Below is a video by Janek Gwizdala published a few months back on what it’s like to pick up and play a proper 6-string bass. And “proper” means one that has been set up correctly with an appropriate string set of the correct thicknesses, string saddles with correctly set height, a neck that has had its relief set correctly, and so on.
In the video, you will see Janek genuinely enjoying his experimentation with the 6…
…and that’s the whole point of owning a 6-string bass. The 6 is able to do things that would otherwise be difficult or simply not possible on the 4. But even so, there’s a point in the video where Janek says, “Real bass time for all the purists out there” and grabs a 4-string, so even he knows there will always be the 4-string-or-nothing bass player crowd.
Exploring outside of the comfort zone
At the 10-minute mark, it’s also mentioned in the video that for many 4-string players, playing a 6 can go outside of bass player’s comfort zone. True? Yes, absolutely.
The best argument for the 6-string however is that if as a 4-string player you’re feeling too “boxed in”, so to speak, the 6 with its extra low B and extra high C (standard tuning for 6 is generally considered to be B-E-A-D-G-C) could be just the thing you’re looking for.
Is the 6-string here to stay?
The market seems to think so. While there have been high-end boutique 6-string basses for some time, there are now mass production versions available for under $500 USD, and that’s a fairly recent thing to happen.
Check out the video below and let us know what you think of the 6-string bass by posting a comment or two.