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Has anyone made a Cello into a piccolo URB?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Skips, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. Skips


    Feb 19, 2003
    I've been thinking about getting a cello, and stringing it EADG, one octave up from a normal Double Bass. (Would that be a single bass? ;)) I'm curious if anyone else has tried this, and if there is anything I should know. What would need to be modified? Nut slots? Where to get strings?
  2. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Charlotte, NC
    I've hear and seen Percy Heath play cello in this manner. I don't know if Pettiford strung his cello that way or not.
  3. I have a 1960-or-so recording of Ray Brown playing jazz pizz on a cello, but it was a kind of hybrid cello that he had made to his specifications (I believe a longer neck than a traditional cello). I imagine others have done it also, but I'm not sure.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    A Cello already is a piccolo DB - no need to change it at all!! ;)
  5. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Ever play non-classical pizz on a cello ? It sounds like kaka...I would think the best bet would be to find a set of strings for your DB to acheive this goal.
  6. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    There is a Jazz Cello player who I've seen lead his own bands in the UK and he sounds fine on pizz and arco - he tended to play most solos arco - but 'comped' with plucked chords and double stops.
  8. Please...Let's not go through this one again!
    What does everybody have against our wonderful and thorough archives! Please use the search feature!
    Just in the time i've been on board at TBDB, this cello subject has been addressed three times. The last, not very long ago.
    Can I get some back-up on this concept? :crying:
  9. Preach on brother. It does seem like over the last two or three months TB has turned into TVLand with nothing but reruns.
  10. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    funny. this is the first thread i've seen on the subject. guess i wasn't paying close enough attention.
  11. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Not trying to save that thread... but do you think we should have some kind novelty score attributed to each thread so TBers would know if a post is highly novel or just moderately interesting ? Do we progress by quantum leaps or by rehashing the same stuff over and over ?
  12. Skips


    Feb 19, 2003

    I did search through the archives before posting this. I didn't find anything. :confused:
  13. Peter Dalla

    Peter Dalla

    Feb 2, 2004
    Oscar Pettiford
    Sam Jones
    Percy Heath
    Ray Brown

    All played cello pizzicato with bass tuning.

    I can't tell if OP's sound on STARDUST is kaka, I'm too busy listening to the notes.

    Additionally, both Percy and Ray played a Kay plywood cello that had a somewhat longer string length than normal, basically a piccolo bass. Or more accurately, a bass that had open strings that started at thumb position.
  14. songdog


    Oct 9, 2003
    My brother is looking for a cello for my niece. She plays piano quite well and I believe that she would be a dedicated student. I want to advise him on a well made instrument. Any advise? songdog
  15. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    If I were cello shopping, I'd probably contact our friend Greene, who posts here often. Dunno if he's selling celli yet, but you link to his site at the top of this section ("European Double Basses")
  16. Since I like this guy Peter Dalla, i'll go ahead and join in one last time on this jazz cello****. I've noticed that every post by Peter is right on. 100% agreed on O.P. He was brilliant on bass and cello. And he had a good excuse for playing it in that tuning. He was hospitalized after a fall off a bike. He needed to practice, so a friend brought him a cello so he could practice in bed. Don, you should check out O.P.!
    Peter, one guy you left out was my man Red Mitchell, who was right there with O.P. Red did one record on jazz cello back in the 60's. Guitarist Jim Hall was on this as well.
    The other three guys on Peters list to me, were almost unlistenable because of intonation, sound and chop issues!
  17. i seem to recall a artical in double bassist a year or so ago refering to a small bass (36" string) strung up ADGC as a piccolo bass... i beleave it was written up by
  18. talkingbassline


    Mar 9, 2004
    Why don't you just leave the cello in fifths?
    Expand your horizons. It's a good way to open yourself up, and force yourself to think differently about your music. I had my bass tuned in fifths for a while, after a few weeks you get used to it.
  19. Peter Dalla

    Peter Dalla

    Feb 2, 2004
    Or just play Tuvan shamisen. Talk about open horizons...

    PAUL WARBURTON - I am totally unaware of the Red Mitchell cello recording, I'm going to hunt around and see if it's been re released. And with Jim Hall! My blue heaven.

    I, too, am left somewhat cold by the Ray Brown cello recording. He's a wonderful player, but I have yet to hear anything (including WAY OUT WEST) that affects me the same way as hearing Paul Chambers. But Sam Jones, I have to admit one of the first recordings I had when I was just getting into this music and was starting to hear a little bit was the Jimmy Raney LIVE IN TOKYO on Xanadu. So I must admit to a lot of prejudice when it comes to Sam, he's one of the guys whose playing shaped my own direction, my own conception of sound and time and feel. The recording I have of him on cello is a compilation called RIGHT DOWN FRONT and I enjoy listening to it. I have no qualms about ideas or chops and I am forgiving of any problems with intonation that may appear there.

    Thanks also for the kind words.
  20. msw


    Aug 21, 2003
    Another very musical example of a bassplayer playing 'cello would be Doug Watkins' recording Soulnik on Prestige OJC. The striking thing to me is how clear he was able to solo over changes and not sound like a bassplayer but more like a horn player. It is worth checking out!

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