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what are Piccolo basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by InfinityJaco, Jun 17, 2001.


  1. InfinityJaco

    InfinityJaco

    Jun 5, 2001
    Illinois
    I'm curious as to what piccolo basses are? Are they like higher pitch or something? I've seen in booklets it'll say like so-and-so playing the fretless piccolo bass. And what would be the counterpart for piccolo?? Like lower pitch or what?
    Thanks
     
  2. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Piccolo Bass - tuned EADG but an octave higher than standard bass tuning.

    Tenor Bass - tuned ADGC. Sorta like having a 6 string and yankin' of the two lower strings.

    Contrabass - 6 string tuned BEADGC

    At this point, my knowledge is exhausted. (damn, that was fast ;)

    Peace,

    James
     
  3. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Actually, "Contrabass" refers to anything with a string below E. So if you had a 4 string BEAD, it would be a 4 string "Contrabass".

    That was my understanding of it, anyway.
     
  4. yawnsie

    yawnsie

    Apr 11, 2000
    London
    Just wondering, has anyone here played one? The only person I've ever heard of that uses a piccolo bass is Ron Carter - surely a piccolo bass guitar is just a normal guitar without the two highest strings?
     
  5. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Stanley Clarke made them famous in the 70's.

    Really, its the lowest 4 strings of a guitar on a bass body/neck (though, the neck is usually 30"-32"). The string guages are usually about 18-42. I've played one before...definitely not for me, but I can see why it would be cool, for soloing or adding chords to songs, especially if you're used to bass spacing and things.
     
  6. ross

    ross Guest

    Mar 17, 2000
    ukulele bass tuned GCEA (high g and a)
     
  7. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I have a 32" scale Alembic that I used to have tuned as a piccolo bass. It was fun for a while, but that kind of super-soloing is not my forte, so I didn't use it very much.

    I've since had it refurbished (it was trashed when I got it, that's why I did the piccolo experiment) and now it's tuned ADGC. Haven't had much time to play around with that tuning yet, 'cause I'm learning stuff for concerts at two different churches.

    When the smoke clears I've heard a couple things on Wayman Tisdale's new CD and Rhonda Smith's CD that I want to try with it.

    Peace,

    James