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How many strings on your dream bass?


BassPIMP

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If you read some old posts, you'd find that you have no where enough choices for your poll. We have discussed this topic ad nauseum and there are many options.

 

I don't have a dream bass....or maybe I should say that's because I already own 4, 5, and 6 string basses that I am very happy with.

 

My dream is to have 12 basses, starting with a one string bass and ending up with a 12 string bass. I've got all of them picked out already

except for the 9 string and the 11 string...I'm still trying to decide how I would tune those.

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Well I voted 5 because I've been playing one for 2 years now, and I love the feel of it. But there's nothing I do on the 5 that I wouldn't be able to do on a 4, and despite the awkwardly slim neck, I do feel comfortable playing a 4 when needed.

 

That said, I'm looking into buying a "better" fretless than the one I have now, and I'm seriously leaning towards a 6, just for the heck of it :D

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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Between a 4 and a 5, I'd say a 5. Lots of Eb's when I play with the schools jazz band, a low one would be preferred. Also, if I'm playing in Bb in the middle of the neck, then I have to shift around quite a bit to hit G's and F's.

 

Then again, the high C would also be tempting. I <3 harmonics and when I get musical ideas in my head I usually voice them through upper-register chordal stuff, so that would probably help a lot.

 

Sounds like I need a 6 :)

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Originally posted by BassPIMP:

I was having a discussion with a fellow bass player over whether four strings are better than five strings. So i decided to create this poll and collect more opinions.

BP, it's not how many strings you have, it's what you do with them. Yesterday I saw a bass player with a Hofner-clone-beatle-4-string and he did great just with that. My motto is "the right tool for the right job". I could live with 2, maybe 3 (B-E-A) strings if it came down to that. Maybe someday I'll build one just to prove the point.

:wave:

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Hopefully one day this will end. Different basses for different people, gigs, budgets, etc., etc., etc.

 

I picked 5 as that is what I play. I like the options it gives me. Not so much for playing lower notes (I do that when appropriate) but for playing in positions higher on the neck.

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I've played a 4-string for so long that I have trouble playing a 5. I cannot convince my brain that the top string is not an E.

 

So I'm going to really mess myself up and get a 6.

My whole trick is to keep the tune well out in front. If I play Tchaikovsky, I play his melodies and skip his spiritual struggle. ~Liberace
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I agree with SteveC; I spend more time in higher positions playing the same stuff I would on a four-string. I also LOVE playing the 5th below the G1 on the E-string.

 

Bottomgottem, I played four-string exclusively for about 8 years. I bought a five-string and never looked back. Just takes a bit of time.

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I had a 6 string for a couple years, a fretless. I could never get used to the C string. It always messed me up. It was OK for specific music - like the Yellowjackets - which is why I bought it. When I tried playing big band stuff, I just got lost. I guess for me, traditional jazz is 4 string material for me. Maybe it comes from my upright background.

 

I still use a 5 for my "smooth jazz" and pop/rock gigs. I play upright for "traditonal" jazz. I'm looking for a fretless 4 for when I don't have access to an upright. I probably shouldn't have sold Jeremy my Wendler. When will I ever learn? :(

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Well, the question was strictly about dream basses, and yes, it should have at least included the option for "more than 5" as well as perhaps "less than 4". I would cast a vote for "more than 5".

 

Members of the violin family (of which the double bass is not) only have 4 strings and they are tuned in 5ths. Members of the viol family (where the bass resides) had 6 strings (except the bass) tuned in 4ths. This was before the days of the 8+ octaves piano, and the bass wasn't really engineered properly for the frequencies it output (it was too small), so I'm not too surprised it only had 4 strings.

 

So, if viols were invented today, the bass would probably have 6 strings tuned in 4ths, and it would be a monster. Or, if violin makers were more sadistic, the bass would have 4 strings tuned in 5ths.

 

OTOH, there are plenty of examples of different bass instruments with only 3 strings. (Just look on Wikipedia.)

 

There is no magic number of strings that should be on an instrument that debuted in the 1950s. Sure, it was influenced by the double bass that has had a long history, but the two are not the same instrument!

 

(And look, I didn't even discuss the proper number of strings per course!) :D

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