I love my tenor bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rprowse, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. rprowse


    Dec 17, 2005
    Wellington NZ
    Hi, I'm Richard and I play bass guitar and double bass.
    For quite a few years now (well over 10), I've had my '78 Jazz Bass in tenor tuning (A,D,G,C) and I love it. I bought a six string once, but this particular bass had no 'guts' and I couldn't afford a better one so I decided to stick with my tenor. I have a big solo repertoire of jazz standards, Spanish stlye tunes, Italian tunes and originals. I think that the tenor is a wonderful solo instrument.
    Is there anyone out there who is into solo tenor bass? I'm the only one in my area (Wellington, NZ) as far as I know.
  2. I play a bass tuned EADGC for jazz contexts where I am not using the upright. It has high action, piezo pickups, and strangely enough, I use a pick on it, close to the fingerboard, for a really smooth walking sound. The greatness of it is of course the solo range, that added fourth just allows me to blow as if I where a horn, and it also provides chordal / arpegio possibilities for comping.
  3. rprowse


    Dec 17, 2005
    Wellington NZ
    Sounds interesting.
    Yes, I love those horn-like possibilities... sort of in the trombone or cello range on my Fender. I do a lot of work on chord voicings and triads. Triads are fantastic for chording a melody to a less jazzy tune.
  4. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    I'm a fan in a different way. My bass is in EADGC, originally tuned that way simply because I never used the B string (partially because it was trash), and I always found myself trying to go higher than the 20th fret of the G string (I know, only 20 frets) whilst playing jazz.

    The second bonus though is that it opens up a magnificant solo range for hard rock when piped through a Big Muff. :bassist:
  5. I too have my MIA Deluxe P bass tuned to ADGC. I love it to death! I can't put it down, i just love the sound it gives in the higher registers.

    And i can't stop playing norwegian wood on it either haha

    I think i might have to tune my SR5 to EADGC.
  6. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    If I have a fretless J can I just tune up or do I need new strings to get to that tuning?
  7. rprowse


    Dec 17, 2005
    Wellington NZ
    You'll need a .30 gauge C string and you can use your A, D & G strings. This makes your strings a 4th. higher... normal strings wouldn't get close to these pitches (I hope!). You'll also find that you'll probably have to fiddle with your intonation screws (if you're fussy, like me). Some people treat the tenor bass as a transposing instrument... 'play G, sounds C'. I decided a long time ago to learn all the notes at concert pitch (eg. 5th. fret on 1st. string = F). I find that I can pick up a normally tuned bass, or my double bass and not be bothered by the different tuning. I'm not the brightest guy around, so it shouldn't be hard for anyone else. (I remember, though, that it took me a while to get used to the new notes in tenor tuning.) Writing arrangements in bass clef is a bit of a problem, because of the range... Tenor clef works well... I'm a bit lazy with tenor clef, I normally write my arrangements in treble... I pretend the open A is 2 leger lines down on the treble clef.
    Have fun... it's a great tuning for jazz jams when noone seems to want to give you space!
  8. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    Yeah that sounds awesome, and I read treble and bass so that's not too much of an issue.
  9. rprowse


    Dec 17, 2005
    Wellington NZ
    Fantastico! Io amo il basso tenore!
  10. Le Basseur

    Le Basseur

    Mar 26, 2002
    +1 on tenor bass!:hyper:
    About three months ago I converted one of my fretless basses (a great-sounding Schack that I rescued from the dead) to ADGC.I decided to do that because I already had a EADG fretless (a Warwick Streamer I) wich I favoured and therefore the Schack was somehow left aside.
    For now,I use it sparingly because several times I got a raised eybrow from my guitarist (he's not used to be "crossed" with a tenor though I use mainly a 6-string and also he misses the low E...but eventually he'll comply with the situation:cool: ) and because I still have to work on intonation (the Schack is very different from Warwick:thinner neck,slightly smaller-than-34'',an almost flat fingerboard).
  11. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Totally unrelated to Technique.

    Moved to Basses.
  12. tiredman9


    Aug 15, 2005
    New York
    I'd Really like to try this but have never had the inspiration...any advice?