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Primery for 8-string and multi-course bass


tarkus

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After a few inquiries by fellow low-downers I think a good place to start is why 8 strings?

 

I play mostly in power trios. When the guitarist solos, the rhytmn drops - the 8 helps fill a bit of the void. Prior to owning an eight I tried stomp boxes and other fx to match the sound in my head.

 

I originally became attracted to the 8 because of John Paul Jones of the mighty Zep.

 

Nobody's Fault But Mine and Achilles Last Stand are the first tunes I realized that featured an 8-string.

 

If you are interested, check out John Paul Jones albums: Zooma and Thunderthief, or Zeps Presence. The DVD shows some good shots of the mighty Alembic 8.

 

I'm also a big ELP fan (obvious). When I first heard ELP live Greg Lake used an Alembic 8 -

Albums: ELP Works Live, Works Volume 1 (Pirates - Fanfare For the Common Man)

 

I always thought Chris Squire used an 8-string to record Roundabout - nope - that was an acoustic guitar over dubbed on standard 4. He does use one live from time to time. I would Recomend : Fish Out Of Water to hear some 8.

 

Jimi Hendrix featured some 8-string work on All Along The Watchtower - Jimi plays a Hagstrom 8 (kinda muddy) - (did you know that Dave Mason played acoustic 12 on that song?)

 

I had heard Cheap Trick but was never a big fan - there's definitely 12 in that stuff.

 

I must also mention Doug from King's X - 12 works for their trio needs.

 

Robert Trujillo does some neet things with his 8 on a few of the Infectious Grooves tracks. I'm told by Jeremyc that Abe Laboriel does something similar. He can isolate the ocatave strings or attack the octave string different - ex - slap the bass string and subsequently popping the octave - cool, Trujillo that is.

 

I know there are plenty more - but god bless Alan Woody! I've seen him with the Allmans and the Mule on several occasions. With the Allmans he pulled out this 18 string monster for Whippin Post - thats a 6 string bass with double coursed octaves! With the strengh needed to play all those strings coherently he could break a cinder block with his fretting hand!

 

I'm sure there are plenty more - If you want to get into it - pull one down from your local music store and try it out - you may never look back!

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Originally posted by tarkus:

I always thought Chris Squire used an 8-string to record Roundabout - nope - that was an acoustic guitar over dubbed on standard 4. He does use one live from time to time. I would Recomend : Fish Out Of Water to hear some 8.

You could also listen to Yes' album Tormato, which features 8 string on a couple tracks (Rejoice and Don't Kill The Whale, IIRC), as well as The Fish on Fragile, and on Close to the Edge as well, but I can't remember which tracks specifically.

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Originally posted by wraub:

Originally posted by tarkus:

I always thought Chris Squire used an 8-string to record Roundabout - nope - that was an acoustic guitar over dubbed on standard 4. He does use one live from time to time. I would Recomend : Fish Out Of Water to hear some 8.

You could also listen to Yes' album Tormato, which features 8 string on a couple tracks (Rejoice and Don't Kill The Whale, IIRC), as well as The Fish on Fragile, and on Close to the Edge as well, but I can't remember which tracks specifically.

 

Peace,

 

wraub

Tormato - good call! Lots of 8 bass + Evantide Harmonizer.

 

An eight string will affect an Envelope filter different than a single course bass - I get a lot of growl out of my eight when I Envelope it - kind of like "On The Silent Wings of Freedom" intro.

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Originally posted by Fred the bass player:

On the 90125 DVD (don't recall if that's quite the name of it but it refers to the live set on tour) isn't CS playing an 8-string at the beginning of "Changes"?

IIRC, you are correct. I remember the video, it was called 9012Live, and it was directed by Steven Soderbergh.

I seem to recall an 8 showing up there as well.

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Chris used one of Howe's hollow-body electrics to overdub/double his Rick bass line on Roundabout--NOT plugged in, but miced.

And his eight string was first heard on a Yes track on the track "Going For The One"

Chris had a Rick white eight string that he used on stage for that before his 90127 era other axes.

 

I own a custom Alembic eight-string modeled after JPJ's Bec-Var Alembic model but with my oewn desigsn changes. You can see it at www.alembic.com under past featured Customs--look for The Riff King. You can also hear it a bit on our band's site www.nashidband.com

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Originally posted by Bumpcity:

I love my 12 string bass. It's big and beefy.

 

Galactic Cowboys bass player Monty Colvin used 8's and 12's an awful lot as well. Great friggin band.

Yes! Galactic Cowboys is my all-time favorite band. :cool:
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Hey Whacked,

 

I couldn't tell you about the multi-course (regular bass string with one or two "octave" strings) basses other than it seems to me the ones I briefly tried were a little more finicky about picking - and they'd have a little more tension (like high-strung acoustic guitar combined with bass) for each course than a single string.

 

With single course extended range basses the main thing to pay attention to is string MUTING, and making sure fretting hand technique is ergonomic. It's really not that hard to get the fretting hand thing happening,but the muting takes awareness and time.

.
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Originally posted by Whacked:

OK, I have a question about these multi-stringers

 

Are they harder to play? Seems to me getting constant tone would be hard 'cause you have to play more evenly. But all I have to go by is pics.

They are harder to play because you are fretting and plucking two strings where it would normally be one. It takes some finger strength and better technique to play cleanly.

 

Even the guys (myself included) who play these things don't play them as much as they do typical 4 or 5 strings.

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Seems like I recall at least a couple multi-course players talking about some pretty sophisticated muting techniques, now that I think about it, where sometimes they sound the bass string WITHOUT the octave - and maybe the other way around as well. Some favor having the octave strings belowe the bass, some like it above.

 

Another interesting apporach is taken by Jauqo IIIX - he plays a triple-course FRETLESS (he's got a FIFTEEN and maybe getting an EIGHTEEN). FRETLESS! That's gotta take chutzpa!

.
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Absolutely. The 8 string sound is so think and warm. That's exactly the concept I was going for when I designed my 12 string. It's a variation of the 12 string guitar. It's tuned exactly like a 12 string guitar, but an octave lower.

I think the old 12 string design with 2 higher octaves and one lower looses some of it's bottom, but easlily EQ'd to regain it, and also feels a bit strange to my fingers. I'm definately not knocking the original 12, it's WAY cool, just not my style.

Here's my 12...

http://crippleneedcane.com/12Str.jpg

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Originally posted by Tim Skelly Cason:

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I'm sorry, but he's really getting on my nerves.
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