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Al Krow

Do the best pro-bass players mainly play 4 strings?

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I'm just starting out on 5'ers, but a discussion with some of my BC buddies got me thinking:

Actually, do the best pro-bass players mainly play 4 strings?! (And if it's good enough for them...)

What great albums / tracks have 5 string bass?

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1 minute ago, Al Krow said:

 

Actually, do the best pro-bass players mainly play 4 strings?! (And if it's good enough for them...)

 

Yes , i  do. Always have done    🐵

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Posted (edited)

They'd generally play what they need for the gig. Sometimes a band leader might specify a certain instrument. I've never personally had that, but I do know people who have been told they must use a P bass or something. I know someone who did a musical based on the 1950s, the band were visible on stage, it had to 'look' right.

Dave Swift is one of the UK’s busiest, his main bass at the moment is a 6 string Ibanez, though he plays others depending I guess on what the gig requires.

Anthony Jackson always plays his 6 string Fodera.

John Patitucci always plays a 6 string, usually a Yamaha.

Jimmy Haslip plays a 6 string Roscoe.

Edited by ambient
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I think Nathan East plays 5 strings all the time. In public anyway 😉

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There are many pro players that use a five string in the studio but not live (or not often at least). 

Flea - Red hot chili peppers

Stuart zener - Jamiroquai 

Jamareo Artis - Bruno Mars

Off the top of my head. 

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It is of absolutely no importance to me what other bass players do.

Besides the best bass lines on most albums released since the early 80s were synthesised or sampled and played by a sequencer.

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Many pit band bassists are pro and most of those appear to be five string players ime, some mighty fine musicians out there from musical theatre groups right upto Broadway! 

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The question doesn't really have an answer. For every 5 or 6 string player you name, I'll give you a 4 string player that will be as good.

As ambient says, tools for the job and all that.

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13 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

Besides the best bass lines on most albums released since the early 80s were synthesised or sampled and played by a sequencer.

Really?!

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17 minutes ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

There are many pro players that use a five string in the studio but not live (or not often at least). 

Flea - Red hot chili peppers

Stuart zener - Jamiroquai 

Jamareo Artis - Bruno Mars

Off the top of my head. 

Ok, you've just named three bassists whom many of us (me included) consider to be awesome. Are their studio albums done on 5 string as far as you know?

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19 minutes ago, Len_derby said:

I think Nathan East plays 5 strings all the time. In public anyway 😉

He played his 6-tring Yamaha when we saw him in GAK a couple of years ago. He didn't bring a BBNE2: he thought that GAK would have loads of them hanging on the wall.

 

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It's just a tool.

 

I play a 5 purely because I get piano scores rather than bass parts and I like to be able to play the low end without having to thing about changing things.

Half the time I don't use the lowest notes but I have more positions to play in because I can play across the board rather than up and down.

 

TBH anyone who does the "4 was good enough for Jaco" routine is a weapons grade silly billy. There were hardly any 5 string basses around at the time. There was the 15 fret Fender V 1965 but the first really popular 5 was the Stingray and that wasn't introduced until 1987. The year Jaco died. Wal and Alembic did some before that but they weren't common or affordable.

 

Who knows what he would have done if he had lived longer.

 

But one thing I am sure of - he wouldn't have said - "Oh look! a 3 string double bass was good enough for Bottesini so that's good enough for everyone"

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15 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Ok, you've just named three bassists whom many of us (me included) consider to be awesome. Are their studio albums done on 5 string as far as you know?

I know Flea uses a black Stingray 5 on some tracks, Zender had a pink Stingray five, and Artis has fancy custom basses in both four and five string versions. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, fretmeister said:

TBH anyone who does the "4 was good enough for Jaco" routine is a weapons grade silly billy. There were hardly any 5 string basses around at the time. There was the 15 fret Fender V 1965 but the first really popular 5 was the Stingray and that wasn't introduced until 1987. The year Jaco died. Wal and Alembic did some before that but they weren't common or affordable.

 

Who knows what he would have done if he had lived longer.

 

But one thing I am sure of - he wouldn't have said - "Oh look! a 3 string double bass was good enough for Bottesini so that's good enough for everyone"

Jaco liked 5 strings:

jaco5-jpg.1580485

jaco_acoustic.jpg

 That's a Gretsch (or a Guild? can't remember, think it began with a G) and a custom acoustic he specced I think.

Edited by lemmywinks
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The best bass players (pro or otherwise) are the guys playing the best bass lines.

Who cares what instrument they used.

Do what the best pro players do. . . make your own decisions and resist following the herd.

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1 minute ago, BigRedX said:

Absolutely!

In what dimension?

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Dave Pegg - one of the very best - plays a fan-fretted Ibanez SDG 5. And a beautiful thing it is. 

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4 hours ago, BigRedX said:

Besides the best bass lines on most albums released since the early 80s were synthesised or sampled and played by a sequencer.

'Best' is of course entirely subjective, but most albums? Really? I doubt that somehow.

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The majority of my playing and recording is all done on the same 6 string bass, thank you for asking!

😂😂😂

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, BigRedX said:

It is of absolutely no importance to me what other bass players do.

Besides the best bass lines on most albums released since the early 80s were synthesised or sampled and played by a sequencer.

 Sorry this is bollocks  There are 100,s if not 1000,s of great bass lines since the 80s that were played on an electric bass. Or is it just the greatest basslines you like.? If it's of absolutely no importance to you what other bass players do, why bother commenting. In fact why even take part in the forum

Edited by bubinga5
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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, bubinga5 said:

 Sorry this is bollocks  There are 100,s if not 1000,s of great bass lines since the 80s that were played on an electric bass. Or is it just the greatest basslines you like.? If it's of absolutely no importance to you what other bass players do, why bother commenting. In fact why even take part in the forum

giphy.gif

 

Edited by skidder652003
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Tools for the job, most of the theatre acts and music shows I`ve seen the bassists have used fivers, whereas on the punk scene a five string bass is rare - if ever - to be seen.

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16 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Ok, you've just named three bassists whom many of us (me included) consider to be awesome. Are their studio albums done on 5 string as far as you know?

Flea played a Stingray 5 on The Righteous and The Wicked from BSSM. The rest of the album he played a Wal (mk2 IIRC)

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Billy Sheehan does seem to have an aversion to 5/6 string Basses.

On the (drop tuned) Sons of Apollo record, he's used a 4-string tuned BEAD, and is actually touring using a double neck, which has BEAD on the lower neck, and EADG on the upper neck which is used for his solo spot.

895152500_sheehanSOA.JPG.aa98d93ec34e9bce4ec62af54112d259.JPG

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