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Thread: Suggestions Please

  1. #1
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Suggestions Please

    I found a Fender electric guitar at a car boot sale, it is like new (although a cheap model). I bought it on a whim because it was so cheap (10).
    I have never owned or played a solid body six string electric guitar so I though I would convert it into a fifth tuned instrument.
    I really don't know anything about the style of pick up or how they work, it seems some of the strings don't actually line up directly above the pick up points, does this mean I can use one pick up point per two strings?
    If I tried a octave mandolin conversion could I use just four pick up points?
    The scale is 25.5" but as the neck is removable I can do any work necessary to adapt scale length & fret board width.
    I am open to any suggestion, are there any previous thread of a similar nature?
    Thanks Fox.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Suggestions Please

    I have been thinking about getting a cheap electric tenor by converting a 3/4 guitar, but as I dredged Robert Fripp and New Standard Tuning from my memory so maybe I will give that a go first.
    - Jeremy

    Wot no catchphrase?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Suggestions Please

    A Fender electric guitar for 10 pounds is a definite steal, is it a a Fender or a Squier by Fender? Even a Squier is a steal for that much. I've never seen a used Fender cheaper than $200-300 or so here in the USA. Can you post pictures of it? You might try tuning it in DADGAD if you don't want to try the normal EADGBE tuning. If you were to convert it to a four course instrument, you could put in blade style pickups instead of the single coil ones it sounds like you have. The single coils may still get enough signal though even if not exactly lined up with the string.

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  5. #4
    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions Please

    5 string mandocello tuning works. It involves getting some sets of the drop tuning strings and mixing and matching a little. There's one maker, d'Addario who even has a low C string, which is perfect. It's here

    I have also used the DR strings.

    Using a combination of these, you can easily get a 5th tuning starting with a low C. going CGDAE. That's the range, though, no sixth string!

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Suggestions Please

    I've done a modification of several full size guitars to full fifths tuning.

    My own Rainsong six string and Ovation 12-string mandophones play in tune throughout their range, and sound really good. Capoing them at the fifth fret gives me the mandolin and mandola range, and playing them open gives the OM/bouzouki/mandocello.

    I manage to play all the mandophones without problems of hitting more strings than I want to at any given time, and given that a lot of mando players can play less than all the strings on their instruments, I'm fairly certain it's not due to a lack of dexterity.

    When doing a conversion, the intonation on the lowest string sometimes had to be touched a bit at the saddle to be right for the lowest note of C2, two whole steps below the normal E2 of standard tuning. If I were to go to a low F1 on an acoustic guitar, as some might think would be necessary, it would indeed be a thick string. I went in the other direction, with a high B4 on the highest course, and going down in fifths from there. Details on getting there are in the following listed threads.

    The tuning on the majority of my acoustic guitar instruments is now CGDAEB, low to high. My eight-strings are electrics, both in full fifths, with the lowest strings being either Ab0 (high A4) or Bb0 (high B4). It's a versatile tuning for me.

    Discussion about a related tuning on guitars, which touches on re-entrant strings and gets to full fifths tuning at the end:

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=45977

    About my first self-converted six-string to full fifths mando tuning:

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=50620

    About converting an Ovation 12-string guitar into a 6-course, unison-tuned mandophone:

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=52587

    And, of course, the "Six String to Full Fifths Tuning" thread.

    Whatever you choose to do, good luck!
    Playing a hexed Eastman 614 oval-hole with scroll (hoodooed with MandoVoodoo!), a Flatiron 1SH mandola (original owner), a McNally Ukulele Strumstick in CGDA mandola tuning, a McNally 4-string Chromatic Strumstick in GDAE octave mandolin tuning, and rocking my six-course, unison-tuned 12-string Ovation mandophone/extended cittern in CGDAEB Full Fifths Tuning...

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  9. #6
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions Please

    Search the forum for Mandocrucian's mod for these. He shortens the neck and takes out a string. I'm tempted to find a mini strat to mod just to have the crazy pickup options. Most importantly...have a blast with your new find!

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  11. #7
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions Please

    Thanks for all the responses.
    Seter, I do feel at little foolish as it is not a Fender at all! I only bought it yesterday & made my post shorty after.
    I guesse the logo is designed to fool folk at a glance ... worked on me
    I think that I might try out the New Standard Tuning & also buy some suitable CGDAE strings but deep down I feel I would like double courses.
    I better look up blade style pickups too....




  12. #8

    Default Re: Suggestions Please

    Still a great deal for ten pounds, I feel like that's probably how much one of those plastic guitars for toddlers usually cost. It'll be a nice test bed for experimentation.

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  14. #9

    Default Re: Suggestions Please

    I looked up Falcon and they're part of the large JHS conglomerate. I didn't see any electrics currently on their site but comparable acoustics are 50-60 pounds so that's a steep discount nonetheless.

  15. #10
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions Please

    One of my friends told me they were for sale at our LMS for 120 complete with a strap, soft case, picks & a little amp.
    Anyway, I just replaced the broken E and played it for an hour or so.
    I have been playing six string acoustic for around 30 years, although I don't really gel with 4ths, it was fantastic fun!
    I have had a few good car boot buys over the years, best was a 1970s Yamaha classical guitar for 20. I sold it on for 350!

  16. #11
    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions Please



    Choose your tuning system (open chord, in 5ths, combination of 5ths and 4ths, five strings or six) and then slap on your capo and find the comfortable spot (5th fret, 7th fret, 9th fret) which is the comfortable scale length for your tuning.

    (I like to end up with something like G2 D3 A3 e4 a4 . bottom strings in 5ths with the top string a 4th.)

    Watch Albert Collins play his "electric mandola" (actually he uses an open minor tuning). Didn't hurt his "sound any having an artificial nut.





    Is it still a guitar? Is it more of an electric mando? WHO CARES! SOUNDS GREAT!

    Tuning, scale length? .... the only thing that really matters is WHAT COMES OUT OF THE AMP!

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  18. #12
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions Please

    You can add 2 more tuners and have an electric zouk.. 8 strings in 4 pairs .. 12 string guitar parts, rail type pickups.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
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