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Asturias Alto Guitar (1 viewing) (1) Guest
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TOPIC: Asturias Alto Guitar
#1199
anhess (User)
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Re:Asturias Alto Guitar 8 Years, 5 Months ago Karma: 0  
Hello James,
I have given nothing special. The basic one with Indian Rosewood. He told me it would take nearly 4 month´s. We made the contract at Christmas time....
Bye Andreas
 
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#1200
tenvec (User)
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Re:Asturias Alto Guitar 8 Years, 5 Months ago Karma: 1  
Hello Andreas,
I would strongly recommend that you ask for the first eight strings to be of the same length, rather than just the first seven as is usual in the original Bolin design. The reason is that it is useful to be able to fret the the eighth string in some transcriptions/arrangements. This need can arise in some baroque lute pieces, as well as general arrangements.
James.
 
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#1201
Glen (User)
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Re:Asturias Alto Guitar 8 Years, 5 Months ago Karma: 3  
tenvec wrote:
QUOTE:
Hello Andreas,
I would strongly recommend that you ask for the first eight strings to be of the same length, rather than just the first seven as is usual in the original Bolin design. The reason is that it is useful to be able to fret the the eighth string in some transcriptions/arrangements. This need can arise in some baroque lute pieces, as well as general arrangements.
James.


I totally agree with James. I so wish my alto-guitar had the first eight strings (instead of just seven) the same length. There have been a handful of times where I wish I could fret that string.

We "think" of the 8th string as being the note C or C#. If you're playing in a key where 8=C, and then there is a bass note C#, you would have to reach behind the nut to reach that C#. If the nut goes straight across to the eighth string, then it's easy to reach the C# on the first fret.

Check out measure 50 on this Kellner piece to see such an example of a C#.
http://www.guitar168.com/Composers/Kellner/Phantasia_Em.pdf

C# isn't the only note where it would come in handy to have the 8th string available to fret. This is just one example.
 
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Last Edit: 2010/01/26 00:03 By Glen.
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#1202
Sten (User)
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Re:Asturias Alto Guitar 8 Years, 5 Months ago Karma: 4  
I agree in principle with James and Glen about the advantage of 8 strings of the same length.

But there is also the aspect of what the luthier is accustomed to, and the security of a proven model.

Bolin's 11 string alto guitar has only 7 strings of the same length.

Henrik Jansson has studied guitar making for three years at the Carl Malmsten school, which had pupils of Bolin as teachers, for instance Nicola Nerström. I believe that they had access to Bolin's drawings.

Henrik J has made his own modifications and improvements to the alto guitar, but I think that he has stuck to 7 strings of the same length.

Perhaps it is possible to ask Henrik J if he can build with 8 strings of the same length. But a certain cautiousness is to be advised. If Henrik J is not very keen on 8 strings of the same length, then it is probably wiser to let him build with 7 strings of the same length.

Sten
 
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#1203
tommyollie (User)
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Re:Asturias Alto Guitar 8 Years, 5 Months ago Karma: 2  
I can also see the logic of 8 fretted strings but I wouldn't change from the 7+4 arrangement because IMO something of the aesthetic beauty and balanced sonority of Bolin's design would be lost. The extended bass with the altered scale lengths sound gorgeous and compliment the brighter short scale trebles beautifully. I think most musicians playing an alto would be aware of the shortcomings in the design but all design is compromise and the likes of Solscher and others still seem to prefer the classic Bolin design.
Have any of the members opted for 8 +3 arrangement in their Altos would it possible to post pictures?
 
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#1205
tenvec (User)
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Re:Asturias Alto Guitar 8 Years, 5 Months ago Karma: 1  
Sten, Bill,
Three points,
1) I would hope that any young luthier hoping to establish a reputation as a highly capable maker would have the initiative and skills to amend a given design to meet a genuine musical need.
2) Aesthetics certainly have a role in instrument design, but must be secondary to functional considerations. The inability or awkwardness to fret the 8th string on a Bolin design is a weakness of the design. In my experience, the problem rarely arises in renaissance music, it is in later music that it can be a problem.
3) There is no especial problem in choosing strings to suit the altered design, and harmonic resonance will still apply with the proposed alteration. Note, the American arch guitar virtuoso, James Kline, who plays an 11s instrument, has the first 8 strings of the same scale length.
James.
 
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