personable guy. The Barker design intrigues me, I was just hoping that it was available in 6 since the vertical design also seems like it would eliminate the need to bend the left wrist to accomidate a wider neck... within reason anyway. How do the Barker basses work for slap bass playing?
Here's a quote from Bruce Jacobs, who reviewed a Barker for Bass Guitar magazine:
"Although I thought playing a vertical, fretted instrument would be weird, I was able to adapt quickly (though I'll admit that using a pick and slapping took a bit longer to master.)"
I have to defer to others with your question inasmuch as I'm not a slap type player. Trip could speak to this as could Eric Owens and doubtless others.
I personally think slapping on the Barker is very easy!
I attempted slapping and popping on a traditional upright and felt really ridiculous as I am sure I appeared...
Slapping the barker was just like slapping my strapped on BEE bass!
And wait till you hear it through effects!
I am the Joel who has the 6 string protype. Due to some genetic claims, I get my hands on Barker Basses early and often. I asked Dad/Lee to help me build a prototype 6 string because I saw it as an interesting mix. Todd Johnson had piqued my interest in the 6 string bass as a wholly different instrument than a four string. However, I find most of them to be a bit awkward to mess around with as well as heavy. I thought the Barker would be an ideal format for the 6 string.
Our experiment was a success. It is a whole lot easier to get around on than a horizontal 6. It sounds pretty good. Unfortunately, Dad let me use the power tools, so it is not up to his level of quality visually. I will post a pic here soon.
Since I was able to get my hands into the production, I changed a couple of things about the design from the Barker standard.
For one, I did not install thumb rests, which make slapping a whole lot more possible. I am considering shaving the thumb rests on the my other basses down so that they are lower than the strings to get the same result. Other than that, a Barker is quite slappable. The first time people try, they rotate their hand the wrong direction. Instead of pointing your thumb back at your own elbow or up at your shoulder, point it ACROSS the instrument. Although the attitude of your thumb might be the opposite of your slap postition on a horizontal, your technique is the same.
that would be amazing a Barker 6 string.....wow I can only imagine.....
Wow, thanks! I'd love to see some pictures!
Here is a snapshot of the beast. Active Pickups (I believe the only Barker that has left the factory Active), no thumb rests, 2 too many strings.
Hi Andy, I play #21 in the Barker line and I give my thumb a workout. It is very easy and takes a slight adjustment to your slap technique. I will tell you that you will not find a richer thicker sound than BVB.
Eric (keeping the funk)
that six string looks amazing. I see what you mean about the no thumb rests. but what are pickups for anyway!!
Are you any closer to having 6s yet? I like the idea of having a Barker bass, but I would want it to be fretless and, try as I may, I just can't talk myself into getting a fretless that isn't a 6 string bass. Consequently, I'm just about to pull the trigger on an F Bass Alain Caron (AC6).
We're just no closer to a six, Tom. My focus of late has been on a new line which will be more accessible pricewise and I just haven't had the time resources to explore the multi-string end of the spectrum. Oops, sorry Gregory Bruce Campbell, I recall now that most basses are, indeed, "multistring."
Your choice of an F bass pleases me--George Furlanetto is an incredible craftsman and, as I've said before, produces the most stunning finishes I've ever seen. I think you'll be thrilled with that bass.
But I do have this 5 string fretless...it has only 17% fewer strings than you're looking for...and that great, full, lifting, rich, deep, enveloping Barker sound...
I am TRYING to talk myself into a 5, I honestly am.
Perhaps a photo would help ... is it one of the Limited Edition basses you have on your site that you mentioned earlier?
Alas the Limited Edition basses are all gone, and they were all 4s.
Click on "gallery" on the site; the first picture after the underpaid bald headed model is a typical 5...then the next to last image, full size, shows similar.
It's one like that, but newer--serial number 88.
If you were to go to a 5, would that be and E to C or B to G?
#88 huh? That's cool. From the photo, though, I can't make out if it has lines, frets or neither.
Out of curiousity, the tripod stand looks pretty sturdy, have you tried a weighted round base?
And have you considered piezos in addition to the magnetic pickups?
And are these questions better done in PMs? :-/
Man, I've been going back and forth on this all weekend. When I play with horns, I'll want it strung BEADG. When I play other styles, I'll want it to be EADGC ... especially for the harmonics on the C string. I guess I would get it EADGC and work around the lack of a B string just like 4-string upright players always have done.
Is it possible to get a Barker string EADGC, with a hipshot on the e string?
Also, the sound files sound GREAT, but the fretless samples focus on acoustic tones. It would be great to get a Jaco-esque sample that includes harmonics as well.
Sorry, another thought: my '75 Fender Jazz bass came with a big black piece of foam stuffed under the strings at the bridge. Like most players, I removed the foam, but I always kept it around and put it back under the strings when I played in a horn oriented jazz band. The foam, and favoring the neck pickup, gave me more of an acoustic upright tone.
Have you experimented with this old Fender foam idea too? The long sustain of an electric bass is one of the ways a listener knows that it isn't an upright. A removeable foam piece could give players an option to apply harming the Barker Bass's amazing sustain capability.
Here's some answers to your questions:
1. I have tried to develop a cast iron stand. It never rose to the surface, so to speak.
2. Hipshot and Graphtech--two Barker Bass suppliers--have developed the "Ghost" system which is just as you described--piezos in the bridge. I am really intrigued by this, and have purchased one, but have yet to get it in a test bed bass. Soon, I hope.
3. Hipshot on E string--good idea; haven't done it, but I'm ready.
4. I put a lot of time into developing a set of 2 laminated (3 densities) foam mutes, $19.95. I've never pushed them much and they haven't got much attention but some of our readers may have them. I set out to get exactly what you request--a simulated upright sound. We'll let the experts, Barker Players, offer their opinions.