View Full Version : zouki tuning  D A D A ?

May-06-2004, 7:43am
what would I use for the highest A course?

May-06-2004, 7:50am
Are you talking unison courses OR octave courses? Hmm...

My suggestion would be octave courses on the bottom two, unison on the top two: bass D, treble D on the lowest (pitch-wise) course; bass A, treble A on the second-to-lowest; two, unison treble D's on the next-to-highest; and two, unison, treble A's on the highest. But, of course, that leaves your specific question unanswered...

Gauges should be as usual for a DAD three-stringer; for the bass A, use something a bit heavier (wound). As for the highest A's... perhaps some of our mandola/OM friends might be able to offer some more concrete suggestion.

May-06-2004, 8:14am
thats a good idea. I am not sure if I am going to do any of this... forgive my ignorance, the A course on the 6 string is NOT strung in octave?

May-06-2004, 8:37am
From my guitar experience, I think that tuning the high A to A=440Hz on a Greek bouzouki that has a scale length of at least 27 inches, is going to be difficult without the use of a capo. #You might try .008 inch strings which are used as the high octave G strings in light-gauge twelve-string guitar sets, but you would be trying to tune a whole step higher with a scale length at least a half step longer. #I have broken .008 inch strings trying to tune to A440 on twelve-string guitars. #I have never tried .007 or .0075 inch strings but have wondered how much volume such small strings would generate.

May-06-2004, 8:59am
Jacob has actually addressed the real issue, Jeff: The high, unison D's on any "bouzouk-tuning" instrument are just about the highest, thinnest, longest viable string for this use. To seek the A that is a fifth HIGHER is looking for trouble. #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

My suggestion was simply to differentiate the lower from the higher A-course by making the lower one an octave course and the higher one a unison course. But even the higher A of the octave-course sounds a fourth LOWER than the D, not higher.

In summary —and assuming you want to experiment with the "traditional" bouzouk-tuning: You may want to reconsider my original suggestion of an alternative nut and bridge, slotted to the 3-course standard. My 2 cents...

May-06-2004, 10:43am
I really like your original suggestion vic, but dino doesnt seem to care for it. I offered to pay him for an additional, and he said it would cost too much to build a new bridge and I wouldnt want to pay / he doesnt want to charge.
he said he would give me a good deal on a 3 string later on, but #I think I want a baglama for my birthday, I'll backup a bazouki player, and there is a few of them around , I havnt seen any baglama players.

May-06-2004, 12:12pm
Ha, ha... curious, that Dino finds an extra bridge and nut too expensive, but would gladly sell you another bouzouki http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif Oh, ever the salesman...

Let's talk baglama some day, Jeff http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Bob A
May-06-2004, 9:29pm
Yes, let's do talk baglama. I can't see going to a zouk, but the little baglama seems to be the ultimate travel instrument. Also they look like loads of fun. Is this the proper forum? I'll have to keep my eyes peeled - I didn't used to hang out down here, until I fell into rembetiko.

Victor, I hope I won't shock you, but I've been instructing the grandson in mandolin technique now and then, using the Kevorkian. It's so solid he can't hurt it. Anyway, he has now progressed to being able to hold a pick properly in his right fist, and last time we played (I confess to forming chords and letting him strum) he was able to get a decent tone, striking all four courses evenly and with a regular rhythm. And he now swings from the elbow rather than the shoulder. It will be a while, I fear, before he has enough control to use the wrist properly. Not bad for a guy who was, at the time, one year one week and one day old. And he was nearly as proud of himself as I was.

I used the chord progression from the Boccherini Night Music piece, where the violin has to imitatae a "chitarre". He's heard me messing with it for a while now, and yesterday I played the piece off the Master and Commander sound track, where it's done by Real musicians, and I swear he recognised it! It's such a gas, warping little minds this way. He'll have no idea in future why he's attracted to the mandolin. Just call me Johnny Mandoseed.

Well, I've certainly trashed this thread. Sorry, folks, got carried away again. (I know Victor won't mind - he's known for this sort of thing. But I digress . . .)

Patrick Gunning
May-07-2004, 12:40am
why not tune it ADAD, you could do that w/ regular OM strings.

May-07-2004, 7:13am
I had a dream last night about a baglama player in a restaurant. (speaking of trashing threads) it looked like he was playing with a domra player, but it sounded really full.:laugh: my dreams usually dont make sense. I think I was with my mother?http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif #

bob, good luck on the lessons. I am trying to teach my nephew. its real hard and slow, I dont know if I am a bad teacher, I am sure I am... but I am sure he is not practising enough, I gave him music reading exercises, paper and pencil stuff, he hasnt done it..I need to yell at my sister.. its been months, he doesnt bang out the major scale out, he can pick it, but he is still doing it by ear, which I guess isnt that bad.. at least I tought him to hear the scale. his wrist is control is nonexistant. he pounds his mandolin. I hold his wrist and tell him to strum. every week I have to tell him about the up and down strokes, not moving his elbow, keeping loose.. my mom bought my sister a guitar, she hasnt played for years, I am brushing her up and hopefully she can be more involved with my nephew's lessons now. she knows what he needs to do technique wise, she can figure it out, hopefully this will kick things up. its occured to me maybe he doesnt have a talent for this? I hope I am not being hard on him, but it seems my sister and I learned much quicker when we learned guitar as kids. she was real good, played at a local college when she was 6 or 7. her shoes are untied in the pic we have. maybe my memory fools me, I dont remember having to be shown things over and over. it seems like everyone on my dad's side of our family plays instruments, a few each.. I worry my sister's son maybe doesnt have our genes. maybe I am being a nazi?

ok I have obliterated this thread , super sorry. I am in my parents shop, and I am not going to do any work. glorious nepotism.. its friday, I am tired and I have pictures to draw. I am making my own cd art. I'm doing one classical- realist and one abstract line drawing of my friend, she's real pretty and gypsy looking so it will be perfect for my music. I dont know which one I'll use.

May-07-2004, 8:29am
OK, OK, I join in the collateral digression— if you insist. #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

First of all, Gunning is right on: Yes, Jeff, you could string your 8-stringer like the "laouto of Constantinople" a.k.a. Politiko, namely (A)A-dd-aa-d'd', or some other variant. Then, obviously, your question is answered and the issue of string-gauges is resolved automatically. Think: usual DAD on the TOP three courses, plus an extra, lower, "dominant drone" course; in essence, right around the corner from the "Celtic" GDAD. Thank you, Gunning!

Bob: Why would I be shocked? Heavens, THAT's what instruments are for! Pick on, both you AND your grandson! All the nicks and dents that will inevitably happen will convert #this to yet another "vintage" instrument by the time he is an adult. #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

I have hoped (alas, only gone so far...) to start a more, ehm... thorough thread regarding the Greek baglama, complete with images of the two instruments I have at hand on this side of the Atlantic. It's coming, it's coming...

Bob is perfectly right and echoes my own path: a folkie mandolinist by heritage, a "short-scale picker" by reflexes, without the kinesthetics of the guitar ingrained into my nervous system, who loves the rebetiko... why, the baglama is the obvious choice!

So, let me see if I can take some pictures this weekend and start a new thread under CBOM. In my (biased, as usual) view, the Greek baglama, with its 14-15 in. scale, is the mandolinist's most immediate, natural access to the rebetiko.

Now, if you all can stop the contractors from ringing me up for this and that rehearsal/recording/concert... #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

May-07-2004, 9:03am
does my sinister nature require us planning way ahead for this baglama? I could start next month or whenever... or is it easy, just flip a symetric pickguard model around?

May-07-2004, 9:06am
Oh, just flip it around! You may, of course, want to also flip-flop the bridge and make sure the width of the nut-slots is right —err... I mean correct— for the LEFT-handed player. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Beyond that, I can see no other requirement...

May-07-2004, 11:08am
wow gunning, I think I just might try that out... regular zouk on top, with a lower course, I am very curious to see what that will sound like..thanks. mari sells individuals for .15 or $.35 or something..that wouldnt cost me too much at all at $3 for zouki strings.