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Live implementation of piccolo bass strings with a band

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by JayLamm, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. JayLamm


    Feb 23, 2013
    Baton Rouge, LA

    I have a question about how Michael Manring goes about using his hyperbass in a band setting.

    I've recently taken my fretless Warwick Corvette and strung it up with picollo bass strings - D'Addario EXL280s. I love what I can do with it and the tone I get out of it. It's great for solo stuff and music that focuses on what that particular instrument can do.

    I'd like to use my fretless with picollo strings on it when I play with a full band but I find that the loss of the bottom end just makes the songs suffer.

    So I'm wondering if Michael Manring uses his hyperbass with the picollo strings with a band or if that instrument, for him, is really just geared towards solo bass performance. Does he use a more normal bass for more rock oriented stuff or is there a way to add more lower register with something like an octave pedal.

    (I've never used an octave pedal and I'm not sure how decent the sound is).

  2. benchpress11782

    benchpress11782 Supporting Member

    May 23, 2007
    What if you put on a hipshot detuner? That will help alot. I am pretty sure he uses his red Sonus for band type music. But the hipshot detuners are awesome. I have seen your videos, and I am subscribed. Nice rendition of When we last spoke
  3. KodyAudette


    Apr 30, 2012
    I just recently strung up one of my fretless basses with Piccoloc as well and I'm loving it (particularly hitting a harmonic and sliding it into another pitch). I'm running through an SWR 750x which has a subwave feature which is essentially an Octave Down effect. I think it fattens things up really well. It tracks pretty well, especially since it's tuned piccolo and I'm not throwing any super low frequencies at it anyway. I really like the effect. It gives you the feel, clarity, and articulation you get from the piccolo strings but with some added body so it still feels like a bass. So yes, I'd try some sort of octave effect. I'd suggest bringing the bass into a music store and trying out whatever octave effects they have, as all octavers are definitely not created equal. Hint: (Octave with a little tube overdrive sounds great with the piccolos on a fretlesss!)
  4. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    I occasionally use my piccolo strung basses in a band, but most typically when I've composed the music we're playing so I can arrange things in way that seems to make everything work. Interestingly, I find that piccolo strings tuned very low appear to have more low end than larger gauges tuned to the same pitch. Perhaps the reduced tension makes for less dampening of the fundamental vibration?

    The octave effect is a fun way to go, too!
  5. KodyAudette


    Apr 30, 2012
    That's an interesting thought, I've been experimenting with a lot of different tunings and strings trying to find a good balance of clarity for chords and melodic runs while retaining low end for solo work. Maybe by taking the piccolo strings and tuning them down closer to a tenor bass I'll be able to get that fullness while keeping all the benefits of piccolos.

    Thanks for weighing in, Michael!
  6. JayLamm


    Feb 23, 2013
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Thanks for the input. I've been experimenting with different strings and basses to try and find that perfect balance for my touring rock show I play with. I might go with an Mbrace guitar stand to hold my fretless when I need it. So many possibilities.

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