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30 fret guitar

for those who want deep tones but can't play the bass
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(+4, -2)
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I want 2 learn bass but my fingers won't streach more than 3 frets on a bass so I thought how bout extend guitar usually guitars have a max of 24 frets so I this would be very helpful to people like me whos fingers just won't streach to bass frets!

ok it seems that is completely wrong it will only give you even higher notes!!!

GreeboMaster, Sep 30 2001

(?) Yahoo search results. http://uk.google.ya...bbass&y=y&hc=0&hs=0

Danelectro baritone guitar http://www.danelectro.com/Baritone.htm
see what a baritone looks like, and hear it played. [angel, Sep 30 2001, last modified Oct 06 2004]

(?) Danelectro baritone guitar http://www.danelectro.com/Baritone.htm
see what a baritone looks like, and hear it played. [mighty_cheese, Sep 30 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) The Guild Ashbory bass. http://www.bassplay.../0002/ashbory.shtml
A guitar is not a bass. A guitar synthesizer is not a bass. This is. [rmutt, Sep 30 2001, last modified Oct 06 2004]

(?) Chapman Stick http://www.stick.com/
Yes Rods, that's the fella! [stupop, Sep 30 2001, last modified Oct 06 2004]

(?) Seven String (Electric) Violin http://www.jordanmusic.com/V7harcom.htm
That's a lotta strings. [magnificat, Apr 27 2002, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       How 'bout a fretless bass?
bristolz, Oct 01 2001

       Hey GreeboMaster, you might check out a guitarron. (sp?) As I understand it, never having fingered one, it's a big fat guitar with thick strings tuned below a standard guitar, and it's used in mariachi bands. I think they're not electric, though. I'm also reminded of Pete Seeger's custom longnecked banjo--same idea basically, get more range from the instrument.
Dog Ed, Oct 01 2001

       More frets wouldn't really help; the low frets would still be the same distance apart, you'd just have a few more closely-spaced ones up toward the dusty end. (a fretless wuldn't help for the same reason; the semi-tone positions are the same as on a fretted bass, only the frets are notional.) The standard scale length for a bass is 32 - 34". The twelfth fret will therefore be at 16 - 17", and the postions of the remaining frets can be calculated using the 12th root of 2. All you need is a short-scale bass, many of which are available. (link)
<aside> My brother tunes his bass DAEB, which totally confuses any guitarist trying to follow him.</aside>
angel, Oct 01 2001

       If your only difficulty is with short fingers, Angel's suggestion of a short scale bass is sensible. Or perhaps you could get yourself a baritone guitar? Danelectro makes a decent baritone, they're usually tuned a fifth lower than a guitar. While not a bass, it does fill in nicely. The scale is, however, a little bit longer than that of a guitar.
mighty_cheese, Oct 01 2001

       Limber those fingers daily & While you're picking up some roundwound or flatwound strings (further easing your fingers labors), see if they have spelling for guitarists.
thumbwax, Oct 01 2001

       Gagsqueke is right; it'd be workable, but you'd lose resonance. I don't think that would matter that much on an electric bass, but then I don't play bass.   

       Angel, is that tuning from the bottom up? Either way, that's a trippy tuning... did he learn violin first?   

       PeterSealy, I am apalled. I just hope that that was just a very bad joke, and not a display of overconfident instrument-ignorance.
Deity, Oct 02 2001

       [Deity]; Yes, that's instead of EADG; the A-string is the same. The intervals are fifths, like a violin (it's actually a cello tuning, down one octave), but no, he's not a violinist, he just capitalizes on his large hands to get a greater range and unusual phrasing.
As far as resonance goes, although a large part of the resonance of a bass comes from the neck (unlike a guitar where most is in the body), heavy-ish strings and well-designed electronics can recover a lot of the lower frequencies. Also, a through-neck design prevents a lot of low-end loss. My Hohner B2 delivers a surprising amount of bottom (so to speak).
angel, Oct 02 2001

       I don't know about the rest of the world, but I use (what I thought was) standard tuning on my double bass (BEADG). Do others tune differently? How would an alternate tuning assist in making the transition from electric to double bass, or learning double bass at all?
mighty_cheese, Oct 02 2001

       [mighty_cheese]: BEADG is one of the standard tunings for a five-string bass guitar. (Some players prefer the extra string to be a high C.)
[Rods]:Yes, along with thirteen other guitars/basses, several keyboards/synths (including the first Roland), dulcimer, mandolin, harp, bombard....
[waugs]: Or vice versa.
angel, Oct 03 2001

       Where I'm confused is how playing an electric bass tuned DAEB would make it any easier to play a double bass tuned EADG. I don't see it. I found the transition from double bass to electric bass to be made easier by the fact that they are tuned the same.
mighty_cheese, Oct 04 2001

       Standard bass guitar tuning is EADG, standard double-bass tuning is EADG. Easy transition from one to t'other. My brother's bass guitar tuning is DAEB, standard cello tuning is DAEB. Ditto.
angel, Oct 04 2001

       I am a cellist. Standard cello tuning in the entire Western world is not and has never been DAEB. It is CGDA, C being the lowest, at about the bottom of a bass singer's range (two below middle). A viola has the same tuning but up an octave, and it uses the alto clef, sometimes moving into the treble clef if required. Cellists read music (orchestrally) in the bass clef with occasional tenor and treble sections, and solo pieces have a greater reliance on the tenor clef. Violins, tuned (lowest upwards) GDAE, use the treble clef exclusively.

Incidentally, I brought in a packet from one of my spare C-strings <aside>don't know why I have spare C-strings, they don't break anywhere near as often as A-strings</aside> made by Dogal, an Italian company. I was going to put it on an 'unfortunate translations' page, but this seems like as good a time as any;
"Thanks to this type of metal strings, it has been possible to achieve both the switness of sound and the softness, to feel that, one can recall the bowel strings of the past, but this type far better than the latter owing to the promptness in emission and the ready and stable tuning."
lewisgirl, Oct 04 2001

       Thanks for the correction, [lg], I bow (ho-ho) to your thingy. My brother's tuning is two semitones up from a cello, and down one octave (ie, down a major seventh). The intervals, of course, remain the same (fifths, instead of the fourths usually employed on the bass guitar), so the transition issue stands.
Those 'bowel strings' might explain the 'surprising amount of bottom' on my Hohner bass.
angel, Oct 04 2001

       [angel] bass guitar tuning sounds closer to the Double Bass, which is tuned in fourths, starting from C (I think, but it might be D. You can get an extension metal thing for the lowest string which lets you play one note below). In that case, tuning a Double Bass in fifths is by no means unheard of, as with the other stringed instruments too. Modern composers use wacky tuning instructions (which in my opinion are entirely stupid, unnecessarily confusing, pointless, and in physics terms, just plain wrong) to add 'something different' to their work, when it otherwise would have been just another sheaf of pages to add to the ever-growing opus of cack.
lewisgirl, Oct 04 2001

       <cowers from music-geek speek, finally understanding how people feel when he and other hardware geeks talk about computers...>
StarChaser, Oct 06 2001

       I thought standard basses had 4 strings??? and you could get an extra 5th string and (very very rarely) 6th string could be used also. and I've already taken up guitar and I wanted to do somthing strange to it to make it deeper, I might just add some extra strings.   

       hmm how 'bout 8 string guitar??? do you think I should start it up as another idea???
GreeboMaster, Oct 09 2001, last modified Oct 15 2001

       <punk>Whaddaya need all those frets for, if ye're only gonna play three chords?</punk>
Guy Fox, Oct 13 2001

       hmm how 'bout 8 string guitar??? do you think I should start it up as another idea???
GreeboMaster, Oct 16 2001

       If you do, where would you stop?
To summarize, most bass guitars have four strings, generally tuned EADG, low to high. Five-string basses are widely available and usually have either an additional high B or an additional low C. Six-string basses are by no means uncommon, and are often, but not universally, tuned EADGBE, like a guitar but one octave lower. Pat Benatar's bassist (I forget his name) played an eight-string bass which was like a standard four-string but double strung, similar to a 12-string guitar. The seven-string guitar was introduced by Ibanez and was not particularly successful (Steve Vai has a few). Many tuning variations exist for guitar, some useful examples being DADGAD (modal-D, my favourite), DADGBD (drop-D), and DGDGBD (open-G). Martin Carthy uses DGDGGD.
angel, Oct 17 2001

       not 8 string bass 8 string guitar errr ok?!? would it work or is it just wrong...   

       ...and what would the string be (like the bottom six stings tuned as a normal six sting EADGBE and then I dunno wot the extra stings are) and what gauge would the 7 and 8 string be???   

       should I bring this 8 string guitar up as a second idea???
GreeboMaster, Oct 20 2001

       ok I'm gonna put the 8 string guitar up as another idea
GreeboMaster, Oct 20 2001

       [waugsqueke] errm no coz I errm felt like it but it does appear to have not gone too well, jutta [mfe] it I think I'm pissing jutta off I don't like to piss off people in control but I've had 1 idea (now deleted) that was a [wibni] 1 [mfe] out of 4 ideas thats bad it seems this 1 and fake car ware only alive coz she hasn't read them (well she hasn't annoted them but I dunno wether she's read them or not)
GreeboMaster, Oct 24 2001

       What *was* quite revolutionary I thought, was the guitar I saw a busker playing in Covent Garden a couple of months ago. It had ten strings (treble guitar + bass guitar) about 30 frets and a large number of highly sensitive pick-ups. The advantage of all this was that he only had to hammer-on on the fret board to get a sufficient note thus freeing up his right hand to play notes rather than just strumming with it. He played an excellent rendition of "Castles made of sand" among other things. I asked him what it was called and where he got it, I can't remember the name, but some guy in California makes them.
stupop, Oct 24 2001

       If you insist on playing a Fender ( long neck ) bass rather than a Gibson ( short neck ) bass, you can use an old twelve string guitar trick and put a capo on about your fifth fret and then tune your bass as if the capo weren't there (EADG). Presto! a short scale bass. The strings are easier to push around too.
KindlyRat, May 21 2002

       Hi, a few weeks ago I was searching german bass player forums for this topic.   

       I'm a bass player too, but I also play guitar. I do not have a 5-string bass, but wanting more deeps /depth I tuned down one note, getting DGCF. the guitarplayers in my group stay tuned normal, unlike in several metal groups. My second bass will be tuned like a 5-string without a high G, getting even more lows, WITH BEAD. I tried the 'Cello' -tuning some time ago, nice variations of standard riffs came out, but that was difficult for me.   

       30-fret guitar: Uli Roth of Electric Sun, a Hendrix-style player, uses a modified stratocaster with 36 frets UP.   

       there are quite e few baritone guitars, but i never have seen anyone playing it live. Michael Anthony of Van Halen plays one occasionally, which is pictured on Dweezil Zappas first CD.   

       thats all folks
DeJaVu, Jun 19 2002

       Uli Roth's guitar is pretty much a waste of time. Not only are the high frets so close together that it's impossible to finger them, they also occupy the place where the front pickup ought to be.
angel, Jun 20 2002

       fully ack, angel
DeJaVu, Jun 24 2002

       Hail the almighty Malkor. I will now clear up this entire matter. but first -   

       Fredrik Thordendal and Marten Hagstrom of MESHUGGAH (Sweden) use eight-stringed guitars for the material from their newest album, "Nothing". They tune as a standard guitar, with two extra LOW strings, THEN down a semitone. so low to high F, D#, G#, C#, F#, A#, D#. this means that their lowest note is just one semitone away from the lowest note of a standard bass guitar (this makes me very afraid as a bass guitarist, I know feel like getting a six string and tuning to LOW LOW F)   

       But back to the bass/guitar/30 fret guitar issue.   

       It must be thought of not in terms of fret number, but in terms of pitch. Greebo if you want to play lower notes but with the same fret width (read: scale length), tune your six string guitar lower. This can be done by drop-tuning the standard strings (get heavy gauge), or by re-stringing your guitar, with the lowest six strings of a seven-string set. If you want lower notes AND the high notes of a standard six-string, you will need a seven string (or eight string if you can find a good electric one).   

       thats all I can say: down tune your guitar. It seems that this will achieve what you originally wanted.
Malkor, Nov 25 2002

       Gallagher makes a Steve Kaufman model 7 string, I've seen videos of Kaufman playing it in standard tuning (EBGDAE) with the 7th string tuned to a low B.
hard-scrabble, Nov 25 2002

       30 frets does not seem too ambitious. Why not go for 60 or 80? You could lengthen the entire neck of the guitar, doubling it in length by attaching a second neck at the top of the first one. It might be necessary to string this guitar with string bass or harp strings to attain the necessary length. It may also be necessary to use a pick stick to reach down far enogh for the strumming. But - consider the phallic majesty of this basso profundo beast up on stage in front of the screaming fans.
bungston, Nov 25 2002

       charlie hunter (www.charliehunter.com) plays an 8 string guitar, with three bass strings EAD and five guitar strings ADGBE. totally impressive. legitamately sounds like two people playing, only they're always in perfect synch.   

       on a side note, it seems that we're not all talking guitar tunings the same way. i list them from low pitched to high pitched, so the first E in my EADGBE is the lowest string in terms of pitch, or highest in terms of altitude when playing the instrument. this is, i belive, the standard non-standard way to talk guitar tunings.
urbanmatador, Mar 22 2003

       what everyone here has failed to mention, or at least i havent noticed it, is that as the frets get higher the space in between those frets grows smaller. eventually the frets would get so small that you wouldnt be able to place your fingers between them. soon the frets would be even smaller and they would combine into a large metal bar the rest of the way up the board. use logic and creativity when thinking. never use just one.
boardginu, May 02 2003

       find an effect allowing you to lower the pitch by an octave. instant "sounding" bass.   

       tablature is bad. it creates laziness and loss of imagination. if all you know is this "TAB", then you will never know the music behind the music.   

       go to http://www.musictheory.net/
boardginu, May 02 2003

       //tablature is bad. it creates laziness and loss of imagination//   

       I wholeheartedly disagree. It does not capture the entire song, thus leaving it open to interpretation.   

       I'll purposely write my music loosely (tablature), fully acknowledging the possibility that it will never be played the same again. Nothing wrong with that.
yabba do yabba dabba, May 24 2004

       Tablature was used for guitar music long before "standard" stave was invented. Each has its place, depending on why you want it, but stave particularly is ill-suited to the intricacies of (particularly electric) guitar.
angel, May 24 2004

       //as the frets get higher the space in between those frets grows smaller// - [board], you seem a glass half empty type. You could also state that as the frets get lower, they get bigger, necessitating extra fingers, entire hands and finally gymnastically placed thighs to properly occlude the string. One could grasp this guitar between the legs, using knees and thighs for low frets, and both hands for high frets. You would need a trusted companion to strum from behind.
bungston, May 24 2004

       [angel] are you sure that TAB predates the stave ? I thought the stave pre-dated the guitar?
neilp, May 25 2004

       [neilp]: The current stave (or staff) system was not standardized until the 17th century (although precursors of it had been in use since the 8th, without bar lines, or definite indicators of pitch or note length). Guitar music, derived as it often was from lute music, tended to use tab, which is far better suited to it (as it is arguably to most instrumental music, particularly for stringed instruments). The first instance of printed lute tab was in 1500, although it must have been hand copied long before then.
Incidentally, plainchant is, even today, often scored on a four-line stave, and tab is being continually developed (in a somewhat ad hoc way) to address the multitude of expressions possible with the electric guitar which cannot realistically be portrayed using a stave.
angel, May 25 2004


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