Would you play a six or seven string on a Blues gig?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DougD, Dec 24, 2009.

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  1. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654 Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    Or do you think that would be too much? I'm looking for blues players to share their thoughts. I ask because, I just landed a Blues gig and wonder if I will get laughed out of the joint if I show up with an extended range bass.
  2. tekkentool


    Oct 17, 2009
    laugh at them first, get the upper hand.

    nah if it feels right do it.
  3. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    Well if you do get laughed at, take the guitarists axe and chisel out the frets that arent needed to play a blues scale.
  4. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    if your playing a proper blues gig, a p-bass is what you need to bring...
  5. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654 Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    Ive see plenty blues cats play a five string Jazz.
  6. J-Building


    Jan 1, 2009
    I personally would bring a sixer because sevens are hard to manage for me. But that's only because I prefer smaller necks. But if you do what you're supposed to, no one will even notice.:bassist:
  7. Jefenator


    Aug 22, 2008
    Just keep it "real" and string quantity should be irrelevant, IMO. :smug:
  8. chicago_mike


    Oct 9, 2007
    Chicago - LA - Rome
    Endorsing Artist : Genz Benz
    Umm...being in a blues circuit myself I see 5,6 and 7 string players. If you play traditional blues. Yeah get a p-bass. If you like to play stuff past 1947, bring what makes you..you.

    I had "traditional" guys ask me "hey, wheres your 7?" and I would say..this is a blues gig". Then they answer "F that, be YOU. thats why your here." So if any "hardcore traditional blues guys (mostly white hate to say )" give you crap about anything more than 4..you can tell them that Eddie The Chief Clearwaters bassist, Melvin Taylors Bassist, Phil Guys bassist, Carl Waethersby's Bassist ( of I am / have been depending what night I am called and such ) uses a 5 or 6 or 7.

    Oh, and the new Blues dvd of chicago legends that is up for a grammy...has Felton Crews on bass. he uses exclusively a 6.
  9. jb63


    Jan 3, 2002
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I think it depends on what what style of blues. If the band plays old school blues, take a P, or a Jazz if you have one (flatwounds would be a big plus). If they're playing modern stuff, sure why not?
  10. LiF


    May 11, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    Chris Chew of the North Mississippi Allstars plays a 6er.
  11. Take what U want,. I often take my 'Ray 5 to MY jazz/blues gigs. Couldn't give a rats ..... what anyone else thinks!!!!
  12. Does not really matter, unless you deal with blues fundamentalists...
  13. Dennis Kong

    Dennis Kong Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    San Mateo CA

    More like blue idiots-
    Already do that...

    I use 5 or 6 with them : and then play Larry Taylor lines using the 4 strings to show it can be done.
    and then mute the strings to get that " thumpy upright sound" they want.
    and then add a lower notes on occasion later on during the gig.

    Then: when you get the ""rare chance to solo"" on the 6 er":
    you add the C string for upper range of your solo.
    That usually gets the crowd goin' !!

    After a couple of months of that approach-
    I have had several people comment they like the extended notes now!

    But ..they still look at me as the blues alien- haha:D

    I don't mention that I also play upright bass in some jazz groups either.
  14. With the Jazz/Blues/Swing 5-piece that I play with I go back and forth between EUB and a 6'er. 6's are so easy to play nice extended walking lines on....why would you not want to use one?
  15. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid I don't play bass

    Apr 10, 2009
    It's not because the extra strings are there that you've got to use them, if the tone fits, why not?
  16. jwbassman

    jwbassman Supporting Member

    Aug 9, 2006
    I've played plenty of blues gigs on 5 and 6 string basses. There's only one blues nazi that I played with that had anything to say about it and once he hear the 6'er on the gig he was like, "Yeah, I like that bass..."
  17. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Its how you play not what you play. If you can add another diamention to the sound and keep it Blues sounding and represent the feeling then go with it. Jason Ricci is a harmonica player that plays and uses non-standard harmonica scales, techniques and positions when he plays the blues with brilliant results.

  18. OK, Chicago Mike, Now I think I know who you are. Do you know Vince Reed? He is my brother and I am pretty sure he introduced me to you at a gig of you cats somewhere. Did you go to Virginia Beach with Carl about 7 years ago?
    Sorry for the hijack!!! I play a four string short scale 30.5" because it is comfortable for me, but I say play what ever you are "good" on It is the sound not the look.
  19. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    IMO, it's complete nonsense to "have" to use a certain bass for ANY specific gig. The people I play with wouldn't care if I brought in a 2 x 4 with rubber bands as long as I could cut the lines and sound good.

    I only use ERB's (except for a DB when I feel like it) on gigs, including blues dates, and not only are they ERB's but they're decidely strange looking. Nobody cares, ever ..... ;)

    These are the basses I use:




    Man, play what you want .... :cool:
  20. I rocked a blues gig a couple of weeks ago playing my Stambaugh 6, because it had the tone that fit the musics, and because it's the only bass I will bring to any gig. Play whatever instrument is an extension of yourself. You'll get the best results that way.

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