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my microtonal bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by uethanian, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. uethanian


    Mar 11, 2007
    ahhhhh...well after much procrastination and scrounging up of supplies, i made a push today and finished by project. its a squier p i got for $50. the fret layout is 5 limit just intonation. pics now, sound later.


  2. Worshiper


    Aug 13, 2004
    New York
    I don't understand
  3. uethanian


    Mar 11, 2007
    im sorry then

    PM me if you're interested in knowing.

    man that was a fast response to an OP...
  4. Foxworthy925

    Foxworthy925 Guest

    Feb 24, 2007
    Bay Area, CA

    Anyways, can't wait to hear some sound clips.
  5. I'm also intrigued. I think soundclips will explain it for me.
  6. Judging from the fret layout, it seems like some very specifc microtones that you're after.

    Why not just go all-fretless? Then you have access to EVERY microtone! :bassist:
  7. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    In my opinion a fretless is only as microtonal as the ears of the player.
  8. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low

    Aug 19, 2007
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    +1 and plaing in tune when playing smaller than 1/4 tones is a B**ch.
  9. Cool. Would you be willing to divulge the necks secrets? That is to say, how the measurements of the frets relate to the ratios you've chosen. More info please :)
  10. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA

    I played with a guitarist that was interested in micro tunings. He was crazy into foreign tunings and ethnic sounds.

  11. Nelson Guitars

    Nelson Guitars

    Aug 14, 2006
    Novato California
    Custom builder
    Because then he wouldn't have such a bitchin' looking neck!

    Way cool.

    Greg N
  12. Wow...that's pretty cool. I remember reading a while ago about a refretted Warwick that was done in the 9 tone scale, and was intrigued... this seems pretty awesome.
  13. southpaw76


    Feb 20, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    Yeah, I new a guitarist in Miami who had his guitar, or one of his guitars rather, refretted in 1/4 steps! I thought that was pretty sick, but if you listen to any classical Indian music especially with the sitar, they apply this same philosophy to their raga's. I believe Steve Vai has implemented this sort of thing by using custom algorithms in his Eventide H3000. I've never seen this done with an electric bass before. I bet you get some pretty sick harmonic structures?? More power to you :cool:
  14. How did you do the partial frets?
  15. Sure...but I'm working here from the assumption that the microtonal player can tell the difference between his microtones and just playing out of tune.

    I still maintain that a fretless (let's say a lined fretless) would be more versatile.
  16. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low

    Aug 19, 2007
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    When you get to very small intervals it would be almost impossible to play in tune on a fretless. It's not about versatility it's about what's realistically possible.
  17. Yeees... if said player had a very good idea what it was supposed to sound like. If you grew up listening to music in some 5-limit JI scale and played with a band in that scale it would be no problem. But imagine you grew up listening to some funny mistuned scale and were (most probably) going to be playing solo for a while. You might want a fretted instrument until you actually knew what your desired tuning sounded like.
  18. uethanian


    Mar 11, 2007
    thats exactly why i didnt go fretless, because i wanted to be very specific about my notes. until recently i played the same thing on my fretless with a lot of little stickers as markers...and it was a mess.

    well i want to make it clear that i went about this very mathematically. there are not "halftones" or "quatertones," because those are equal tempered steps. if you want to know how i went about finding the fret positions, PM, but for now here is the scale.

    (1/1), (25/24), (16/15), (10/9), (9/8), (6/5), (5/4), (4/3), (25/16), (3/2), (25/18), (8/5), (5/3), (27/16), (16/9), (9/5), (15/8), (2/1)

    i cut the slot like normal, but measured and cut the "fretlet" beforehand. which was a pain, since the ends needed to be filed before going in. then some superglue goes in the empty space to secure the fretlets. its not very pretty, but its the only way i could think of. the tuning is DADA, which apart from DDDD yields the minimal amount of fretlets.

    in my scale though, i have some very close notes like (10/9) and (9/8), which are both a major 2nd, and which both sound pretty normal. so while it wouldn't be hard to get in the ball park on a fretless for a major 2nd, unless you can count the beats of the notes (not like you'd have time to, or even the ability), it would be very hard to distinguish between the two. theres some intervals, like the major 3rd (5/4) which are easy to tune, but others sound truly microtonal, especially in different modes.

    i can say from experience that playing JI on fretless is REALLY hard.
    i've been playing piccolo, and i really wanted to be able to play the intervals accurately (kindof the whole point). 12 ET intervals on fretless are hard enough...
  19. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    Oh btw, great looking bass. I am interested in getting a bass fretted to 24-TET. Less impressive looking than your bass, but i'd bet it be bitching as well.
  20. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA

    definitely want to hear clips of that. :bassist:

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