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Piccolo and Tenor Bass's?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Spearhead, Apr 9, 2001.

  1. What are they. Are the y completley different instruments?
    Or are they just tuned differently? whats the deal and how are they differnt from a standard bass?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Piccolo and Tenor bass are the same thing.
    Tenor tuning is a quart higher than regular EADG tuning - it's ADGC.
    It's not a different instrument per se, just a different tuning, like the Nashville tuning for guitar, for example.
    That's all.
  3. Jazzbassman23


    Apr 20, 2000
    Are lighter guage strings used? Just move the whole set "over" one place and add a C?
  4. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Actually, a piccolo bass is different than a Tenor Bass. Tenor bass is tuned ADGC, and a piccolo is tuned EADG, but an octave higher.

    I have a Yamaha set up as a piccolo bass, and the gauges are fairly light. I think it is .042 for the E, and .018 for the G.

    Stanley Clarke likes to use a Tenor bass for most of his soloing stuff. And, yes, it is basically just moving the strings over one slot, and adding a high C above the G string.
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Great info, I didn't know that...:D
    I always thought SC called his tenor basses piccolo basses too.
  6. Couldn't you just use a regular guitar for piccolo? Corect me if I'm wrong, but isn't bass tuned one octave lower than a guitar? seems that a guitar would work a bit better.
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    But you'd still want bass string spacing, right?
    So, no guitar :D
  8. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Piccolo basses and tenor basses are different. Stanley Clarke has and does use both tunings. Tenor bass tuning is, as far as I know, ADGC and piccolo tuning is EADG but an octave higher.

    Yes, piccolo basses tend to be a lot like a guitar minus the two higher strings, but that's generally not how they're played. Most people I know who use them tend to overdub solos with them, focusing on superfast arpeggios, with double stops and some chords tossed in here and there. I see a lot of tapping on piccolo basses, too.

    I toyed with piccolo tuning for a while, then sent my bass back to the factory for an electronics overhaul and some other work. They sent it back to me with tenor tuning and I like it better.

    The real question wrt tenor basses is, why not a 6 string and have the whole range, BEADGC? Something to consider.


  9. Or even an E-C five string, which is what I have.
  10. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA

    That's what I'm using, too. I found I wasn't using the low B too often, so I changed it to a high C. Currently, Curbow has my bass, and is setting it up with a nice set of TI Jaz flats with a high C.

    As far as getting a tenor bass instead of a 5, or 6 string goes, I guess some people just don't want to deal with having to mute more strings. Which is their perogative. Extra string basses tend to weigh more, too. And, they can have different tonal characteristics due to having a wider body and neck. So, if he only wants to use a Tenor bass, more powr to him. I am certainly not going to question Stanley Clarke's reasoning.

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