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An upright fingerboard extension?


Jason Hoyt

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This is probably Bob Gollihurs Dept. :D But,I was reading the interview w/Edgar Meyer in the latest BP, and first off, let me say he is one cool dude... :thu: I was reading about his gear, and they said that his main bass was modified with an extension that lets him play four notes below E on his bottom string. It also went on to say he tuned his bass EBEA . How does this extension work? Is he actually tuned CBEA? (I also thought it interesting to note that such a virtuoso has boxwood position markers on his fingerboard as well :D ...)

"Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of Congress

... But I repeat myself."

-Mark Twain

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/63/condition_1.html (my old band)

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There are several types of fingerboard extensions that have been around for many years.

 

The basic design is to remove the "e string" portion of the nut, and run an ebony board from the nut area up to the scroll, wrapping it around the scroll. Then you drill a hole in the scroll and thread the string through it, attaching it to the former A string tuning machine.

 

The original design had mechanical fingers that remained engaged until you pressed buttons with your fingering thumb, opening the keys. The string was tuned to a c or sometimes b, but the various keys held down that c string to whatever you set it chromatically up to e.

 

A more recent design does away with the machine component. The board remains in place and has gates which hold the extended string down when engaged. The player simply opens the gates he needs to extend chromatically down. An advantage is that extended notes can be played with vibrato (if you can get your hand around the scroll area. Here's a link to a typical design:

http://www.merchantbass.com/acoustic/cextension.htm

 

I don't know the price of this extension, but installed they normally run about $1500-$2000 including installation and shipping. I would normally recommend paying the labor to have this installed...carving ebony is pretty tough...and it's brittle...break it and you're out $750-1000.

 

There is a new design I played at the last music convention I went to TBA/TODA in August. This was really promising to me...it is self installed.

 

It is made of brass, with a pulley at the top so you don't have to drill the scroll. Since it's brass, you don't carve it...just use 2 pretty small, wood screws. The brass is topped with ebony...and dig this...there is a unique sliding mechanism that you adjust from e down to b...set the lower limit and just play. This thing, as I recall, was about $800...I have the information somewhere I just can't lay my eyes on in right now.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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I wonder why nothing similiar is used or the electric bass... The design would have to be different, but in theory it would work I guess... Probably because it is easier to add a B string, because of the thin radius of the neck... Thanx DBB... :D

"Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of Congress

... But I repeat myself."

-Mark Twain

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/63/condition_1.html (my old band)

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There are a couple of similar things for electric bass:

 

1) Hipshots

 

2) Look at waht 4-string Wally plays. Kubiki X-Factor

 

3) Having at least one string tuned lower than E. That isn't as practical for such a large instument as the big standup (but it has been done, and goes way back historically).

.
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