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  1. #1

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    I don't know how serious I about this am but the more I listen to oud music, the more interested I get. If anyone here plays oud, where does one start? What is a good starter instrument? Is the Godin electric oud worth considering?


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  3. #2

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    I've played a bit, cause I love oud music, Turkish and especially Arabic. Had flatmates for years that played a lot. You have a headstart when already a guitar player, although picking is different obviously, more like the flamenco use of the thumb. But it's pretty easy to start playing, and fun.

    The hardest is to get to hear the non temperament scales and notes. No experience with the Godin Oud, but maybe it's a good solution if a traditional budget one is difficult to get where you live.

  4. #3

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    That Godin oud looks nice. Having had the traditional violin type tuning pegs on my first baglama saz, I would recommend getting something with geared tuners so you don’t spend half your time getting in tune.
    I love the saz. It’s only got 7 strings in 3 courses, and frets. So much easier! Hope to try oud sometime.

  5. #4
    I've got one, a Turkish bowl back, lower performance level model. I love it.
    I don't know what the best way for you to start is but I began by learning basic Makam (scales like ragas) and training my ear to hear the subtleties of microtonal playing and un-just nuance.
    After working in that way for a while, I went fretless on guitar and now I play 7 string fretless archtop as much as I play fretted.
    I play all tonal music using a fretless guitar now.
    The thing I did shy away from on the oud was the use of the plectrum which is characteristically unique and essential for getting that distinctive sound. I'm a finger player and I could never do it justice, hence my move to fretless guitar.

  6. #5

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    I’m also interested in exploring the oud, Jim. I have been studying flamenco guitar for about the past year, and I’m really drawn to Arabic-influenced music. But, I have never picked up an oud and wouldn’t know where to start.

  7. #6
    Jim, have you gotten into fretless classical?

  8. #7

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    Jim, you have a PM from me.

    Cheers, Markku

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Jim, have you gotten into fretless classical?
    I have about 8 of Cenk's albums. He's become one of my all time favorite guitarists. Antonio Forcione is another favorite who plays some fretless nylon string. This all really just thinking out loud right now but that where ideas usually begin.

  10. #9

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    I was not familiar with Oud, but a friend from work showed me some youtube videos one day. By coincidence I had also been listening to Dick Dale that week. (there is a connection).

  11. #10

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    We had a fretless classical around in the house for a few months. It was a good instrument but I could never bond with it. There just wasn't a character in the sound.. Personal taste probably. I've heard fretless guitarists and they sound awesome.

  12. #11

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    I traded one of my guitars with a Glissentar and tried playing classical Turkish melodies with it. I find it more familiar than oud because of the longer scale but that also makes intonation harder.

  13. #12

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    I started playing oud recently-got a Godin Multioud Encore just before Christmas-although I've always loved the sound. The MultiOud plays really well and the tuning gears were one of the main reasons why I chose it. The acoustic sound is very decent for practising but it obviously shines as an electric instrument. I'm very happy with the sound using a Schertler David and an Arabic string set-I use the Arabic tuning, C to C as I love the deeper sound.

    If you wanna go deeper into the Maqam system, I would recommend the book Inside Arabic Music by Johnny Farraj and Sami Abu Shumays - very thorough and informative.

    Sami has an excellent YouTube channel where he demonstrates some of the topics in the book-also highly recommended:
    . The 'Oud for guitarists' channel and website are also good references.

    There a few Oud methods out there, but I wouldn't recommend the Hal Leonard one-very dry with no reference to Maqams or any idiomatic elements of the music. Sami's videos would be a better start in my opinion, as he walks you through each jins (building block of the maqams) and focusses on ear training, intonation and phrasing.

    This app is also very useful-there is a pro version but even the free one includes a lot of info:Maqamat Al-Arabiya on the App Store

    Recommended listening (old and new, traditional and fusion):
    Simon Shaheen
    John Berberian
    George Mgrdichian
    Naseer Shamma
    Munir Bashir
    Yurdal Tokcan
    Riyad Al Sunbati
    Farid Al Atrache/Atrash
    Yorgo Bacanos
    Anouar Brahem
    Dhafer Youssef
    Charbel Rohana
    Last edited by IbanezAS100; 01-25-2021 at 07:01 AM.

  14. #13

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    I fell in love with oud back in the '80s, largely through Munir Bashir. I found a decent Turkish style oud at the Music Inn in NYC and had some lessons with Syrian and Yemeni oud players. I formed a small group with some university classmates, adding upright bass, viola and percussion and teaching them the songs. We played out a number of times around the university town. After learning a little Arabic, I went Syria, as I heard Aleppo was one of the centers of traditional luthiers. I picked up a Syrian oud and took a few lessons there, as well. Years later, the Syrian oud sadly fell prey to the intense steam heating in my NYC apartment, with the bridge popping off (I still have the Turkish one, but its top is now cracked). I really missed them, but gravitated toward musics using maqam and similar tonal systems, playing them on guitar as much as is possible with frets. A couple of years ago, I picked up a Godin MultiOud and I concur with others here and can say that it feels and sounds to me close enough to a classic oud, without the tuning woes and delicate construction, though some teachers may recommend a traditional one. I would add that a good teacher from within one of the various oud traditions was a big boost when I first took up the instrument, but now in the age of online instruction it seems there are some very useful resources available. I wish you all the best as you embark on what is sure to be a wondrous journey. Enjoy!

    Back to the teachers for an aside, the Syrian teacher, from whom I learned primarily Sunbati and Abdelwahhab songs made famous by Oum Kulthoum, as well as Farid Atrash and other Egyption popular and filmi songs, insisted that the Yemeni music that I was also learning was not worth the time, that it was merely "jitterbug" music. While I loved both traditions, and often preferred the odd time signatures and angular rhythms prevalent in the Yemeni tradition, I think it's important for us as more or less outsiders to the traditions and cultural viewpoints, to appreciate a range of styles.

  15. #14

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    I bought a gig bag from a member of this forum, who I later heard on a radio talk show, playing in a popular Broadway show that he played the oud in. He was improvising brilliantly on the thing, and sounded like John Coltrane!

  16. #15

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    Re: the Godin oud, I saw a guy at a renaissance fair who tied on frets to his Godin and used it as a lute! (He had one of those roland moblie cubes hidden in a bag, with wireless system for amplification... sounded great)