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8 Octaves

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Well here I am posting on a forum again.... This is about music and musicianship and the viable tools needed to realize one's own musical goals. In 1974 I was playing a bass with one hand and a guitar with another when my sound man said "My neighbor made this instrument that puts those two instruments on the same fretboard. In 1975 I picked up The Stick Touchboard # 173 from Emmet Chapman's house.
My frustration was the  fact that the bass strings were inverted and tuned in 5ths.

I retuned the instrument ( and in those days, the bridge was just screws screwed into the Ironwood body). At that time, Emmet was adamant about this tuning. This lead to me having the first 7-string bass built.( don't mess with me on this subject please).

Fast forward to 2004 I had the first single course 12-string made which required me to come up with a string that tuned to Ab4 at the 32" scale length. That is a story for another day.
In 2010 ( how the time flies) Tom Drinkwater built me a single course 12 with 42 frets. Tuning is D0-A4 at the 29" scale length. Open A4 at the 29" scale length. 
Once I had 8 octaves, I then began to create a playing technique where I could finally use all 10 digits. 
Having straight 4ths tuning allowed me to read and play piano sheet music where it  is written and sounds. As we know, guitar and bass is played an octave below where it is written.
This way I can play the exact same register as a pianist does when reading piano music.

Developing the fingering has been an engaging process. I don't post the entire tune here because I am not revealing the process as of yet. Here is a segment of the final section of Scot Joplin's  "The Maple Leaf Rag". There are no compromises, these are the same notes in the same register that is played on the piano. No guitar and bass sharing the same neck. I am unplugged so I can hear the strings I made. If you watch closely at the very end I use my thumb to fret a note. This had been a process spanning over 40 years:https://youtu.be/frCeqbChEvY

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rcneville

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That is extraordinary! I can’t imagine going there myself but I am amazed at your persistence and ingenuity..
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8 Octaves

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Thanks for posting!
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Jayesskerr

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Hey! - that was some great playing, I'd love to hear it plugged in - please post when you create a clip of it plugged in!

As for the instrument itself, I'd like to see some photos if possible? I'm always curious about what people are creating and playing on in regards to tapping...

I play two Sticks, and honestly I am playing them less and less these days (guitar and violin addict) but my 12 string grand I have tuned to mirrored 4ths, and I must say that it has been a much more pleasant way to learn and play for me - It's even made playing in 5ths bass tuning much easier on my railboard. Nothing against Sticks, I think they are amazing instrument it's just that I am pretty sure that I am not destined to play one well, regardless of the time spent, tuning employed etc... lol My practice in learning hand independence has made my keyboard playing go from non-existent to useful haha

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Big George Waters

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That's an interesting point, as I'm seeing myself going from one who believed he would never own or play a Stick [as I had the Warr and two M.Megatars, and here I am suddenly getting an email from Cambria at S.E. stating that Emmett is completely on board with the custom tuning that I have selected for the used 34 in scale Stickbass 8 that will be coming my way probably late summer early fall.

That particular instrument really excites me I think because it is less strings and the bass side is the standard Classic tuning of 5ths C, G, D, A, while the melody side is standard electric bass tuning of E, A D, G, so two very familiar and useful tunings which I will have fun with like no tomorrow.

I doubt - in fact, I know that I will never be good enough on Stick to self accompany myself, but then again - that's not why I bought the Stick[s]...

 

I do love my Ironwoods, been playing #1855 a lot now - and even though I broke the high D, which oddly enough so did the last owner, and so did I also with the replacement high D he gave me - that I used his position # 2 string in position # 1, and tuned it by ear - and wound up settling on the same pitch as position # 3 because I was not about to break another string !!

But where I'm going with that is 10 strings is a whole lot of strings, and I saw no reason why position # 1 the high D that keeps breaking could not be something else in the mean time till that gets sorted out....

Then there's that crazy Ibanez I just got, wow is that thing changing my way of playing, 7 strings, 3 fretless 4 fretted... astonished nobody else ever thought of this sooner.

There's something to be said about custom instruments, especially when they work out πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ 

***8 Octaves, I'd love to know more about your 7 string bass from the mid 70s, that must have been one amazing instrument***

There's a guy I came across named Anthony Syme, as I have one of his 5 string extended scale fretless basses that he made, and believe me when I say it's like none other, I have a .160 tuned to A below B, and the tension is super tight due to the severe headstock angle.

When I told him how I was setting it up [3 bass, 2 melody...] sorta like a Chapman Stick, he immediately turned me on to a luthier/builder out in Colorado who apparently was building instruments so out there they did not even have names !!

I would have loved to see the original Warr guitars which were supposedly so massive they had to be played on top of tables or drum stands..........

 

 


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Big George W

           East Derby CT

Mobius Megatar - tuned in Classic Stick Tuning [5ths/4ths]

M.Megatar Toneweaver - tuned in Major 3rds

Warr Phalanx 12 - tuned in 5ths [melody], 4ths [bass]

NS Stick Transparent Green w/Moses graphite neck, tuned in 8-string Guitar Intervals

digitech, T.C. Electronics, ART, Lexicon, GK, Markbass, EA, Bag End, Guild/Hartke, SWR, EV, Radial, Ampeg, Trace Elliot, Furman

 

 

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8 Octaves

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Big George- here is the 7-string around 1989 -you an hear it on tracks with just nylon string guitar( no overdubs) and percussion on YouTube. The instrument was created to facilitate a different approach to bass guitar:https://youtu.be/IbvMJV2Eczs and all the tracks from that CD save for "Bubble Work" . I use the vey first 11-string bass guitar on that track.

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jpeg 50257030_2165086626845746_1231282800670277632_n.jpg (16.25 KB, 4 views)

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8 Octaves

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Photos that were easy to find, with the 2010 12-string and the 2004 12-string (ads in Guitar Player and Bass Player Magazines)

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jpeg O4Pin GP.jpg (32.46 KB, 4 views)
jpeg octave4plus.JPG.jpeg (38.38 KB, 4 views)

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Big George Waters

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Reply with quote  #8 

incredible.... listening to the youtube link which has me really taken aback, as it is so beautiful.

thanks for sharing all this !!


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Big George W

           East Derby CT

Mobius Megatar - tuned in Classic Stick Tuning [5ths/4ths]

M.Megatar Toneweaver - tuned in Major 3rds

Warr Phalanx 12 - tuned in 5ths [melody], 4ths [bass]

NS Stick Transparent Green w/Moses graphite neck, tuned in 8-string Guitar Intervals

digitech, T.C. Electronics, ART, Lexicon, GK, Markbass, EA, Bag End, Guild/Hartke, SWR, EV, Radial, Ampeg, Trace Elliot, Furman

 

 

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Jayesskerr

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Reply with quote  #9 
8 Octaves - I get the sense that you've been doing this a while. Cool.
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txtouchguitarist

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Reply with quote  #10 
Big George, here's a pic of Frank Jolliffe with one of the first Warr Guitars......... BIGWARR.jpg
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Big George Waters

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Reply with quote  #11 

That is pretty incredible, and to think that right now on Reverb a similar instrument is for sale, but the chap selling it is becoming quite impatient.... he must think money grows on trees or something !!

 

Thanks for posting this...


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Big George W

           East Derby CT

Mobius Megatar - tuned in Classic Stick Tuning [5ths/4ths]

M.Megatar Toneweaver - tuned in Major 3rds

Warr Phalanx 12 - tuned in 5ths [melody], 4ths [bass]

NS Stick Transparent Green w/Moses graphite neck, tuned in 8-string Guitar Intervals

digitech, T.C. Electronics, ART, Lexicon, GK, Markbass, EA, Bag End, Guild/Hartke, SWR, EV, Radial, Ampeg, Trace Elliot, Furman

 

 

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8 Octaves

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayesskerr
8 Octaves - I get the sense that you've been doing this a while. Cool.

Yes since about 1969
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8 Octaves

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Reply with quote  #13 
I just want to be clear about concept..The Stick Touchboard and Warr guitars are not really 10 or 12, or 14-string instruments. They have two separate instruments sharing the same fretboard/neck. 5/5, 6/6, 7/7. What I do is consecutive 4ths across  the fretboard: D0 G0 C1 F1 Bb1 Eb2 Ab2 Db4 F#3 B3 E4 A4. The instrument in the video above has this tuning at the 29" scale length...think about that. This instrument has 41 frets. It has a larger range than any fretted string instrument. D0,18.35 Hz to the D8, 4698.63 at fret 41. The idea is not playing a bass guitar with one hand and a guitar with the other....it is playing a grand piano(97 notes) with both hands. This instrument allows me to read and play the notes that a pianist does on a piano. Unlike guitar and bass music, which we play an octave lower than it is written, this instruments plays the note where they are written and where they sound.    

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