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|Classification||String instrument (bowed, fingered, picked, tapped and occasionally strummed)|
|Inventor(s)||Ron Carter, Stanley Clarke|
(a standard tuned four-string piccolo bass guitar)
A piccolo bass is either an electric bass or acoustic double bass which has been tuned to a higher frequency, usually one octave higher than conventional bass tuning. This allows bass players to use higher registers during soloing while retaining a familiar scale length and string spacing.
In the early 1970s, Ron Carter and Stanley Clarke were independently exploring the possibilities of stringing their instruments in a higher, or piccolo, tuning. Clarke’s idea for piccolo bass originally came from luthier Carl Thompson. The earliest recording of Carter playing piccolo bass is on the 1973 album Blues Farm .
The acoustic piccolo bass is constructed in the same way as a double bass, allowing the player to use the same arco and pizzicato techniques. The scale length will usually be similar to that of standard upright bass, with thinner strings to allow a higher-pitched tuning. The acoustic piccolo bass is usually tuned in fourths, E2-A2-D3-G3, although Ron Carter often uses A1-D2-G2-C3. 
The electric piccolo bass is generally constructed in the same way as an electric bass guitar. In many cases, these are conventional bass guitars which have been converted to piccolo tuning. This typically requires a new nut to accept the thinner strings. The tuning is E2-A2-D3-G3, which is the same as the lower four strings on a guitar. Some short-scale piccolo basses may be strung with conventional guitar strings. However, in general a piccolo bass will require special string sets to cater for the longer scale length, and larger ball ends to cope with the larger drilled holes in a bass bridge.
The tuning varies with the personal tastes of the artist, as does the number of strings. Joey DeMaio from the heavy metal band Manowar plays with four strings on his piccolo bass. Jazz bassist John Patitucci used a six-string piccolo bass, unaccompanied, on his song "Sachi's Eyes" on his album One More Angel. Michael Manring uses D'Addario EXL 280 piccolo bass strings, in a variety of tunings, on his four-string hyperbass, made by Zon Guitars.
The bass guitar, electric bass or simply bass, is the lowest-pitched member of the string family. It is a plucked string instrument similar in appearance and construction to an electric or an acoustic guitar, but with a longer neck and scale length, and typically four to six strings or courses. Since the mid-1950s, the bass guitar has largely replaced the double bass in popular music.
The double bass, also known simply as the bass, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra. Similar in structure to the cello, it has four, although occasionally five, strings.
The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that typically has six strings. It is usually held flat against the player's body and played by strumming or plucking the strings with the dominant hand, while simultaneously pressing selected strings against frets with the fingers of the opposite hand. A plectrum or individual finger picks may also be used to strike the strings. The sound of the guitar is projected either acoustically, by means of a resonant chamber on the instrument, or amplified by an electronic pickup and an amplifier.
String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instruments that produce sound from vibrating strings when a performer plays or sounds the strings in some manner.
In music, inharmonicity is the degree to which the frequencies of overtones depart from whole multiples of the fundamental frequency.
A twelve-string guitar is a steel-string guitar with 12 strings in six courses, which produces a thicker, more ringing tone than a standard six-string guitar. Typically, the strings of the lower four courses are tuned in octaves, with those of the upper two courses tuned in unison. The gap between the strings within each dual-string course is narrow, and the strings of each course are fretted and plucked as a single unit. The neck is wider, to accommodate the extra strings, and is similar to the width of a classical guitar neck. The sound, particularly on acoustic instruments, is fuller and more harmonically resonant than six-string instruments. The 12-string guitar can be played like a 6-string guitar as players still use the same notes, chords and guitar techniques like a standard 6-string guitar, but advanced techniques might be tough as players need to play or pluck two strings simultaneously.
The acoustic bass guitar is a bass instrument with a hollow wooden body similar to, though usually larger than a steel-string acoustic guitar. Like the traditional electric bass guitar and the double bass, the acoustic bass guitar commonly has four strings, which are normally tuned E-A-D-G, an octave below the lowest four strings of the 6-string guitar, which is the same tuning pitch as an electric bass guitar.
Piano acoustics is the set of physical properties of the piano that affect its sound. It is an area of study within musical acoustics.
The fingerboard is an important component of most stringed instruments. It is a thin, long strip of material, usually wood, that is laminated to the front of the neck of an instrument. The strings run over the fingerboard, between the nut and bridge. To play the instrument, a musician presses strings down to the fingerboard to change the vibrating length, changing the pitch. This is called stopping the strings. Depending on the instrument and the style of music, the musician may pluck, strum or bow one or more strings with the hand that is not fretting the notes. On some instruments, notes can be sounded by the fretting hand alone, such as with hammer ons, an electric guitar technique.
Michael Manring is an American bass guitarist from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jazz bass is the use of the double bass or electric bass to improvise accompaniment ("comping") basslines and solos in a jazz or jazz fusion style. Players began using the double bass in jazz in the 1890s to supply the low-pitched walking basslines that outlined the chord progressions of the songs. From the 1920s and 1930s Swing and big band era, through 1940s Bebop and 1950s Hard Bop, to the 1960s-era "free jazz" movement, the resonant, woody sound of the double bass anchored everything from small jazz combos to large jazz big bands.
The electric upright bass (EUB) is an instrument that can perform the musical function of a double bass. It requires only a minimal or 'skeleton' body to produce sound because it uses a pickup and electronic amplifier and loudspeaker. Therefore, a large resonating structure is not required to project the sound into the air. This minimal body greatly reduces the bulk and weight of the instrument. EUBs must always be connected to an amplifier and speaker cabinet to produce an adequate audible sound. The EUB retains enough of the features of the double bass so that double bass players are able to perform on it.
A string is the vibrating element that produces sound in string instruments such as the guitar, harp, piano, and members of the violin family. Strings are lengths of a flexible material that a musical instrument holds under tension so that they can vibrate freely, but controllably. Strings may be "plain", consisting only of a single material, like steel, nylon, or gut, or wound, having a "core" of one material and an overwinding of another. This is to make the string vibrate at the desired pitch, while maintaining a low profile and sufficient flexibility for playability.
The tenor guitar or four-string guitar is a slightly smaller, four-string relative of the steel-string acoustic guitar or electric guitar. The instrument was initially developed in its acoustic form by Gibson and C.F. Martin so that players of the four-string tenor banjo could double on guitar.
A contrabass guitar is a low-register bass guitar with four, five or six strings. It is often called, simply, a six string bass guitar. The five string bass guitar is rarely called a contrabass guitar, even though it typically has the same lowest note.
An extended-range bass is an electric bass guitar with a wider frequency range than a standard-tuned four-string bass guitar.
The scale length of a string instrument is the maximum vibrating length of the strings that produce sound, and determines the range of tones that string can produce at a given tension. It is also called string length. On instruments in which strings are not "stopped" or divided in length, it is the actual length of string between the nut and the bridge.
Each bass guitar tuning assigns pitches to the strings of an electric bass. Because pitches are associated with notes, bass-guitar tunings assign open notes to open strings. There are several techniques for accurately tuning the strings of an electric bass. Bass method or lesson books or videos introduce one or more tuning techniques, such as:
An eight-string bass guitar is a type of bass guitar with double course strings normally tuned in octaves, with both strings in a course usually played simultaneously. As on a 12-string guitar, this produces a natural chorus effect due to the subtle differences in string timbre.
A nine-string guitar is a guitar with nine strings instead of the commonly used six strings. Such guitars are not as common as the six-string variety, but are used by guitarists to modify the sound or expand the range of their instrument.