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A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?

matt milton 26 Apr 18 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Henry Piper of Ottery 26 Apr 18 - 04:51 AM
GUEST,pfr on mobile phone in bed 26 Apr 18 - 05:02 AM
GUEST,pfr thinking about getting out of bed 26 Apr 18 - 05:22 AM
Stanron 26 Apr 18 - 05:30 AM
vectis 26 Apr 18 - 05:38 AM
GUEST,pfr 26 Apr 18 - 05:41 AM
matt milton 26 Apr 18 - 05:45 AM
matt milton 26 Apr 18 - 05:55 AM
GUEST 26 Apr 18 - 06:17 AM
GUEST,pfr on the sofa downstairs 26 Apr 18 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,pfr 26 Apr 18 - 06:38 AM
punkfolkrocker 26 Apr 18 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Jerry 26 Apr 18 - 09:48 AM
punkfolkrocker 26 Apr 18 - 09:53 AM
matt milton 26 Apr 18 - 10:04 AM
punkfolkrocker 26 Apr 18 - 10:11 AM
punkfolkrocker 26 Apr 18 - 10:13 AM
GUEST 26 Apr 18 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Jerry 26 Apr 18 - 10:27 AM
ST 27 Apr 18 - 12:42 AM
GUEST,Mark Bluemel 27 Apr 18 - 03:56 AM
ST 27 Apr 18 - 04:37 AM
Will Fly 27 Apr 18 - 08:39 AM
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Subject: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: matt milton
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 04:16 AM

I've worked out a nice fingerpicky guitar accompaniment to a song (As Sylvie Was Walking, as it happens) and tried recording it last night. It just sounds too much on my guitar, which is quite a bassy instrument.

I might borrow my mum's Baby Taylor and try it out on that.

But it set me to wondering if there were any lute-like instruments out there that are tuned exactly like a guitar. The closest thing I could think of were those 6-string banjos. Anyone own one? Recommendations? Anyone think of anything similar to that - an instrument you could play exactly like a guitar, but just have a more delicate, smaller, lighter sound that wouldn't be as dominant as a guitar would be?


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: GUEST,Henry Piper of Ottery
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 04:51 AM

I think you'd find a 6 string Banjo accompaniment even more intrusive, they can be very loud,....How about a 4string instrument such as a Tenor guitar or a Baritone ukulele tuned as the top four strings of a conventional guitar you can then use guitar chords minus the bottom E and A .


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: GUEST,pfr on mobile phone in bed
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 05:02 AM

My immediate thoughts are use a different mic position,
Or even a different mic, for recording
That demphasises bass frequencies.
..or EQ in your DAw mixer to thin out the tone of your guitar.

Btw My 6 string banjo has a very solid bass end.

Now, as I believe in the power of new guitar purchases,
One solution is to treat yourself to a classic thin line semi acoustic electric with F holes based on Gibson 335 body
Eg epipone casino, epi Sheraton, epi Riviera, or any other brand..
That will definitely have a much lighter acoustic tone for close mic recording.
A good resonant solid body electric will have an even thinner acoustic tone for close mic recording...


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: GUEST,pfr thinking about getting out of bed
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 05:22 AM

In fact just take a look at the lovely epiphone century in sunburst or red finish.
(or the more expensive James bay signature verdion )
No need for any justification. It just cheers me up looking at it.
I want one...

Btw playing electric guitars unplugged is a perfect solution for very late night practice and noodling...


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: Stanron
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 05:30 AM

Check out Nashville tuning.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashville_tuning_%28high_strung%29

It means restringing your guitar with the high strings of a twelve string set. As a result, the bass strings are an ovtave higher. This gives a lighter, less bassy sound.

Probably best done with a second guitar so you still have a normal guitar when you want one.


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: vectis
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 05:38 AM

Try an Ozark tenor guitar. Only four strings but the same fingering as the DGBE strings on a guitar.


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: GUEST,pfr
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 05:41 AM

Yeah.. I agree.. Nashville tuning is a definite option..
I've got a squier strat copy permanently set up for it.

I've also got a les Paul copy in a quicker easier compromise tuning
Where I just replaced the bottom E string with a D string
And tuned it to E an octave above...


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: matt milton
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 05:45 AM

I think I'll probably just simplify the arrangement. Was trying to be clever rather than actually working out what suits the song! Too many notes in it.

In my head, I keep hearing the sort of lovely jingly sound that Shirley Collins had on that banjo-lute thing she used to play - the instrument at the start of 'I once loved a boy, a bonny bonny boy' on whichever 1960s album that was

I have just had some enjoyable procrastination looking at guitaleles on the Thomann shop. I like the sound samples of the Yamaha GL1:
https://www.thomann.de/gb/yamaha_gl1.htm

Might be on the shopping list for when I get paid


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: matt milton
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 05:55 AM

Thanks for the Nashville tuning tip. I'd heard about it before but never investigated. I'd been thinking about buying a 'beater' acoustic guitar recently - something cheap I could carry in a soft case on my back when I cycle to gigs (I've got back into cycling everywhere recently, effort to lose the creeping onset of beer belly) - and you've just provided me with an extra incentive to make a purchase.


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 06:17 AM

just to mention that nashville tuning and other restringing alternatives
are easier to intonate accurately
on adjustable electric guitar bridges, and archtops with floating bridges
than fixed bridge acoustics..
but theres areasonable chance itll be close enough for cowboy chords...


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: GUEST,pfr on the sofa downstairs
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 06:18 AM

guest was me


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: GUEST,pfr
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 06:38 AM

Sorry, I'm not properly awake yet.
Blindingly obvious Thought has only just struck..

If this is a good excuse to buy a good cheap used guitar...

A 12 string would seem ideal

You can then subtract and add strings back on as often as required
And the bridge should already be fairly well set up.
If you take a course off to go Nashville, it may only need a minor truss tod tweak,
Then good to go...

More strong black tea needed to wake me up mow.
.


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 09:41 AM

I was curious and checked the thomann link...
That's basically a small body half scale guitar
like the kid's instruments I recommended on the recent travel guitar thread...


Or you can just capo a normal guitar at fret 5...
and EQ it a tadge if necessary when recording...


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 09:48 AM

Not sure if I am missing something here, but whilst I would agree with all the above suggestions about Nashville tuning and the like, wouldn’t it be possible to just play with less attack, with say finger ends only and not nails or picks? It seems a bit mad to invest in a new instrument for each song you learn, in which case I wouldn’t be able to move in our house for instruments, hang about.....I can hardly already.


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 09:53 AM

Jerry - there is a mantra, much beloved by credit card companies...

"one more guitar, just one more..."...


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: matt milton
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 10:04 AM

I own one acoustic guitar, one electric guitar, one banjo and one uke. So I'm a long way from investing in a new instrument for each song I learn; that's pretty modest going for a strings player. The vast majority of what I play is on the acoustic guitar. (in fact I should probably sell the electric - haven't played it in over 15 years)

It's probably more that I've got a redundant arrangement that doesn't suit the material but I was just wondering. There's a big difference in sound and atmosphere, for example, in playing something on a mandolin compared to playing the same arrangement on a bouzouki or octave mandola; there's a big difference in sound and atmosphere in playing something on a steel-string guitar as opposed to a nylon classical. I've even found certain songs just seem to 'make more sense' when I've played them on the Baby Taylor guitar at my mum's house, compared to my own all-mahogany guitar.


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 10:11 AM

Matt - something I wanted about a decade ago, but couldn't find affordable
was a 5 string banjo neck on a guitar or mandola body...

I thought the sound samples I heard were very inspiring...


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 10:13 AM

"banjola"


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 10:16 AM


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 26 Apr 18 - 10:27 AM

I agree that’s very modest, compared to most contributors to this site, and I certainly would not dissuade you from trying a mandolin, mandola, bouzouki or even triple but your arrangement will not really work on those instruments if it relies on a guitar like tuning or picking arrangement; I tried finger picking a mandolin years back, and it just didn’t come together, and decided to learn to play it properly instead and never looked back. If you are wedded to tunings in fourths, you might want to try the five string banjo, if you mute the volume with a bridge mute; you’ll have a close guitar tuning without the lower bass strings.


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: ST
Date: 27 Apr 18 - 12:42 AM

A requinto may be what you're looking for, Matt. Tuned exactly like a guitar, only a fourth higher (you play C major, it gives F major.) Very bright sound, leaves more room for bass instruments, small and lightweight. Even though typically stringed with extra light nylon, it can still be pretty loud; it's a mariachi thing supposed to be heard in the street after all.

Another option might be one of those South American "traveller guitars" ranging from more or less full sized instruments with small and sometimes strange bodies to what they call guitaleles.


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: GUEST,Mark Bluemel
Date: 27 Apr 18 - 03:56 AM

Guitalele and requinto always seem to me to be pretty much equivalent - small guitars tuned a 4th up, roughly speaking.
I always thought I'd like
one of these but they stopped making them...


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: ST
Date: 27 Apr 18 - 04:37 AM

The sound is really different, Mark. At least, that was my excuse for getting both, anyway :)


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Subject: RE: A guitar ... but lighter-sounding?
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Apr 18 - 08:39 AM

Whenever I want a lighter or brighter sound, I pop a capo on the 3rd fret or thereabouts. Sometimes the chord voicing has to be changed to match a particular vocal pitch, but the same fingering can be used for instrumental stuff.

Cheaper than another guitar... if not as exciting!


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