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Thread: 5 course questions

  1. #1

    Default 5 course questions

    Moving up from a regular OM to a five course with the intent to play both tunes and chordIng melody to accompany my own voice.
    Would it be more beneficial to add a lower say D string or an A string to either gdae or gdad .
    Ive read of intonation problems with the extra lower course.
    Im leaning towards gdaea but ive never played around with a 5 course really so any input would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 5 course questions

    My first inclination, assuming you have 1) a not-too-short scale length is to add a C2 course. If you use strings on the lighter side, you can still do the low "D" string as well as have the CGDAE tuning and have an extended range mandocello.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 5 course questions

    I should state that I have a weber hyalite OM at the moment and not a cittern style yet. But it will be ordered very soon by Nyberg.
    Would land around 20-22

  4. #4

    Default Re: 5 course questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommyeklund View Post
    I should state that I have a weber hyalite OM at the moment and not a cittern style yet. But it will be ordered very soon by Nyberg.
    Would land around 20-22”
    For me, that is a little on the short-side for a C2, but I have most definitely heard of folks who are quite happy with that scale length, or even a bit shorter. I use my mandocello for solo work and for accompanying my voice. An OM is also very good for accompanying voice, which is why I am expecting one to be delivered tomorrow. Having the full range of from C2 to E4 in one instrument .. well, I am a bit jealous

  5. #5
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: 5 course questions

    Consider a 9 string instrument at shorter scales, or an octave pair C (high underneath)
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

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  6. #6

    Default Re: 5 course questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of the Badgers View Post
    Consider a 9 string instrument at shorter scales, or an octave pair C (high underneath)
    GREAT Video on your wesite. Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 5 course questions

    I play a 10-string bouzouki/cittern made by Stefan Sobell. I tune it DGDad.
    Here are some examples:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZw5mK0BAEI&t=97s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIVb9cKqiq4
    Ellis A5 Special Deluxe
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  9. #8

    Default Re: 5 course questions

    I have a 5 course Sobell with a long scale and previously had a 5 course 15 Flyde. I play the Sobell as DGDAD. It would need adjusting to have the low string as a C. I rarely use the low string. I sold the flyde as it was too highly pitched.

    Concerning your question of adding a high A string, Im intrigued. I play my Mandola by reading the A that is usually the fifth fret of a high E string as the open 1st (high) string. Having a high A string with an E would give you remarkable range. Id be more inclined to tune that string as a B.

    I should add that a famous artist taught me to play a few tunes capped to 5 on the Sobell and they sound great.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: 5 course questions

    Either way, your instrument will contain an OM. The question is whether you want to expand it into the range of a mandocello - making it a cittern - or a mandola. Basically, your 5-course instrument will cover the guitars range, going slightly below or above it, depending on where you add that fifth course, so for playing tunes or accompanying vocals, I think that either will work, depending on your tonal preference.

    That decision is going to drive the scale length decision. I agree with meow-n-dolin that even 22 could be a bit short for those low C strings to sound as rich as they should. Im not even sure it would be long enough for a low D. If you decide to add the extra course on the high end, Id look at 20, or maybe 19, scale length.

    Fortunately, youre dealing with an excellent builder with lots of experience building mando family instruments. So, after you decide which five courses you want, Id ask Lawrence which scale length he thinks would work best for that range.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

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  12. #10

    Default Re: 5 course questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommyeklund View Post
    I should state that I have a weber hyalite OM at the moment and not a cittern style yet. But it will be ordered very soon by Nyberg.
    Would land around 20-22
    At that scale length the instrument would most likely be happiest with an extra high course. Tunings like GDGDG or GDADA really pop at that scale,and give you lots of room to play melody/accompaniment with loads of freedom. Here a a couple vids of that with a Sobell tuned FCFCF and capoed at the 2nd fret:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0hHBGbRajw
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv6bHyEwAXc

    Joseph

  13. #11

    Default Re: 5 course questions

    Really enjoyed your song!

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