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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

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            • #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.
                    The things that you wanted
                    I bought them for you

                    Comment


                    • #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, 03:05 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!!!

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