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Thread: One need not have any super-fancy instrument to have bouzouki FUN

  1. #1

    Default One need not have any super-fancy instrument to have bouzouki FUN

    Hi.
    I've been playing folk music for well over a half century.
    Growing up in a lower middle class, less than affluent
    family, I had to scrimp & improvise to get the
    instruments I was rabidly interested in learning/playing.
    I mention this to preface the following opinion:
    (This is an opinion mind you)
    Having owned a variety of commercial
    bouzoukis (two Trinitys, one Fylde, many
    home-mades/converted jobbies, etc) I must say
    that I have never ever had more pure fun than playing
    my Epiphone 12-string guitar-to-bouzouki
    conversion what with it's 2 sets of "useless"
    "drones"/sympathetics"on the lower end - etc.
    It's become my "go to" bouzouki of choice.
    The point here: it certainly does not take a fancy
    commercial instrument to have a ton of fun.
    Each to their own opinion -- this is mine.
    That's all. Dennis Havlena
    Mackinac Straits, northern Michigan
    Dual citizen, Canada/U.S.
    dhavlena@gmail.com
    http://DennisHavlena.com

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  3. #2

    Default Re: One need not have any super-fancy instrument to have bouzouki

    Quote Originally Posted by dhavlena View Post
    it certainly does not take a fancy commercial instrument to have a ton of fun.
    Agree. IMO the main considerations are whether the instrument is designed/built for optimal playability, which may be hard to define because it can vary considerably from one player to the next (stuff like fret size, neck width etc). And also of course the setup.

  4. #3
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: One need not have any super-fancy instrument to have bouzouki

    Yep. One can have a lot of fun. All you need is a bit of curiosity and some skill.

    I have a 'super-fancy' mandolin and it does not make me a better player. It may be fun to appreciate it's qualities. But frankly, the fun is in the music, not the instrument.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: One need not have any super-fancy instrument to have bouzouki

    Generally, I am in whole-hearted agreement with this. A decent, playable instrument can give you a lot of joy and even be a blessing at gigs. However, if you are trying to push the upper limits of playability and being the top in your area, a high-end instrument can give you many advantages. One of them is sound quality, even though you must provide the technique and "tone" in your hands to get the most out of it. The other one is exceptional setup, which can facilitate playability to such an extent that it comes easy to do the harder stuff technical wise. But none of this is guaranteed with an expensive instrument.
    Last edited by illinoisfiddler; Nov-10-2018 at 11:23pm.

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    Registered User JH Murray's Avatar
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    Default Re: One need not have any super-fancy instrument to have bouzouki

    Dennis your conversions have been a delight and an inspiration to a whole lot of cigar box guitar makers and DIY enthusiasts. Have you made any more upright bass projects? Cheers!

  9. #6

    Default Re: One need not have any super-fancy instrument to have bouzouki

    Quote Originally Posted by JH Murray View Post
    Dennis your conversions have been a delight and an inspiration to a whole lot of cigar box guitar makers and DIY enthusiasts. Have you made any more upright bass projects? Cheers!
    Hi JH & thanks. Instrument tinkering has been endless fun for most of my long life. No bass stuff recently but just today while tearing apart/fixing our clothes dryer, got to thinking a dryer drum'd likely make a nice bass body Best wishes.
    Dennis Havlena (dual Canadian/U.S. citizen)
    dhavlena@gmail.com http://DennisHavlena.com

  10. #7

    Default Re: One need not have any super-fancy instrument to have bouzouki

    Quote Originally Posted by illinoisfiddler View Post
    Generally, I am in whole-hearted agreement with this. A decent, playable instrument can give you a lot of joy and even be a blessing at gigs. However, if you are trying to push the upper limits of playability and being the top in your area, a high-end instrument can give you many advantages. One of them is sound quality, even though you must provide the technique and "tone" in your hands to get the most out of it. The other one is exceptional setup, which can facilitate playability to such an extent that it comes easy to do the harder stuff technical wise. But none of this is guaranteed with an expensive instrument.
    Thanks I.F. Agreed.

  11. #8

    Default Re: One need not have any super-fancy instrument to have bouzouki

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    Yep. One can have a lot of fun. All you need is a bit of curiosity and some skill.

    I have a 'super-fancy' mandolin and it does not make me a better player. It may be fun to appreciate it's qualities. But frankly, the fun is in the music, not the instrument.
    Hi Doug. I get a lot of ideas by browsing thru "instruments if the world" books. Neat thing about instruments is there's no end to ones that can be invented. Never run outta tinkering ideas.

  12. #9

    Default Re: One need not have any super-fancy instrument to have bouzouki

    i stared on a fifties greek bouzouki i found in a junk shop on vancouver island. i got the bouzouki and a sitar for $300 canadian and sold the sitar for $400, a free bouzouki?? played it for years as my main instrument. i sold it, then regretted it and the buyer sold it back to me!!! it remains a joy to play. don't have a picture, but here's a pic of a later find an antique greem zouk also a junk store findClick image for larger version. 

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  13. #10
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: One need not have any super-fancy instrument to have bouzouki

    Quote Originally Posted by dhavlena View Post
    Hi Doug. I get a lot of ideas by browsing thru "instruments if the world" books. Neat thing about instruments is there's no end to ones that can be invented. Never run outta tinkering ideas.
    As an owner of a pouchett ('pocket violin') and two trumpet violins, the notion of fun, especially for the audience is greatly enhanced. Keep the tinkering ideas coming my friend. We can always use more fun.

  14. #11
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: One need not have any super-fancy instrument to have bouzouki

    I thought it was mandatory. Darn.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  15. #12
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: One need not have any super-fancy instrument to have bouzouki

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    But frankly, the fun is in the music, not the instrument.
    Frankly, it's all fun. To paraphrase Wooderson from Dazed and Confused, you need not have a super-fancy instrument to have fun. But it'd be a lot cooler if you did.
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  16. #13

    Default Re: One need not have any super-fancy instrument to have bouzouki

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    I thought it was mandatory.
    Which, the fun or the super-fancy instruments?

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