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who regularly plays basses with different string nnumbers?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by adrian garcia, Aug 13, 2002.

  1. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia In Memoriam

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    i have been a fiver most of my life- i got a Tobias 5 back in '82 and never looked back.
    Recently, i switched to 6- it was a tough change, but i was feeling like i had it under control. Tonight i had to do a gig with no rehearsal and found myself having to play very fast bebop tempos and latin and funk charts. I even had a couple of solos. I played the MTD635 the first set. I found myself not relaxing and not feeling like i was deep enough in the pocket. For the second set, i decided to go to an R bass 5 i currently have. It was miles easier! it came back and i was able to handle the music with much more ease.
    Now, THATS got me thinking. Am i sacrificing technique and fluidity for the sake of playing a 6? If i am, isnt that wrong?
    Now i find myself with a beatiful MTD635 and a gorgeous Roscoe 6 in the making. but the 5 was so much easier! i know i had to sound better on it. how do you guys gofrom 4 to 5 to 6 with no problems??
    should i go back to 5?
  2. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I play 4 and 5 60/40

    I think it was Jeff (Embellisher) who said (typed) that the way he swaps string numbers is to rotate them reguarly, so thats what I do (as well as electric guitar classical guitar and acoustic guitar in open D tuning).
  3. lowfreqman


    Aug 18, 2001
    behind a bass
    I go between a four and a five regularly. I try to roughly split my practice time between my four and five. I was a bit frustrated at first when I made my move to a five-string bass. I was fumbling around quite a bit. But, with some patience and making the decision to alternate between the two string configurations, it has become easier to play both.
  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    for me, going from 4 to 7 was a big deal, as you can imagine, but i just totally went 7 and didn't look back. i think that's the rub - commit to one instrument. there's nothing that you can do on 5 that you can't do on 6, and you'll get comfortable quicker on the 6 if that's all you play.

    since you asked, no i don't think you should go back to 5, i think you should just stick to the 6, and give it some time. it won't take too long, i'd imagine, with your schedule, to get up and flying full speed on it.
  5. smakbass

    smakbass Smakkin basses for 25 years..

    Aug 6, 2002
    Vancouver Canada
    I have a 4, 5, and 6 with the 6 being tuned down to F#. I normally dont have problems switching and reading charts on any of them. I have been playing 5's and 6's almost exclusively since 1990 and only recently re-added a 4 to my collection.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Adrian I play 4,5,6,8 non doubled,and 15 string 5 string trippled.and my aproach is what ever the song or project calls for.kind of like a sax player utilising alto,tenor,saprano,etc.somtimes to use a certain saxaphone you have to use a different fingering.playing the 8 makes my playing of the other basses much better mainly because no other Bass I have has a neck as wide as the 8.because you feel you didn't play your 6 as well as you like compared to how well you may have played your 5 is simply from you not having yet spent enough time with your 6.
  7. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    I play a 4, 5, and a 6. Yes, I do sometimes still screw up when switching, but each bass has its own sound of the 3 I use.
  8. I was thinking of changing to "more"-strings too.

    But I stick to 4 string for one reason: to limit my note-range.

    Sounds a bit weird you might think but it's for the sake of my band.
    I tried a 6-string and I tend to be all over the fretboard. Like soloing very high and then suddenly go back heavy riffing.

    I think if you use the full note range of a 4-string, that's already something wide. A melody remains even in a lower octave, after all: your doing the bass part. I try to work well together with the guitarist.

    Besides: a slim 4-string with a long scale looks pretty cool compared to a (thiny) guitar. :D
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I play 5 over 50% of the time, but play a fair amount of 4, 6 and 12 as well. The only thing that is a real challenge to me is slapping as well on a 6 as I do on a 5(which isn't very well to begin with).
  10. BigBohn


    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    Stick to the 6. You must force yourself. If you just stay with the 5, youd be doing yourself a disservice. Persevere against the initial shock and you will be reaping the benifits in the near future.

    Just hold out, bud, you can do it. :)
  11. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia In Memoriam

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    here's the update on the dilemma:
    i get around fine on a 6- but i have thought long and hard- i think i got discouraged last nite because tho ive been playing the 6 for a while now- it was always the same show, which i knew inside out. Having to play the 6 while reading charts, and playing VERY fast bebop on it threw me of- im not the best straight ahead jazz player to start with. So far today i have sat and played them both and im equally comfy on either- i guess when i go to these musically demanding and stressfull situations, i should bring a five along, just in case-
    the 635 is not going anywhere.. but will keep a 5 handy. Thanks for your suggestions and encouragement.. keep the comments coming!!
    and Jauqo, and JT.. i tried a 7 again recently.. FORGET ABOUT IT!! thats all you, guys...;)
  12. BigBohn


    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    Yeah, good you came to terms with the 6 string. Just because you had one bad experience with your 6 in a difficult situation, that shouldnt discourage you from using a 6 ever. As you get more experienced with the 6, it'll become second-nature using it just like a 5.
  13. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Funny, I'd expect an easier time on something like that with the 6 - more notes close by in case you need them.

    I've been playing 6 for about 2 years now, and lately got a Kingston 4 just for kicks - turns out the Hanewinckel 6 is just easier to play in almost every way then the 4! So I'd probably have sold the 4 by now if it didn't have the V-Bass pickup on it (not sure I want slap that thing on the H.).

    I haven't touched a 5 for over a year now, but I don't miss it at all (Carvin) either.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I have 4, 5, 6 and 7 string basses. I switch regularly and it's usually not a problem. However, in all honesty, when it comes to playing with abandon, it's fours and fives for me. I've come to a point where I'm seriously rethinking my choices, even though I have a world class 6 (MTD) and 7 (Roscoe). I'm a lot more comfortable on the 6 than the 7 but way more comfortable on the 4 and 5 (equally).
  15. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    Right now i've got my time split about 50/50 between 5 string electric & upright. After playing the upright for a while [a couple of hours] then picking up the 5 feels like i'm picking up a broom stick or something-kinda relieveing. I know this isn't switching between 4 & 5 electrics but it's what i do. I tend not to get the fingerings mixed up now-when i was switching between cello & 4 string electric it messed me up more but that's not what you're asking. So upright [4] & electric 5 is all i switch to with the exception of when i pull out the mexi jazz w/flats for a song. Thats all
  16. Dr.SixString


    Apr 30, 2002
    I play a 6 string fretted, 4 string fretless and my 4 and 5 string double basses,have no problem with switching..........exept with my new piccolo (converted Yamaha TRB5),I'm not used to the one octave higher pitch yet but I practice every day:D.

    "As you get more experienced with the 6, it'll become second-nature using it just like a 5." BB.

    Besides , fast be-bop was created for the four string bass:)
  17. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia In Memoriam

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    yeah... a four string UPRIGHT bass..

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Im sure if 6 string Bass was around instead of 4 it would be appropriate,but then again someone would have come along and used a new instrument called the 4 string Bass.
  19. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I use 4,5 and 6 string basses as well as upright. I don't have much trouble switching but sometimes miss the B string when I play a 4 string.

    I suggest you get some of the Jamey Aebersold Jazz play along CD's and you'll get used to playing jazz on that 6.

    I've been playing a lot of 5 string bass lately but a Roscoe 6 is being shipped to me later today so I guess I'll be back on the 6 string again. A new axe will do that, won't it?

  20. I switch between 5str bass guitar and 4str double bass.

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