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Thread: Bouzouki conversion

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Default Bouzouki conversion

    I know this has been discussed ad nauseam over in the mandolin boards, and I suspect I’ll end up saving my pennies to commission a build, anyway, but just in case…are there any special considerations to making a right-handed bouzouki into a lefty? A new bridge and a new nut would be a given, of course, but other than the ongoing debate on interior bracing is there anything bouzouki-specific I should be aware of?

    (And no, I'm not going to suddenly learn how to play right-handed.)
    Nathan
    Left-handed Eastman 905

  2. #2
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bouzouki conversion

    From the factors you mention, particularly the bracing, you might get a change in balance between the courses, but you'd still have eight strings exerting the same pressure on the tailpiece and bridge, so unlikely to cause serious problems to the structural integrity of the top in the short term. If you can see the bracing pattern using a mirror you'll get an idea of how the instrument is built.

    New saddle and nut (not sure if you'd need an entire bridge and I am assuming a floating rather than a pin bridge) would be needed; and if there is a scratchplate fitted it would be on the "wrong" side of the soundboard. Might be worth the effort of trying the conversion to see how you like the instrument before launching out on a new commission. You can return it to its former glory easily enough.

    Discalimer - I reserve the right to be mistaken about possible structural stresses. It is your decision whether you go ahead or not. Wait to see if you get more responses first!
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Bouzouki conversion

    That's some helpful information, John. Thank you!
    Nathan
    Left-handed Eastman 905

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