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Help: Irish Bouzouki

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Big Mick 02 Jun 01 - 12:03 PM
Les from Hull 02 Jun 01 - 12:30 PM
Big Mick 02 Jun 01 - 12:59 PM
GUEST 02 Jun 01 - 06:31 PM
Jon Freeman 02 Jun 01 - 07:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Jun 01 - 08:02 PM
Big Mick 03 Jun 01 - 01:46 AM
Les from Hull 03 Jun 01 - 08:02 AM
Big Mick 07 Jun 01 - 04:11 PM
Jon Freeman 07 Jun 01 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,ANOTHER GUEST 30 Oct 08 - 06:26 PM
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Subject: Irish Bouzouki
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Jun 01 - 12:03 PM

OK folks, I have decided to take the plunge into yet another instrument. Forever I have sat and listened to others play this instrument and admired the "fat" sound of it. I have decided to jump in and pick one up. At this point I have decided that I really like the Freshwater Bouzouki made by David Freshwater in Scotland. They look good, they have a wonderful action, they come with electronics (which is important to me as I simply cannot play into a mic -- move around too much), and most importantly, they have a great sound. I love the edginess of David's bouzouki. So............talk me out of it, talk me into it, give me some insights on how to learn the technique of this wonderful instrument, insiders tips, if there is a better one for the money, tell me that too.

I await with bated breath...........

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Bouzouki
From: Les from Hull
Date: 02 Jun 01 - 12:30 PM

You can get a lot of bouzouki stuff at 'Han's Bouzouki site' (any search engine will find it), and I'll sort out the clicky thing one day.

Among other things you should decide whether you want to play double-strung or octave-strung, and what tuning to use. I play a Paul Hathway, double-strung in GDAD, and I love it! It's very easy to play, and I never regretted getting it about 2/3 years ago.

Mandolas are easier to play tunes on (bouzoukis are a bit further between the frets) but I think that bouzouki makes a wonderful accompanying instrument, and is quite capaable of doing 'tune' stuff as well.

I know you'll enjoy your new instrument, and I'm sorry if you thought that people would rally round and help you save your money! As if!

Les


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Bouzouki
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Jun 01 - 12:59 PM

Yep, Les, I have discovered HAN'S IRISH BOUZOUKI PAGE and it is very helpful. But I am looking for more. And I have made the decision to play it double strung in GDAD at first. I may try some ADAD stuff later. Thanks for the first response......I am waiting for more.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Bouzouki
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jun 01 - 06:31 PM

My main instrument is the fiddle but I also play guitar (mainly DADGAD these days) and bouzouki double strung in GDAD and I find the bouzouki a real fun mix of the fiddle and the guitar in the way you play it - chordally think guitar / melodically think fiddle. All I can say is go for it.

Ian


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Bouzouki
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Jun 01 - 07:18 PM

I tried a couple of Freshwater instruments and I thought they had a fantastic sound and a lot of volume. The only thing I had against them comes from my habbit of resting either part of my hand or a finger on the body - the bridge on the Freshwaters was a lot higher (by design, action was great) than on the Fyldes I tried at the same time and I found it a touch awkward. Can't condem them for that - I just have my own clumsy way of muddling along.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Bouzouki
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jun 01 - 08:02 PM

There's a really handy little book called The Irish Bouzouki by Niall O Callanan and Tommy Walsh, with a companion CD, and it's on this page in the Hobgoblin Catalogue.

I prefer ADAD myself, but GDAD is if anything mmore common. Some people use the Mandola tuning, GDAE, which might possibly be better for tunes, but isn't as good for backing. (GDAD and ADAD means you tend to be playing two note diads, rather than three-note major or minor chords, and I reckon that the diads sound better with a lot of Irish music.)


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Bouzouki
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Jun 01 - 01:46 AM

Yep, Kevin, I have the book and companion CD already. I agree on the GDAE thing, but I am going to start with the GDAD as a backing instrument. I may change as I start to move to the melody bits.

Jon, I agree with you on your comments. The Freshwater I am going to get is the model with the oversized soundbox. It is 2" deeper and 2" longer. I haven't made up my mind as to whether to go with a spruce top or a cedar top. I will probably go with the rosewood body though. As to what top I will go with, I am open to suggestions. I like a lot of bass response, which would favor the cedar, but the larger box also accomodates the bass end. The other bouzouki in the band is a standard box and edgier on the high end.

Comments, please!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Bouzouki
From: Les from Hull
Date: 03 Jun 01 - 08:02 AM

Hi Mick

It seems that you've really made the decision, I'm sure that you won't regret it. My bouzouki work is mostly accompaniment for my singing, and I use the thinnest of flatpicks and combine playing chords (or often the diads mentioned by McGrath) with picking and sort of joiny-up bits. So Guest,Ian's description is quiet accurate - you can combine chord and melody work very easily. Certainly it is easy to join up chords with intermediate chords and/or melody bits. I've certainly found this instrument more immediate fun and easier to learn than any of my other instruments.

Les


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Bouzouki
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Jun 01 - 04:11 PM

Damn, folks. I figgered there would be a ton of advice on this one. Guess I will just have to cipher it out meself.


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Bouzouki
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 07 Jun 01 - 04:24 PM

Not really a lot else I can say Mick - I couldn't tell you what top's the Freshwaters I tried had. All I can say is that the intruments I mentioned were in a friend's music shop and I sometimes used to pick them up and play them when I went in. I found the Fylde's (I don't know models) easier to play but I would often pick the Freshwater's up because I found the sound more rewarding - a very subjective and personal thing.

Oh and if you like deep sounds and mandolin-type instruments, keep your eye out for a mando-cello. The one I tried (a Gibson) was VERY hard work but the sound it produced made it worth the effort.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: Irish Bouzouki
From: GUEST,ANOTHER GUEST
Date: 30 Oct 08 - 06:26 PM

I just got a GDAE Paul Hathway unison stringed short scale irish bouzouki, it is great, highly reccomended, Paul Hathway has a policy that if anything breaks while he has it, he mends it himself and makes it half price, so look out for them in hobgoblins etc. search mandolin cafe into google and you'll find it, lots of good technique and tips there


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