Hey folks.  I'm just about finished with my next build, which is basically a 23" scale acoustic bass with weed whacker string.  It started out to be a U-bass but the tuners and the strings proved to be more than I wanted to deal with. 

So I'm testing out some weed whacker string and it's going great except for the E string.  I tried using some .105 trimmer string and it was just so floppy at the E note I couldn't keep it on the nut or bridge...not to mention it had no sound.  So my question is should I try a different gauge and if so higher or lower?  Which one would allow more string tension and still maintain that low frequency? 

Alternatively....should I just tune it up to an alternative tuning?  The other strings won't go up an entire octave but can I go up like 2 steps with each string and it still play properly?  I know nothing about basses, in case that wasn't entirely obvious.

Thanks for any input 

Views: 171

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

That short 23" scale is gonna be tough to get down to standard bass frequencies. Even on my 39" scale bass I ended up using plastic coated wire clothesline from WalMart  to get decent tension on the low E. I think your idea of going up to a higher pitch bass may be the best way to go. Not a whole octave for sure but maybe bring that low E string up to a G and if that's not enough tension try A. Then you'd have A,D G, C as the 4 strings and still have a pretty bassy sound.

That's what I'm thinking too Jim.  I may have to tune it up a few steps. 


I tried to build a Ubass also. 21.5" scale. I used .095 for the E string without any trouble (I guess it's an octave higher than a real bass, but it worked). Trouble was that I couldn't get the high G string up to that note, even with smaller trimmer cord.

Ended up just building a ~34" scale bass canjo. Repurposing the Ubass build into a long-scale baritone uke.

I was able to get the E with .095 string but it was a little loose. I changed to .130 and I worked much better. The G I got with .050 string.

So I got it working and I took it all apart so I could stain it. Hopefully I'll have some finished pictures this week. Then I just have to learn how to play it.


The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation?How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


Blog Posts

winter olympics 2018 peongchang

Posted by BlueBird J on February 24, 2018 at 4:01am 1 Comment

Action hieght

Posted by Scott on February 20, 2018 at 7:07pm 3 Comments

Diddley Bow

Posted by Markus Gaiser on February 18, 2018 at 4:09pm 1 Comment

Latest Activity

Uncle John commented on Sammy Lloyd's video

Sammy's new Baritone and Resonator Guitars

"Hey, Sammy.  Wrong, you play uke great!   Those string relationships are all the…"
4 minutes ago
wizzo replied to wizzo's discussion What Should I build and why?
"Thank you Jeffy Jordan, I just might do that. thank you for your input ."
8 minutes ago
Uncle John commented on Casey Baron's video
11 minutes ago
Uncle John commented on Uncle John's photo

Actual Size

"Thanks, Bones and AGP. "
13 minutes ago
Uncle John commented on Uncle John's photo
13 minutes ago
Dennis Reedy commented on Dennis Reedy's photo


"I hate when they put the pickup and bridge in the middle of the artwork, I try not to do that."
18 minutes ago
Dennis Reedy commented on Dennis Reedy's photo


"APG.  That is how I plan all my builds not to ruin the artwork.  The fretted yardstick, I…"
20 minutes ago
AGP # commented on Kalmario's photo


""Well Done", looks great!, doing something similar with a recent $10 POS junk shop…"
24 minutes ago
Dennis Reedy commented on Dennis Reedy's photo


"Love the  LPG’s.... I try not to interfere with the art on all my builds, that is why it…"
25 minutes ago
Dennis Reedy commented on Dennis Reedy's photo

built for my grandkids

"Thanks for the kind words, they ask me to build these ,I’m trying to inspire them to…"
27 minutes ago
AGP # liked Kalmario's photo
31 minutes ago
Sammy Lloyd posted a video

Sammy's new Baritone and Resonator Guitars

Went to pick up a Baritone Ukulele from my buddy Shane Wagstaff, loved it, but then fell in love with a 4 string resonator that he'd built. Now I've got some...
31 minutes ago



© 2018   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service