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A bass with exact same notes as a Piano?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Tbirdbassist, Sep 24, 2005.


  1. What would the tuning of a bass tuned in 4th's, be so that it can have the exact same range of 88 key piano? HOw many strings I think you owuld only need 4 strings, Since a 21 fret 4 string bass has 88 notes (including the open strings).


    But, wait, do the open strings count?

    Anyway yea, I was just wondering, As i have gotten a lot more interest into piano and just wanted to know what would be need for a bass to have the exact same range as a piano.
     
  2. what about an 88 string bass? all you would have to do is hit open notes
     
  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    A piano goes from A0 to C8.
    A standard six string (BEADGC) goes from B0 to C5.

    If we assume 24 frets and don't sweat the low A and Bb, I calculate that you need 13 strings. If you need the A0, 14 strings.

    If you want to stay at 21 frets, add a string or lose the top 3 notes.

    A 21 fret 4 string bass has 88 notes (including the open strings), but a lot of them are duplicates. A piano duplicates no notes.
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Actually, the lowest note on a 6 string bass would be B1.
     
  5. GSPLBASSDC

    GSPLBASSDC

    Jan 25, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    ...better call Stew, he might have one lying around :D
     
  6. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    No, that would make the B string higher than the E string, which is E1. The numbering is for concert pitch, so it starts at C. So B0 is the note below C1.

    You can find the frequencies here: http://www.contrabass.com/pages/frequency.html
     
  7. justateenpoet

    justateenpoet Have you...killed the Venture brothers!?!?

    May 14, 2005
    Connecticut
    Indeed. A 21 Fret 4-Banger only has 38 notes, including open strings.
     
  8. Or a 1 stringer with 88 frets. :p
     
  9. Hmm, The lowest note on a piano is A? I guess the one here in my house is a bit out of tune...


    Well, This got alot more hits than id thought it would. But wow, 14 strings?


    Although... I expect mr Stew will have some monster that will have the full range of a piano some day, If not more.
     
  10. ladros2

    ladros2

    Jun 2, 2005
    Ireland
    Well, with a 36 fretted bass tuned in fifths, you would only need about eight strings.
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Oh dang, that's right. I was indeed considering the notes below the low C. Typical of how my week's going. OK, sorry for the interruption.
     
  12. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    I though they all used the exact same notes? :confused:
     
  13. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Concert pitch is C. The number just donotes the octave. So E3 is one octave higher than E2. For for any octave n, lets pick 2, the notes are:

    C2 C#2 D2 D#2 E2 F2 F#2 G2 G#2 A2 A#2 B2 C3

    But most people think of A as being the start because of that darn alphabet .

    Bass is a concert pitch instrument. If a piano plays an A and the bass plays an A they are the same pitch. Tenor sax is an Bb instrument. If the piano plays an A, the tenor sax has to play a B.
     
  14. Check out Adlers 12 string bass, it has actually more range than a piano.
    You can see it at www.garrygoodman.com

    The neck looks like the deck on a carrier.
     
  15. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    And check around on the site here. Gary's posted quite a bit on his 12 string, his quest for strings that work, and what he does with it. Just be carefull with the aircraft carrier jokes, or Jean will stick his head in and drop a fanned fret 11 string on your head.
     
  16. westland

    westland

    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    One issue ... the piano is enharmonic, and gets progressively sharper as you go up the keyboard. The Peterson Strobostomp actually has 'sweetened' tuning to keep a bass or guitar sounding good when played with a piano. You may get the range of a piano with a bass, but I'm not sure how good the bass would sound if open strings got progressively sharper as you went up.
     
  17. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Wow, that is impressive :eek: Can he really play the top frets when they are that close togeather? Looks like a finger would span three frets.
     
  18. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Considering he (and others) also play 3-octave fretlesses, I'd say he'd probably be fine.
     
  19. Isn't that what a harp is?
     
  20. wonder what the scale length would be

    and how would you play chop sticks?