I have there questions before I build my BASS.

1. Can I use a guitar Pickup?  I bought a bunch of Humbukers and Single Coils from Gitty.

2. How many strings 2 or three

3. Which strings.

Unlike a guitar OPEN TUNING / SLIDE bass is not something I can immediately wrap my little brain around., 

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Gitty sells some bass pickups. They're the black enclosed plastic 4 pole pickups. They are based on the Fender P Bass pickups( 2 connected with a wire or one single).

You can use regular guitar pickups for Bass, but your results/likes may vary. A Bass doesn't need a high output pickup and usually are 28" to 34" scale.

You could make a Baritone Guitar with heavy gauge strings to get usable Bass tones(27" to 28" scale).

You can use however many strings you want, 1 to 6 strings are possible.

I would prefer to use what I got, unless it will delivery an unsatisfactory sound.

Baritone guitar you say.... hummm  time to hit the google.

Look up Fender Bass VI while your at it.

Short answer: yes, 2, E & A

Long Answer

the principle for mag pickup doesn't change between bass/guitar, just some tweaks in the design/#wraps/wire-gauge/etc that the manufacturer 'thinks' sounds better for that use.  If you can drop-tune an electric guitar and play at the octave position on a bass then either will 'work'.

Bass strings put about 2x the stress on a neck that guitar strings exert.  so for a proper 34" scale bass on a maple 1x2 neck without a truss rod for support I'd stick to 2 strings. 

the low E and A Bass Guitar strings give you that deep bass sound that is the point of a bass, and with 2 strings you have a full octave at 1st position for a good bluegrass/country 1-5-1-5-1-5 riff. 

now if you want to put in a truss rod or similar neck strengthener for 3 or more strings....

OK, I got all my parts ready.  Any opinion on neck length?  My Fender P-Bass is 34 inches.

If your bass is going to be a 34" scale, then you have to check the measurement for the last fret and then add 6" or 7" for the headstock.

So a 34" scale bass would have right at 24 1/2" at the 22nd fret, add 3/8ths" more for fretboard stability and then add headstock length. Right at  31"  to 33" for neck length.

My 34" scale J Bass has a neck with headstock that's 33" long.

that's a little more subjective...do a dry layout on your work table, placing the bridge on the box where you want it, lay the neck stick out, put a scrap of wood where you think you want the nut and lay out the tuners, look at it from an aesthetics point of view (does it look good)

Standard bass guitar scale is 34", but you can do a 33, 32, 31, even 30 with a standard set of strings.  I use standard strings on my 30" goldfish bass.

If you are using a cigar box for the body, it will be very neck-heavy, much more than a CBG even, you may want to go for 30 or 31 in scale for that and to lessen the stress on the neck without a truss rod. 

Thanks, yes I think I will go for 30 Inch two string E/A as suggested. 

And you might want to put a weight in bottom end of the box too.

Orrrr...you can look at doing a CBG version of the Kala U-bass:


Not all basses are 30-34" scale...

I have one of these, with the weird-feeling-but-great-sounding Pahoehoe strings.

Yea... I have played those wonky strings.  I might explore that one day,

I'll 2nd Paul's headstock comment - Make sure that's long enough. I have a 30" scale CBG (chugger, I guess?) and two 30" basses, and the standard strings will snap on the E sometimes if you don't have enough headstock and a bass-sized tuner.

A guitar humbucker would be my choice of your pickups. I just don't like 60 cycle hum from single coils. I used a high output guitar humbucker in one of my bass mods, and it sounds great. I ordered a couple nice bass humbuckers for builds; a 2 string bass, and a .125 gauge B string diddley bo.

You can also mix bass strings and guitar strings, like the Lowebow 1+3 stringers, or my two string chugger here, the Boomstick Sr. (on the left...). There is a huge chunk of 2x6 that fills most of the box inside, and it balances really well for a 30" scale CBG. I like 30" inch scale better with slide than the 34" I built, but the 34" was my first build and it's not so good... And I'd probably go EA with a 2 string bass, cuz, E is where the bass boom is... Enjoy building yours!


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