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Using a 7-string guitar as 4-string piccolo bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by psi, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    The idea is to ditch 3 strings on a 7-string guitar leaving a wider-spaced 4-string guitar / piccolo bass. Albeit tight, the wider string spacing would allow for finger-style bass playing.

    Any opinions or experience with doing this?
  2. That'd actually have pretty wide string spacing. I think it could be kinda cool, although you'd obviously have to loosen the truss rod way the hell up.
  3. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    Piccolo strings would allieve that problem. I wonder how it'd feel with the short-ass scale. Anyone know of any extra long scale 7-string guitars?
  4. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Fernandez makes a 30" scale 7 string baritone guitar, and so does this guy;

    Warmoth makes a 7 string neck with a 28 3/4" scale, as well.

    Why not get an actual piccolo bass?
  5. justateenpoet

    justateenpoet Have you...killed the Venture brothers!?!?

    May 14, 2005
    All of Schecter's 7-String models utilize a 26.5" scale length (guitars are usually about 24-25"). Schecter makes some great axes, so that could be one possibility.

    Also, Fender has a baritone version of the Jaguar. It's got a 28.5" scale length, but you'd obviously be giving up some of the string spacing you're looking for.

    EDIT: Jabberwock owns me with the 30" scale.
  6. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I use my EBO as a piccolo. Regular guitar strings are long enough and it sustains forever.

  7. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    You'd definately would need a new nut, and highly likely a new bridge.

  8. I have used a strat (25.5" scale) as a 3 string piccolo bass. It felt way too short to me at the time. Standard short scale, around 30", is as short as think I would ever want to go... but I do have a g****r sitting there. I actually prefer something longer than 30" but can't always access all of the frets comfortably.

  9. GregHolmes


    Mar 3, 2006
    Niagara, Ontario
    Dealer of: BassLab, Eminence, Acoustic Image, MIDIjet
    My first bass is a short-scale clone of an EBO. It makes me shudder. Anyway, I ripped the frets out, used wood filler, etc, and tuned it in 5ths from D (below regular E), D-A-E-B. I use guitar strings on the three higher strings. It actually sounds pretty good, especially when played by someone else... ;)
  10. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx

    I despise the EBO as a bass. My saying goes:
    "If you love indistinct vague low notes of questionable origin, a sound as aggressive and a mouse at a cat convention, string taughtness that rivals jello, sustain that rivals a teenage boy's first sexual encounter with a swimsuit supermodel, and the fine intonation adjustment of a lump of molten slag, THIS IS THE BASS FOR YOU!"

    That said, I have never played a guitar I liked as much as this. It's almost as if I have infinate sustain. When it was a bass, I tried everything to get a decent sound out of it, as a piccolo, I can't get a bad sound out of it. :D
  11. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    There are a number of short scale basses out there. I think you are far better off with one of those.
  12. GregHolmes


    Mar 3, 2006
    Niagara, Ontario
    Dealer of: BassLab, Eminence, Acoustic Image, MIDIjet
    Hey! You been playing my bass? :)
    At least yours has a real bridge - mine is bent sheet metal, and your pickup, well, it looks like a pickup. Mine, not so much. And your body has wood grain! Mine has laminations like plywood... ahem. 'Nuff said.
    Anyway, back to the thread. The sustain you get is due to the longer string length compared to a guitar, whereas a guitar tuned like a piccolo bass will have the opposite effect. Length is good...

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