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Orchestral / Solo Tunings?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by ONYX, Sep 25, 2000.


  1. ONYX

    ONYX

    Apr 14, 2000
    Michigan
    Greetings all!!

    Lately, I've been doing some reading on some of the great upright bassists, e.g. LaFaro, Chambers, etc. Being solely an electric player, my interest has been piqued by some of these players.

    Anyway--here is my question. I've come across references to different tunings used by double bassists. They are always refered to as " orchestral" and " solo " tuning. Unfortunately, there is never an explanation provided. (I guess the writers always assume that they only write for double bassists!!). What is the difference between these two tunings and in what situations are they used?

    Any information will be appreciated!
     
  2. Actually, the original reason for solo tuning was that given the poor quality of most gut strings in much earlier times (they didn't bow well and had a tough time sounding at the deep pitches) bassists would tune their basses a step sharp. The increased tension made the strings more sonorous. This added brilliance was especially desirable to soloists as it set the sound of their bass a part from the others. Today, with modern steel strings, the need for solo tuning strings is much less, though many feel that it still provides a more penetrating sound and continue to use it.
     
  3. I would like to add, IMHO, that if you use solo tuning, you should use lighter gauge strings to reduce the stress on the instrument.
     
  4. ONYX

    ONYX

    Apr 14, 2000
    Michigan
    Thanks guys!! My " Bass IQ " rating just went up another notch! :)
     
  5. reedo- I've never used solo tuning strings, but I think that one of the features of modern solo tuning strings is that they come to pitch at the same tension as standard tuning strings.

    Ed, you hopeless jazz cat, detuning solo strings not only lowers the tension so you can play bebop tempos without killing your hand, that lower tension helps some basses open
    up and come alive. I'll email the board's administrator for
    you about that disappearing text. And I think if we could limit the number of replies to all questions to one it would save us all a bunch of time and effort.

     
  6. reedo- I've never used solo tuning strings, but I think that one of the features of modern solo tuning strings is that they come to pitch at the same tension as standard tuning strings.
    And I think if we could limit the number of replies to all questions to one it would save us all a bunch of time and effort.
    /B][/QUOTE]
    Ummm.. and the reason would be because they are a lighter gauge, like I said, right?
    It does appear that we all have different ways of saying similar things. (I must have lost Ed's points in the translation from Canadian, eh? :))But just because replies are similar is no reason to limit them. I mean, that is the point of a forum, to give everyone a voice, right? Even if they do say the same things in a different way.
     
  7. I've tried using solo strings tuned at E A D G (Schnitzer tells me the key is when they're new, never take them up to F# B E A - as if they'll get flabby when they're taken down to E A D G after being stretched) on my jazz bass. I prefer playing with more tension. There's a compromise between tension and string (bridge) height that must be reached in order to get full bodied sound (think gut strings vs. steel). Also, with higher tension, I feel like I can get off the string sooner, spend less time pulling the string, and move on to the next note. Admittedly, we're talking nanoseconds, but it's something I feel, not that Michael Moore has anything to fear from me. Ya' shoulda seen Michael Sunday, cruising through China Boy which Peplowski called at a 320 meter.
     


  8. /B][/QUOTE]
    Ummm.. and the reason would be because they are a lighter gauge, like I said, right?
    It does appear that we all have different ways of saying similar things. (I must have lost Ed's points in the translation from Canadian, eh? :))But just because replies are similar is no reason to limit them. I mean, that is the point of a forum, to give everyone a voice, right? Even if they do say the same things in a different way. [/B][/QUOTE]

    I hate explaining jokes but, what I wrote about limiting posts was a joke; a bad one I guess. I won't explain further. And translating NYC Jazz Cat Canadien to my backwards South Jersey-Philly native tongue widens the language barrier further. Ugh, me go now.
     
  9. It takes all the fun out of it when you have explain the jokes,but there is always going to be some blockhead :oops:
    that doesn't get it. And Don, some like it tight and some like it loose, it's just a matter of preference,eh? ;)