Who else uses solo tuning for non-classical work?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by unbrokenchain, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    I admit, I got my Flexocore Deluxe solos entirely on inspiration from Meyer and Kowert, but not really for any practical reason. The bass is one of those overbuilt Romanian carved beasts. It had Obligatos when I got it, I've had Spiro mittels and weichs on it as well as the FDs. The solo strings do effect a noticeable loss in low-end fundamental, but my current opinion is that it's worth it (especially since I have another bass, Kay + guts that's a fundamental cannon), particularly for arco.

    Most of my stage arco work is with a particular singer-songwriter who just loves B major, and the tuning certainly comes in handy there. What sealed the deal though was being asked recently to home-record an arco part on a hornpipe tune in Bb. Now I cut bass teeth in middle school jazz band, so my most familiar "home" keys are Bb and F, but for whatever reason I was having a heck of a time with the hornpipe part. Take after take, beating the part into the ground, just couldn't land it as clean as I wanted. So I had the idea to put the solo strings back on and tune it in between solo and orch, so that I could have an open Bb string. Oh man, what a difference! Got what I wanted in three takes. Now I'm realizing that being able to have the range of tuning is a huge advantage, even if they're lackluster for pizz at orch pitch.

    Anyone else?
  2. kinnon64


    Jun 9, 2009
    I love that tuning flexibility too! There's so many options you can play around with, each one giving you pros and cons.
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  3. While I was never much of a sight reader, how people can change tunings, tune in 5'ths etc., and keep on top of it, is beyond me. Kudos.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
    unbrokenchain and Hogslapper like this.
  4. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    I would have trouble transposing off the staff for sure, but in my circles the amount of actual notation that gets passed around is zero :laugh:. I have no trouble reading bass clef but the last time I was asked to was playing in the pit for 9 to 5 (Dolly Parton musical) over five years ago. I write charts in Roman numerals and simply transpose the key center, not difficult.
    Povl Carstensen likes this.