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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


    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 Supporting Member

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

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