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how low double bass tuned

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by nanookanono, Jun 14, 2004.


  1. Question from a French newbie :

    I actually play electric bass : walking jazz lines classical blues ( Parker, Mingus, Monk ) reading parts from my teacher Bruno Chaza, ( nice to know on <http://brunochaza.free.fr/homepage.htm> )

    I would like to know how were tuned those upright jazz bassists?

    I want to play 5 stringed electric bass and to know if low B or Fdieze are necessary for classical blues or bebop?

    Thanks
     
  2. 99% of bebop bassists played with 4 strings, EADG.
    "if low B or Fdieze are necessary for classical blues or bebop?"
    No.
    "I want to play 5 stringed electric bass "
    Well, go play. Whether if it´s tasteful to play Bebop with a slab and mix notes below E to the classic lines, is everyone´s own decision. What does your teacher tell you about this?

    R2
     
  3. Hi Arto,
    Thanks,
    My teacher says : " nice, go for a 5er, but for lowB you'll change your
    mind soon for a high C!"

    Is double bass EADG same octave notes as electric bass. Might be obvious for most of you, but I am confused because double bass seems very huge scale length for me.
     
  4. Yup. The scale length does not affect the octave.
    You are aware of course, that bass is a transposing instrument, so the notes in the bass clef actually sound an octave lower than the written notes.

    R2
     
  5. Thanks Arto,
    Briefing : Perhaps you'll tell me if I'm mistaking cause I'm not sure:
    I now believe EADG played by an electric bass are same notes than EADG played by upright bass.
    ( No matter scale length, but cause of string's tension )

    Guitarists read on G key. Alright?
    Meanwhile EADG lower notes on guitar ( tuned EADGBE ) are an octave
    higher than basses's. Ok?

    I don't know much music theory but I made my mind guitar's scale length is shorter than baryton guitar's, shorter than bass guitar's,
    shorter than upright bass's.

    Then I was not sure for octave between bass guitar and upright bass.
    I should have listen in music, there is not such difference!
     
  6. EADG lower notes on guitar ( tuned EADGBE ) are an octave
    higher than basses's. Ok?

    Nope. They are written an octave higher, but the actual pitch of the guitar is two octaves higher that that of bass. Scale length does not have anything to do with this. And bass guitar and double bass have the same pitch, and are notated the same way. Talk with your teacher, he´ll show.

    R2
     
  7. Standard guitar tuning puts the low E one octave higher than the low E on the bass (real or toy).
    Both bass and guitar are written an octve higher than they sound, guitar in treble clef.
     
  8. Both bass and guitar are written an octve higher than they sound,guitar in treble clef.

    Oh, man, that´s true. I forgot... :rolleyes:
    I have a transposing chart for every instrument, very useful. Only if I used it...

    R2
     
  9. To sum things up, clarify, and set things straight:

    DB and the 4 string electric bass are tuned the same, EADG. Same pitches, same octave. A five string bass adds a low B. The lower four strings on a guitar are one octave higher than the corresponding notes on the basses.

    Both the guitar and bass are transposed when written out. Guitar is written on the treble clef, also called the G clef, but is played one octave lower than written. The pitches are the same as when music for tenor singers is written on the treble clef (that may help clarify if you sing).

    The bass is written on the bass clef, also called the F clef, and played an octave lower that written. One octave lower than a tenor, baritone, or bass singer's music when written on the bass clef.

    Both bass and guitar are played one octave lower than the same notes would be played when on the piano.