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  1. #1

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    I love playing jazz on my classical guitars, but I've found that the flat keys really lack resonance on the instrument. I was familiar with Yepes' work on the 10 string and I'd been curious how much an extended-range instrument would help. Answer: it helps a LOT.

    My Xmas present this year was a Bartolex 10 string guitar with a spruce top from Cathedral Guitar. At first it was almost like learning to play the guitar all over again. But about 30 days later I'm able to get around on it and have completed a couple of arrangements including the one below. I'm still using the Romantic tuning it came set up for, will try the Yepes tuning soon.

    I recorded the audio with a Tascam PR-10 (an inexpensive handheld recorder) and have not edited it at all. The room is small and has essentially no resonance, so everything you hear is the instrument.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    Nice Xmas present!

  4. #3

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    Sounds wonderful, Dave.

    Congratulations on the new guitar and for taking the leap.

  5. #4

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    Nice!!!. Beats my meager 7 strings.
    Seeking beauty and truth through six strings.

  6. #5

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    Sweet! Those extra bass notes sound handy.


  7. #6

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    Here's an update now that I've had the guitar for 6 months... I've got the bass string muting more or less under control and can play with clarity. I'm starting to experiment with different strings and microphones and am getting closer to the sound I was looking for.

    Hope to have some more ambitious video to share later this summer.

  8. #7

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    Lovely playing! Do the extra strings create more volume or resonance? How do you tune the bass strings and was it very difficult to make the mental adjustment? And who created the ten string classical?

  9. #8

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    Thanks, Jay!

    The extra strings are to add resonance and, depending how you tune it, may also increase the guitar's range. I'm currently using the Romantic tuning which is (descending from 7th) D, C, B, A, then altering the tuning to suit the key I'm playing in. This adds resonance, extends the range by a fifth, and makes it easier to play some lute music.

    The other major tuning is the Yepes tuning which is (descending from 7th), C, Bb, Ab, Gb but with the bottom three strings re-entrant (i.e., an octave higher). In this configuration the extra strings are not usually played, but the tuning guarantees that every note on the top six strings will have at least one other string vibrating sympathetically with it. This was an innovation of Narisco Yepes, one of the great 20th century classical guitarists. I've not tried this tuning yet.

    I find the extra resonance makes the guitar sound much more consistent regardless of key and position -- which feels like more freedom to me. The trade offs are that the thumb has to cover a much wider area and I have to be much more attentive to damping open strings. Now that I've had it for 6 months I can comfortably play all the strings and achieve good clarity. I hope to be able to improvise fluently by the end of the summer. :-)


  10. #9

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    Dave, what brand of strings do you use? Where do you get the lower 4 bass strings? As far as I am aware, only D'Addario and Savarez supply bass strings in those low gauges. Do you mix 6-string sets with D'Addario or Savarez deep bass strings?

    La Bella has 10-string sets for Romantic and Yepes tunings. But one does not like to get stuck on La Bella although they are good strings.

  11. #10

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    Right now it's got D'Addario EJ46LP on the top 6 and individual D'Addarios on the bottom four.

    The trebles are a bit bright. Any suggestions?

    I've not tried the Savarez deep bass strings. Do you have experience with them?

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfclark View Post
    Right now it's got D'Addario EJ46LP on the top 6 and individual D'Addarios on the bottom four.

    The trebles are a bit bright. Any suggestions?

    I've not tried the Savarez deep bass strings. Do you have experience with them?
    No, I don't. I was rather hoping that you'd have some experience with the Savarez. I am using the D'addario on my 8-stringer. Aranjuez provides a 0.053 bronze string for a low C that is highly regarded but I am just afraid of imbalance with the D'addario strung to a low A1 (55hz).

    Augustine strings have sort of fallen out of favour but I rather like the Augustine Imperial nylons. I use the Augustine Imperial Blue set for the upper six. The Imperials are medium tension. The Regals are high tension.

  13. #12

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    What about the Aquila 10-strings sets: Classical Guitar 6 & 10 strings | Aquila corde armoniche ?

  14. #13

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    D'Addario makes bass strings up to .060, and I have found that for low A or B, the .059 or .050 work really well. As for warmer trebles, try Luthier, they're unbelievable.

  15. #14
    Beautiful playing! 10 strings must put a lot of tension to guitar. Is this guitar heavier? Is there any special structures in for the tension?

    It would quite interesting to hear solo jazz guitar on it.


  16. #15

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    Nice playing, Dave. I'm used to Segovia's recording, which is beautiful, but on a measly little six string! Yours sounds great, though I kept waiting for one or two of those low notes to appear. Did you play them?

    I've played an eight-string classical guitar, and for many years played a 10-course lute, so I have a lot of repertoire which could be played on a 10-string guitar. I'd be very tempted, though, to try Yepes' tuning. There is something very interesting about his tuning.

    Can you give me a run down on the quality of the instrument for the price? I'm interested.

  17. #16

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    Thanks, Mikko! The tension isn't as high as with my steel string guitars. The neck does have a truss rod, though.

    I'm working on jazz improv on it -- hope to have a video late summer.

  18. #17
    Nice! Waiting for 10-stringed jazz.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikkoKarhula View Post
    Nice! Waiting for 10-stringed jazz.

    Check out Janet Marlowe, 10-string jazz.

  20. #19
    Thank you Ronjazz! I hadn't heard about her before. I'm listening her music now, it's beautiful indeed.

    I would love to hear some one who had find use for bass strings on 10-string guitar more widely.