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Thread started 10/31/19 9:48pm

dickluver2

Did Prince play 7 string guitar/5 string Bass?

Does anyone know if Prince was proficient on these more advanced instruments?
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Reply #1 posted 11/01/19 12:46am

JorisE73

dickluver2 said:

Does anyone know if Prince was proficient on these more advanced instruments?


He hated those and said he could do the same things on a 4 string bass that people do 5 string basses.

He also once said to one of his bass players who has a 5 string bass that Larry Graham didn't need it so why did he.
Same with 7 string guitar. Steve Vai jammed on his Ibanez Jem 7 string with Michael B. And Sonny T. at Paisley Park while Prince watched and claimed he wasn;t impressed by the extra string.

[Edited 11/1/19 0:49am]

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Reply #2 posted 11/01/19 12:56am

WhisperingDand
elions

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Nu metal Prince would have topped them charts in the early 00s. There's an alternate timeline where NPG Records and Elementree Records went in joint distribution for a couple years.

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Reply #3 posted 11/01/19 8:11am

IstenSzek

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he slapped the shit out of a one eyed bass tho

smile

and true love lives on lollipops and crisps
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Reply #4 posted 11/01/19 10:11am

mediumdry

Rhonda Smith had more strings than there should be on a bass. As things go in bands, I am sure he played it sometimes. Just look at those clips from Cafe de Paris that the estate put up on Youtube. I didn't count the strings, but that things looks like a 6 string bass.

Prince did say he didn't like 5 string bass in the bass player interview, but if memory serves, he also mentioned that he did play them a little bit whenever one was lying around. Either that or there was a 5 string in that picture book the estate put out.

Anyone?

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Reply #5 posted 11/01/19 12:24pm

langebleu

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mediumdry said:

Rhonda Smith had more strings than there should be on a bass. As things go in bands, I am sure he played it sometimes. Just look at those clips from Cafe de Paris that the estate put up on Youtube. I didn't count the strings, but that things looks like a 6 string bass.

Prince did say he didn't like 5 string bass in the bass player interview, but if memory serves, he also mentioned that he did play them a little bit whenever one was lying around. Either that or there was a 5 string in that picture book the estate put out.

Anyone?


The 'Paisley Park Archives guitar and bass' book from the exhibition series has one 5 string bass (black with lyrics from 'Gold' in gold on the body and machine head (pages 26 and 27); and the hand-painted 12 string acoustic played by Wendy Melvoin in the 'Raspberry Beret' video (pages 14 and 15).

Otherwise, the guitars featured are 6 string and the basses are 4 string.

ALT+PLS+RTN: Pure as a pane of ice. It's a gift.
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Reply #6 posted 11/02/19 12:46am

mediumdry

thanks langebleu.

.

Of course, a 12 string guitar is simply a 6 string guitar in how you use it. but there are extra strings tuned an octave higher than the "main" string. This produces a chorus-like effect. The spacing of the strings is such that there are 6 sets of 2, you never play the 12 strings separately.

.

So, to me, a 12 string guitar is "normal", whereas a 7 string one (or a 5 or more string bass) is mostly for musicians that focus on technique more than feel. (this is, of course, a prejudice, based on the people I saw running around with those extra strings, as well as the people that liked Steve Vai's music and the reasons why they liked it)

8 string basses are special cases, because they can be stringed and spaced like a 12 string guitar is, or they can be extreme pieces of, ehm, compensation. razz

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Reply #7 posted 11/04/19 4:16pm

steakfinger

Steve Van gifted Prince with a white 7 string in the early 1990s. I’ve seen photos of a room with several of Prince’s guitars and that white Ibanez 7 string Universe guitar was there. As for basses, I’ve never heard of him owning anything more that 4 strings, but he’s had bassists play with him who have used 5 strings. Prince was a great bass player and I would say that was probably his strongest instrument as far as conventional technique goes.
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Reply #8 posted 11/04/19 11:13pm

mediumdry

Interesting.. I always felt Prince was weakest on bass. He could do the flashy stuff to get the wows, but it always felt like he was a guitar player on the bass. Always a bit off. Goes to show that with every little detail there are Prince fans with the exact opposite opinion. smile

.

For reference, I dislike fusion (which, to me, is often more masturbation than music, with people needing to show their technique as opposed to their musicality) and kind of like any music meant for dancing that's not called dance.

.

Personal favourite bass players include George Porter Jr. of the Meters, Rodney 'Skeet' Curtis during his Parliament days, Sly Stone on There's a Riot Going On and the first few Graham Central Station albums (he kinda lost it later on). Also Stuart Zender, especially on the Return of the Space Cowboy album. And Bernard Edwards, James Jamerson, and the list goes on..

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Reply #9 posted 11/04/19 11:19pm

WhisperingDand
elions

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mediumdry said:

Interesting.. I always felt Prince was weakest on bass. He could do the flashy stuff to get the wows, but it always felt like he was a guitar player on the bass. Always a bit off. Goes to show that with every little detail there are Prince fans with the exact opposite opinion. smile

.

For reference, I dislike fusion (which, to me, is often more masturbation than music, with people needing to show their technique as opposed to their musicality) and kind of like any music meant for dancing that's not called dance.

.

Personal favourite bass players include George Porter Jr. of the Meters, Rodney 'Skeet' Curtis during his Parliament days, Sly Stone on There's a Riot Going On and the first few Graham Central Station albums (he kinda lost it later on). Also Stuart Zender, especially on the Return of the Space Cowboy album. And Bernard Edwards, James Jamerson, and the list goes on..

I've heard this take before, maybe from you, and I gotta admit while I don't necessarily agree it makes them "weak", it's a valid observation that his notable basslines are where the bass basically functions as a lead instrument versus rhythm.

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Reply #10 posted 11/05/19 8:41pm

coldasice

JorisE73 said:



dickluver2 said:


Does anyone know if Prince was proficient on these more advanced instruments?


He hated those and said he could do the same things on a 4 string bass that people do 5 string basses.


He also once said to one of his bass players who has a 5 string bass that Larry Graham didn't need it so why did he.
Same with 7 string guitar. Steve Vai jammed on his Ibanez Jem 7 string with Michael B. And Sonny T. at Paisley Park while Prince watched and claimed he wasn;t impressed by the extra string.

[Edited 11/1/19 0:49am]


He gave that guitar to prince
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Reply #11 posted 11/05/19 9:44pm

FunkyStrange

he didn't like the 5 string bass

he called it a mutant or monstrosity or words to that effect LOL

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Reply #12 posted 11/10/19 4:12pm

steakfinger

dickluver2 said:

Does anyone know if Prince was proficient on these more advanced instruments?

They aren’t advanced. 5 string basses and 7 string guitars add only 5 notes below E.
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Reply #13 posted 11/10/19 11:22pm

mediumdry

FunkyStrange said:

he didn't like the 5 string bass

he called it a mutant or monstrosity or words to that effect LOL

.

Prince liked to create controversies. Those added strings have the same effect on bass and guitar players as discussions about coke or pepsi, or wether Han shot first or name any debate about taste.

.

I'm sure if he had a song where he needed the range, he used the instrument. He has always been pragmatic about those things, from all the stories of people who recorded with him. All we can say for sure is that those axes with extra strings were not his go-to default instruments.

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Reply #14 posted 11/13/19 7:19am

steakfinger

Prince said a lot of ignorant shit that he may or may not have believed.
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Reply #15 posted 11/15/19 11:48am

Se7en

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mediumdry said:

Interesting.. I always felt Prince was weakest on bass. He could do the flashy stuff to get the wows, but it always felt like he was a guitar player on the bass. Always a bit off. Goes to show that with every little detail there are Prince fans with the exact opposite opinion. smile

.

For reference, I dislike fusion (which, to me, is often more masturbation than music, with people needing to show their technique as opposed to their musicality) and kind of like any music meant for dancing that's not called dance.

.

Personal favourite bass players include George Porter Jr. of the Meters, Rodney 'Skeet' Curtis during his Parliament days, Sly Stone on There's a Riot Going On and the first few Graham Central Station albums (he kinda lost it later on). Also Stuart Zender, especially on the Return of the Space Cowboy album. And Bernard Edwards, James Jamerson, and the list goes on..


I see your point, but you're talking about Prince playing bass in public/on stage. Keep in mind that most of his first handful of albums ARE him on bass, as they're mostly one-man-band albums.

Same goes for Prince as a rhythm guitarist, which is something he is quietly famous for. Again, peole see him on stage as the lead/solo guitarist. On record, he's also the rhythm guitarist.

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Reply #16 posted 11/15/19 11:55am

Se7en

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mediumdry said:

FunkyStrange said:

he didn't like the 5 string bass

he called it a mutant or monstrosity or words to that effect LOL

.

Prince liked to create controversies. Those added strings have the same effect on bass and guitar players as discussions about coke or pepsi, or wether Han shot first or name any debate about taste.

.

I'm sure if he had a song where he needed the range, he used the instrument. He has always been pragmatic about those things, from all the stories of people who recorded with him. All we can say for sure is that those axes with extra strings were not his go-to default instruments.


But Han DID shoot first! The controversy was when George Lucas later altered the movie to make it look like Greedo shot first. Nothing to do with "taste" - it was to do with an artist changing their past work. Steven Spielberg tried this with E.T. (replacing guns with walkie talkies) and was blasted for it.

Same would go for Prince if he had a hand in remastering his catalog and cleaned up all the cursing and foul language.

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