Piccolo bass vs 8 string bass for a solo player

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sgroh87, Feb 14, 2014.


  1. Sgroh87

    Sgroh87

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    Hey guys,

    I've been playing bass seriously for about a year now after switching from saxophone. I jam occasionally but I spend a lot of time playing in my bedroom by myself I currently have a set of six string basses that I absolutely love. I can play regular bass lines for jamming with groups, but I can also jump up and play melodic and chord stuff when I'm playing by myself.

    I have a sizable tax return coming this year and I'm trying to decide what to do with it. I was thinking about the fact that I play alone a lot so I was trying to find something that would work well in a solo setting. I was originally planning on getting a bass and stringing it with piccolo strings, but then I saw a video of an 8 string coursed bass that really intrigued me. It certainly wouldn't fit in every group situation, but for small groups (say, bass, drummer, and vocalist; or maybe bass, drummer, lead guitar) or solo playing it looks great. You can play a guitar register melody with a bass backing you up the whole time!

    On the other hand, a piccolo bass is just a regular bass with thin strings, and if I don't like the piccolo sound I can just restring it as a regular bass.

    What do you guys think? Anyone had experience with either or both of these instruments? Which one did you prefer, and why?
     
  2. TolerancEJ

    TolerancEJ

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    The tuning of a piccolo bass is the same as the 4 low ones on a guitar. EADG.

    Many play & enjoy them: Stanley Clarke & Michael Manring to name two.
     
  3. Sgroh87

    Sgroh87

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    Right, and an 8 string bass is the bass equivalent of a 12 string guitar - pairs of strings tuned EADG in octaves: EeAaDdGg. That would result in playing in two octaves at the same time.
     
  4. Sgroh87

    Sgroh87

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
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  6. SteveC

    SteveC

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Forks, North Dakota
    Well, if you want octaves all the time, a coursed 8 string is what you want. There are also 8 string basses if you want all the range but not always octaves. There's a nice Roscoe 8 string for sale in the classifieds right now.

    To me, I'd get tired of hearing the octaves all the time.
     
  7. Sgroh87

    Sgroh87

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    Well, it wouldn't be my main bass, so I wouldn't be hearing them ALL the time. It would be more for some of my solo playing and occasional small jam for thickening the sound. I bet chords sound really cool on an instrument like this.

    That being said, a coursed 8 is always a coursed 8. A piccolo can be restrung as a regular 4 string bass. I need to see if I can find an 8 string to play around with.
     
  8. woodyng

    woodyng

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    Chris Squire tunes his D and G strings in Fifths. Makes for some interesting sounds.
     
  9. TolerancEJ

    TolerancEJ

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada

    There sure is! Wish I could afford that Roscoe. I have subscribed to it, wishing I could come into the cash.
     
  10. SteveC

    SteveC

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Forks, North Dakota
    Yeah, I don't think Roscoe had made a bass I don't want - no matter what the string count.
     
  11. Sgroh87

    Sgroh87

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    Yeah, I do love extended range basses. Like I said, I currently only own six string basses. That being said, I occasionally miss the simplicity of four strings (or four courses, in this case). A narrower neck with fewer strings makes for an instrument for relaxing and goofing around with. No offense to those who play 4 strings exclusively, of course. :)
     

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