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Solo Tuning

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Joe Taylor, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    Well after years of playing I want to do some music that is in solo tuning. Never done it befor.

    I was reading in an eddition of Block's "Prayer (No.1 form Jewish Life") and it says if you want to play this with orchestral tuning use the cello edition.

    Also I got a copy of Lorenziti (sp?) Gavot, also in solo tuning, and the piano part is in a diffrent key from the bass part. A full tone apert

    When you play with solo tunning is it like using a capo on a guitar where you play the same fingring as with out the capo and you get a diffrent key with out learning new fingering?

    And, I am having a real hard time finding a teacher been looking for a year now.
  2. Yeah, its like using a capo, if you like that analogy. Your fingers and brain think you're playing EADG, but everything sounds a full step up.

    If you have perfect pitch, this must be really confusing.
  3. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    Thanks, I thought that was the case.

    Now, I wonder why somone just did not make a bass capo! I can see it now about the size of a bear trap.

  4. Basscat125


    Aug 3, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland.
    none yet
    So does this mean that if the music reads to play a B on the a string you play the position for the b but it sounds like a c#?
  5. Ryker_M


    May 10, 2012
    London, Ontario
    Not necessarily. It really depends on the music. From my experience with solo tuning, you play the same note just changing the string.

    So that B, would be played on the E string.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, that's just my understanding from the times I've had to play in solo tuning.
  6. Josh_Schwalbach


    Jul 10, 2012
    The most common form of "Solo Tuning" is when you tune each string up a whole step (or 2 semitones). The G string becomes an A string, the D string becomes an E string, etc.

    In order to avoid the difficulties and confusion that would come with having to learn to read music with a different tuning (which would mean literally a different fingering for every note compared to what you are used to) the bass part is notated down a whole step from where it sounds. That way, anytime you see a C on the page, you can play it where you normally would, but it will sound as a D. If you look at the score or the piano part for a piece that requires solo tuning, the bass part will often be notated at sounding pitch.
  7. Is it easier to bow on downtuned solo strings? The tension is less, so I suspect you will have less sound, but more ease for the left fingers.
  8. Depends on the strings. I've done it, I've seen many people do it but the quality isn't as good when solo's are tuned down.
  9. Velvet Compas 180 solo's tuned down to orchestra pitch. My bass has 42,5 '' swinging length. What do you mean by quality: quality of sound?
  10. I mean volume, responce to bow, fullness of sound.

    When strings are looser this kinda stuff is affected. I haven't played those strings but perhaps you should just tune them down and hear what they sound like. Yea they are easier on your hand but that isn't the point. When you need to do it do it. But don't have this as the regular form of play.
  11. Yes - you are right. When tuning them up to solo tuning, they respond better to the bow. I have to press less with the bow, more fullness of sound

    Damn. Now I have to tune them up to solo when playing arco and tune them down when i play pizzicato...:eek:

    Is this 'healthy' for the bass?
  12. Are you kidding? Because it sounds like you are kidding.
  13. No - I am not kidding. I seriously think that tuning down and up all the time might be not that good for your bass or strings. Am I wrong?

    I never heard of bassists that tune up the strings for arco and tune down the string for pizzicato on the same bass, but maybe that´s my lack of knowledge.:confused:
  14. Well the point of tuning up and down is for paying a solo and playing in a orchestra. If you don't need to change just pick a tuning and strings designed for that tuning and switch between arco and pizz.

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