Why 8-stringers?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by natedogg567, Feb 10, 2001.

  1. What's the need for a 7 or 8 string bass?? what's the point? sure they are cool, but i still don't get it. *sigh*
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
  3. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
  4. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    Hey you know what they say..."Jaco only used four".So with an 8-string bass,you can play TWICE AS GOOD as Jaco!!!
  5. ytsebri


    Sep 1, 2000
    I personally don't play 7- or 8-strings, but I know exactly where they are coming from. I play 6, and I always get the same kind of question. First of all, on a 6,7, or 8 you can play anything you can on a 4, but not vice versa. Secondly, the additional strings facilitate positional playing better that a four. You don't have to shift as much therefore you are: 1)less likely to shift too far or close and hit wrong notes and 2) less likely to fatigue while playing because of extraneous arm/hand movements.
    Third, the extended range allows you to add textures and or sounds you weren't able to before i.e. when I play, I use octaves an awful lot because I lock in w/ the drums. My lower note follows the bass, and the higher note mimics the snare. It adds depth to my playing and gives me a simple, but distinctive sound. My parts are usually fuller than a single note 16th or such line.
    I know some of you argue that historically the electric bass and contrabass/bass viol/upright/doghouse/etc. is 4 strings, so why would you need more, right? Well you're right, but also wrong. The contrabass was a derivative of a 6-string bass lute. It grew in size and took on some of the characteristics of the violin, i.e. 4 strings.
    FYI the contrabass was also a part of the string family correct? Well, normally when the bass was used, it was usually the 5th or 6th voice of the group, behind 1st violin, 2nd violin, viola, and cello. In today's application, there is normally only 2 to 3 string voices, lead and rhythm guitar and bass. The bass should probably cover the void that was left by the exit of the cello, so the additional strings are a necessity.
    Finally, what does it really matter to you? If you don't like them, stay away from them. 7 and 8 stringed basses aren't harming you in any way, so leave them alone. You don't see us making fun of you or making fun of your instruments because they ONLY have 4 strings, do you?

    [Edited by ytsebri on 02-10-2001 at 04:43 PM]
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    How many threads are there on this now?


    I could tell you why I like a 5 or 6 over a 4(but I still play 4s) and I'm sure the same reasons apply for people like John Turner to like a 7 or 8 over a six, but do a search.

    There have got to be at least 7 or 8 threads on this topic.
  7. I play an 8-string Bass, Because I can.
  8. Oh, And to pi$$ off my guitar player too!!!
  9. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    what kind of 8 string do you play?

  10. no offense intended, ytsebri, i was just curious as to why? i may in the future just collect them, prolly not play them in a band because i play mainly punk. someday you'll see me on tv and here me on the radio because my punk band will be famous. woohoo! prolly not, but i can dream can't i? :) peace!
  11. smpbass


    Feb 2, 2001
    Tampa, FL
    I think 8-stringers are pointless. Why do you need 8 strings on a frickin bass?
  12. JimmyThePlumberMan


    Feb 4, 2001
  13. smpbass


    Feb 2, 2001
    Tampa, FL
    Well all the great bassists can make magic on a 4-string just as easily.
  14. ytsebri


    Sep 1, 2000
    Hmmmm. Interesting. What about John Pattitucci? Or Gerald Veasley? Or Oteil Burbridge? Or Victor Wooten for that matter? He may primarily play 4 strings, but he uses 5 and 6's as well. I've got one for you? Did Geddy Lee play a 4 on 'Lock and Key' from 'Hold Your Fire'? No, he played a 5.
  15. smpbass


    Feb 2, 2001
    Tampa, FL
    Ok then. I think it's too late and i've already made myself seem like an *******, but what I'm saying is that you don't really need more than a 5. The 5 is nice because you have a litle flexibility. I just think 8 is a little much.
  16. They can, but many choose not to. Besides, it would be insanely difficult to pull off any number of licks without that low B there.

    Just because you're afraid to play a 5+ stringer, or your technique isn't up to it, doesn't mean that it's not an a valid instrument. (So many anti-extended-range guys say, "but I can't wrap my thumb around the top of the neck!" or "but I can't plant my thumb on the neck pickup and reach the F string on a 7-string!" and other such silly things.)
  17. I have a Washburn B20-8. 4 bass + 4 octave strings
  18. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga

    note: there are 2 types of 8 strings - the doubled string type like you mentioned above, and the 8-single-seperate string type, like this...



  19. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I don't like you cause you like apples & I like oranges. If you don't like it don't buy it. Just my opinion.

    I mostly play a 5 string but when I put on my 4 & I need to play the lower notes, I play em an octive higher. The only 8 string I've ever seen is a 4 string, doubled. You gotta play 2 strings @ a time & each "double string" is tuned an octive apart. It sounds really awesome, but I never like to play live w/it.

    I don't like rap & country music. Does that mean it should not exist. NOPE!!! I just wont buy a CD or put on one of their stations. This kind of thread is getting really boring. :(
  20. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I agree. But I do enjoy seeing JT's pics