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set for cello tuned in 4ths?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Jeff Bonny, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Am about to order some Helicores singles to tune my cello in 4ths. Thinking a heavy G for the E, a light G for the A, a light D for the D and a light A for the G. Any thoughts before I go blow a bunch of money?

  2. That sounds sensible....I used to do that " jazz cello " thing back in the Late 50's/early 60's when everybody and his brother were doing it, but we all just used regular cello strings and tuned them down or up. Of course, we didn't have the options in strings that we do now.
    And, as always, in my opinion, the only two jazz cello players ( using fourth tuning) that I could stand, were Oscar Pettiford and Red Mitchell.
    After checking your profile Jeff, I see that you're using an electric cello so take what I say with a grain of salt because it also looks like you're using a bow.......
  3. Hi Jeff.
    What about a light C for the E instead?
    And I think a thick A for the G would work better than a light one.

  4. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    I have a set of Helicore lights and the C is pretty loose tuned to E. Tried a heavy Jargar and it worked a lot better. Why a thick A? I'm adding tension by tuning up and the thick one has 38.1lbs tuned to A vs. 33.3lbs on the light tuned to A which in my way of thinking gives me some headroom to crank it up a whole tone.

    Any idea how Sam Jones tuned? Heard him yesterday on the radio and thought it was a bass until the radio guy ran down the personnel on the cut.

    For me as a bassist the pizz "jazz cello" thing does have some appeal but mostly I'm playing arco with a little reverb and distortion and trying to slot into the guitar/horn space.
  5. As far as I know, a G is a whole tone down from A.
    Using a thin A would result in a great loss of tension at G pitch, hence my suggestion of a thick A. (a thicker gauge string is usually suggested when tuning down, and vice-versa)
    But you do as you wish! :)
  6. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Don't know what I was thinking...
    Need to work less, sleep more.
  7. I'm fairly sure Sam Jones used bass tuning.
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Concur, bass tuning...