Switching to a Six String Bass 25 Years Later

Bass gear diagram and infographic for Jason Raso

For musicians, their main instrument isn't just a "tool" that they reach for to unleash music and melody upon the world - it also becomes an extension of themselves.

When it comes to bass players, most of us tend to settle pretty early on a particular number of strings.

Five and Six String Basses Come on the Scene

Even though 5 and 6 string basses have been mass produced and within the price range of just about any bassist for the last 2 decades or so, many famous players have made the conscious decision to stick with the traditional 4 string electric bass as their main instrument.

Up until about a month and a half ago - Jason Raso was among the bass playing population that had decided that a four string bass was "home". Sure he'd played 5 and 6 string basses...even owing a five, but for him the longer scale length was the deal breaker.

But the combination of writing new compositions specifically for solo bass along with a chance encounter with a virtually one-of-a-kind instrument from a local bass luthier changed everything for Jason.

Nobody was more surprised than him to be making the switch after 25 years of playing a four string bass.

In this interview, you'll learn:

  • Why Jason chose to make the switch to a six string bass
  • What adjustments has he had to make to handle the extra strings
  • What instrument caught his eye and ushered him into the six string universe
  • The story behind how he ended up checking out some sweet custom basses at a local bass builder's shop.
  • Some of the features and specs that made this six string impossible for Jason to resist

Thanks to Jason for spreading the word about his switch to an amazing six string bass.
As I mentioned in the interview, I rounded up two clips of Jason playing one of his newest songs called Spinning Forth on both a Fodera 4 string as well as his new F Bass six string.

Not only does it allow you to see and hear his new F Bass, but you can also see how he's changed up his hand position and how he's taking advantage of the extended range of note choices that a six string bass provides.

Here's Spinning Forth as performed on a Fodera 4 string bass:

Here's Spinning Forth as performed on a F Bass BN6 short scale bass:

Have Your Say:

Have you considered making the switch to a six string bass? Have you played a six string? What did you like or not like about it? Share your experience below in the comments.

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