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Extended Range Guitars Welcome to everyone from ERG.com. Eight, Nine, Baritone and beyond discussion here.

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  • 1 Post By Waelstrum
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Unread 04-20-2012, 12:20 AM   #1
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What to do with an 8 string and a 4 string bass?

Hi all, first post here. I'm curious as to what you guys think I can do in terms of recording if I have an 8 string and a 4 string guitar. I cannot finance the purchase of a 5 string bass at this time, so it seems to me I have two options:

1. Use pitch shifting to shift the 8 string down to bass range

2. Or put the heaviest gauge strings I can find on the 4 string bass and tune down as low as humanly or physically possible.

Which one is more viable? or can anyone else think of an alternative?

Thanks!
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Unread 04-20-2012, 12:31 AM   #2
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Tune both the bass & guitar to B standard?
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Unread 04-20-2012, 12:40 AM   #3
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You could tune the four string bass Meshuggah style so that it is in unison with the lowest four strings of your eight string guitar. When a guitar is tuned as low as eight string standard, pretty much all you hear is the overtones, so even though the bass will have the same notes, they're timbrally different enough that having them together really fills out the sound.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 01:42 AM   #4
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I'm gonna say that you've been handed the tools to experiment and think outside the box. I say come up with a non traditional way to use the two together.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 01:52 AM   #5
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Yeah, Waelstrum has a point, the bass will still flesh out your guitar really well.
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Unread 04-20-2012, 02:15 AM   #6
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EADGCFAD on the 8 string and EADG standard on the bass.

Pretty much exactly what Waelstrum said, just down tuned a bit
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Unread 04-20-2012, 03:21 AM   #7
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Another agreeing with something like that^

IMO basses start losing definition below about D or Db anyway unless you have a particularly good 5 (most cheap 5's just can't pull off that 5th string). There's also more difference between a bass and a guitar than the size and the number of strings. The strings are much stiffer meaning less overtones and more of the energy focused around a smaller bandwidth about the fundamental. I wouldnt say all you hear is overtakes with an 8, but owing to the nature of the strings (less stiff so more overtones - overtones are basically 5th and octave harmonics (mostly) that sound as a result of smaller standing waves occurring on the string) and the effect distorted amps have, the signal power is spread over a broad range of harmonics and less undertone.

Tldr basses are bassier, so even tuned to the same notes a bass still serves its purpose.

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Unread 04-21-2012, 06:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explosivo View Post
EADGCFAD on the 8 string and EADG standard on the bass.

Pretty much exactly what Waelstrum said, just down tuned a bit
This, or EAEADGBE + EADG.

Then again I think Hollowway has a very very good point.
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Unread 04-21-2012, 10:34 AM   #9
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If you're tuning in standard on both instruments, then you're probably tending to write in F# so that you can chug on the lowest guitar string. (I'm assuming that you play metal, as that's generally a safe assumption around here.) A standard-tuned four-string bass then gives you the option to drop down to E as a leading tone into that F# root. No problem.

Honestly, I find threads like this somewhat weird. Do what works best for the music that you're playing. You're in a better position to judge what that might be than any of us.

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Unread 04-21-2012, 05:19 PM   #10
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Unread 04-21-2012, 05:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celticelk View Post
If you're tuning in standard on both instruments, then you're probably tending to write in F# so that you can chug on the lowest guitar string. (I'm assuming that you play metal, as that's generally a safe assumption around here.) A standard-tuned four-string bass then gives you the option to drop down to E as a leading tone into that F# root. No problem.

Honestly, I find threads like this somewhat weird. Do what works best for the music that you're playing. You're in a better position to judge what that might be than any of us.
E# is the leading tone to F#. E is the subtonic.
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Unread 04-22-2012, 01:48 AM   #12
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^ Yeah, not a leading tone but I know what he meant. It is very useful to be able to get a whole tone beneath the root.
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