The B52's Ricky Wilson's Mosrite Tunings

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101Volts
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Re: The B52's Ricky Wilson's Mosrite Tunings

Postby 101Volts » Sun May 30, 2010 1:23 pm

I'm not sure about the compilation tape but I did figure out another of Ricky's tunings, The one he used for "53 Miles West Of Venus". Here it is.

DAXXCC (X meaning no string)

So the two bottom strings are in Drop D and the treble strings are tuned to C, The B string tuned up by one note and the High E tuned down.

Austin
1966 Ventures II German Carve B670 (Over B641; Misprint)
1970s Blues Bender Body 1 - "Funnily Routed Body"
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Re: The B52's Ricky Wilson's Mosrite Tunings

Postby 101Volts » Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:17 pm

I've been trying to figure out what gauge of strings Ricky used for the album version of Rock Lobster, I strung up a my ES 335 copy with a set of 10-52s recently and when I tuned the low E string to C I thought "This is far from tight enough" I have my doubts that a .56 would be tight enough for the Low E string and I'm beginning to think he used baritone strings for the lower two strings.

Austin
1966 Ventures II German Carve B670 (Over B641; Misprint)
1970s Blues Bender Body 1 - "Funnily Routed Body"
1970s Blues Bender Body 2
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10
1990s/Early 2000s Riff: ES-335 Copy
2013 Fender Pawn Shop Bass VI

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Re: The B52's Ricky Wilson's Mosrite Tunings

Postby 101Volts » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:44 pm

I tried to get the Rock Lobster tone with a set of baritone 14-68 strings on my Epiphone Junior (The scale length on it is close to a Mark V) And the strings still weren't tight enough. Take a look at this picture.

Image

Ricky used bass strings. I heard he used bass strings but I didn't know if the source was correct since I read it on Wikipedia. Looks like the next time I order strings I'll be getting a few thick plain strings and some bass strings. (And yes, I have been modifying my guitar to accept thicker strings if anyone's wondering)

Austin
1966 Ventures II German Carve B670 (Over B641; Misprint)
1970s Blues Bender Body 1 - "Funnily Routed Body"
1970s Blues Bender Body 2
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10
1990s/Early 2000s Riff: ES-335 Copy
2013 Fender Pawn Shop Bass VI

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Re: The B52's Ricky Wilson's Mosrite Tunings

Postby Dennisthe Menace » Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:16 am

Hey Austin, look at the PIC again closely. Does that look like Ricky was using a flatwound bass string?? :|
make the Mos' of it, choose the 'rite stuff.
.........Owner of 9 Mosrites...
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1963 "the Ventures" Model s/n #0038
http://www.thevintagerockproject.com/

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Re: The B52's Ricky Wilson's Mosrite Tunings

Postby Strat-o-rama » Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:45 am

When I saw the B52s at the Agoura in Hallendale FL, Ricky played no less than five different Mosrites.
I remember an article in Guitar Player right around the time they were catching on where Ricky described his different tunings and I believe he mentioned using some bass strings.

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Re: The B52's Ricky Wilson's Mosrite Tunings

Postby 101Volts » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:28 pm

Dennisthe Menace wrote:Hey Austin, look at the PIC again closely. Does that look like Ricky was using a flatwound bass string?? :|


I'm not sure how flatwounds look (I never bought any, If I saw them on a guitar in a store I wasn't looking closely) And the picture is rather blurry but thanks, I didn't think of it but he may have used flatwounds. I'll try flatwounds if all else fails.

Strat-o-rama wrote:When I saw the B52s at the Agoura in Hallendale FL, Ricky played no less than five different Mosrites.
I remember an article in Guitar Player right around the time they were catching on where Ricky described his different tunings and I believe he mentioned using some bass strings.


Would you happen to remember which issue of Guitar Player that was? I'd like to get a copy.

And just as a note, If I can't get the right tension with thick plain strings I might be able to get it by raising the action on the treble side. That should work.

Austin
1966 Ventures II German Carve B670 (Over B641; Misprint)
1970s Blues Bender Body 1 - "Funnily Routed Body"
1970s Blues Bender Body 2
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10
1990s/Early 2000s Riff: ES-335 Copy
2013 Fender Pawn Shop Bass VI

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Re: The B52's Ricky Wilson's Mosrite Tunings

Postby 101Volts » Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:05 pm

Continuing my search for Ricky's Rock Lobster tone with my Epiphone Junior guitar, I tried using a .104 bass string for the lowest note and it was very close! Its not quite there, A little more tension would be nice but its in the same neighborhood. I had to drill out the tailpiece and a tuner for the string to fit though and these modifications are irreversable to said parts so for those who want the same tone be warned. Regular guitar string ball ends might slip through the tailpiece if you do this mod but the tuners will still work with regular guitar strings.

Austin
1966 Ventures II German Carve B670 (Over B641; Misprint)
1970s Blues Bender Body 1 - "Funnily Routed Body"
1970s Blues Bender Body 2
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10
1990s/Early 2000s Riff: ES-335 Copy
2013 Fender Pawn Shop Bass VI

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Re: The B52's Ricky Wilson's Mosrite Tunings

Postby 101Volts » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:30 pm

And now, Almost seven months after setting out to find the proper Rock Lobster tone I have finished my search. (Keep in mind one needs a guitar with a 24.50" scale length or close to that to get this tone) I already said the lower strings are .105 and .085 or slightly larger, The plain strings seem to be .026 and .022. I think Ricky was imitating the higher strings of a 12 string with this. Also, The guitar is tuned slightly higher than CFxxFF. It seems to be an eighth of a step higher.

Austin
1966 Ventures II German Carve B670 (Over B641; Misprint)
1970s Blues Bender Body 1 - "Funnily Routed Body"
1970s Blues Bender Body 2
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10
1990s/Early 2000s Riff: ES-335 Copy
2013 Fender Pawn Shop Bass VI

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Re: The B52's Ricky Wilson's Mosrite Tunings

Postby 101Volts » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:22 pm

I found that many early B-52's songs can be played with the DADxBB tuning:

52 Girls
Lava
6060-842
Downtown

Dirty Back Road (With a capo on the third fret)
Give Me Back My Man (I don't think he played the higher treble strings much in this song, They're there in the background but you can barely hear them)
Devil In My Car
Quiche Lorraine
Strobe Light
53 Miles West Of Venus (Though the treble strings were tuned just a hair higher than B)

I dub this Ricky's Standard Early B-52's Tuning if that's alright.

Austin
1966 Ventures II German Carve B670 (Over B641; Misprint)
1970s Blues Bender Body 1 - "Funnily Routed Body"
1970s Blues Bender Body 2
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10
1990s/Early 2000s Riff: ES-335 Copy
2013 Fender Pawn Shop Bass VI

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Re: The B52's Ricky Wilson's Mosrite Tunings

Postby Nokie » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:13 pm

It's great to see these tunings. Thanks for posting them! Ricky's style captured that b-movie style better than anyone. What I think is so cool is that with less strings, he was able to sound like two guitars. He was really thinking outside of the box. I'm guessing he never learned to play the way most of us do and that was to his great advantage.
-Marty


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