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noordzo

Fender bass VI - guitar hybrid project question

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Hello friends,

looking for some advice about a guitar project idea i have. I want a hybrid bass/guitar, essentially a six stringed instrument where the low E and A stings are an octave down (like the E and A string from a bass) and the remaining 4 strings are like a standard guitar (D, G, B, E.) I was thinking a fender bass VI might do the trick. Using bass stings for the low E and A and regular guitar stings for the remaining 4.  Does anyone know if regular guitar strings will work on the Fender VI? and if so, would i need to use a lighter sting gauge to accommodate the longer scale length? I'm also completely open to any other ideas on how to achieve the goal. thanks!!

 

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Hmmm.... that's an tough one. That's a fairly large leap between the string sets, which is what's going to make it difficult. I do not think simply having a slightly modified gauge would help you here. I think you'd end up having to really fine tune the gauge of each string to match your desired pitch and tension. This might be a good starting read: http://www.hago.org.uk/faqs/formulae/ Some quick math, and knowing the scale and tension you like for your top 4 strings, would allow you to re-calculate the gauge needed to replicate that feel (tension) on the longer scale.

I think a better question though is, "Why do you want this setup? What is the goal?"

With an answer to that you may find that what you're looking to do is better handled by, say, a multi-scale instrument, or that long scale isn't what you're really looking for, or any number of other answer. I think you'll get better advice asking that question first.

Chris

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thanks for the response!

"Why do you want this setup? What is the goal?"

I'm working on a one-man band project where i play bass and guitar simultaneously using hybrid picking (pick on the low strings and fingers on the high strings). I also thought of putting bass strings on the E and A of a telecaster but they won't fit in the tailpiece/nut and i'm afraid the tension would pull on the neck too hard. 

thanks!

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Sounds a lot like what Charlie Hunter does, although his instruments are 7 and 8 string multiscale, where there's more 'real estate' to fit the big jumps in string pitches/tension between the bass and treble.

Tension of the bass strings on a Telecaster will be the least of your worries. Assuming a 0.095" bass E, tension over the shorther scale length an octave down is about the same as a 0.046" tuned to normal pitch. Ignoring the practicalities of fitting a bass E and A on a Telecaster, the real problem is going to be the strings tone and intonation accuracy over the shorter scale length due to the reduced tension.

What about employing a hybrid tuning system to make the leap between treble and bass a little less severe? As an idea take your Fender Bass IV and tune the low E and A as per normal (octave down), and instead of stringing D/G/B/E for the upper four, shift it down to A/D/G/B or A/D/F#/B.

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Ah! A friend of mine actually does exactly this; in terms of what you're looking for. He has guitars set up with pickups that were made for the low strings and have a separate output. He processes those totally differently. His goal, also, was to do both bass and guitar as one man. Here's are pictures of his incarnations:

Chris

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Wow! those look cool! hard to tell by the photos but it looks like both instruments have regular guitar strings, does the low string pickup go into an octave pedal or something like that?

thanks for the reply

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I believe that was the plan. But the pics have his Instagram handle. Drop him a message and ask.

Chris

PS: The band he uses this in has a sparsely-used Instagram account too: deathbyotter The first post is a video that you can hear this thing on. Doesn't provide info on how he's getting that sound... but hearing it may clue you in. Comments say the mini-coil was made by Jason Lollar to replicate one used by Charlie Hunter's on his Traugott guitars.

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Here's Charlie talking about his tunings and how it works in an article. He is indeed using both bass and guitar strings. However, as was hypothesized above, in order to do this effectively you'd need a pretty wide multi-scale spread... just look at his lol

http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/24673-charlie-hunters-impossible-mission

Chris

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8 hours ago, verhoevenc said:

Here's Charlie talking about his tunings and how it works in an article. He is indeed using both bass and guitar strings. However, as was hypothesized above, in order to do this effectively you'd need a pretty wide multi-scale spread... just look at his lol

http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/24673-charlie-hunters-impossible-mission

Chris

Nice article

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