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solo bass with high C (or D rather) string?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by tbassist4, Dec 10, 2006.


  1. This thought crossed my mind tonight, and I was wondering if there are any prominent examples of it being used. Are there any bass players who string their solo bass B E A C? Or rather D instead of C in this case, keeping in line with the solo tuning? It just seems like it would be very advantageous for a lot of music, and especially transposed cello music. I undertstand the difficulties of playing with this different tuning (although technically this could be remedied by transposing the key and playing the bass as if it were still tuned normally, just as how solo tuning works), but couldn't this be very useful? Would this high string work, or would it end up being far too thin? I'm very interested on the subject, and may very well purchase a smaller bass to try this out. Even in "standard" tuning, A D G C, this would be very interesting. Anyways, just a thought, any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Jake

    Jake

    Dec 11, 1999
    Florida
    I know a luthier who built a 6-string double bass tuned B/C, E, A, D, G, C. The main thing he said about the C string is that it was whiney and sounded like a cheap cello. I've never actually seen a bass with a high C string. I know the great jazz player Ratzo Harris plays one. From what I've heard, it would probably work better for pizz rather than for classical arco bass.
     
  3. Arnold

    Arnold Supporting Member

    Glen Moore, the bassist for "Oregon" tunes his bass (low to high) C A D C
    As far as I can tell there's nothing that he can't do on the bass or on the high C string.
    Peace.
    ASG
     
  4. Jake

    Jake

    Dec 11, 1999
    Florida
    Hey Arnold,
    Not to derail this too badly, but I need to check out Glen Moore. What are some good albums that he plays on or is the leader on?
     
  5. Seconded. I used to study with him; the tuning is crazy, but he can pull it off. Not that I reccomend it to anyone else... :D Glen is a monster bass player, and I have yet to hear a recording of his that isn't impressive.
     
  6. bejoyous

    bejoyous

    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    Here's a link to Lamario.ca. He makes integrated extensions and lots of interesting carvings. This picture shows a 5-string bass tuned E A D G C with a low-B extesion on the E-string and a small mid-C extension on the D-string (this is probably to play Bach Suites or holding the long C in Mahler No.1).

    http://www.lamario.ca/view.php?NAME=Basse-Lamario-01-Tete.jpg&lang=english
     
  7. SirFunk

    SirFunk Supporting Member

    May 24, 2001
    Topeka, KS
    One of my favorite upright bassists of all time, Renaud Garcia-Fons plays a bass tuned EADGC. http://www.renaud-garcia-fons.com/ I wouldn't recommend this necessarily if you are planning on playing classical music on it and using the high C as an escape from shifting. If you plan on using it in such beautiful and creative ways as Renaud though... go for it!
     
  8. thank for you for the replies. I just thought I'd toss that out there. I would use if for classical if I did choose to set a bass up with this tuning, but rather for writing solos in very high registers rather than to avoid shifting, even if that is part of the deal of tuning a bass that way. I'd say it would cripple you to play that way and avoid shifting, I was thinking more of using it as a different solo tuning. Anyways, thanks for the feedback!
     

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