Why Not Just Bass: Guitarist Replaces 9-String Guitar With a Bass, Here's How It Turned Out

"Well guess what - it doesn't sound the fucking same!"

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Why Not Just Bass: Guitarist Replaces 9-String Guitar With a Bass, Here's How It Turned Out

Guitarist Andrew Baena, known for his work with extended-range guitars, reacted to frequent "Why not just bass" comments he got on his videos by actually replacing his 9-string with a bass.

The musician explained:

"In this little test, we take a listen to a 9 string guitar and a bass guitar in the same octave.

"The first test showcases the bass guitar by itself, then the 9 string by itself, then the two together.

"The second riff showcases the same thing, but this time the 9 string guitar uses the bass tone, and vice versa. Both are tuned to some form of C# tuning."

After the test, Andrew concluded:

"Well guess what - it doesn't sound the fucking same! As you can hear, the guitar sounds terrible as bass and the bass - well, it kinda sounds good but that's not the point. It's not the same, doesn't sound the same, stop fucking saying that."

You can check out the clip in the embedded video player below.

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15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Honestly the 9 string just sounds like a really thin, hollow bass.
    dumbest video ever !!!   Different Notes Different Strings,  Different Pickups,  Different effects,  Different Amps . it is a interesting subject or Test, but to F*$K sake do it right !!
    Pikka Bird
    Yeah, they should totally rebuild the guitar into an actual bass and put bass pickups and bass strings on it and then play it through a bass rig...
    I'll take the real bass by a mile.  The 9 string sounded like running amplified rubber bands through a Rat.
    Shoulda used a Fender VI - Bass = Strangle Off, Guitar = Strangle On.  Did a Metal Cover of Rock Lobster and BOTH the bass and guitar lines were recorded using a Bass VI (the Bass part was in CGDGBE tuning).  
    That has got to be the most generic, forgettable guitar tone I've ever heard. Over-compressed gaah-badge. Scale length without the appropriate string gauge makes it sound like poop.
    Fuck this, we are absolutely replacing the chump bass lines with equivalent guitar and these guys are totally making it sound ass on purpose. Strawman anybody?
    It's almost like they're two different instruments that just happen to have the same notes. I think 9 string guitars are absolutely ridiculous, but assuming that one would sound similar to a bass is a bit like assuming that the lower octaves on a piano will sound like a bass. I can't wrap my head around where that whole "just use a bass" thing comes from. This will probably turn into a 7000 word essay, apologies in advance for that, but the two big factors at play are the scale length and the string gauge, both of which determine the tension of the string. To a lesser extent the pickups are voiced slightly differently, but a guitar pickup in a bass would still sound pretty much like a bass and vice versa, not to mention the differences between guitar and bass amps/cabs. A thicker string also takes more tension to tune up to the same pitch as a thinner string, and a longer scale length requires more string tension to reach a certain pitch, compared to a shorter scale length with the same gauge string. That 9 string has a 28" scale length and I'd imagine something like a .090 on the low C# string, even with the baritone scale length it's gotta be pretty loose. That bass is probably on at least a .110" with an extra 6" of scale length, which is probably getting on for twice the tension on the string. Tuned to the same note, the thick string that's under a lot of tension is going to sound bassier and produce a much stronger fundamental than the thinner string that's under very little tension.
    I actually liked how it sounded when they played together with flipped tones more than their original tones.
    A basic rock riff is going to sound the same. I'm not a fan of 9 string however, play a funky blues riff or something that would set the two apart. Then you'll hear the difference. The bass will shine. 9 string is very overrated.
    To me the 9 string with bass tone just didn't have that low end the bass had, I don't play bass so I can't explain it. I did like the bass with the guitar tone though 🤔