Why Six Strings?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Oldie but noobe, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. Just curious. What does it give you? What are the advantages? What style of music would it help you to have 6?

    I think they look really cool :D
  2. Well the most obvious answer is, more notes.

    But besides that, it also gives you more positions that notes you already have can be played in. So now, instead of having a bassline with lots of lows and highs that jumps up and down the neck, you can compact it to one spot on the neck.
  3. Hekbass


    May 21, 2005
    Zephyrhills, FL
    Well, other bassists may add more to what I'm going to say. I have a 5, never had a 6, but it intrigues me. Why? I am very into using chords on the bass, and of course, a higher string would expand your possibilities. Even just the lowest (B) string opens up new, high-on-the-neck voicings impossible or nearly so on a 4. But, for non-chordally-inclined bassists, the lowest notes on the 5 can be used as a sonic "spice", or, in the detuned- nu-metal crowd, for the impossibly low riffs...some guys even DETUNE their 5-6's...imagine that. Additionally, people who like very deep tones play high on the B and E strings instead of low on the A and D. The same note played on the A or D strings sounds different on the B or E. And so on...
  4. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I see it as a transition point to my next bass, a 9 string. Once I have the 9 I feel I can finally fulfill my dream of being a one man John Turner cover band.


    Actually they have a lot of benefits to those who want to use them. The most useful is the ability to play in a single position while having access to a greater range.
  5. I've been thinking 6 string also recently but tuned F#,B,E,A,D, G. Just a thought for more experimental rock-jazz stuff.

    F#, it just may be enough to poop my pants.
  6. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Nah... F#s clock in at around 22Hz.. I think the "brown note" is somewhere down around 7Hz..
  7. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I agree. Not having to shift as much helps me when I sing. And a lot of the time I play in a trio; I'm exploring more chordal ideas and Roscoe Beck-ish two handed concepts to fill out the sound.

  8. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Addendum to my last post:

    From Wikipedia.com

    The brown note, according to an urban legend, is an infrasonic frequency that causes humans to lose control of their bowels. Effective frequencies are reportedly between 5 and 9 Hz, below the audible range for humans (humans cannot hear below around 20 Hz).

    The note was tested on the television show Mythbusters using Meyer Sound subwoofers on par in quantity and quality with those used at major rock concerts. The experimenters on the show tried a series of frequencies between 5 and 10 Hz at 120-160 dBSPL, but they were unsuccessful in producing the rumored effects. They all reported some physical anxiety and shortness of breath, even a small amount of nausea, but this is mostly due to the fact that a sound at that frequency and intensity moves air rapidly in and out of one's lungs.

    The brown note was featured in an episode of South Park (Worldwide Recorder Concert) as a sound that caused people to lose their bowels uncontrollably, though the sound in the show was a low audible tone.
  9. That make sense even to the noobe

    So what's the down side other than the wide neck and weight?

    thanks to all
  10. For me, hitting the wrong string. Also, now that I'm fairly comfy on 6, I want 7. Where does it end? Weight is not a biggie for me; my 6 is semi-hollow & lighter than my Jazz 5. As for what kind of music- both kinds(good & bad). I'm no chops-monster; I prefer the immensely supportive groove to pyrotechnics(not that there's anything wrong w/wrenching all you can from whatever instrument you're playing).


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Mr. Beem,

    I think if you & I got together we would surely replicate the "brown note" in spades hands down...now all we need is some "crash test dummies" willing to soil their linen...

  12. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA


    But in all seriousness, it's uber easy to improv. I can play any style of music, it's just the bass I was looking for.

    It turns heads a lot too. :p
  13. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
  14. Well now back to our regularly schedualed program :D
  15. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    A 6-string is my next purchase. I like to play chords. The high C would give me more voicings. The high C will also give me more soloing capability. As far as the low B goes; I want it for playing pop, dance, rock, and gospel.

  16. Funky Tune

    Funky Tune

    Apr 28, 2005
    Puerto Rico
    Why? because John Myung use one........ :scowl:
  17. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder: Wing Bass
  18. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Well, I'm interested for chordal purposes as well as a large range and more note choices in a given posish.
  19. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    First, it makes sight reading easier.

    Second, it opens up more possibilities for chords and doublestops.

    Third, it gives you more notes in a single position, without having to shift your hand.

    Fourth, you get to have a low B and a high C string.

    Fifth, it opens up new possibilities for tapping.

    And more.

    The only drawbacks for me, is the fact that it makes me want to overplay(and I already do that on a five string:D), and it is a little more challenging for my fretting hand, due to the wider neck. Oh, and slapping is a bit more challenging, too.
  20. Oh well that settles it. I will be on the prowl for one

    Thanks to all again.

    Any recomendations . I will have to get something used that I can swap my SR5 for, maybe with some cash.