What am I doing here?

Talk about musical instrument construction, setup and repair.

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blackalex1952
Blackwood
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Location: North East Victoria

Re: What am I doing here?

Post by blackalex1952 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:09 pm

I thought I'd chime in as I'm stuck in a hospital for a while!
My opinion is that the techniques for playing a Bouzouki need to be accommodated ie the "feel" to the player along with the tuning and tonality. The shape is not as important. But definitely string tension, neck shape, action, responsiveness relative to how the soundboard is tuned and braced, the body resonances, along with the characteristic "bazoukiness" is more important than the shape. And to my ear the Irish bazouki and the Greek bazouki are very different anyway. In any case I think they might all fall into the category of the cittern family. So in this case we have yet another version. The builder/player in the photo looks inspired and proud of his achievement! To me that's GOLD!!!Check out the Portuguese guitars! Beautiful versions of the cittern family, which I believe includes the mandolin family. In Southern Spain (Cadiz)I saw lots of " mandolini" as they are called.
Cheers! Ross
"Everything I say on the topic is based solely upon inexperience and assumption!"

Gassy
Wandoo
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Re: What am I doing here?

Post by Gassy » Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:19 pm

Sorry to hear you're in hospital Ross, best wishes for a fast recovery (unless the nurses are extraordinarily cute).

Actually, funny you mention the Portuguese guitars, I've ordered a bouzouki made by a Portuguese maker which is then setup by an Irish Luthier. The maker actually calls it a Portuguese Bouzouki as it has a bigger body than their Irish model and so more sustain. I'll still be making my own, though Graham McDonald's mandolin book arrived first so I've already started on jigs for that ;).

It's that ringing drone sound, but punctuated by the almost mandolin tones that I like about the bouzouki. Some makers like Stefan Sobell make quite large body bouzoukis and he also makes citterns - well he did, but not at this time. He did a 10 string "bouzouki", or is it a cittern? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knphd8FrSwk

This somewhat shows the flexibility and tonality of the instrument that appeals to me;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knphd8FrSwk

blackalex1952
Blackwood
Posts: 657
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:36 pm
Location: North East Victoria

Re: What am I doing here?

Post by blackalex1952 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:30 pm

My favorite Potuguese guitar is the Combirra. 20mm longer scale archtop with a curved fingerboard. Played with special finger picks using a "pinching" finger movement with the picking hand plectrums. Faster single notes played with picking finger upstrokes. The tuners have been adapted from the English Cittern. http://portoguitarra.com/en/produtos/gu ... e-coimbra/
"Everything I say on the topic is based solely upon inexperience and assumption!"

blackalex1952
Blackwood
Posts: 657
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:36 pm
Location: North East Victoria

Re: What am I doing here?

Post by blackalex1952 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:40 pm

Although we have segueyed off the original topic here, in a way, the discussion is probably quite relevant to you Gassy. Jack Spira who is a very good luthier and great guy to boot makes a nice Irish Bouzouki. You could google his website and have a look at them. Anyone who tells me that they are in the market for one I recommend Jacks. Great sound and playability. Not too pricey for the quality, either and he does masterful inlay work as well. Occaisionally available in Melbourne from Gerry Hale at Guitar Gallery Elgin street.
"Everything I say on the topic is based solely upon inexperience and assumption!"

Gassy
Wandoo
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:13 pm

Re: What am I doing here?

Post by Gassy » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:05 pm

Yep Ross, Jack's instruments are very impressive indeed, a number of pictures by proud owners in the Irish bouzouki group on Facebook. Jack is moving at this time and I was impatient, plus I am not certain about what I want or even if the instrument will suit me. Although I tried a friend's cittern last night, the resonance was just amazing, you could literally feel it in your gut, unfortunately I forget the makers name but that one is a $10k instrument.

However, I seem to have started building a mandolin because Graham's book arrived and so I started with the jigs whilst researching/sourcing timbers for the rest of it.

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Lillian
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Re: What am I doing here?

Post by Lillian » Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:38 am

Welcome to the forum Gavin.
I'm going to agree with the lads. You will be surprised at just how well your first one will turn out. Going with cheap wood is false economy at best. At worst, it will turn you off building because of all the problems you had to deal with from the substandard wood. I would also suggest that when you do order your wood, get a few orphaned sides. These lonely sides are perfect for getting a feel for bending sides, either on a pipe or with a blanket. They are great to take a first run at pretty much any of the things you'll need to get acquainted with, like joining the back plates, thinning down sides and backs to the thickness you need and of course, bending.
Good Luck and remember to post pictures.

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