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lurz
Mar-23-2016, 12:30am
Hi all, I've just returned form Thailand, where I was able to pick up a 'Phim' for under 20. Does anyone have any experience playing this instrument? Played acoustically it sounds like a mandolin / banjo. The electric Phims are usually used in Molam music and have a kind of trippy surf sound.

Anyway, ive read previous posts on this forum about members living in Thailand, but they are very old (the posts I mean). If anyone can help me answer the following questions, I'd be very greatul..

1) What tuning should I be using (the internet seems to think E-A-E, but it doesn't correspond to the stickers that were on the fret board.

2) What strings should I be using? The woman from whom I bought it, seemed to think guitar strings would be ok, but they snap whilst tuning, and as a result i've damaged both the thread of the tuning peg, so that it no longer turns, as well as the wood on the head, as to get it up to tune, the string began to cut into the wood. I've tried mandolin strings too, but the same problem.

If you have no idea what i'm talking about, I managed to get a video before the tuning problems. Here it is tuned GDG (I think) This is my version of an old Tibetan tune from the beautiful town of Kangding (played by ear, so some mistakes)

:)

lurz
Mar-23-2016, 12:47am
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDZ9Gy7QpVI&feature=youtu.be

Ron McMillan
Mar-23-2016, 6:53am
The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band feature a phim up front - though their music crosses genres in a BIG way.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wxdVx8464M

lurz
Mar-23-2016, 7:27am
I heard of this band recently. In fact I think they are playing in Bangkok tonight.

Anyone with a better ear than myself, have any idea what tuning he's using?

Charles E.
Mar-23-2016, 8:15pm
It has fret spacing similar to a dulcimer, ie, diatonic. But not quite the same. Try a set of dulcimer strings and tune it DAD.

Markie
Oct-18-2016, 11:02pm
[QUOTE=lurz;1481563]Hi all, I've just returned form Thailand, where I was able to pick up a 'Phim' for under 20.


Hi where did you buy it? I'm in Bangkok now.

M

DavidKOS
Oct-19-2016, 12:39am
on tuning a phim:

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/589934-tuning-a-phin-traditional-issan-guitar/

Ron McMillan
Oct-21-2016, 8:23am
Hi where did you buy it? I'm in Bangkok now.

M


I'd start at 'Thieves Market' between Yaowarat and Charoen Krung Road. It's pronounced something like woerng nakhon kasem. You might have to wander around a bit to find it, but eventually you'll stumble on a warren of little lanes full of musical instrument shops. Many of them are on Charoen Krung Soi 8 and Soi 10. One of the biggest stores (selling mostly western instruments) is Theera Music, whose location is here (https://www.google.co.th/maps/place/%E0%B8%98%E0%B8%B5%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B0%E0%B8%A1%E0%B 8%B4%E0%B8%A7%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%B4%E0%B8%84/@13.745446,100.5043728,18.5z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x30e299184df98981:0xe04f5c17601cd 41d!8m2!3d13.7456071!4d100.5046771?hl=en). They may have phim, but if they don't, other shops in the area certainly will. Don't be afraid to bargain hard. :)

Iain Stone
Mar-25-2017, 1:07pm
Hi all, I've just returned form Thailand, where I was able to pick up a 'Phim' for under 20. Does anyone have any experience playing this instrument? Played acoustically it sounds like a mandolin / banjo. The electric Phims are usually used in Molam music and have a kind of trippy surf sound.

Anyway, ive read previous posts on this forum about members living in Thailand, but they are very old (the posts I mean). If anyone can help me answer the following questions, I'd be very greatul..

1) What tuning should I be using (the internet seems to think E-A-E, but it doesn't correspond to the stickers that were on the fret board. I don't know why the stickers are always wrong, they are a fret off. E, A, E is the standard, but you can do whatever you want.

2) What strings should I be using? The woman from whom I bought it, seemed to think guitar strings would be ok, but they snap whilst tuning, and as a result i've damaged both the thread of the tuning peg, so that it no longer turns, as well as the wood on the head, as to get it up to tune, the string began to cut into the wood. I've tried mandolin strings too, but the same problem.

If you have no idea what i'm talking about, I managed to get a video before the tuning problems. Here it is tuned GDG (I think) This is my version of an old Tibetan tune from the beautiful town of Kangding (played by ear, so some mistakes)

:)
I found that the best gauge for E, A, E tuning is 28, 18, 12. The Thai makers basically take the G, B, and E strings off a set of light strings, tune the G down to E and tune the B down to A. With its shorter scale, you can imagine how floppy the strings feel. By using thicker strings it feels better and plays better.


Aren't these things (https://iainstone.com/what-is-a-phin-guitar) the coolest?

Ron McMillan
Mar-26-2017, 2:50am
The wonderful Rasmee Wayrana, a Thai singer who sings in the 'morlam' tradition (and appears at international folk/world festivals) is sometimes accompanied by a phim player. This is one of her most famous songs. The phim man solos at about 3 mins 30. Interestingly, he is using a capo in this song, which is (I think), in G minor. Three chords pretty much cover the whole song: G minor, C minor and D7


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCj1wngks68

Iain Stone
Mar-26-2017, 3:09pm
Ron, tell me about Moda and Etheng, if you can.

I know little about these instruments, but I am trying to build a few nice ones for myself and some friends.
I really want to make one with a dragon head carving for the headstock, but I dont know if I can carve something like that.
Here are a few phins I made. Do you have any suggestions?
this one is fully hollow, I tried to make a traditional leaf, or spade shape:
155346
This one is semi hollow I made this one shaped like a Hofner Bass:
155347
This one is a work in progress, I was thinking about a Jazzmaster shape for this, I took a left turn on the body... I am currently working on the finish and I have been posting pictures of the build on my website (https://iainstone.com/phin-prototype-3/).
155348

Ron McMillan
Mar-27-2017, 10:54am
Hi Iain. I'm afraid I know very little about the phim. Your creations look interesting, and if they can be tuned like a phim, I bet they can do the job. The few phims that I have seen tend to be very rudimentary folk instruments, sometimes not much more than planks with frets. The one in the Rasmee Wayrana clip above appears to be a deluxe modern professional model, with a wide, possibly radiused fretboard, fat frets that could even be Evo Gold - and a slick pick-up system in place :)