When does a bass stop being a bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bass_man86, Feb 17, 2005.

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  1. bass_man86


    Apr 29, 2002
    Virginia Beach
    Let me start out by saying that I intend no disrespect to the folks that like extended range/multi string basses out there. Still, I want to bring this up. I just recently saw a tread where an 11 string bass was being discussed. My question for all of you is, when do you feel that a bass has stopped being a bass and has taken the evolutionary path to being a completely different instrument? ;)
  2. Jean Baudin

    Jean Baudin

    Aug 27, 2003
    redwood city, ca
    Endorsing Artist: See Profile
  3. Andre_gt7


    Jan 4, 2005
    Atlanta - GA
    when it becomes unplayable...no really....im a 7 string player myself...but i really dont think its a string matter...you see...Al Caldwell ahs these really cool MIDI basses that make all kinds of noise...but are they basses? of course! :hyper:
  4. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    A bass is a Bass is a Bass is a Bass...

    an 11 string bass may have half the range of a guitar, but that doesnt make it anything but a Bass...

    There are 9 string guitars, They arent "Basses" they're extended guitars.

  5. SlavaF


    Jul 31, 2002
    Edmonton AB
    That 11 string "bass" can go way lower than any 4 string bass can... so which one is more of a bass instrument? That it can go higher too IMO is not the point.
  6. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    Oh no... :rollno:

    Can we do a search and just revel in the past conflicts???
  7. bass_man86


    Apr 29, 2002
    Virginia Beach
    Sorry, no search and no animosity! I want opinions. :D
  8. bass_man86


    Apr 29, 2002
    Virginia Beach
    As an addendum; I wholly agree with this answer; for example I remember purchasing an album by Mark Egan some years ago where he colored the bass so much that IMO it did not even sound like a bass anymore. That is not question however, I want to know when do all of you feel that the bass has changed so much that it's no longer a bass. The natural focus of that to me is the number of strings. To cite another example, there are "stick" players out there like Tony Levin. The "stick" can sound like a bass but no one calls it a bass. It's not just a matter of what clef you are playing in. :D
  9. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    So eventually you mean that the "Bass" is just turning into a "Chapman Stick?" If thats what you mean... I'd say 9, After 9 strings, I would just go ahead and get a Chapman stick. I guess its the Double digit marker for me...
  10. RunngDog

    RunngDog Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I saw another recent thread on piccolo basses, and my initial reaction was that a 6-string piccolo bass seems a lot closer to a guitar (with a slightly extended lower range) than to a bass.
  11. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    I like Tenor Basses.... MmMmM.... Toasy...
  12. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    When you let a guitarist play it? :p

    Just joking, IMO I don't care how many strings a bass has, if it's played by a creative player, it will sound great.
  13. Right on POON!!!! There are guys who play 6, 7, 9 string basses that GROOVE their butts off, and then they can turn around and solo like Coltrane, or Bird. Remember: it's the player not the instrument. Hmmmmm, too cliche? ;)
  14. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003
    i had a bass stop being a bass when i threw it into the fireplace-it stopped being a bass after about 35 minutes
  15. ezstep


    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana
    When does a bass stop being a bass?

    Whenever I play it. The number of strings is irrelevant.

  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    This has been done way too many times. As others said, do a search.

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