OK.. School me up on piccolo Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dabluzeguy, Jan 12, 2013.


  1. Dabluzeguy

    Dabluzeguy

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    I play guitar and bass, wanna build a cigar box piccolo bass for personal use. Never held one before. What makes it special? What gauge strings? Special tunings? Tell me what you know from experience, please.

    Thanks! ;)
     
  2. JACink

    JACink

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    Spain
    I have no experience, so I can't school you, but I wasn't aware that a Cigar box bass and a Piccolo bass were in the same category. Could someone also school me?
     
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

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    It's not the bass that is piccolo, it is the strings.
    You can buy a piccolo set and install it on any bass.
    It is basically strings with a small jauge that tune EADG an octave higher than bass.
    Some instruments are thought from built to be mounted with such strings.
    Typically they have a scale shorter than 34" and a narrower neck, they often sport a tremolo bar too.
     
  4. Dabluzeguy

    Dabluzeguy

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    A cigar box instrument can be of any scale, and whatever quality, depending on the design and execution. I just finished a tenor guitar built from a cigar box, around a 19" scale, tuned in 5ths. I thought I was building a "toy", and it ended up to be a pretty serious instrument that is getting most of my playing time since I finished it. Now I found a second suitable box that is somewhat larger, and decided it would be fun to expand my musical horizons a bit more. I build some very serious instruments, this is more of a personal hankering to try to make a short scale (roughly 28" scale) bass with leftover parts and hardware using the new cigar box as a platform. Since I already have a fretted and a fretless bass, the piccolo seems like it would be a cool variation for me. Whatever parts I don't have, I will fabricate- but I want to get some feedback from folks who have had experience with piccolo basses in order to grasp any idiosyncrasies that may come along with this type of instrument before going to all the trouble and finding a fatal flaw in my thinking after the fact.

    Thanks for the replies thus far- Any guidance or insights are most appreciated. ;)
     
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  6. Temcat

    Temcat

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    Isn't it basically a guitar tuning then?
     
  7. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

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    Ha, but do you know the cheese box ukulele?
    [​IMG]
    Yes, it is tuned like the 4 lower strings of a guitar but with thicker, wound strings and wide spacing, so you play it like a bass.
     
  8. Dabluzeguy

    Dabluzeguy

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    Love the cheese box! I never saw one of those. Cheese is always wrapped in wax or plastic over here.
     
  9. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't think US customs would let one of these stink bombs go through.
    It is fantastic, you can grill it in its box and dip in it with garlic rubbed bread.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Dabluzeguy

    Dabluzeguy

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    Man.. That looks delicious! Maybe I can get my father to smuggle one in his suitcase- he lives in Vienna.. ;)
     
  11. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player

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    Nov 13, 2009
    Here's one guy's piccolo bass

    I have a 25" scale bass (half-size), maybe I'll string it up and see... :bassist:

    ==========================

    Then there is this 3-in-1:

    [​IMG]

    I guess the piccolo is up in the corner. :eek:
     
  12. jay tay

    jay tay

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    "Stanley Clarke has been credited with creating the piccolo bass (essentially a bass tuned one octave higher), and although he mainly plays Alembics, the first piccolo was a Carl Thompson. Stanley owns two Carl Thompsons, both piccolos. One is a 34" scale (the first piccolo ever), and the second is a 32" scale. When the first bass was being made, Stanley was so excited, he told Carl to bring it over the minute it was completed. Carl Thompson ended up hand delivering to Stanley at 3:00 in the morning! The second bass has a more interesting story. Stanley had just accidentally broken the headstock on his CT, and it could not be fixed before his next recording session. Carl was working on a 32" scale short bass at the time, and offered to lend it to Stanley. He modified the nut, finished it up quickly and gave it to Stanley. The Funk god liked it so much, he decided to buy it and use it as his backup bass. To this day, Stanley Clarke still uses that bass for dubbing and recording." - Carl Thompson Basses
     
  13. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

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    This looks disgustingly delicious.
     
  14. Dabluzeguy

    Dabluzeguy

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    It reminds me of the onion soup we ate in Paris at the grocery market many years ago. The best soup I have eaten in my life. ;)
     
  15. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

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    Yeah but this isn't soup. This is a tub of cooked cheese. I think it would be worth the heart attack. Off topic, but holy moly.
     
  16. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa

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    Well you can tune how you want, piccolo strings are more tolerant to various tuning than normal strings.

    Check out Zander Zon on youtube. It is something else.
     
  17. TeeZeeMee90

    TeeZeeMee90 Supporting Member

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    Those are Piccolo strings? haha I may have found a new love...:eek:
     

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