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Anyone make a BG/guitar tuned like a Cello with frets and approx cello-scale length?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by IvanMike, Aug 3, 2005.


  1. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    well the title says it all.

    I thought it might be an interesting instrument to fool around on. I wonder if anyone has made one.

    A search didn't turn up much. ;)

    oh yeah, it would obviously have to use ferrous metal strings to make the pickups work (no guts) :p
     
  2. i've never heard of anything like you are talking about, but i once met a bass player who said she started on cello, so she had a pbass, with a fretless neck and it was tuned the same as a cello...she was really good too!
     
  3. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Schecter used to make (and may still offer) a 5-string guitar, tuned in fifths bass-to-treble CGDAE, like a cello with an added E. I always though this would be cool to try.
     
  4. pklima

    pklima

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    It's called a mandocello or mandoloncello - do a search for that and you'll find lots of material. They usually have 8 strings, sometimes four, ten or five. The 10-string version adds an extra high E course and is sometimes called liuto cantabile or liuto moderno. Acoustic ones have been made in Italy and the US since the early 1900s. Scale can vary from around 22 1/2" (3/4 size guitar) to 28 3/4" (longer than violoncello). Recommended sites: emando.com for electrics, mandolincafe.net for general mandolin-family stuff. There are also cello banjos, I owned a Windsor Whirlie for a while. Wonderful instrument, too bad it couldn't be bowed.

    I tune one neck of my electric bass CGDA, an octave below cello. You can do that with any bass, just substitute a low B string for the E and retune. Or you can restring any normal guitar CGDAE (just leave one string off) if you want to be in the proper octave. (EDIT... "don't want to be in the proper octave" was a typo)
     
  5. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    I was just going to mention the dbl-necked lefty, pklima.

    Also I heard that Ben Strange plays one of his Steinie's in Fifths... Red Mitchell used to play upright in that tuning...
     
  6. RE:PEAT

    RE:PEAT

    Jun 24, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
  7. But its 5 string, And its tuned EADGC, And 34" scale, What exactly makes it a cello?
     
  8. I guess the scale length and possibly the octave are cello-like, but it's tuned as a bass. It's basically a cello designed for bass players, which makes it a "bass cello". I guess you could always buy cello strings and tune it CGDA.
     
  9. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    Anand Bennet in Los Angeles plays an electric mandocello built by Spalt Basses (Totem Guitars?). IIRC, it is a 5 string tuned low-to-high C-G-D-A-E with a 30" scale, fanned frets, and a wiper blade style pickup. He plays the **** out of it , too.
     
  10. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i get most of the alternate tuning ideas already. i was really looking for something that was close to the actual scale length of a cello, but on a BG/EG style fretted instrument. (electric of course). And I'd want it tuned as a cello, not an octave below.
     
  11. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    The Fender Jaguar bari/bass is the same scale length as a cello - you just need to come up with your own string set.
     
  12. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Oakland
    What is the scale length of a cello?
     
  13. Pete Hanewinckel ( http://www.hguitars.com/ ) is making me a piccolo bass with a 30" scale tuned BEADGCF an octave higher than a regular 7-string bass. I'm sure he can make what you're asking for.

    - Dave
     
  14. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Syracuse, NY
    Then what you really want is a fretted electric cello, which will be nothing like a bass.
     
  15. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Depending on the maker, anywhere from 26.5" to 28.5"
     
  16. If you bother with reading the description, it states that it can be tuned in fifths, as cello.
     
  17. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    Exactly.......... :D
     
  18. chilliwilli

    chilliwilli

    Aug 17, 2005
    *bump*

    an ibanez mikro has a 28.5' scale. You might need some slight modifications to get a nice low C string though.