Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Even In His Youth.... He Wanted To Plug In

Back when I was twelve I started playing cello.  It kind of surprised me how I really got into it, and started being really good at playing.  Anyway, here's a picture of my cello.  Yes, I still have it after all these years.

Anyway, there was one thing a bunch of twelve year olds with instruments liked to do, and that was rock out with their instruments.  I mean, I dreamed of playing, George Throughgood's "Bad to the Bone" on my cello.  (Sidenote: In all fairness, I was twelve.)

It got me to thinking, couldn't I have an electric cello?  Well part of me answered that question later when I actually built an electric cello.  True story.  Here's the pics.

As awesome as that electric cello is, (and it is by the way,) it's not the kind you rock out with.  When I was thinking about it in high school, I noticed the bass guitar had four strings, and played the lower notes like a cello did.  However, the strings are actually backwards on a bass from a cello.  Or, that's what I thought.  I didn't realize that a bass is in 5ths, and a cello is in 7ths.  It's just a matter of changing the size of the strings, and tuning to a cello's tuning A-D-G-C.

When I was researching this I was originally going to use a baritone guitar, so I would have a few extra strings.  However, there are very few on the market that I like.  It was then that I searched Musician's Friend for a "Short Scale" Bass.

I'm not very high on the cheaper basses, but I have to say one thing about the Fender Squier Short Scale Jaguar Bass.  It has everything I want.  It's short scale, it's in my price range, and it's also in a PJ configuration. 

It seems the fates intervened and I found one locally on Craigslist from a guy not far from me.  I think he had only played it twice or something.  Here's a picture of it.

So here's what I have to do to make it perfect.

1.  Fret dress.  I gave it a rough set-up, but I can't get the action perfect until I put on the correct strings.  I have found a few spots that need touched up on the high G string.

2.  I already have a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder bridge J-bass pickup.  So that baby is going in it.

3.  I found a deal on a matching S.D.Q.P. P-Bass pickup.  It's on it's way to the house, and should be here in a few days.

4.  To make it all happen I really need the strings.  Since the cello tuning is in 7ths, the string sizes are really far apart.  They are .035, .055, .080, .125.  So I am going to go to the music shop, and buy the individual strings since I can't buy them as a set.

5.  I was given a strap with this bass, but I think I am going to grab another some time down the road.

But after that I think I will be set, and it will be time to practice.  Of course I will want a bass amp, but that's down the road.  I have my Sunn Alpha 2-12R for the time being. 

So after all this time, I will finally have a cello that I will be able to rock out with.  My inner twelve year old would be so proud. 

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