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Acoustic "Classical" style, nylon string BASS guitar?!

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  • Acoustic "Classical" style, nylon string BASS guitar?!

    Hey guys;

    When I was 20 years old, I visited Gambia, (west Africa) with my class, (jazz music school).

    And one of the people in the village we stayed in- borrowed me his acoustic, nylon string bass guitar! :o

    It was just like a nylon-string guitar, but 34" scale length, and had nylon (wound) strings.

    ...

    I have still NEVER seen anything like this, and I've been wanting a similar instrument since "day 1".

    It was/is MUCH louder, and had way more bottom end- than a "steel string" ABG. A wonderful tone, just like a classical guitar, only 1 octave lower.

    One time, I found a custom guitar luthier that could make me one, but that would cost me 4000 dollars.

    I wish instruments like this, was more common. To me, they are far superior to their bronze-stringed brothers.

    Any input? :o

    -Erlend \m/
    If somethings important- send a PM. I might be offline for long periods. Rock on!!!

  • #2
    I can't say I've heard of anything like this, but I am intrigued. Was it tuned like a bass? I didn't know they made nylon strings so big. Maybe some weird ethnic instrument? Was it well made?
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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    • #3
      Sounds pretty cool,I searched West African instruments and can't find anything.

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      • #4
        Nylon-wound strings are available for acoustic bass guitars; you can get tapewound or roundwound.
        The one you played in Gambia might have had an extra-deep body like the Mariachi guitarrón.
        That would likely make it deeper and louder than the typical ABG.

        .
        "My hovercraft is full of eels."

        .

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        • #5
          Hey y'all!

          Mincer: Yes, it was tuned E-A-D-G, bass standard tuning. It had a label inside with the name of the maker, but of course I don't remember it.

          The strings were like "giant" classical bass strings- silver plated bronze on a nylon core. :o Gauges... I guess about the size of a steel/nickel bass set. .

          Solspirit: This was not an "african" instrument- as far as I know. The man who owned it, came from Jamaica. It was just a bass-size, classical guitar.

          ecleticsynergy: Nylon wound, steel core strings, yes. But this instrument had a light top, thin bracing (overall built like a classic guitar)- and nylon core! strings. Like a nylon string acoustic "classic" guitar. It wasn't very deep either. But it had a loud, warm and very balanced tone.

          (Nothing like an upright bass- but I'd say, much louder than a steel string ABG.)



          -Erl
          If somethings important- send a PM. I might be offline for long periods. Rock on!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Erlend_G View Post
            Hey guys;

            When I was 20 years old, I visited Gambia, (west Africa) with my class, (jazz music school).

            And one of the people in the village we stayed in- borrowed me his acoustic, nylon string bass guitar! :o

            It was just like a nylon-string guitar, but 34" scale length, and had nylon (wound) strings.

            ...

            I have still NEVER seen anything like this, and I've been wanting a similar instrument since "day 1".

            It was/is MUCH louder, and had way more bottom end- than a "steel string" ABG. A wonderful tone, just like a classical guitar, only 1 octave lower.

            One time, I found a custom guitar luthier that could make me one, but that would cost me 4000 dollars.

            I wish instruments like this, was more common. To me, they are far superior to their bronze-stringed brothers.

            Any input? :o

            -Erlend \m/

            you dont need the instrument at all

            you just need a steel-string acoustic bass AND NYLON STRINGS in the right gauge and length

            which may or may not be a problem to procure, idfk
            "New stuff always sucks" -Me

            Comment


            • #7
              No. A steel string acoustic, and a classical guitar- is built in two completely diffenret ways. It's two different things.

              Try putting steel strings on a flamenco guitar (or the other way around)... and You will understand what I say! :o
              If somethings important- send a PM. I might be offline for long periods. Rock on!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Erlend_G View Post
                Hey y'all!

                Mincer: Yes, it was tuned E-A-D-G, bass standard tuning. It had a label inside with the name of the maker, but of course I don't remember it.

                The strings were like "giant" classical bass strings- silver plated bronze on a nylon core. :o Gauges... I guess about the size of a steel/nickel bass set. .

                Solspirit: This was not an "african" instrument- as far as I know. The man who owned it, came from Jamaica. It was just a bass-size, classical guitar.

                ecleticsynergy: Nylon wound, steel core strings, yes. But this instrument had a light top, thin bracing (overall built like a classic guitar)- and nylon core! strings. Like a nylon string acoustic "classic" guitar. It wasn't very deep either. But it had a loud, warm and very balanced tone.

                (Nothing like an upright bass- but I'd say, much louder than a steel string ABG.)



                -Erl
                Wow, that does seem pretty strange. I am going to ask my bassist, a really great pro that has traveled all over Europe and Africa, if he has heard of such a thing.
                Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mincer View Post

                  Wow, that does seem pretty strange. I am going to ask my bassist, a really great pro that has traveled all over Europe and Africa, if he has heard of such a thing.
                  Cool .

                  If somethings important- send a PM. I might be offline for long periods. Rock on!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    An acoustic bass guitar right? Those aren't rare. Just stick nylon strings on one.
                    Originally posted by NegativeEase
                    I'd wager that Clint can best GuitarStv at Wat and WAAAT... but not Watts.

                    I think in the International System of Units (SI) a "WAT" is defined as a derived unit of 1 Clint besmirchment per hour

                    and WAAAT is defined as a derived unit of 1 Clint kilojoule of described Nirvana transgression per post.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Clint 55 View Post
                      An acoustic bass guitar right? Those aren't rare. Just stick nylon strings on one.
                      As I wrote earlier in this thread-

                      A classical nylon string, and a western style dreadnaught. Are two completely different instruments. You can't simply "mix and match" strings on them.

                      Also, I haven't even seen any nylon core, bronze/silver wound "classical" bass strings for sale either.

                      -E
                      If somethings important- send a PM. I might be offline for long periods. Rock on!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Erlend_G View Post
                        No. A steel string acoustic, and a classical guitar- is built in two completely diffenret ways. It's two different things.

                        Try putting steel strings on a flamenco guitar (or the other way around)... and You will understand what I say! :o

                        a flamenco might not hold the tension of steel/bronze or hold up to the wear on frets/fretboard

                        BUT.... a steel/bronze string can and will do nylon just fine.
                        "New stuff always sucks" -Me

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                        • #13
                          ^^ a steel/bronze stringed instrument- has a much heavier bracing, and other differences ++-

                          and will not sound good, with classical style strings.

                          EDIT: And also, I cannot find "classical style" bass strings anywhere either.

                          EDIT #2: I understand if you don't read what I've written, I've done that myself. But...

                          A steel core, nylon wrap string, is completely OPPOSITE, of a nylon CORE, bronze wrap! string.

                          I'm completely finished with the "usual", steel/bronze string ABG's- they don't have any low end, and doesn't sound good at all to me.

                          ... But I'd love an instrument, similar to the one I played in Gambia. A classical bass guitar.

                          .

                          Last edited by Erlend_G; 10-18-2020, 02:05 AM.
                          If somethings important- send a PM. I might be offline for long periods. Rock on!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            http://www.atlasofpluckedinstruments.com/africa.htm

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                            • #15
                              Cool!

                              In west africa they played the "Kora"; which was a harp, with dual sets of strings (one for each hand), a pumpkin? body, with goat skin top .
                              And there was a...one stringed fiddle, with no fretboard... the string was stopped at different harmonic intervals.

                              Aswell as alot of drums. .

                              PS: Couldn't find the "classical bass" anywhere on that list. It had nothing particularily "african" about it; it looked like any "spanish" classical guitar. Just bigger.

                              -Erl
                              If somethings important- send a PM. I might be offline for long periods. Rock on!!!

                              Comment

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