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Thread: Im just a gcea adict

  1. #1
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Im just a gcea adict

    So has any uk/bass player ever tried to tune a bass gcea I just dont want to learn a new fretboard

  2. #2
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    Oct 2010
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    It would probably work, but I'd be scared to try it. I'd guess it would put a lot of strain on the neck. Use light strings and make sure you have a good truss rod or a graphite neck. Or tune it GCEA slack key...

    But really, it isn't that tough to make the transition. I'm going the other way, bass-->uke. The main issue is the different interval between the 2nd and 3rd strings. Have you considered tuning it EAC#F#? That would be a little weird, but would put a lot less strain on the bass. Just a thought.
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  3. #3
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    Hmm I was just thinking about this before, It could be interesting. I would try it out if I had another bass, but I can't be bothered going to all the trouble of adjusting the bridge to change the intonation.

  4. #4
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    How did the GCEA tuning work out? I've been wondering whether ukulele players could easily transition to bass. Thanks for any tips!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by indalopower View Post
    How did the GCEA tuning work out? I've been wondering whether ukulele players could easily transition to bass. Thanks for any tips!
    Since bass lines are not played like lead lines or chords, it strikes me tuning a bass like a uke is unneccessary. It won't make learning any easier and it will make any video or printed bass lessons useless.

    It's not a difficult transition to go from uke to bass and back. The bass keyboard is the same, just pitched lower. You just need a diagram to show you where GCEA are on the bass fretboard if that's your worry.

    You could instead get a set of EADGBE six-string bass strings, use only the first four, and tune it DGBE, which is the same relationship in tuning instances. The GCEA notes will all be found at the fifth fret, respectively. However, it's probably better to learn the standard layout so you have more flexibility when playing bass.
    Ian
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    Utque sacerdotis fugitivus liba recuso
    pane egeo mellitis potiore placentis.

    I'm like that priest's slave who ran away because
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    Horace: Epistle X
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  6. #6
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    Have been researching the 1/2 size children's basses ranging from 32" to 36" and people using them as Baritone Uke Basses using baritone or reentrant (gCea) tuning.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilUSAFRet View Post
    Have been researching the 1/2 size children's basses ranging from 32" to 36" and people using them as Baritone Uke Basses using baritone or reentrant (gCea) tuning.
    That's not a child's bass scale. Standard short scale is 30", regular is 34-35". Children's bass guitars are sometimes 25-26" scale. There are travel basses at that scale, too, (Beaver Creek has one) and a few people on eBay sell custom 25" scale basses built from electric guitars. My old Supra was 25" and I loved it. You can still find a few vintage basses like Kent and Kay at that scale.

    Chording on a bass is much harder than on a uke. The strings are large, widely spaced, and the frets are farther apart, requiring a lot more effort and strength to press and hold for a chord. Bass strings buzz annoyingly if not properly pressed, especially the low-register strings. And bass chords are often murky sounding (as are many really low chords on any instrument).

    I do some chording on a 6-string bass, but it's not as easy or fast as on a guitar or uke. If you want low register sounds, it's easier to put the uke output through a pedal that has an octave-lowering effect. Some pedals actually will give you octave down/octave up choices and even add the regular output as a twin sound.

    What's the advantage of re-entrant on a bass? I can't imagine any. You'd lose the lowest string. Is it to play chords along with a tenor or other uke but one octave lower? In that case you don't want bass strings on it.

    You can also simply replace the baritone uke's strings with the last four strings of a guitar set and get a piccolo bass that is strung like a regular bass (EADG) but one octave higher. Run it through an octaver pedal to drop the pitch and you get a funky acoustic-bass sound.
    Ian
    -------------------------------------------
    Utque sacerdotis fugitivus liba recuso
    pane egeo mellitis potiore placentis.

    I'm like that priest's slave who ran away because
    They fed him honey cakes and he longed for bread.

    Horace: Epistle X
    Ukulele reviews * Vintage Uke Music * Tequila * Henry Hudson * Harmonica reviews * Blog

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