#1
I was thinking about this. I won't actually do it because I don't want to shell out to buy a bass just for this. I'm sure it's been done, but it's an easy way to get an electric mandocello or cello guitar kind of thing. Has anyone here ever done this? It's a cool idea for cello, mandolin family, tenor banjo/guitar players, etc. Probably a bit muddy for chord (or maybe it's fine) but it gives you decent low end and the melodic capabilities of all fifths. Heck, you could even go for an octave lower than a cello. Actually, you could also do octave Irish tenor tuning (GDAE) where the low string is equivalent to the third fret on a standard bass, or a 4th below cello.

If you have ever tried it, what did you do for string gauges? I'm curious to hear some good stories.
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Last edited by theogonia777 at Jun 9, 2017,
#2
According to D'Addario's string tension thing, on a short scale bass (30" or so) 65, 45, 28, 20 would be the ideal gauges for the regular range for around 30lbs of tension. In theory, that would be pretty ideal tension for melodic playing and you can get those strings really easily.
I wanna try it!
The only issue is that I don't have a short scale bass and I have no intention of buying one...
#3
i never liked it, but it's not like i shelled out new strings just to try it. it might be worth messing around with now that i've got 3 basses, but given my proclivity for chords and extensions, it just didn't work as well on my fingers as it did on paper. my tonika is a little shorter scale though and has a thinner tone, so maybe i just need to try it on there

that being said, if i were to get another fretless 4 string with a good piezo, that would absolutely be my approach, ideally with a gizmotron
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#4
Just try to go with flatwound strings.  It should sound pretty cool.  And you can rosin up a bow and go for a real cello sound.
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#5
Get a EHX Mel9 melotron pedal... get cello sound
I have Washburn guitars 'Maverick Series' and bass 'Bantam Series' and a few pedals and amps, but man I wish to have more patience and drive practicing my playing, if it's equal to the modding itch, then I'm golden.
#6
It's not about sounding like a cello. It's more about just using all fifths tuning. I just figured that cello tuning would be most likely, especially on a short scale. If I actually wanted to sound like a cello I would just get a cello.
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#7
There are those who've done guitar tuning in fifths -- it extends the range, but there's really not a lot of benefit beyond that. Not a bad thing, of course; just Yet Another Tuning. If you have a Variax guitar, you can leave the string tension in standard and set up alternate tunings up or down (up to about an octave in each direction per string), including something in all fifths, to try these things out.
#8
Quote by dspellman
There are those who've done guitar tuning in fifths -- it extends the range, but there's really not a lot of benefit beyond that. Not a bad thing, of course; just Yet Another Tuning. If you have a Variax guitar, you can leave the string tension in standard and set up alternate tunings up or down (up to about an octave in each direction per string), including something in all fifths, to try these things out.


It's subjective, but I find 5ths tunings to be better suited for playing more widely spaced chords and sometimes for melodic playing as well. Also it's not really a "try it out thing" really so much as an option for people that are already familiar with 5th tuned instruments like the mandolin and violin families (minus the basses), tenor and cello banjo, etc and have a extra bass just collecting dust.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#9
Quote by theogonia777
It's subjective, but I find 5ths tunings to be better suited for playing more widely spaced chords and sometimes for melodic playing as well. Also it's not really a "try it out thing" really so much as an option for people that are already familiar with 5th tuned instruments like the mandolin and violin families (minus the basses), tenor and cello banjo, etc and have a extra bass just collecting dust.


I wonder how much of a subset of bass players that might be .
My basses don't just collect dust, but I don't have many folks clamoring for me to play them, either.
So I might "try it out" anyway...
#10
Quote by dspellman
I wonder how much of a subset of bass players that might be .
My basses don't just collect dust, but I don't have many folks clamoring for me to play them, either.
So I might "try it out" anyway...


I don't know, but for a mandolin family or tenor banjo player looking to get a solid body electric, it is much cheaper to get a bass and restring it rather than get an actual solid body mandocello or something like that.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#11
Quote by theogonia777
It's subjective, but I find 5ths tunings to be better suited for playing more widely spaced chords and sometimes for melodic playing as well. Also it's not really a "try it out thing" really so much as an option for people that are already familiar with 5th tuned instruments like the mandolin and violin families (minus the basses), tenor and cello banjo, etc and have a extra bass just collecting dust.


5ths tuning on guitar is great. it's just a little harder to consolidate the chords without them becoming too muddy on bass without having to jump through hoops. plus i feel like the difference in string gauges from one string to the next feels a lot more noticeable on bass, which translates to potential issues when you're using a much thicker string on the low end and a much thinner string on the high end to get things to resonate. even playing my 7 string i have balance issues (though it'd help if i stopped being cheap and bought a good compression pedal)

plus fifths tuning in my experience you need to do a lot more stretching on each string compared to standard tuning. on guitar, this is pretty easy to consolidate, but on the lower ends of bass, i can see where it would become an issue, especially since most bass players really like to stick to their positions when playing simpler lines to minimize fuckups

it's a novel idea, but even when i get a guitar again and tune it to 5ths, i really don't see myself doing the same to my basses tbh, if for no other reason than that straight barre chords are a pain in the butt. same reason i hate open tunings on bass
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