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Re:Bronze wound strings (1 viewing) (1) Guest
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TOPIC: Re:Bronze wound strings
#3075
Ronin Minstrel (User)
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Bronze wound strings 1 Month ago Karma: 0  
Hello, fellow enthusiasts of the alto guitar! I'm new here, and wondering if any of you have an opinion about bronze wound basses. I am using them primarily to give myself a visual reference point, by using standard silver basses on strings 4-6, and bronze (Aranjuez classic gold) on 7-11. That way it's easy to see where the diapasons begin.

So far the sound is ok. I could not find the individual basses in higher tension for the bronze, and they are a bit boomy rather than punchy. I think I will also try the reverse with strings 4-6 as bronze, since I'd be able to use whatever I like on 7-11.

I am anxious to hear anyone's opinion on this. On a side note, I have treasured all of the great advice I've already read on this forum, and am very pleased to finally be a part of it. I've played 6 string for 23 years, alto for 3 months. These last three months have been quite a challenge, but they've rekindled my passion for the instrument.
 
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#3076
tenvec (User)
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Re:Bronze wound strings 1 Month ago Karma: 1  
Hello, Sean,
Delighted to welcome you to the alto forum.
The alto guitar is a very capable instrument, usually played as a transposing instrument, i.e., one finds the frets as though playing a standard tenor in E. The pitch of the alto strings, a minor third higher, returns the music to the desired key, usually a flat key. This, of course, works very well for renaissance lute music, which, traditionally in the guitar world, is transcribed in positional fret format, rather than absolute pitch.
Baroque lute music can present problems because of the marked difference in course intervals for a baroque lute, as against typical guitar string intervals. Occasionally, some chords, ornaments, and slurs become difficult or impossible on guitar. However, careful selection of pieces will give music that can be fairly accurately reproduced on alto. The reason for the 'fairly;' is that guitarists in transcribing baroque lute music can miss the fact that successive notes on baroque lute may occur across courses, rather than along a string, as they may appear to a guitarist. Thus, a baroque lutenist may create a campanella effect that can be missing in a guitar transcription. An advantage of an alto is that, on average, it moves baroque lute music three frets nearer the nut compared to a 10s in E, say.
With regard to strings, Glen Campbell, a member of this forum, has done a fair amount of experimentation with strings, and may be able to advise strings for a crisper sound. My advice would be to try Hannabach high tension basses. Additionally, those who have tried Aquila nylgut strings speak highly of their sound. They have gut brightness without gut environmental sensitivity.
James.
 
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#3078
Ronin Minstrel (User)
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Re:Bronze wound strings 1 Month ago Karma: 0  
Thanks, James,

I appreciate the welcome. I've tried Aquila strings on my 6 string, and like them quite a bit. I will definitely give them a whirl on the alto soon. Perhaps the Hannabach basses as well.

Right now I'm working on the Weiss Gm Chaconne, which is one of the primary reasons I decided to start playing alto. I'm learning the Sollscher transcription, which I like very much. I hope to eventually bring in some of the passages that I hear in the original, but time will tell if that is possible in this tuning.

I have the "Altgitarre" book from Per-Olof Johnson as well. I got it from Stephen Bright's website, along with Carulli's decacorde method (which I have not yet used).

I also play my Alto in my trio, The Orion Guitar Trio, along with Matt Grasso (a marvelous seven string player) and Greg Williams (an equally marvelous six string player). We play transcriptions of classical works, movie themes, and even some jazz standards. So, while I love the Renaissance and Baroque literature, and plan to learn more of it, I am by no means a purist.

Sean
 
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#3079
Sten (User)
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Re:Bronze wound strings 1 Month ago Karma: 4  
Hi,

Yes, Hannabach high tension basses are good.

Sten
 
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#3081
Ronin Minstrel (User)
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Re:Bronze wound strings 1 Month ago Karma: 0  
Thanks for the second opinion, Sten. I will certainly give them a try soon. They are rather expensive on this side of the Atlantic, but I'm willing to pay to get the right sound.

Sean
 
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#3082
tenvec (User)
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Re:Bronze wound strings 1 Month ago Karma: 1  
Hi, Sean,
My impression of the members of the alto forum is that they have a strong interest in baroque and baroque lute repertoire, but also other musical genres. If you look down the list of posted sheet music, you will find "Smoke gets in your Eyes", by Jerome Kern.
I am quite fond of some of the light music of the inter-war years, particularly pieces by Kern, Rogers, Gershwin and Porter. The arrangements I have are taken from original piano scores, so, not easy. though that Kern number is straightforward. A point I found interesting in this period of music, with its strong vocal element, is that keys frequently chosen by the composers were much the same as those used by renaissance lute composers, i.e., flat keys, and therefore suited to the alto, rather than a tenor in E.
The Orion Trio sounds very interesting. Any recordings?
James.
 
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