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Johnny McGann's Random Musical Allsorts

CGDAEG on guitar body

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CGDAEG has been used by Robert Fripp (of King Crimson) and his disciples via Guitar Craft for over 20 years. I decided to put it on one of my electric guitars to check it out.

As you can see, it is very mando-friendly, since:

• the bottom 4 strings= Mandocello
• Middle 4= Octave Mando


The G string on top lets you play melody between the E and G without as many stretches; allows for a closer interval on top of chord voicings.

My mind still fights toward guitar tuning, since it's on a guitar body (and one I've had since 1977!)...this is humorous (great mistakes!) and frustrating, since I had no problem transitioning from mandolin to octave mandolin- the perception on a double strung 8 string on a 23" scale should be similar to this, but between the two outer strings and the high G, it's important for me to be mindful and not 'let go' into guitar reflexes.

Many of us struggle/struggled transitioning from guitar to mandolin, fingering-wise...maybe this is the mandolin's way of getting back at us for taking it onto a guitar body

The upside is some really beautiful chord voicings, especially ones that skip strings (I use hybrid picking- pick plus fingers for a piano-like attack). I've been practicing with headphones using a Klon Centaur for clean boost (amazing!) and a Yamaha UD Stomp, which is a very deep digital delay (actually combines 8 separate delay units) for some reverb/delay that makes the headphone experience a liquid stereo bath (and keeps the family asleep late at night and early in the AM).

You have to be a bit selective in the low end, as this is truly a bass clef instrument, and some of the voicings that work well on mando are just too muddy. But that low string, combined with string skipping, allows for some great sounds. Highly recommended for you Café explorers!

From an earlier electric section post:

Scale is long (Fender), I don't have the precise measurement but around 25.5 ish; .008/.010/.017 (will try 0.15 next, this is a bit stiff)/.026/.042/.056. It's quite a sound and anyone who plays the CBOM family would have a blast with it- the single strings help the fact that it is "stretchy", and a Gibson scale might help on that front- but I like the more sparkly tone from the longer scale.

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