I made my first 2 string out of a giant box  that was given to me. I don't know how to play a bass and was wondering what tuning to use. I tried the weed eater strings just to see if it would work and to my surprise, it did . Using the rule that there are no rules, the scale is 36". I am guessing I can figure out the fret markers the same way I figured the CBG's I have built. Being that so many songs have been written in "G", do I tune to "G" an octave apart or do I need 2 separate turnings.

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I should have added this.

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 haha, nice. I saw that yardstick at home depot too and thought about it for a fretboard.

Hi. New to this group--had to join to add a  comment.

Pretty instrument! I'm jealous...

Thanks for suggesting WE string. I've got a washtub bass that isn't working because the string is too slack. Gotta' go try WE  twine. (Any suggestions about what thickness works best??)

"Normal" scale for a bass guitar is 34". Some are made smaller because a 34" scale really stretches your fretting hand. When playing a fretless instrument, longer scale is better because small fingering inaccuracies are a smaller percentage of the total string length and therefore not as far out of tune.

Bass guitar is tuned (low pitch to high) E-A-D-G. Players usually make a "box" playing some notes on one string and then moving to the next higher or lower string. This way they don't have to jump up and down the neck so much.

As a (part-time) bass player, I'd expect a 2-string to have two adjacent strings out of the standard 4. E-A is probably the pair that's used most, but any bass player could quickly figure out how to play A-D or D-G. It sorta' depends on how tight you can stretch your WE twine and what pitch level gets the best sound out of the box.

Many (most?) bass players avoid open strings, so tuning to G to play in G probably won't help. (You need to have your finger on the string so you can damp it when you release the note.)

That said, I should mention that there are some fine bass players who LIKE to jump up and down the neck and play everything on one string and might want to tune very differently.

Looks like part of your comment slipped through the cracks.  You were asking about thickness of Weed Eater line.  I am not sure for a wash tub, but I did a 3-stringer for a guy over the summer.  The low-E was a thick .155.  The A was a .90 or .95, and the D was a .80.  If I had had room for a fourth string (and wasn't using a cigar box) I probably would have done .65 for the high-G.  

Those are fairly standard for sizes (although I thought the .90 sounded fine for a low-E).  Then again, I am not much of a Bass player.  I just play one on TV. :-)


I hope this helps.

There's a bass-player joke that may clarify this:

Kid gets a bass guitar that comes with 6 free lessons. First lesson he learns 4 notes on the E string. Second lesson, he learns 4 notes on the A string. Then he misses the 3rd lesson because he has a gig.

Awesome............

If you are playing accompaniment, ie. along with someone, the standard bass interval of fourths probably works best for single notes, so if your root is G, I'd tune G & C.

If you are playing solo, ie. you are the only instrument, and you plan to play more than one note at a time (chords) then tuning a fifth or an octave apart would probably be better, so G & D or G & G' (G octave)

Another advantage of solo playing, I just tune my bottom string to whatever sounds comfortable, ie. good tension, sounds nice,and tune the other strings relative to it. Call the root note G and just play ;)

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