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Bass of the Week: Modified Rickenbacker 4001 Piccolo Sitar Bass

And now for something completely different.

Modified Rickenbacker 4001 Piccolo Sitar Bass Body

We recently featured a video by Indian music enthusiast and seven-string bassist Jason Everett. While a seven-string may be outlandish to some, he sent me some info on a special bass he modded to fill another role for his style. After being inspired by John McLaughlin’s guitar work with Shakti, Everett turned his Rickenbacker 4001 into a piccolo bass with sympathetic strings similar to a sitar.

The mod took much more than changing to piccolo strings. Everett made the first version of the bass 25 years ago and gave us a rundown of all the work.

“The specific modifications include: stripping the paint and binding, scalloping the fretboard, adding a wenge top, changing the string spacing to allow for downward bending on the top string, changing to piccolo bass strings (octave higher), adding bone nut, adding a thumb rest, adding sympathetic strings, building a buzz-bridge out of bone and ebony to fit in the previous mute compartment of the stock bridge, and adding custom Bartolini pickups,” he wrote. “The pickups were designed by Pat and Bill Bartolini based on my specs and are dual-humbucking with the neck pickup wired in series and parallel (with selection toggle switch).”

As with most piccolo basses, the piccolo sitar bass is tuned up an octave, but Everett keeps it in drop D resulting in D-A-D-G tuning.

Check out the bass in action:

For more on Jason Everett and his Rickenbacker 4001 Piccolo Sitar Bass, check out his Facebook artist page.

Jason Everett’s Modified Rickenbacker 4001 Piccolo Sitar Bass Specs:

Scale:33 Inches
Construction:Neck-Through
Body:Maple
Top:Wenge
Fretboard:Rosewood
Nut:Bone
Frets:20
Pickups:Custom Bartolini Humbuckers