what small instruments are tuned like 4 string bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bcolins, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. I'm wondering if there are small 4 or 8 stringed instruments that are tuned like a bass guitar. Looking for something I can easily pack on my motorcycle and play around the campfire with friends. Don't know anything about Mandolins or banjos,.....are they tuned like a bass guitar? Any other suggestions?
  2. Mandolins are reversed. G D A E from top to bottom.
  3. BryanM


    Dec 15, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Tenor banjos are also tuned GDAE from top to bottom, same as mandolin and violin.
  4. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    From bottom to top. Always refer to pitch when you're talking about "top" and "bottom," not which string happens to be closer to the ground.
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  6. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    Well, there's the U-Bass, not that anyone would hear you.

    4 string cigar box guitar. Could get a tenor guitar of some sort, they're not tuned like a bass but it's really not hard to learn the tuning.
  7. Could a 4 string mandolin be strung and tuned like a bass?
  8. I don't think it's tuned like a bass but what about a ukulele? Throw a little thought in and you could probably tune it anyway you want.
  9. nicopiano

    nicopiano Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Levis, Quebec, Canada
    Why not a small guitar? Easy to learn for a bass player!
  10. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    Violins are G as the low string, D, A, and E as the high string
  11. jefkritz


    Oct 20, 2007
    iowa city, IA
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    Groom Lake, NV
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  13. Are those rubber bands?
  14. Howdy neighbor, no reason not to string a mandolin, banjo or uke as you please, you may have to make adjustments to the nut and bridge.

    As a general rule orchestral instruments and mandolin are tuned in ascending fifths. Banjo, uke and many other stringed instruments have their own characteristic and sometimes unusual tunings.
  15. Thanks Leander. I was thinking that was the case.
  16. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Although violin and mandolin are tuned 'opposite' of the bass there are great differences at work. The bass is the oddball in orchestra, being tuned in fourths. The violin, viola, and cello are tuned in fifths and descended from the violone family while the bass hails from the gamba family.

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