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View Full Version : Soto Piccolo Bass by Twisted Wood Guitars



PhilUSAFRet
04-19-2016, 12:57 AM
Just stumbled on this while searching piccolo ukes on ebay. Can't imagine why I haven't heard of it before.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bass-Ukulele-The-Soto-Piccolo-Bass-by-Twisted-Wood-Guitars-with-M-1-pickup-/331828041984?hash=item4d427e1900:g:y-MAAOSw5VFWJGn2

Jim Hanks
04-19-2016, 01:36 AM
Interesting. Tuned an octave higher than usual bass. So it's like the bottom four strings of an acoustic guitar? Or an octave below that? Can't find any specs on scale length.

Croaky Keith
04-19-2016, 01:52 AM
That sounds similar to these :-

http://www.southernukulelestore.co.uk/Product/926/Kamoa-E3E-Bass-Ukulele-Red-with-Active-EQ-and-pod-case

Jon Moody
04-19-2016, 03:15 AM
Interesting. Tuned an octave higher than usual bass. So it's like the bottom four strings of an acoustic guitar? Or an octave below that? Can't find any specs on scale length.

Basically, yes. A piccolo bass is tuned to the same register as the bottom four of an acoustic guitar. I'm guessing with the scale length of the instrument is 19"-20" to be inline with other bass ukes, but in this case is using flatwound guitar strings (even though it says "bass strings" on it).

Booli
04-19-2016, 06:55 AM
Basically, yes. A piccolo bass is tuned to the same register as the bottom four of an acoustic guitar. I'm guessing with the scale length of the instrument is 19"-20" to be inline with other bass ukes, but in this case is using flatwound guitar strings (even though it says "bass strings" on it).

I agree.

However if that is the scale length, depending upon the string itself (linear density, etc), you are likely going to be looking at your low E string being something like a 0.065", which I've not seen on any standard electric or acoustic guitar string set unless it is for the low B string of a Baritone Guitar or a 7-string guitar, so replacement strings will probably be purchased as singles.

IMHO, Most electric and acoustic 6-string guitars that are 24.75" (for LP) or 25.5" (for Strat, steel string acoustic and classical) are typically not going to have a low E string that is fatter than 0.046", and if using such a string, I suspect that the tension will be too low for this string and others in the set to intonate properly at the shorter 19-20" scale length unless there is some magic of orders of magnitude of linear density increased with some exotic materials for both core and outer winding.

I have a 19" baritone, strung up as a piccolo bass, and it has standard classical strings from D'Addario on it in the following gauges:

4th- E-0.056"
3rd- A-0.042"
2nd- D-0.033"
1st- G-0.022"

It has about 44lbs total tension, which is within the range of a baritone uke, if not actually a bit lower than most baritone ukes.

And with these strings I am able to get a decent intonation that is only 4-5 cents sharp at the 12th fret, which I'd neve play up that far since it would be overlapping the range of a baritone uke or even a linear-tuned tenor. I had to widen/lower the nut slots for the E and the A strings, but left the saddle alone, it's fine this way for now.

With this baritone uke strung as a piccolo bass, when songwriting I can have it act like a 'bass', OR I can take guitar parts, written for a 6-string guitar, and effectively split them and have parts played on the piccolo and other parts played on the baritone uke, and these melody and chordal lines allow for some counterpoint and harmonies that would simply be impossibly to play with only two hands, on only 6 strings.....so I use this altered baritone-as-piccolo-bass, as a songwriting tool, and I like it a lot. :)

Booli
04-19-2016, 07:07 AM
I also wanted to add that this instrument from Twisted Wood, is NOT a new idea, as both Kamoa (as per the link above from uke1950) and Luna have been making piccolo acoustic basses and calling them 'bass ukes' from like 2 yrs ago.

See here:

http://kamoaukulelecompany.com/ukuleles.php?id=341

http://www.lunaguitars.com/acousticproduct/ukebass.php

I'm sure that other makers are in this game as well...