What is an ‘Electric-Contrabass-Cittern’?

Actually.. there is no such thing! It’s just a bass guitar..

However, it has a meaning: it is a term (termed by my colleague Russ Cottier) that I’ve adopted to refer to a certain style of bass playing that I’ve been developing.. and which you’re sure to see more of on here!

Essentially it’s a five string bass tuned EAEGB, played primarily with tapping techniques that are blended with folk guitar-esque fingerpicking, thumb picking, harmonics (etc..).  I like to think of different techniques as just being a part of ‘technique’ as a whole, which you use ‘transparently’ as your toolbox with which to create music outside of technical considerations.

There are many complex technical and musical reasonings behind the tuning and logic inside the different techniques that are employed, and these will be discussed in more detail as the blog progresses.  Today, the easiest way to give the general ‘essence’ of it will be to demonstrate.  This is a short video with fragments of a few pieces which I have been working on:


Additionally here is a full recording featuring Russ who I mentioned earlier on violin and vox.  I played Sanshin and Khomus on this track on top of Electric Contrabass Cittern.  I actually also doubled the tapping parts on acoustic guitar for textural effect:


Please post any questions or requests on this topic in the comments section, and check back for future updates on this topic!

All the best,


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