Songs which feature the Fender Bass VI

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by Blazer, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    15,495
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    [​IMG]
    Well, what can I say about this one? The word most often used to describe the Bass VI is "Misunderstood" the Bass VI wasn't the first baritone guitar but it was the one which on its initial release had a lot of bass players picking it up figuring it was a new of extended range instrument.

    Only to find out that it actually isn't a Bass at all, it's a guitar tuned down an octave and many high profile players such as John Entwistle and Noel Redding gave up on the instrument altogether. And the Bass VI ended up not being made in all that large numbers and soldiered on until the mid seventies, when it was discontinued.

    But that doesn't mean that there wasn't any cool tunes where it was used. Let's start a list of songs where the Bass VI was used. First up, probably the earliest users of the instrument: the Tielman Brothers.

    Note that they used their Bass VI's in two ways, one as a pure bass and the other as a low tuned twang machine.

    And it was in the second role where the Bass VI found its niche as bands discovered that doubling guitar riffs on a Bass VI happened to sound completely bad ass.

    Joe Perry said that he learned about the Bass VI when Peter Green mentioned it in an interview, after which he went "I'm going to have that sound for myself."

    And the Low tuned Twang also added some real menace to a tune when used on its own, as many country players already knew thanks to their use of Danelectro baritone guitars. Imagine that sound finding its way onto the songs by a Glam rock band, but that's exactly what happened with Hank Knife and the Jets.


    But it was in the hands of a disenfranchised English boy and his love for new wave bands such as Joy Division, that the Bass VI found its way into the eighties.

    What Robert Smith is doing with his Bass VI is basically aping what Joy Division bass player Peter Hook did on his Shergold Marathon six string bass. But Smith added very intricate melodies to that sound.

    But perhaps the most famous band to ever use the Bass VI must be the fab Four, where both George and John used it whenever Paul was on the piano or on guitar.
    [​IMG]
    It is John laying down this surprisingly funky bass line on this song.
     
  2. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,296
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Location:
    FL
     
  3. thx712517

    thx712517 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    104
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
     
    Fretting out likes this.
  4. hekawi

    hekawi Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    9,691
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    Location:
    greenville, sc




     
    VWAmTele, Teleguy61 and Fretting out like this.
  5. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    237
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    Minot
    "Dance, Dance, Dance"

    Intro and throughout

    The Beach Boys- prolly Glen Campbell

    .
     
  6. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,482
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Location:
    Coolum Beach,Australia
    Peter told me he played a baritone on this track... not sure which brand, he never said... it's more obvious in the last 1/3 of the track..

     
  7. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    11,690
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    The Far-Flung Isles of Langerhans
    Shane Fontayne played lead on Bass VI to good effect in Lone Justice, Merchants of Venus, and with Bruce Springsteen.
     
  8. Rufus

    Rufus Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,439
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    NW Atlanta
    According to the Wrecking Crew (of which Glen had been a member before his solo career), while recording this song in the studio, they didn't yet know what they were going to do for the middle break.
    Glen borrowed Carol Kaye's Bass VI and quickly laid down that classic solo.
    A beautiful Jimmy Webb tune and probably one of the most iconic solos of all time.
     
    getbent and smartsoul72 like this.
  9. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    969
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    Location:
    UK and EU
    Bassman8 likes this.
  10. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,629
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    South London UK
    Great informative thread. I’ve never even seen one. Maybe time for a MIM re release? I’d love to give one a go, though hard to see preferring it over what I have I could see it would be a lot of fun experimenting.
     
  11. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,928
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    squier do a perfectly fine bass VI
     
    Lake Placid Blue likes this.
  12. Fretting out

    Fretting out Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    1,772
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    I don’t know what you do in your real life but you always have very interesting almost journalistic threads

    And I see you have the tielman brothers which never broke over here in the us but apparently they and indo-rock were huge in the Netherlands I learned about them on the offset forum because they were famous for adding 3 extra strings to there jazzmasters and it’s a common mod to see holes plugged on jazzmasters coming from Europe
    I didn’t know they played a bass six though

    You can tell the tielmans are playing early ones not just by when it was filmed but by the metal surrounds on the pickups
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  13. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,629
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    South London UK
    Thanks I wondered that. Maybe I’ll take a look and see if it’s a thing for me.
     
    Lake Placid Blue likes this.
  14. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,922
    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    West Lothian, Scotland
    I saw Thurston Moore on tour a couple of months ago: Moore and his co-guitarist James Sedwards were each playing vintage Fender Electric XIIs and bass player Deb Goodge was playing a Squier Bass VI.
     
  15. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    969
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    Location:
    UK and EU
  16. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Tele-Holic

    Age:
    71
    Posts:
    823
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Location:
    left coast
    who is this guy ? I'm embarrassed just watching this , jeeeezy queeeezzy!

    hmmm tuned to open d or open g and do some Mark Sandman / John Cale slide bass;)
    Djent ? hmmmmm
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  17. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    15,495
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    That was Vinnie Bell playing on that one, which means that it wasn't a Bass VI but a Danelectro Baritone he used to record. And you can tell since it had that typical Dano "Ping" from its lipstick pickups.
    [​IMG]
    Which is also why I didn't name "Because they're young" by Duane Eddie and "Five years, four months, three days" by Brian Setzer, since those songs also use the Dano.
     
  18. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Holic

    Age:
    39
    Posts:
    670
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2019
    Location:
    Paris, France
    I cannot find the link right now, but I remember an interview where Angelo Badalamenti stated it was not a bass vi or even a baritone, but a synth in the Twin Peaks tune.
    Anyway it’s a great tone and a great song for sure!
     
  19. thx712517

    thx712517 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    104
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Behold the manic energy of Phil X. He did a ton of guitar playing for Fretted Americana, going wild on all sorts of stringed glory. Session guitarist, played one of the Bon Jovi tours, nice guy. Acquired taste.
     
    ping-ping-clicka likes this.
  20. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Tele-Holic

    Age:
    71
    Posts:
    823
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Location:
    left coast
    OH, i DIDN'T CALL HIM BAD NAMES OR CASTE ASPERSIONS....
    I indicate that I was embarrassed, you know "the cringies, , wanna jump up and move, and his talent as a live performer is not in question , I just thought "he must be doing a parody of the presenter that gets in front of a podcast camera and turns into Pauly Shore ,who once I got his shtick I was entertained , You will notice I never invited him to my house or our annual rattlesnake cull.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.