Consider your level of playing
but looking on YouTube and yousician and stuff most guides on how to play the bass are all 4 string guides
The fact you have stated you're looking at Yousician and YouTube suggests that you're new to playing bass. When you're in the early in the stages in learning the last thing you want is added complexity. Is it really necessary to have two extra strings when you're not going to play them?
should I just get a 4 string or get the 6 string and not use the 2 strings when using guides for 4 strings?
As a beginner, a 6 string bass is going to make finding your strings with your plucking hand more difficult. This is because you will have two extra strings to work-around and you should be watching your fretting hand and not your plucking hand. The neck is also going to be significantly wider, which initially, is going to make it more difficult to get your hands around comfortably. And finally, the scale length is likely to be longer. A longer scale length will mean that the frets on your bass will be further apart, requiring you to stretch your fingers further.
Edit: Tim has noted that some basses can have smaller dimensions and still have more strings. This will, overall, make the bass much easier to play. However, because of the smaller dimensions, the strings will be closer to together and may make it a little more difficult to change strings.
What is appealing about 6 string bass?
I've been researching the topic and I like the 6 string bass
What is the primary reason for wanting to obtain a 6 string bass?
- Do you find the range of notes available on a 4 string bass is not enough?
- Do you want to be able play notes at a lower and higher frequency than E standard without retuning?
- Are there arpeggios or melodies you cannot reproduce easily on a 4 string or 5 string bass?
If you cannot answer 'yes' to any of these questions then I think that 6 string bass is not for you; not at this stage in your playing.
Have you considered 5 string bass?
If you must absolutely have an extended range bass, could you compromise for 5 strings instead? There are some advantages of playing a 5 string bass that you shouldn't overlook. A 5 string bass will give you a slightly extended range with access to more notes at a lower frequency, just like the 6 string. There is only 1 additional string to learn rather than 2 with a slightly narrower neck than a 6 string. This allows for easier playability.
And, of course, similar disadvantages from the 6 string bass. There is still the issue of a longer scale-length to deal with because of the lower tuned B string. Again, this means frets will be further apart and requires more stretching or travel.
Think about long term progression
If this is your first bass, I would strongly recommend that you start with 4 strings. You should make learning as smooth a process as possible, and unfortunately, starting with an extended range bass does not aide that.
Hopefully, you will be playing bass guitar for many years to come so consider that this may not be the last bass you decide to purchase. As your ability progresses and you have a better fluency with playing, you can begin to progress onto basses with more strings. You may find that in the future you prefer only extended range, but remember it takes a more advanced level of playing to make full use of the extra strings.
Attempting to learn 6 strings while learning essential techniques will slow down your initial progress
tho i could sit there convert 4 string tabs into 6 string tabs for me
The time spent working how to move notes from a 4 string to 6 string will detract from the time you can spend on fundamentals. No real conversion is needed from 4 string to 6 string, since all the strings on the 4 string tab will exist on your 6 string bass.
or im going to get the 6 string and screw tabs and learn bass by notes
There is value on learning how to move notes to the extra strings, e.g. F# on the low E string to an F# on the low B string. But, this should not be your focus at a beginner stage of playing.
Ideally, you want to have full attention on basic scales, note positions, reading tablature, without having to think about those two extra strings. Once you have learnt many of these skills, it's very little work to apply this to a bass with more strings afterwards.
You can still learn all of these techniques on a 6 string bass, but it will leave more questions in your mind every time you learn a new topic. How do play this scale on my other two strings?. Asking questions is always good, but I worry this will be a little overwhelming for you without someone to guide you through the process of what to learn first, and what to leave for later.
Are extended range basses all complexity?
Definitely not! They're fun, expressive, and very versatile. But owning an extended range bass before you can play is like exploring a new country without a map or guide. I think you should see 6 string bass as long term goal, and begin working towards it at a steady pace, starting with 4 strings.
I wish you luck on your musical endeavours.