How to Choose a Bass – Six String Bass

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 26,034
    Professional bassist Percy White breaks down how to choose a bass guitar.

    Percy White

    Percy White is a professional bassist living in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. He is originally from Philadelphia, Pa. He started playing bass when he was 10 years old after trying unsuccessfully to play guitar. As he puts it, "It just made sense. The bass has four strings and I have four fingers to play them with." He started playing by ear but after hearing Stanley Clarke he realized that he had to take lessons and so he did. After graduating high school, he joined the U.S. Navy's Nuclear Engineering Program but his musical education also continued with his study of jazz and music theory. After serving in the military, White moved to Chicago to begin an engineering career that was short lived due to his love of music. He began taking bass lessons with Nick Schneider (former bassist for the Tonight Show Band) After playing in numerous jam sessions, he began his career as a full time musician. He played with notable jazz artists like Ramsey Lewis, Oscar Brown, Jr, Roy Ayer s, and Ronnie Laws. He has jammed with Buddy Guy at his famous blues club in Chicago. White has been a founding member of two rock bands, two blues bands, one latin/jazz band, and one contemporary jazz group. He has played for the Chicago City Colleges Jazz Band, and was a winning member of the 1996 Chicago Blues band competition. In 2000, White relocated back to the east coast to broaden his musical experiences. He shares his musical knowledge by teaching privately in the DC area. After one of his outstanding performances in DC, White was asked to audition for the 257th Army Band and he recently joined the ranks of the elite performers of the Nation's Capital Army Band. White feels it's an honor to serve his country through his musical talents and is glad to have the opportunity. Although his full time occupation is being an application engineer for a worldwide water treatment company, White can still be seen playing in the Washington, DC area at least five nights a week doing what he has been doing for the last 30 years.

    Percy White: Hi welcome back, and my name is Percy. I am going to be showing you how to play the bass, and in this segment, I am going to teach you or give you an idea of how to pick out the right bass, thats being the main part of playing the bass, is only one. So, how do you decide which bass you are going to own? Well, it all depends on the kind of sound you wish to convey. The bass that I am holding here is a six string bass, which means it has a higher and lower register in a normal bass. Normal bass is only have four string which would include the middle ones here E, A, D, G, with the six string you add a low B and a high C, that extends the range of the bass to allow me to play different sounds. By having the six strings, I can make it sound like a guitar. So, I can get those sounds or if I want to have really low bass notes by if I am playing a blues line, thats what having this bass is for.