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4,5,or 6?

  Friday, 04 May 2007
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Hello, newbie here. Don't have a Dingwall, yet. But... been doing some research and I've decided "Oh, yeah... one will be mine, soon!" Right now, I'm trying to decide how many strings I want. About a year ago, I bought a used SoundGear 6-string to basically see if how tough it would be to play. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it wasn't too bad. But... I was never happy with the way it sounded and didn't spend much time with it. I went back to a 4-string. So... in my relatively short bass playing experience (5 years), I've used a 4-string bass for everything. However, I'm very interested in getting a 6-string because of the increased range and versatility. Also, I like the challenge of learning something new. My question is: How much easier is it to play a fan-fret 6-string vs. a regular one. And... since I'm so used to playing a 4-string, will switching to a 6-string be difficult. Or... should I just stick with what I know I like and get a 4-string? Or split the difference and get a 5-string? I'm interested in hearing pros and cons of 4, 5, and 6 strings. Thanks, Joe
14 years ago
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#5871
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Welcome, C. Since you have played a 6 string before, it should not be a problem to adjust to multi-scale. The fanned frets [i:3oikhrwq]look [/i:3oikhrwq]much more radical than they actually feel under your fingers. My first Dingwall was a 6 string, and it's still my favorite. Go for it. Mark
14 years ago
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#5873
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I depends on what you want to do with it. If you are happy on a 4-string and it covers all your needs, then there is really no reason to go for more. If you will be using the low notes, go for the 5 and if you think you want the 6 or prefer to have more notes available in one position, get that. For me, 4 is not enough and 6 is more than I would ever need so 5 is the perfect fit.
14 years ago
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#5874
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I' too' have been playing for 5 years and switched from 4 to 5 strings 2 years ago. The Afterburner was my 1st 5er. I'd go for the 6 even if you won't use the very lowest or highest "extra" notes, but are up for the challenge. The main reason I love the 5 (all my 4s have been sold) is the variety of positions and alternate fingerings available. I can more easily avoid open notes unless I want to play them, and I have those great dub tones on the B string, even from E upwards. Even some great, simple classic rock written on a 4 sounds better to my ears when fingered lower --Proud Mary comes to mind-purists will say it was written on a 4 and should be played that way; I believe the chorus would've been played differently if there was a 5 available at that time. Finally, the range available by playing scales diagonally on a 5 is a joy, and will be even more leisurely and stretched on a 6!
14 years ago
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#5879
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Good feedback, thanks. A couple other things come to mind. One is, everything I've read says the low B on the Dingwall basses (thanks to the fan fret) is simply the best. So... right there is a good reason to get at least a 5-string. Second, I do want to continue to grow and stretch myself as a musician, so the challenge of learning a 6-string has a lot of appeal to me. Granted, I probably won't be gigging with just after I get it. ;-) Leaning towards a 6 right now. I'll let you all know what I end up with. Thanks again for your thoughts. :-) Joe
14 years ago
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#5884
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It's true, the Dingwall B-string is the best out there. A lot of manufacturers are making their 5-strings in a 35" scale in order to get a better sounding B so imagine what 37" will give you. Unparalleled clarity.
14 years ago
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#5886
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[quote="Smallmouth_Bass":3llnmefq]It's true, the Dingwall B-string is the best out there... imagine what 37" will give you. Unparalleled clarity.[/quote:3llnmefq] Indeed. We have started tuning down a half step, and I drop my B flat to A flat for some tunes, and it still kills. Mark
14 years ago
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#5892
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[quote="guitarded":v15ztuam][quote="Smallmouth_Bass":v15ztuam]It's true, the Dingwall B-string is the best out there... imagine what 37" will give you. Unparalleled clarity.[/quote:v15ztuam] Indeed. We have started tuning down a half step, and I drop my B flat to A flat for some tunes, and it still kills. Mark[/quote:v15ztuam] +100. Our singer required us to tune a half step down and the clarity is there (even when low Bb drops to Ab with the flip of the lever)
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