The Twelve Bass

Desperadoes Steel Orchestra - Western Stars Philharmonic - Harmonites

A Moment in Pan

Global - The Twelve Bass  -- Invented by the late, great Rudolph Charles of  Desperadoes Steel Orchestra. He invented it through his pursuit of the classic upright fretless bass sound on pan.

According to recognized and globally respected tuner Andy Neils:  the “Twelve Bass lowest note is commonly E similarly to  the Nine-Bass.” 

 

Desperadoes 12 Bass
Twelve Bass - Desperadoes

According to GERALD “SLAM” CHARLES, (the brother of Rudolph Charles) - in a 2015 When Steel Talks interview with Dalton Narine -- “after his invention of the nine bass, he wanted to imitate the sound of my upright bass on a set of 12 bass pans. When he called the notes, say C, when I play it for him, he said, ‘Your bass don’t have the resonance of a foreign bass. How your bass don’t sound like on foreign records?’

I say, the strings old. I gave him the envelops the string come in, and he say he coming back just now. I didn’t know he was going away to buy new strings. He called notes and I pulled them. It took him five hours to tune three notes on the 12 bass. After that, he didn’t need me. He knew where he wanted to go. Up to now, no band has reached Desperadoes tonal quality.” 

 

 Panist Ke Shari J'knysa Caesar on Twelve - Western Stars Philharmonic
Panist Ke Shari J'knysa Caesar on Twelve - Western Stars Philharmonic - 2015 -
photo by Robbie Joseph


Twelve Bass - Desperadoes Steel Orchestra
Twelve Bass - Desperadoes Steel Orchestra


Twelve Bass - Harmonites Steel Orchestra

Twelve Bass - Harmonites Steel Orchestra