Shortly before I bought my electric upright bass, I restrung my six string Sei bass with lighter gauge strings tuned a minor third higher than normal. Most six string basses are tuned B – E – A – D – G – C. I found that I was rarely dipping below the D on the B string and that I was often chording, where skinnier, higher pitched strings work better so I had bought a new set of strings and retuned the instrument D – G – C – F – Bb – Eb.
I can play basic stuff without too many problems. In a band situation, where I have lots of reference points to key off and am mainly playing monophonic lines (where I can think about the relationship of different notes, like “up a fourth” and “down a tone”, to keep my place). However, I have had a couple of times when it has felt like I was an absolute beginner again. In a more pressured situation – like last night when I was trying to support the service we had at church as the only harmony instrument and leading the music at the same time – my lack of firm mental map of the newly configured fingerboard has been a problem.
Therefore, I might go a bit blog-lite this week because I’m leading again at church next Sunday morning and I really do feel the need to put in some more practise time on the six string (while also keeping my upright chops developing).
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