shop8admin, May 31, 2017
The Spanish words for “sixth bass” are Bajo Sextos. It is the name for a special type of musical instrument popular in a relatively small geographical area. The twelve string guitar is a strong component of musical groups formed and prevalent in the area of northern Mexico and southern Texas. It comes in both acoustic and electric forms.
The guitar-like instrument has twelve strings. They are arranged in six double courses. The strings are tuned from the lowest string to the highest string to the notes E, A, D, G, C and F respectively.
From the mid 1950s northern Mexican music has been listened to and enjoyed by Mexicans and Anglos alike. The music goes by several different names, musica mexicana-tejana and conjunto are the most common. The music genre is also known as Tex-Mex, but this is not totally accurate, since the nortena music predated conjunto.
Conjunto ensembles use the bajo to provide the low and rhythmic base line for the music. It enhances the musical line performed by the other instruments. The instrument also is used to carry the chord changes. The instrument is used to enhance other musical groups, but it is best known in the musical genre of nortena and conjunto.
Sextos instruments were originally used in a limited part of the Western Hemisphere. This means that the demand for the guitar might be somewhat limited too. Other stringed instruments such as guitars and banjos are well known. This instrument is not. The construction of a bajo gives you the variety of woods and finishes that are nothing but quality. The back and sides might be made of Indian rosewood, mahogany or cedar. The bridge and fingerboard is often made of rosewood. The top is typically cedar, but more exotic woods are found in some models.
The finish of the instruments is beautiful. The thickness of such instruments might vary somewhat, so the player can choose the instrument that is most comfortable. Many of such specialized guitars are finished with a decorative motif. Handcrafting is an art for those who create the instruments. Those bajos are highly prized.
For the serious performer who wants to be part of a quality group playing nortena music, the bajo sextos is almost a must. It is needed to provide a lower component to the melody and to move the chord changes along during the piece. The best made instruments are attractive to look at without being flashy and provide a sound that is unparalleled.