How high can i tune the bass string?

Robin Clark
Robin Clark
@robin-clark
7 years ago
239 posts

I need to re-learn the tunes from the CD over the next week as Nick and I are going to Gainsborough Old Time Festival next weekend. So its a good excuse to sit down with my dulcimers and get some serious playing time in Smile.gif

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
7 years ago
1,195 posts
Wow, I'm sure glad Robin C jumped in here-- I neglected to mention how the false nut is for noter/drone play!Robin, I just had The Cadair Idris Sessions playing on my car stereo the other day. :)
Robin Clark
Robin Clark
@robin-clark
7 years ago
239 posts

I go up to E with a 0.022w on my McSpadden. And like Robin T I've used a false nut for some applications. In fact all the tunes in the key of G on The Cadair Idris Sessions were played in Ddd with a false nut under the bass string at fret 3 to give Gdd (a nice bright tuning). Note though that a false nut only works for noter drone playing as it raises and throws out the intonation of the string for fretting - this is why 95% of players have not heard about a false nut as they would be unable to use one for chord melody playing styles.

Helen Seiler
Helen Seiler
@helen-seiler
7 years ago
119 posts
Thanks heaps Robin.
Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
7 years ago
1,195 posts
Helen, if you wish to go higher than E with your bass string, you may wish to try using a "false nut" (also known as a reverse capo). A false nut is nothing more than a small piece of wood or hard plastic that can be slipped under a string/strings against a fret to create a temporary nut at that fret.
My false nut is nothing more than a piece of a bamboo chopstick cut then whittled so it can be slid under one (or two) strings.
Like Rob, I can go to E on most of mine with no trouble. I have also just used a false nut to make a change from D to E when the mood struck. :)
Hope this helps!PS-Quite some time ago I made a video about using a false nut. The video quality is poor-- we had bad, slow internet at the time -- and it's not, by any means, exhaustive on the topic. It can be found in my videos.
Rob N Lackey
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
7 years ago
421 posts

Helen, What's the vsl? I can go to E on most all of mine I've tried with no problem. EAd is a great tuning (IF that's what you're trying to get to) for several good old tunes.

Helen Seiler
Helen Seiler
@helen-seiler
7 years ago
119 posts

ps. I use either a 22bw or 24bw bass string.

Helen Seiler
Helen Seiler
@helen-seiler
7 years ago
119 posts

Call me chicken, but in the interests of not finding out the ugly way,I was wondering if anyone could tell mehow high I can safelytune up my bass string. I am taking it up to E to play Cold Frosty Morning...... how much further can you go safely before SNAP!


updated by @helen-seiler: 06/11/15 07:40:10AM