6-string bass anyone?

Touching = damping :smile:

Pressing = noise :frowning:


Just remember that Steve Bailey is a tiny, tiny person, and he navigates the 6 string with his small hands very handily.
It’s tricky, but you’ll figure out a work-around if need be.
The necks are significantly wider. My 5 string is a Modulus Quantum, and the string spacing is (for 5 strings) very close.
When I move to 6 strings, the neck width is always surprising and challenging.
But - it’s a new instrument.
There would be a learning curve. I’d be really interested to see what you came up with on 6 string, @joergkutter. You seem to have an ear for the soloistic and more melodic-driven fusion playing, and you might really enjoy that space up there.

If neck width is a real problem, then I think you already identified the best next option - a 5 string with a high C.


He does indeed! One of the tricks he uses is to use his thumb to fret some notes when higher up the neck, much as you’d do on an upright (I am sure there is a technical term for this type of fretting, and I think I have heard/read about it, but I can’t remember right now). I guess this is possible especially because he plays a fretless!?

I have the feeling you are a very good teacher, @Gio - you know how to motivate people :smile:

Speaking of Steve Bailey: there is tons to be learned from watching him play, but, unfortunately, I never much liked his tone - there is something “twangy” over it that just doesn’t sit well with me…

Anthony Jackson, of course, is like the godfather of the 6-string, and it doesn’t exactly look like he has long fingers :grin: He has killer chops and an exquisite muting technique, however.

And then there is Adam Nitti (with his crazy arpeggio raking, or whatever we call it) - in this clip, it actually looks like he is “hardly” using his pinky on his fretting hand - he seems to use his ring finger like the rest of us uses their pinky:


… I feel like that’s how a lot of discussions about bass players end.
… and then there is Adam Nitti…


I use a 4 pack of bass strings for E-G and 2 guitar strings for C (0.024 nickel round wound, 19lbs tension) and F (0.018 nickel round wound, 19lbs tension). This is for a 32" scale by the way.


It’s like a conspiracy, but, hey, Oteil Burbridge said it, so…

(go to the 2:08 mark to hear him say it)

6-string basses always look like someone is playing a different instrument to me. The things are just huge.


More ESP Jazz :slight_smile:

Love the clean tone there. Same guy, same bass:

Another one by the Pat Metheny guy from the other thread:


Reminds me of Ravi Shankar playing his sitar . . . :slight_smile:


Here’s one bummer about 6-strings:

BZ-6000NT - 5.56kg

ESP is probably around the same.


Yes, pretty much! And pretty much unavoidable…

But, the consummate rock’n’roller that I am, I am always playing sitting, so that should be OK…:metal:


Top Youtube recommendation for me after the Nitti video was:

Which is perfect really.

I LOLed at “Not that any of you have ever cleaned anything…” Thanks for that @JoshFossgreen.


That’s hilarious :smile:Who’d have thought the Tube has a sense of humor :sweat_smile:


I own a couple of sixes (which are now my main instruments), along with a five, and a couple of U-basses (which are fours). Like almost everyone, I started out on a four, but quickly became convinced I needed the flexibility and bottom end that comes with a low “B”, and I stayed with a five for quite some time. It was a couple of years ago that I began to wonder what I might do with a six, and so I bought a (relatively) inexpensive Ibanez GSR256B to experiment. In truth, I don’t use that top “C” string a great deal, and I definitely could live permanently with a five if I had to, but I like the option of occasionally noodling around up high, particularly if the rest of the band is sounding “low” and encroaching a little on bass territory. Besides, unlike a guitar, the symmetrical nature of the bass allows easy transfer of your riffs between octaves, and you do get rather a lot of octaves with a six!!! So, in short, definitely a five (I probably wouldn’t buy another four although, as I say, I do also play four-string U-Bass, but that’s a whole 'nother ball game); but I’d say having a six is worth it if you can upgrade for not too many $$$. I found the transition from five to six easy (you can just choose to ignore that extra top string most of the time if you want), unlike the transition from four to five, which had me initially forgetting what the “bottom” string was!


Thanks for elaborating on why you (routinely) play 6-strings, @alanjans! I got intrigued by them, to some extent, because of the possibility to solo in the high register, but even more because at some point I think I want to explore chordal harmonies on the bass a bit more.

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