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Piccolo strings tuning

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Volpe25, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Volpe25


    May 5, 2012
    Sorry if this has already been asked (I couldn't find anything here) but I read online somewhere (I think it might have been Zander Zons website) that piccolo strings can be tuned to standard bass tuning an octave below a guitar as well as the same octave as a guitar. Can they be tuned to standard bass tuning? I want to buy a set to throw on my acoustic for solo purposes but just in case of playing with others I'd want to tune it down. Any help is appreciated
  2. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    It depends on the set and its gauges. They are usually EADG or DGCF. You can also choose singles to put together a set to what ever tuning you desire.
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    You can not tune piccolo strings to regular bass range, if this is what you're asking.
    They are meant to be tuned EADG an octave higher than a bass, ie like the 4 lower strings of a guitar.
    If you install them you won't be able to play bass parts anymore.
  4. Volpe25


    May 5, 2012
    Thanks thats what I was thinking but I just wasn't sure :)
  5. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    No, you can't retune a set of strings by an octave. There are several ways to do what you want to do however:

    1) And I think this was the intent of your first response above, use two sets of strings and re-string according to what you will be playing that night. This is fine for night to night use but if you need to change tunings back and forth in a single night it would be too cumbersome.

    2) Pick a tuning and stick with it. On a traditional EADG bass half the E string, ~two thirds of the A string and all or nearly all of the D and G strings are in the same range as a regular guitar anyway. You probably spend a good bit of your time in the regular guitar's octave already and solo guitarist can play very effective bass lines in that octave. So can you. You can differentiate yourself from the other members of the ensemble by what you are playing even if it is in the same octave as they are. Or stay with the lower tuning and just do your solo work farther up the neck, if that works for you. Compromise "baritone" tunings might also work for both purposes. Tunings like GCFBb, ADGC, BEAD, and DGCF will give you a little of each world in different blends between the two. A final variation of this approach would be to buy a second ABG and tune one to each tuning.

    3) Retune a single set of strings up and down, just not by an octave. The Hipshot Bass Extender tuners work pretty well over a limited range, especially if the string gauge is chosen as a compromise between the two tunings. You can use a set of light gauge bass strings to tune between EADG and GCFBb for instance. If you custom select a set of strings for GCFBb you can probably even tune them over a fourth, EADG to ADGC. And there are many other possibilities....

  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    You can also use a capo.
  7. Volpe25


    May 5, 2012
    Thats quite a bit of great info thanks! :D My main bass is a 5 string tuned to EADGC so I already do play a lot in guitar octave but its just I've been debating whether or not to invest in piccolo strings for my semi acoustic as I just love my semi acoustic to bits but I never use it enough and I love the sound of piccolo strings!