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Eight string basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mr.QuakQuak, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. Considering it's a pain where you can't search for things less then three characters I was wondering if anyone could tell me about 8 strings (doubled 4). The way they are tuned and the purpose of them, they look interesting.
  2. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    I've got a 12ver(same principle) and just like EADG, except it more like eeEaaAddDggG. You prob wouldn't do this on 8. It'd just be octaves. They both are for laying down a wall of sound, prob work good in three piece band. And I found out I can fake a wicked "Purple Haze" when I run it thru a Fuzzbox.

    PS....On a 12ver there are no wrong notes.;)
  3. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    As was mentioned, and "doubled" 8-string is tuned standard EADG, with each small string being tuned to the octave of the string it's paired with....one low E, one high E and octave higher, etc. One reason why people like them is because they help fill in sonic space in a sparse arragement. For instance, if you're the bass player in a 3-piece and the guitar player plays a solo, an 8-string bass can create the effect of a bass player and guitar player playing in unison. Check out some of the later Zeppelin albums...John Paul Jones played Alembic 8-strings in the studio for an "effect" (to get that 8-string sound) and also played them live on a number of songs to help fill on the space...Page was doing 3, 4, sometimes 5 guitar overdubs per song back then! :eek: They're a ton of fun and I'm thinking about having one made sometime down the road. ;)
  4. Thanks for all the information guys.
  5. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    Ok guys.. sorry I hijacked the thread... ;)

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
  6. 8 string basses are very cool and if you are interested in hearing their sonic potential I highly recommend John Paul Jones' 2 solo cds Zooma and Thunderthief. I don't think that any other bassist has made such extensive and powerful use of multistring basses. Having an 8 string bass was a long time wish and over the years owned 2 both cool but really not my kinda thing as it turned out.
  7. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Show off. :spit:

  8. My hands are way to small for that.
  9. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    OH!!! Mr. "New Fodera Every Week" chimes in!!!!


    I love you, man!! :D
  10. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

  11. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    You know that joke just gets funnier and funnier--posting those Conklins here is like posting your Jazz Bass in a thread about Precision Basses. :p

    I've got an 8 string Fretless Curbow with octave pairs, and I use it as one of my two main gigging basses with my jazz band. I had mine set up with extra wide spacing between the fundamental and octave strings so I could play them separately or in unison depending on what I want to do.

    I never had any interest in playing an aircraft carrier neck, but I do occasionally like the extra high notes for soloing or support. I have spent the last year and a half working on a technique where I'll start a bass line on the fundamental and then move to the octave strings.

    8 strings are great for filling up space under a solo, or to change the tension or dynamics of the song. I like to play with just the fundamental like a normal 4 string fretless, and then bring in the octave strings for effects, or during solos.

    Finding strings isn't tough with the internet, and I've been mixing and matching sets of strings for my 8 with great results. I'm currently using TI Powerbass strings for the fundamentals and Ken Smith piccolo strings for the octaves.

    And, contrary to what people would have you believe, you can get sounds out of an 8, or 12 string that you can't get out of an aircraft carrier 8 string.
  12. Since its somewhat on topic...anyone ever try a Rickenbacker 4003/s8?
    They have always intrigued me...too bad they are discontinued....how do they play?
  13. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    Sounds like somebody needs a hug... :smug:
  14. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I think you'd break my spine, Man Mountain. I'm a big guy but I'd look like a Hobbit next to you. :help: ;) :D
  15. dnburgess


    Jul 20, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Proprietor: Bass People, Green Square Music
    JPJ plays Alembic 4 and 8 string basses in the Knebworth concert on the Led Zep DVD.

    John Entwistle was another major 8 string player - also Alembic. Check out http://www.alembic.com/info/fc_spyders.html

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