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Converting a 4 string bass into a 5 or 6 string piccolo bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GeneralElectric, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY

    Awhile back I bought my first set of piccolo strings and put them on a P-bass. It sounded pretty OK, like a really throaty guitar with limited range. I didn't really see much use for it until I played it through my MXR Bass Octave Deluxe and an Aguilar Agro. Holy smokes batman! I used this configuration on a lark in a bass drum duo and it killed. Used this with my regular rock trio and my singer was blown away. Played a show last night and standing out with the crowd, our mix sounded awesome with it and I got a lot of compliments on my tone from the other bands and audience members. I hardly ever get compliments on my sound. Its usually someone telling me they liked my playing, my band, or "what a beautiful P-bass."

    The bass I decided to sacrifice to the piccolo gods is a stupendously modified Highway series P-bass. The only original thing on the bass is the stripped body and strap buttons. Its not really worth much so I've decided to hack away! The neck that is on it now has a 1.75 nut width which makes the piccolo strings seem far apart from eachother. It is also difficult to do chords and stuff too with such a wide neck. I've decided to add another string or two.

    I am assuming that I can stick a 5 string bridge on it. An EBMM SR5 also has a 1.75 nut and the Fender Dimension V bass has an even slimmer width. Is there anything I should be aware of when choosing a 5 string bridge?

    Is there a 6 string bridge that is out there that will accommodate my nut width? I'm scared about strings slipping off the neck.

    For tuners I was planning on just drilling out the treble side of the HS and adding a guitar tuner or two.
  2. I've seen a few 4 strings converted to 5 strings on talkbass over the years. Never seen anyone try to convert a 4 to a 6 though. 5 to 6 has been done. As for the 6 string idea, id reccommend you check out a check out an ibanez src6 or a fender bass vi. I personally am not a fan. IMO you can only go so tight with the string spacing before it becomes difficult to play it as a bass in some ways. Not impossible, just more difficult. That's the reason why I'm not a fan of bass vi style instruments. I'd think considering what you're wanting to do if you were able to push it and get 6 strings the string spacing would be so tight that you'd accidentally occassionally hit two strings and end up making your octave pedal freak out and track poorly.
  3. You might have better luck getting info on this on talkbass in the forum titled Luthiers corner. They have a lot of great folks in there who do more extreme mods like this and even build basses from scratch

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