Sunday, 7 August 2011

Soares'y left-handed acoustic/electric piccolo bass
Here's a very specific instrument for a player with a very specific list of requirements. It's a Soares'y left-handed acoustic/electric piccolo bass, one of a number of unusual instruments, primarily tenor guitars, built for American company Soares'y (with that annoying out of place apostrophe) by a small shop in Portugal.

The oxymoronic "piccolo bass" as a concept is an oddity in itself. Originally created by Stanley Clarke, it is essentially a bass guitar tuned an octave higher allowing a bassist to play up in the guitarist's range. So, technically it's not a "bass" at all. It's a long(er) scale 4-string guitar. In the case of Clarke's instruments he has bass scale-length, bass string spacing, they are played with a bass player's technique, and apparently as far as he's concerned anything with 4 strings is bass.

Still, with a change of strings and a set-up, this short-scale piccolo bass could easily be strung as a proper bass. Currently being auctioned on eBay with a starting price of $200 some lucky southpaw bassist could get themselves an individual instrument at a bargain price.

G L Wilson

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