I just got a new bass, an EBMM fretless Bongo 5 string, and I love it. It's definitely my main bass now. However, I now have a shecter 5 string that I rarely play, and I was wondering, what are some experimental things I vould try with it? like freaky tunings, mods, string excursions, or anything Like that? Now that I don't have to rely on it for my main playing, and I have a back up ibanez bass for emergencies, what could I do to broaden my musical horizons?
I tune my 5 stringers E-C ... opens up a lot of chordal and solo playing ...
I like tuning E-C but with the low E dropped to A, so you have the high register with the low octave for really sludgy stuff (if you're into that).
You could create a micro-tonal bass. Perhaps something like a two octave 56-tone equal temperment. Just string it all with one string, such as 5 G strings (Or keep the original strings, and detune all strings above the B). Than have the lowest string tuned to F#, the second tuned aproximately 16 cents sharper, the next another 16 cents sharper, and so on.
What you'd end up with is a bass where moving up the strings, across a single fret would give you intervals that are fractions of a semi-tone. You have one octave across 12 frets of all 5 strings, broken into 56 micro-tones.
Can You explain more about the Microtone idea? How does that work exactly?
Basically, you would have every string tuned to about the same note, except that each higher string would be 16 cents sharper. So if you were to ascend each string across one fret you would be slowly sharpening one note, with the next fret being the beginning of a new note.
For an example each string will be tuned to a variable of G. Each row represents a string. A verticle line "|" represents a fret, and upwards arrow "^" means that the note is 16 cents sharper than the string below it.
So what's happening, is you're dividing every semi-tone into 5 smaller intervals each. It's almost a reversed way of playing bass, so playing up a string over one fret is a smaller interval than playing up a fret on one string.
These are also notes that you can achieve naturally on the fretless. This is just an interesting experiment because it turns the bass on it's head, and completely changes the way that it has to be approached.
You could replace the nut on it and string it as a piccolo bass. Standard tuning, but an octave higher. Look for piccolo bass string sets online.
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