Post your instrument

Any old topic will do, I suppose.

Post your instrument

Postby Omphalos » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:24 pm

I see that a lot of us around here play instruments. I personally play badly, but that wont stop me from showing off. So. Whatchoo got?

This first one was my first musical instrument (well, my first decent one). Its a redesigned mountain dulcimer called a Walkabout. I bought it when I got through first year law school and played it all through the next two.

Image

Here is the side and back. The guy who made it for me did a great job. This thing really sounds great. Its got a great drone and it can be a great lead instrument too. Banjo players are always asking to monkey around with it:

Image

This next one I learned to play so many years ago that I have forgotten most of what I knew. Fortunately it has a lot in common with the next instrument. My wife gave me this one for Christmas last year after I expressed an interest in relearning how to play. Its my kids favorite instrument too, after all the harmonicas I have lying around:

Image

This next one is the one I play the most now. Its a Breedlove Quartz AO traditional mandolin. I had a more traditional F-Hole but I sold it quite a while ago. I bought this one because it sounded so goddam bright in the store; much brighter than the single hole, which is unusual. It got even better when I got it home. This thing is awesome:

Image

The last one is a Gremlin P.O.S. Octave Mandolin. Their traditional mandolin sounds really tinny, but its put together well enough. The Octave actually sounds good, but I dont get a chance to play it too much. For those of you who dont know a violin is to a mandolin as a viola is to an octave mandolin.

Image
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Postby Freakzilla » Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:06 am

I have a Yamaha Folk Guitar, 1974. I'll try to post a picture later...
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Postby inhuien » Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:29 am

That’s a fine collection of beautiful instruments you have there Omphalos. I’ve pictures of my basses somewhere I’ll get them loaded as soon as I can.
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:54 am

Word, I'm getting in on this as soon as I figure out how to use the camera on my laptop! I don't have a large collection but I love my main guitar deeply.

Omph that's only the second mountain dulcimer I've ever seen that can be played like a guitar instead of flat! As far as the violin, I must say I'm alwasy impressed when someone can handle a bowed fretless instrument by far the most difficult instrument to play on the planet is a violin. I'm hoping to get a cello soon, but I'm dreading learning how to play it (and other people having to hear me!).
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Postby The Phantom » Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:47 pm

I play the piano, typically my parent's Kawai 5'9 baby grand.

I also play some (very little) guitar and have a takamine acoustic with pickup.

but i have 2 sisters who play violin, 2 who play violin and piano, and one who plays cello, and my mom plays and teaches violin.

family weddings always get a free live orchestra for their music :D

also, both my grandfathers play organ and i'm currently learning.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:55 pm

A Thing of Eternity wrote:Word, I'm getting in on this as soon as I figure out how to use the camera on my laptop! I don't have a large collection but I love my main guitar deeply.

Omph that's only the second mountain dulcimer I've ever seen that can be played like a guitar instead of flat! As far as the violin, I must say I'm alwasy impressed when someone can handle a bowed fretless instrument by far the most difficult instrument to play on the planet is a violin. I'm hoping to get a cello soon, but I'm dreading learning how to play it (and other people having to hear me!).


I love the violin. I wish I had more time and could take some lessons.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Postby Omphalos » Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:57 pm

Baraka Bryan wrote:I play the piano, typically my parent's Kawai 5'9 baby grand.

I also play some (very little) guitar and have a takamine acoustic with pickup.

but i have 2 sisters who play violin, 2 who play violin and piano, and one who plays cello, and my mom plays and teaches violin.

family weddings always get a free live orchestra for their music :D

also, both my grandfathers play organ and i'm currently learning.


My great grandmother used to play a potato-masher mandolin. I never met her but I saw some pictures of her playing when I was young and kind of fell in love with the insturment. My parents put me in violin lessons when I was young and I hated my teachers, but loved the instrument. Ive really played nothing else my entire life but mando/violin.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:16 pm

Omphalos wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:Word, I'm getting in on this as soon as I figure out how to use the camera on my laptop! I don't have a large collection but I love my main guitar deeply.

Omph that's only the second mountain dulcimer I've ever seen that can be played like a guitar instead of flat! As far as the violin, I must say I'm alwasy impressed when someone can handle a bowed fretless instrument by far the most difficult instrument to play on the planet is a violin. I'm hoping to get a cello soon, but I'm dreading learning how to play it (and other people having to hear me!).


I love the violin. I wish I had more time and could take some lessons.


If you can learn to play violin, every other instrument should be a snap.
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Postby SandChigger » Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:13 pm

No picts for now. (But I think there's an old one of me playing something over in the early posts on the Blogger Hairy Ticks....)

Did piano lessons for about six years because my mom made me and my sister and I REALLY hated it.

Later I wished I'd worked harder. I inherited my mom's old Baldwin that she bought when she got her first paying job and I still tickle the "ivorics" (?!) whenever I'm stateside. Really need to have the old bird tuned and cleaned up, though. :(

Learned a bit of the shammy, but haven't practiced or played for WAY too long now. Been thinking about taking it up again....
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Postby Omphalos » Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:27 pm

Baraka Bryan wrote:I play the piano, typically my parent's Kawai 5'9 baby grand.

I also play some (very little) guitar and have a takamine acoustic with pickup.

but i have 2 sisters who play violin, 2 who play violin and piano, and one who plays cello, and my mom plays and teaches violin.

family weddings always get a free live orchestra for their music :D

also, both my grandfathers play organ and i'm currently learning.


Let's see pics of the whole shebang! Sisters, Mom, Gramps and instruments.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Postby The Phantom » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:54 am

when i'm back at my parent's place this weekend i'll see if they have pictures of the 'orchestra'
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Postby inhuien » Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:21 am

Image

This is the best guitar in the world. Got her in 88 (built 82) second-hand for £350 inc hardcase, which was not a bad price even then in the UK. Sounds like a charging Rhino in heat and could shoot the balls off said Rhino from 100 yards, not an overly subtle beasty. But Emily loved him.
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

-Rimmer’s farewell speech
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:23 am

That's nice. I love the mother of pearl and the Rickenbacker swoosh at the top of the head stock.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:21 am

inhuien wrote:
This is the best guitar in the world. Got her in 88 (built 82) second-hand for £350 inc hardcase, which was not a bad price even then in the UK. Sounds like a charging Rhino in heat and could shoot the balls off said Rhino from 100 yards, not an overly subtle beasty. But Emily loved him.


Sexy guitar! Man I can't wait until I have the money for a Rickenbacker. My guitar's from 82 as well... weird. However, my guitar is the best guitar in the world, you must be mistaken :wink: or maybe you can take the prize for bass, and my baby gets it for the 6 string catagory. Hopefully I'll get pics up soon, I'm not very technologically literate.
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Postby inhuien » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:24 am

That's what we'll do, split the honours. 82 was indeed a fine year.
Look, I'm not much good at big speeches, and I know I haven't always been an easy guy to get on with, and I know, that given the choice, I wouldn't have chosen you as friends, but I just want to say, that over the years, I have come to regard you as people I met.

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Postby Omphalos » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:20 am

dont forget to posty-posty!
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Postby The Phantom » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:30 am

Baraka Bryan wrote:when i'm back at my parent's place this weekend i'll see if they have pictures of the 'orchestra'
Omphalos wrote:dont forget to posty-posty!


looks like i forgot that one for a few months. i'll try to remember this weekend... but that's 5 days away so no promises!
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Postby SandChigger » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:47 pm

I wonder if the ole dog skin and wormspun has dried out and burst? :shock:

Will have to have a look later. ;)
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Postby Freakzilla » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:56 pm

I was wondering... does the Skin Flute count? :o
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:12 pm

Freakzilla wrote:I was wondering... does the Skin Flute count? :o


Yes. But no pictures please.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Postby SandChigger » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:59 pm

I'm not sure I like the juxtaposing of posts there... :?
"Chancho...sometimes when you are a man...you wear stretchy pants...in your room...alone."

"Politics is never simple, like the sand chigger of Arrakis, one is rarely truly free of its bite."

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Postby Omphalos » Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:08 pm

too off topic for you?
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Postby SandChigger » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:13 pm

Nevah! :lol:
"Chancho...sometimes when you are a man...you wear stretchy pants...in your room...alone."

"Politics is never simple, like the sand chigger of Arrakis, one is rarely truly free of its bite."

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Postby Freakzilla » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:55 pm

Eddie Van Halen is pimping his new "Wolfgang" guitar designed with Fender. He claimes even he can't break it.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/0 ... nnSTCVideo

Only $3,000!
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:37 pm

Pretty much a direct ripoff of the peavey wolfgang, which was pretty much a direct ripoff of his musicman. If there's anything new under the sun in electric guitar building we aren't going to see it coming from this goof. (love his music, but he's a bloody moron)

I never did like the way his guitars felt, they feel miniature, even though they are the same scale length as a gibson (which I think is short anyways). They sound pretty decent though.
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:11 pm

Looks like Eddie Van Halen has his health back. I have not seen him looking that fit in years.
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Postby Freakzilla » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:14 pm

I had the Kramer Barretta American he designed, I loved it. I liked the wide, flat neck it had, almost like a classical neck. It had a full sized strat style body.

It was the black one in the avatar I had up at Jacurutu for a while.

I think stainless steel frets is a great idea.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:57 pm

The frets probably are a good idea, if you like a really bright tone (which obviously he does, I think he uses stainless steel strings as well). I personally have no issues with the usual alloy.
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Postby Freakzilla » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:01 pm

A Thing of Eternity wrote:The frets probably are a good idea, if you like a really bright tone (which obviously he does, I think he uses stainless steel strings as well). I personally have no issues with the usual alloy.


Not only that, he boils them so them bend more. I can't really tell the difference in the sound, I don't have that good an ear.
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Postby SandRider » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:10 pm

I keep forgetting about this thread - I've got about a dozen
guitars in the house now and an Fender acoustic bass.

This kid who played the deadhorse last weekend brought
three six-string electric basses - one of 'em was fretless.
I like the funky stuff, had an electric 12-string once; still
got a couple of acoustic 12-strings. The kid was telling
me they make the electric 10-string basses like that, with
one string an octave up, and you fret both strings at once.
crazy.

wrote that ^^^ while waiting for this page to load
on dial-up. Fuck Eddie Van Halen. For any number
of reasons.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:43 pm

Freakzilla wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:The frets probably are a good idea, if you like a really bright tone (which obviously he does, I think he uses stainless steel strings as well). I personally have no issues with the usual alloy.


Not only that, he boils them so them bend more. I can't really tell the difference in the sound, I don't have that good an ear.


I don't know if that actually makes them more flexible. I heard he did that to slightly mellow out the tone. Who knows - the guy is an idiot (other than his playing).

He used to make the studio give him a brand new guitar cable for every take on a recording, because "he could tell the difference in tone caused by 2 minutes of signal (barely any signal comes from a guitar)" - what a moron.

He also broke ties with Peavey after Hartly Peavey refused to give him royalties on all guitars with humbucking pickups (Eddie, in a less sane moment, claimed to have been the inventor of the humbucking pickup... right... in 1957... when he was 2 years old... and his name used to be Seth Lover... :wink: :lol: )
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Postby SandRider » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:14 pm

Thing wrote:He used to make the studio give him a brand new guitar cable for every take on a recording, because "he could tell the difference in tone caused by 2 minutes of signal (barely any signal comes from a guitar)" - what a moron.


there you go. add that to the list.

as a life-long electrician & guitar picker,
I'll tell you that's some straight bullshit.

& did I hear that right, that he kicked out what-his-name,
the bassist that's been with the band since the start in favor of Wolfie ?

and let's go ahead and start this argument right here and and now:

David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar ?

(I vote Sammy - I liked him more than Van Halen anyway,
from way back, and Roth is a big, greasy clown.)
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Postby Omphalos » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:46 pm

A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:The frets probably are a good idea, if you like a really bright tone (which obviously he does, I think he uses stainless steel strings as well). I personally have no issues with the usual alloy.


Not only that, he boils them so them bend more. I can't really tell the difference in the sound, I don't have that good an ear.


I don't know if that actually makes them more flexible. I heard he did that to slightly mellow out the tone. Who knows - the guy is an idiot (other than his playing).

He used to make the studio give him a brand new guitar cable for every take on a recording, because "he could tell the difference in tone caused by 2 minutes of signal (barely any signal comes from a guitar)" - what a moron.

He also broke ties with Peavey after Hartly Peavey refused to give him royalties on all guitars with humbucking pickups (Eddie, in a less sane moment, claimed to have been the inventor of the humbucking pickup... right... in 1957... when he was 2 years old... and his name used to be Seth Lover... :wink: :lol: )


I dont think he's a moron. A prima dona, sure, but not a moron. He's just.....Dutch. :wink:
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Postby SandChigger » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:06 pm

Oh, this'll be fun when BB (=Birthday Boy?) sees that. :D
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Postby The Phantom » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:21 pm

i had chosen not to dignify it with a response :P
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Postby SandRider » Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:35 pm

omph wrote:I dont think he's a moron.


no, no.
He's a total moron.
Ask Val.
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:20 am

SandRider wrote:
omph wrote:I dont think he's a moron.


no, no.
He's a total moron.
Ask Val.


Yea. I'll go with the ex-wife's opinion. :lol:
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Postby Freakzilla » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:07 am

I read that EVH dipped his humbuckers in parafin wax to change the tone, too.

I could understand different sounds between different chords as far as signal to noise ratios, but that just sounds like a crazy rock start bitching about the brown M&Ms.
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Postby SandRider » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:23 am

speaking of low-grade morons in modern rock music,
I saw Some Kind of Monster last night.

I've always kinda enjoyed those boys' music, but I didn't know they
were all such whiny bitches. Esp. the little drummer boy.

I guess this film was supposed to document their "comeback" or whatever,
and show how Hetfield's finally grown up at 40 something, but after watching
it, I walked away with much less respect for them, all of them.

Hetfield needs to have his ass good and whipped, kicked around a beer-sticky
barroom floor by real outlaw bikers ...
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:34 pm

Freakzilla wrote:I read that EVH dipped his humbuckers in parafin wax to change the tone, too.

I could understand different sounds between different chords as far as signal to noise ratios, but that just sounds like a crazy rock start bitching about the brown M&Ms.


This actually makes a big diffference, but almost all modern pickups come with the coils dipped in wax anyways. It doesn't change the tone too much - what it does is stop the wires from actually resonating with the vibrations that pass through the body, which creates a reverb-like clangy noise after a note is struck - this can also cause extreme feedback issues. So that dipped pickup coils feedback less is the main issue, but also a slightly clearer tone.

As far as the cable thing - pure BS on all reasonable scientific grounds. Even high wattage won't cause degredation for eons and eons, let alone the tiny trickle of electrons that come out of a passive pickup.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:35 pm

SandRider wrote:speaking of low-grade morons in modern rock music,
I saw Some Kind of Monster last night.

I've always kinda enjoyed those boys' music, but I didn't know they
were all such whiny bitches. Esp. the little drummer boy.

I guess this film was supposed to document their "comeback" or whatever,
and show how Hetfield's finally grown up at 40 something, but after watching
it, I walked away with much less respect for them, all of them.

Hetfield needs to have his ass good and whipped, kicked around a beer-sticky
barroom floor by real outlaw bikers ...


I hate to say it, but if those guys had all died/retired around 1990, I'd be a muchh happier metalhead.
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby Omphalos » Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:47 pm

Man, I am totally drooling over this one. Wonder what the owner paid fot it?

http://www.collingsguitars.com/gallery/ ... php?ID=180
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:39 am

Pretty sweet, not much of a mando guy myself, but they are pretty cool!

This guy in the UK is the guy I want to build me a guitar when I have extra money to throw around:
http://www.crimsonguitars.com/paf-hollow
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby Omphalos » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:39 am

You play an accoustic electric like that? I took you for a solid body guy.
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:54 am

Omphalos wrote:You play an accoustic electric like that? I took you for a solid body guy.


Well, we wouldn't quite call that an accoustic electric, just a hollowbody electric (thin body one too) because unplugged it's not really much louder than a solid body. But, that's semantics - I don't play one currently, but I love em. Even for metal, they can add an awesome thick midrange whhoomp to the tone. And for clean/light distortion they're awesome.

If I could only have one guitar it would be solid, but I already have a really nice solid body. Plus I hardly even play any more so I guess I'd just be collecting at this point.

I'd get that guy to build it with this fret system:

http://truetemperament.com/
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby Omphalos » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:49 pm

Dude, that is totally fucked up looking. Guess you can only do one tuning on an instrument that is fretted that way?
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:42 pm

Omphalos wrote:Dude, that is totally fucked up looking. Guess you can only do one tuning on an instrument that is fretted that way?


Yes. They have different versions, one is just slightly bent frets and is meant to compensate for string bend when you press down to fret, so it's our modern 12 tone equal temperament system (12TET), just more in-tune. The other ones are really interesting temperaments somewhere between our modern system (which just divides an octave perfectly by 12 notes) and the ancient (and in some ways more scientifically correct) Just Intonation systems.

So the really interesting thing with these, is that every key isn't the same. On a modern instrument, the key of F sounds exactly like every other key, just higher or lower. With this, some scales/chords/harmonies in some keys are more in-tune sounding (than even out modern system, which is actually very out of tune scientifically), some more out of tune. So if you play the minor scale in F, it might sound more angry than G, or more lamenting than C#... it's really incredible what options we left behind a couple hundred years ago when we switched to 12TET.
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby Omphalos » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:41 pm

I totally want a mando with that now! I was just getting pissed off today at one particular C note.

So they aren't using some funky math to calc fret spaces? They are mapping out the right frequency/vibration (not sure that's the right term/s) for each tone?
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:51 pm

Omphalos wrote:I totally want a mando with that now! I was just getting pissed off today at one particular C note.

So they aren't using some funky math to calc fret spaces? They are mapping out the right frequency/vibration (not sure that's the right term/s) for each tone?


They have a guitar they use to design the fret shapes that has each fret split into 6 pieces, and then all the frets are in this slidable channel. So for each fret for each string they can slide it around - they use some math to get started, and then they sit there for ages moving the frets around and taking tuner readings (and just listening) to get it exactly how they want... so that's how they can flawlessly compensate for string stretch if you're using the right gauges in the right tuning.

Then the ones that aren't their normal 12TET one are a step further because they're going into slightly different intonation systems, some recovered from old classical styles, some they made up for what's commonly played on guitar.

The key thing to understand is that our note system isn't real, it's not "in-tune". It's very usefull and flexible, but it's not perfect. Powerchords (5ths and 4ths) are almost perfect in our system, like 98% in-tune or something, but tune your instrument perfectly and then play a major third harmony - it will beat out of tune like CRAZY! Their other systems compensate for this, put you closer to in tune for some scales/keys/harmonies and further out for others.
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Re:

Postby lotek » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:14 am

SandChigger wrote:Oh, this'll be fun when BB (=Birthday Boy?) sees that. :D


I'm surprised you didn't mention anything about the title though
Post your instrument
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby SandChigger » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:15 am

(I didn't figure any comment was necessary. I did roll my eyes, though, if that makes any difference. :lol: )
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby SadisticCynic » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:45 am

Thing, when you say some notes (or chords etc) are out of tune, do you mean that they are out of tune compared to a pure note. Say, for example you played an F on your guitar - will it be out of tune in that it won't correspond to a pure F sine wave?

I know that they don't fully correspond because of higher order harmonics (I'm told that's what gives each instrument its character) but I want to know if that's what you mean or if it's something different.
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:39 am

SadisticCynic wrote:Thing, when you say some notes (or chords etc) are out of tune, do you mean that they are out of tune compared to a pure note. Say, for example you played an F on your guitar - will it be out of tune in that it won't correspond to a pure F sine wave?

I know that they don't fully correspond because of higher order harmonics (I'm told that's what gives each instrument its character) but I want to know if that's what you mean or if it's something different.


Higher order harmonics is the issue. EDIT: Whoops, no it's not! You're talking about how as the harmonics are higher and higher they become higher pitched than they should because of the inflexibility of the string right? I'm just talking about all the harmonics/overtones in general.

Our note "A" is 440hz for example, or 220, or 880, etc. And that's fine - but a perfect A in relationship to some other frequency may not be 440hz.

On a string instrument, the main overtones of any given note line up with notes we would use to harmonize with them, or to play before or after them to create a melody. A Sitar uses what is call "Just Intonation" which is more "in-tune" in relation to the root note. So let's say you tuned the root note of the sitar to A 440hz. That note would line up with our western scale - but on the sitar, the 5th harmony/melody note (I'm bad with remembering what actual note that would be) would actually be tuned slightly higher than in our note system. The major 3rd would be more extreme, it would be tuned much lower than ours, almost half way down to the next lowest note actually.
Last edited by A Thing of Eternity on Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:47 am

Here's where it gets interesting - their system is not necessarily better than ours. It's better at SOME things, worse at others. Here's an example - in our note system, relative to A 440hz, the other notes in the A major scale are all out of tune with A, the major 3rd being a great example, it's way too high pitched and creates dissonant beating with the root note when played over it. In their Just Intonation system (and there are MANY Just Intonations, not just 1, it's all based on really simple math describing string nodes), every single note in the same major scale is perfectly in tune with A.

BUT - while all of their notes work perfectly over the root, they may not work perfectly over each other - as a matter of fact some will be downright horrible. You might be able to play an A major chord far more in tune than our system, but then the next chord up the scale might be garbage. (This is why Indian music usually has a really simple background chord/ringingstringschord and just a single melody line, not much chords, no situations really where there's a ton of counter melodies going, etc)

And, you're limited to just the key your instrument is tuned to. That sitar player can't decide to just play everything 2 frets higher and changes keys, that makes all the relationships to the new root note completely wrong.

Back to our system, we're out of tune, but every note is equally out of tune - so we can do anything. We can stack melodies and harmonies till the end of time, we can create massive chords, huge layered pieces of music. We can change keys.

So what does it have to do with the bendy fret guitars? Before we in the west decided to go to the 12 tone equal temperament, people used a wide variety of tuning temperaments (mostly still 12 notes per octave), these are somewhere inbetween our system and the Just system. So on one of those guitars, in the key of F my majr 3rd harmony might be closer (but not all the way there) to actually in tune than in 12TET - but the next key it might be a little more out of tune and some other harmony might be better. So this gives you the ability to play chords and melodies that are either more in our out of tune than our modern system, just by changing what key you play in.
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby lotek » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:25 pm

SandChigger wrote:(I didn't figure any comment was necessary. I did roll my eyes, though, if that makes any difference. :lol: )


yes it makes it easier :)

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Re: Post your instrument

Postby Omphalos » Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:04 pm

This looks like a great place to visit:

The Musical Instrument Museum
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby Omphalos » Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:09 pm

Thing, found this online this evening. Looks like the same idea.

http://smart-instruments.com/img.cgi?Marshall10.jpg

Fan frets? Is that the same thing?
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:26 am

Nope, what fanned frets are is about scale length and it's relationship to tone, not the fundamental frequency of each note itself. As scale length gets shorter, notes get bassier sounding, muddier - think about the 5th fret A on a guitar versus the open A - the open one has more overtones and is brighter, clearer, tighter bass.

So with fanned frets you have the idea that lower notes sound better on longer strings, and higher notes sound better on shorter strings (like a piano has) - so the relationship of the fret positioning to the overall length of the string is the same on each string of a fanned fret instrument, but the bass strings have more treble and overtones than the higher pitched strings have.

One of the earlier brands to use this is one of the bass companies my company sells, google Dingwall guitars, they make AMAZING basses.
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby Omphalos » Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:07 pm

Check this out, Thing. Its a violin with sympathetic strings under the fretboard.

http://www.mcdonaldstrings.com/other.html
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:21 am

Ah yes, the ol' hardanger/hardinger fiddle - looks like a super cool instrument but I don't think I've heard one yet.

It'd be interesting to hear how those sympathetics sound compared to indian-style, because those european instruments don't have the fancy bridge that makes the strings go all zzzzzzwoooowwzzzsswowzzz - so it'd probably be much more of a haunting sustain on the notes, almost like reverb but cleaner...

I must go youtube one now, thanks for reminding me these existed!
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby Omphalos » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:43 pm

Forgot to post this; a while ago I bought a new mando. An F style with f holes. This thing is great for bluegrass. Found it on Craigslist for a song. I LOVE this instrument:

Image
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby Omphalos » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:53 pm

Thing, check this out:

http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showt ... ygmy-Sitar

I really want to get me one of these thingies.
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:59 pm

You should check out Breedlove Guitars sometimes, they make some gorgeous mandolins, we sell their acoustics but our clientele just doesn't support us stocking high end mandolins, too niche.

And man that thing looks awesome! The crazy buzzy tone is all in that fancy bridge, being a long slow slope out from under the strings rather than a clean edge like western instruments. Super cool!
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby Omphalos » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:42 am

I have a 2003 Breedlove Quartz OF acoustic madolin. The photo is on page one of this thread. I love the tone, but the volume could be bigger.

The company that makes Breedloves, 2 Old Hippies, IIRC, just bought Weber mandolins. Not that is mfg nice high end mandos.
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby SandRider » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:08 am

I'm wondering how in the world you can fret a mandolin neck
with your freakishly huge, meaty bear-paws ?

I gave up trying to learn the banjo because my thick fingers
would catch too many strings at once ... I simply cannot imagine
how you could even manage to hold a thin, fragile mando neck
w/o crushing it to kindling in your ogre-like fists, much less
accomplishing the intricate & speedy fingering bluegrass music
requires ....

also, for my own amusement, I would love to see a photo
of you holding this instrument ... I'm thinking it would look
something like a Sasquatch holding a toy ukelele ...
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby Omphalos » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:08 pm

EDIT TO ADD: It'll be a while before I am really, truly a good bluegrass player. That takes some time, and I have a while to go yet.

I'll take a good picuture of me with a mando today when I get home. I don't think it looks too out of proportion, but I tell you something I have noticed; Most mandolin players that I know are big guys. I've often wondered if there is some correlation, something about the "standard" personality of big guys with musical inclination that just flips a switch when a mando shows up.

Something else to remember, mandolin is fingered with the fingertips, not the pads, so I have no problem fretting most of the way up the neck. Once I get to fret eight or nine I have to move one finger out of the way if I am going to fret the next half-step up, but I can do that easily. Also, I don't really do well on mandolins with the thin necks. I go for the medium ones. Gibson mandolin necks (the thickest out there, I think) are actually too big for me to play. I can't move quickly from note to note on something that is so thick.

Here are some pics from FB:

Here's one that's too big for the board. This is from summer 2012: http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-a ... 6087_o.jpg

Here's some others that are a bit older.

Image
Image
Image
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:44 pm

RIGHT, I totally forgot you have one! I love that company
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Re: Post your instrument

Postby Omphalos » Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:40 pm

Recently acquired a new mandolin. This is a European octave mandolin. Actually they called it a bouzouki, but it's a little different than each instrument.

A bouzouki is basically a Greek mandolin with a longer neck. They are usually potato-bug style and have really, really thin necks. I think some of them also have drone strings. They resemble the baglama saz that I have hanging in this photo off to the right. Bouzoukis often play just like a mando, but its one octave lower so it has a more guitar-y sound.

The Octave mandolin is basically the same thing, but it comes from the Irish tradition. It more resembles a modern folk mandolin with a flat back.

Mine just happens to be carved on both sides, and is thus arched. I guess technically it is called a Guitar-Bodied Octave, or a Guitar Bodied Mandola if you happen to be in the UK. It is very much in the guitar range. Mine also is a little longer in the neck so I have to capo it if I want to play in the octave mandolin range.

It sounds like a fucking dream. I love the style of it too. It has a fat belly, a floating tail piece, and a fantastic finish. The fretboard is pretty flat, which I prefer, though it does have a very light compound arch.
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