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piccolo basses.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by instigata, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    who makes em? and WHAT exactly are they?

    i'm going to be joining a ska band. they already have a bass player (he's pretty bad, but a good friend of the guitarist) and i want to contribute another dymnamic to the band.

    so im thinking maybe a piccolo bass would be a good idea. that or like, a 7 string. but i'd prefer sticking to 4-5 strings

    any suggestions?
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Piccolo bass is tuned up an octave like the bottom E A D and G on a standard guitar.
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Do you play any guitar at all?

    First thought that came to mind for an "added dynamic" is baritone guitar.
  4. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    i can play sum chords. but itd take some work. (which isnt a bad thing, at all)

    im willing to learn. it'd just take some actual practice.
  5. Most basses can be restrung piccolo - it is usually just an octave up. Some people use alternative tunings, but that is optional. You will have to do a setup, just like pretty much any time you do a string gauge change. It may or may not require nut work depending on your bass - I probably would not bother if you are just trying it out.

    Some people prefer short scale basses for piccolo but plenty of people play piccolo on longer scales. Go to the strings forum and search for the word piccolo and you will find tons of info on the appropriate strings.

  6. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    thanks. its always nice when you dont need to buy a whole new bass :)
  7. Another thing you can try is to borrow someones beater electric guitar and restring it as a 3 string - with just E,A and D guitar strings or a (low) B,E and A, it will be like the lower strings of a bass only an octave up - or you could use strings to make it tune like the 3 highest strings on your bass - up to you. Heck you could even string it with the skinny guitar strings and be 2 octaves up from the bass if you wanted to.

    Put the strings in evey other slot and there will be plenty of room for you to play fingerstyle.

    Just an idea that might be fun.

  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Piccolo strings are cheap as well- about $15 for a set of D'addarios, so it's not much of an investment to find out if you like them or not.
  9. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    Yup. Just ordered a set.

    TB'er Jeff Schmidt is someone to talk to, also.
  10. Sound Chaser

    Sound Chaser

    Mar 19, 2005
    Lockport, NY
    If I had two basses, one would be piccolo. But, I still need to be able to play at my church. The strings I just bought are Rotosounds, 80-30. Really light guage.
  11. mothmonsterman


    Feb 8, 2006
    i just resently converted my old spector to a piccolo. it's basicly a four string quitar (close to the same guage) with a fatter longer neck and bass pickups. some piccolo basses are made 3/4 scale. it's fun to mess around with.
  12. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I converted my EBO to a piccolo. It was worthless as a bass, fantastic as a piccolo. It when from my least played instrument to one of my most. Being a 30" scale, it can use regular guitar strings, too.
  13. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Piccolo basses can be great fun. I use mine for song ideas and working on improv. The link in my sig line is my shorter-scale piccolo with the V-Bass pickup added.

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