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Any piccolo bass players out there?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sgroh87, Oct 23, 2013.


  1. Sgroh87

    Sgroh87

    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    I have a P bass that's currently being neglected due to me focusing on my 6 string Pedulla and I ordered some daddario piccolo strings to put on it just to shake things up.

    Anyone else out there play on a piccolo bass? What do you find yourself doing on it? Do you play with any groups or is it mainly for solo play? Should I just get a guitar instead? ;)
     
  2. I've heard of piccolo basses before, but I wasn't quite sure how they were tuned. After a quick look at Wikipedia, we're basically talking about a guitar with wider string spacing?
     
  3. Sgroh87

    Sgroh87

    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    Essentially it's a bass with the strings tuned up one octave, so the same pitch range as a guitar. It doesn't sound like a guitar because of the extra scale length and tension, though. Its a very interesting unique sound. Here's a video of a guy with piccolo tuning. He's a bit show-off-y but still kind of enjoyable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li3JEcaP4k8&feature=youtube_gdata_player
     
  4. nortonrider

    nortonrider

    Nov 20, 2007
    Hey Zander,
    you're a bit show-off-y but still kind of enjoyable. :)
     
  5. OK, that's cool as hell! He even makes Linkin Park palatable somehow!
     
  6. Makes me want to pick up a Squier Bronco or something like that to try it out on.
     
  7. MCS4

    MCS4

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    If this is your first introduction to Zander Zon, pull up his YouTube channel and clear your schedule for a couple hours. His originals are great.

     
  8. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    I've used mine when sitting in with a group a few times. Doubling the bass for the most part, then switching over to chords or partials during the guitar solos.

    Mine's more guitar-like than yours. 30" scale, two humbuckers in 'guitar' positions.
     
  9. Sgroh87

    Sgroh87

    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    I meant that in the nicest way. I mean, the guy does have some serious talent! Don't get me wrong, I couldn't play anything like him and if he were to challenge me I'd bow down in shame. I just find that his use of harmonics and (to a lesser extent) tapping are making the piece more complex without adding that much to the piece. Just one guy's humble opinion. ;)

    EDIT: Well, I listened to that Looking Glass piece. I take it back, he knows what he's doing. I still think its a little overdone in some of his cover videos, but sometimes it does add a lot to the piece.
     
  10. Sgroh87

    Sgroh87

    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
  11. Daedraziel

    Daedraziel

    Aug 19, 2013
    Toms River NJ
    zander makes me want to impulsively make a piccolo setup and play until my fingers bleed...then play more.
     
  12. Sgroh87

    Sgroh87

    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    Will I NEED to get a new nut cut or will my old one work? Any idea of the approximate cost of a new nut and installation?
     
  13. themensch

    themensch 25 years of bass

    Sep 11, 2008
    Wine Country, OR
    What a crazy cosmic synchronicity - after purchasing Zander Zon's albums and listening on permanent repeat, I too came here looking for gotchas in stringing one of my 6's with piccolo strings.
     
  14. themensch

    themensch 25 years of bass

    Sep 11, 2008
    Wine Country, OR
    No idea on absolute necessity or cost, but just by judging the gauges it looks iffy. I spose one could try plopping a similar-gauge string in the wrong slot (like a .45D into a .100E or what not) and see what happens...for free.
     
  15. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    Try it with the old one. At worst it will cause you some problems with open notes, but it'll probably be fine, at least until you decide whether you want to make it a permanent piccolo and get a new nut made.

    You'll probably need a truss rod and intonation adjustment too.
     
  16. Sgroh87

    Sgroh87

    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    Oh really? How are you planning on tuning it? BEADGC but an octave higher? Or EADGCF?
     
  17. themensch

    themensch 25 years of bass

    Sep 11, 2008
    Wine Country, OR
    Likely BEADGC since I'm old and set in my ways.
     
  18. hhenry

    hhenry

    Feb 17, 2011
    NFLD, Canada
    No need for a new nut. The much thinner strings will snug in just fine. A Bronco or similar short scale makes the best platform, but a 34 inch works (just more tension). You'll probably need a truss rod adjustment. I recommend it. You'll have a blast with it. Particularly good for home noodling!!
     
  19. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I don't like the original version of this song but I love his cover:
     
  20. MCS4

    MCS4

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I can see how you'd get that impression if you started off watching his covers, because our brains already recognize those songs. I think the techniques work well in his originals though, because those are intended to be stand-alone bass pieces and he uses harmonics, tapping, and drones to give a more "full" and interesting sound and open up chords and multi-note parts that otherwise would not be possible.

    FYI Zander is a member here and posts now and then.
     

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