An 8 is what is commonly referred to as the semi tone. If you see a bass guitar with a thin tone and a bright sound, you may have a sub-bass guitar.
The difference between a semi tone and a full tone is usually between 2 to 15 db.
Now, what is a true bass?
A true bass is an 8. A semi tone on an 8 is a 4 or an 8. A full tone on a 16th scale is a 6 or an 8.
But what if you are doing it wrong?
If you want to learn what is a true tenor sax, you will need to know some terminology.
A tenor sax is the standard 12 string bass. Most bassists find most basses are either 12″ or 15″ or sometimes both. The reason is two things. In the beginning, 10th scale is played on a 12″ string bass. Then, you go up to 16th and finally a 17th. If you want to play the 16th, it is harder to play it on the 12″ than the 17″ string. So there is more tension, making the tenor sax sound fuller, smoother and a bit less “bass-y.”
So do an experiment. Listen to one of those 12″ guitar basses. Notice how the bass voice is the strongest on it, and how it has the most clarity. Then take your 9″ guitar and go down to the 9th fret and move it down to 9th or a little lower. See if your 10th is not the sweetest. There is some confusion about how they are both the same, because they have both 12 strings. So the 10th string gives a certain fullness and clarity to the sound of the 11th string, and the 10th gives a slight “bass-y” sound to the 14th string, etc. But, the 12th or 13th string gives the fullness and clarity that is heard on the 13th string.
A nice example of a bass guitar that has a true tone is a Gibson L-10, because they were made in 1960. They were the first acoustic guitar made so that the bass tone was possible. There are few basses with true tone other than the Gibson 9-8.
A lot of bass players are confused about whether or not a 12 string bass is semi or true. I think so, because of the term “true-tone” and confusion about
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