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Leadbelly's strings

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ALABAMA BOUND
BILL MARTIN AND ELLA SPEED
BRING ME LITTLE WATER, SYLVIE
COTTON FIELDS BACK HOME
DUNCAN AND BRADY
DUNCAN AND BRADY (2)
GOOD NIGHT IRENE
JUMPIN' JUDY
KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF HER
KISSES SWEETER THAN WINE
LININ' TRACK
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL
ROCK ME ON THE WATER
SKEWBALL
SO LONG IT'S BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YUH
SONG TO WOODY
TAKE THIS HAMMER
THE GRAY GOOSE
THE ROCK ISLAND LINE (is a mighty fine line)
WE SHALL WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY
WHOA BACK BUCK
YOU DON'T KNOW ME


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rwhimler@hotmail.com 04 Apr 98 - 12:45 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 05 Apr 98 - 09:34 AM
dick greenhaus 05 Apr 98 - 11:31 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 05 Apr 98 - 09:10 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 18 Aug 98 - 06:56 AM
Jon W. 18 Aug 98 - 11:28 AM
Roger in Baltimore 23 Oct 98 - 11:58 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 24 Oct 98 - 11:23 PM
Roger in Baltimore 25 Oct 98 - 12:05 AM
The Shambles 25 Oct 98 - 04:17 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 25 Oct 98 - 07:11 PM
Roger in Baltimore 25 Oct 98 - 07:42 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 26 Oct 98 - 08:14 PM
Max 27 Oct 98 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,shrlyodb@aol 26 Apr 02 - 12:48 AM
fat B****rd 26 Apr 02 - 05:39 AM
GUEST,Lionel 26 Apr 02 - 06:36 AM
Deckman 26 Apr 02 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,Roger in Baltimore (at the library) 26 Apr 02 - 01:49 PM
Don Firth 26 Apr 02 - 04:05 PM
GUEST 27 Mar 03 - 07:54 AM
greg stephens 27 Mar 03 - 08:04 AM
Spartacus 27 Mar 03 - 09:59 AM
Art Thieme 27 Mar 03 - 10:17 AM
Mark Clark 27 Mar 03 - 11:38 AM
Rick Fielding 27 Mar 03 - 11:45 AM
Rick Fielding 27 Mar 03 - 11:49 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 27 Mar 03 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,Larry 01 Jul 04 - 01:42 PM
GUEST 17 Sep 05 - 02:05 AM
Richard Bridge 17 Sep 05 - 03:36 AM
GUEST,Jack P 04 Sep 06 - 10:45 AM
The Sandman 05 Sep 06 - 07:16 AM
Mark Ross 05 Sep 06 - 10:32 AM
GUEST,Will Thornton 10 Mar 08 - 02:41 PM
Huddiesblues 05 Oct 08 - 01:06 PM
Mark Ross 05 Oct 08 - 01:16 PM
GUEST,folkdad 18 Mar 09 - 04:49 PM
Roger in Baltimore 19 Mar 09 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Bluesman James 20 Mar 09 - 08:05 AM
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Subject: Leadbelly's strings
From: rwhimler@hotmail.com
Date: 04 Apr 98 - 12:45 PM

I am searching everywhere for this information. This looks like a well-informed group, so here goes. Leadbelly tuned his 12-string well below standard pitch (E). I have heard he tuned to C# and I have also heard to B. What gauge were the strings he used? I have heard he tuned the 5th and 6th string in unison and the 11th and 12th two octaves apart. Any information would be greatly appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 05 Apr 98 - 09:34 AM

I have read that he normally tuned the strings to the usual pitch, and as you say in unison except that the upper (as the guitar is held) string in fifth and sixth course were tuned an octave higher than the lower ones to make the bass ring more.

He only tuned down when the strings or the guitar were showing signs of wear to preserve them a bit longer.

My source for this will be found in the thread TWELVE-STRING GUITARS which might have some other material of interest to you.

I don't know what guage strings he used. That would be interesting. I'll bet they were the heaviest he could find. Reports of people who heard him live are that the instrument in his hand was LOUD.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Apr 98 - 11:31 AM

In Leadbelly's day (mine, too) they weren't commonly selling strings by gauge. You bought a guitar E, and the major specification was material and construction: Steel, Nylon (post WWII), silk and steel, flat wound etc. If you were VERY picky, you could sometimes get light weight vs. normal.


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 05 Apr 98 - 09:10 PM

Actually we never use the gauge here. When I buy strings I ask for "extra-light". I don't have a package at the moment, but next time I look I will see if there even is a guage specified.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 18 Aug 98 - 06:56 AM

Here is some new input for this subject. I just got the book "Lead Belly no stranger to the bleus" from Harry Lewman Muisc. It has tablature and lyrics for about 20 of Leadbelly's songs.

They give the tuning as a fourth below standard. That is BEADGF#B.

It also has the measurements of his the strings on his last guitar. They are going from treble to base:

.014, .014; .019, .019; .022, .022; .038, .019; .048, .019; .070, .014

I have separated the courses by semicolons and withing a course the pair of strings are separated by commas. The second string is the octave string where there is one.

Note the lowest octave string is thinner than the ones before it. That is because it is tuned two octaves higher.

These measurements are by Bruce Taylor. I don't know if he is the lutier who makes Taylor Guitars.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Jon W.
Date: 18 Aug 98 - 11:28 AM

That is a very heavy guage; for example most guitar first strings are .010 or .011. One source indicated that Leadbelly was a large powerful man with large powerful hands, which is one reason he was such an effective guitarist.


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 23 Oct 98 - 11:58 PM

I've been fiddling off and on with another twelve string. I had the nut recut to take the appropriate string sizes. I don't have the gauges right in front of me, but they are close to those given above.

I've tried tuning to C and to B. B sounds more like it. In an e-mail from Harry Lewman, he suggested that a cuitar with ladder-back bracing would be likely to give more of the Lead Belly sound.

Lead Belly did occasionally play with Sonny Terry. If you are going to refrain from capo use, B is a better tuning.

An E chord formation yields B. A G chord yields D. A D chord yields A. An A chord formation yields an E.

The sound is more like Lead Belly in B and more harmonica compatible.

Unfortunately, these become bad "pitches" for me if I play Lead Belly's songs as Lead Belly played them, so singing along is a problem.

I will find a way.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 11:23 PM

Roger, harmonicas are made in every key in the chromatic scale. It seems easier to for you to pick the tuning that suits your voice and have the harp player choose a harmonica to suit yours.

Terry plays "cross harp" which means he plays a fifth above the nominal key of the harmonica. If you tune your guitar normally and play in the key of E, your harp player would use a harmonica in the key of A.

Since Terry spent so much time playing along with Brownie McGhee, who used a standard-stringed guitar, I would be inclined to think he didn't particullarly favor an E harp.

Most amateur harp players I know start out with a C and then later add a D to their collection. This means they can play blues with a guitar tuned to G and A respectively. Next in order of frequency are the F and A harps which play with guitars in C and E respectively.

Ah well, sorry to get so bogged down in harminica lore. It happens to be an interest with me at the moment :)

Murray


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 25 Oct 98 - 12:05 AM

Murray,

I was suspecting that Sonny Terry may not have carried a complete chromatic set of harps. If you are tuned to C instead of E then an E chord formation yields C. A G chord yields Eb (cross harp G#) A D chord yields Bb (cross harp F). An A chord formation yields an F (cross harp C). If you tend to travel with just a few basic harps, you might miss many of these. Of course, this is pure speculation on my part.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Oct 98 - 04:17 AM

As I heard it, whenever he would break a string, Leadbelly would just reach up to the overhead power cables and pull one down with his teeth and just string up the old 'Stella'. This resulted in many power cuts but he wasn't much of a fan of this new electrified music anyhow.

Sorry I have been reading too many of these here 'tall tales'.


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 25 Oct 98 - 07:11 PM

Shambles: Leadbelly wouldn't use anything so soft as copper wire! He would reach for the guy wires that hold up the poles.

Roger: I think we are talking at cross purposes. I think I might see the problem. I was assuming you tuned your guitar down a fourth as Leadbelly did and were playing the shapes that would usually constitute an E chord. This would put you in the key of B. I was speculating that it less likely the harpist you play with would carry a E harp than he/she would, for example carry an C or D.

By the way. I think Terry only carried two harps. I saw Terry and McGhee perform a few times in the 60s. As far as I could see (and recall) Terry carried a harp in each shirt pocket and he reached for the appropriate one for each piece. He could have had more than one in each pocket; but being blind, he would have to feel for the right one. I don't remember him seeming to do that.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 25 Oct 98 - 07:42 PM

If I remember my blues harp lessons, if you get your "bends" and your "blows" right you can easily play blues in four keys on your standard Marine Band style harp. I suspect that is what Sonny Terry was doing.

Reportedly, Baltimore's own Larry Adler can coax any key from a Marine Band style harmonica.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 26 Oct 98 - 08:14 PM

That's right Roger. You have to use overblows too; but I have never figured out what they were. Levy plays chromatically on diatonic harmonicas.

I forgot to mention last posting that Leadbelly used a plastic thumb pick and a long metal pick on his index finger. You can try that to get closer to his sound.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Max
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 10:46 AM

Wow, where else could you go for a conversation like this. We should start a "stump the folkies" contest. I think we could answer just about any question. This is why I love the mudcat. I am a huge leadbelly fan, and may have never known this stuff. Keep it up folks.


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: GUEST,shrlyodb@aol
Date: 26 Apr 02 - 12:48 AM

ive searched many record stores and libraries , with no luck in finding , library of congress recordings of huddie led better . i watched a biography last year and have become very interestered in his music and life . if you can give me any leads i would greatly appreciate it . thanks . roy b


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: fat B****rd
Date: 26 Apr 02 - 05:39 AM

HELLO, shrlyodb@aol. You can't go wrong with Leadbelly !! If you haven't already read it, the highly regarded "THe Life & Legend of Leadbelly" by Charles Wolfe & Kip Cornell is excellent. Be lucky, all the best from the fB.


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: GUEST,Lionel
Date: 26 Apr 02 - 06:36 AM

It is worth bearing in mind that guitar construction in the 20's, 30's, 40's, was much heavier than is currently fashionable. This was a two-way thing in as much as they were built to withstand the enormous tension created by heavy gauge strings which were the only type available and you needed heavy strings to get volume and a decent tone and projection from instruments built like battleships. Tricks of the trade for blues guitarists included tuning down lower than concert pitch to make it easier to fret the strings with the fingers and to allow string bending. Also using a standard set of strings and discarding the lowest one or two (5th & 6th) and shunting the remainder down so what was a 4th string would take the place of the 6th and so on and using plain banjo strings for the top two (2nd & 1st)This was common practice here in the UK in the 50's after Rock & Roll first hit which was before light gauge strings were sold. Those old blues guys used to use cheap mail-order guitars and to get any sound out them at all you had to whack them pretty hard, it is testimony to their skills that they made them sound so good. I don't advise stringing a modern accoustic guitar with really heavy strings unless you tune down a good way otherwise you'll be in danger of the strings pulling your instrument apart. (.070" gauge? Wow!)


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Deckman
Date: 26 Apr 02 - 07:37 AM

I am currently reading "Romancing The Folk" A Public Memory, by Benjamine Filene, University of North Carolina Press, 2000. Chapter two has some very interesting background on Leadbelly, especially as in referance to the relationship between the Lomaxes and Leadbelly. CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: GUEST,Roger in Baltimore (at the library)
Date: 26 Apr 02 - 01:49 PM

shrlyodb@aol

The following URL takes you to the Library of Congress catalog for "ledbetter". I do not know if you are particularly interested in the LOC recordings or Lead Belly in general. I would suggest that you look through the Mudcat Record Collection. You will find (I say without looking) a number of Lead Belly recordings. I am no audiophile, but most of the recordings I have have been quite satisfactory.

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/starfinder/56238/sonic.txt

What nostalgia for me to see this thread. It was this question that led me to the Mudcat. I think HotBot sent me here because Lead Belly is in the Blues Hall of Fame here. I went to the Forum and posted this thread. It was quite a blessing for me.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Apr 02 - 04:05 PM

Leadbelly's guitar.

Back in the mists of antiquity (at least the Fifties and earlier) you couldn't get guitar strings graded into different tensions the way you can now. The nearest thing to a set of low-tension strings was Black Diamond silk and steel. And when Walt Robertson, who had a humongous Carbone 12-string, wanted to restring his monster, he had to do some careful selecting from whatever strings were available. He would start with a standard set of steel strings. Then, for the auxiliary strings, he would use a 4th (D string) on the 6th course, a 3rd (G string) on the 5th course, a 1st (E string) on the 4th course. I'll be darned if I can remember what he used for an octave 3rd string, but it was a string made for something other than a guitar. Then, of course, just standard strings for the 2nd and 1st courses. Walt wrote all over the place, but nobody made sets specifically for 12-strings. He tuned his a full step below concert pitch. I think Pete Seeger tunes his down a major 3rd, which sounds great to me. It really growls.

Anyhow, Leadbelly's Stella, and a couple other models of Stella 12-strings, were made with a tail-piece rather with a pin bridge, allowing for a thinner soundboard and lighter bracing, which makes for better tone and volume. I think Nick Apollonio makes his 12-strings this way, which is one of the reasons they sound so great.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 07:54 AM

hello my name is Bobby i am 18 and a student in the town of luton, england. i am a solo performer and am a massive fan and player of huddie. i was very happy to see so many people on this book who have so many points of view about the guitar aspects used. i wish to make my guitar sound like leadbellys. i have been playing guitar for over four years however am confused with the amount of veiws and technacalitys people have on string gauges, tuning and other factors. i am also only playing a six string. dose any one out there have need help in simple terms if possable as to how i can achive the leadbelly sound on my little old six string?

bobbymahoney33@hotmail.com
thanks you kinddy


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 08:04 AM

Bobby: though you can have all the fun in the world playing Leadbelly songs on a 6-string, I think in the end you're going to have to get a 12-string if you want to get the sort of sounds Leadbelly did. (I don't say "sound like Leadbelly", nobody ever will). Do get one, they are phenomenonally exciting to play: the simplest moving bass-line becomes powerhouse music.
   You letter was very cheering...if there are 18-year olds listening to Leadbelly I reckon the future of the world is assured.


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Spartacus
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 09:59 AM

I have read that Huddie switched each pair of strings around. (the e,a,d,and g anyway) so that the bass was the first note you heard, and the small strings gave a resonant tone. (especially good for you fingerpickers)


-Spartacus


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 10:17 AM

I have always felt that Michael Cooney did the best job getting close to the sound that Leadbelly got. Michael tells me I'm way off the mark and that he doesn't even come near to the man himself. Still, Michael's recording of "Cry For Me" or "Shannon(?) Street" on Front Hall Records is right on.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Mark Clark
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 11:38 AM

I guess my senior moments have become senior days. I can no longer remember my source for this information but I believe it was authoritative. I remember learning (reading?) that Huddie tuned his guitar down to C and used a piano string or two on the bass side. As I remember, the usual guages were promoted one position toward the treble side.

I realize this doesn't have much value if I can't remember the source but maybe it'll ring a bell with someone else.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 11:45 AM

HI Bobby. I discovered Leadbelly when I was about 14 years old (I'm 58 now) and he literally changed my life. The most powerful music I'd ever heard....and SO original.

Here's a couple of suggestions from a total Leadbelly fanatic.

You can approximate Leadbelly's sound by getting a used Yamaha or Takamine, or even Fender 12 string guitar . These are all well braced, cheap, and can handle the string load. Write to La Bella strings (surely they're on the net) and get them to send you a "heavy" Pete Seeger silk and steel set. The big bass is 68, and with a C to C tuning, they sound great.

I've played Leadbelly's model Stella and the current "absolutely authentic" re-issue from that Mexican company Del Arte. They are fine guitars but sound awful on anything BUT Leadbelly songs. The necks are like telephone poles! The necks are cranked WAYYYYY back and they have tail pieces. They sound VERRRY LOUD and very tinny to my ear.

I love playing Leadbelly's wonderful licks pretty much as he played them (although the rest of my music is pretty improvised) and after owning Guilds (3) Gibson, Epiphone, Martin, and Stella 12 strings, I've come to the conclusion that my big (cheap) Takamine Dreadnought, strung with that heavy Pete Seeger set and tuned to C or B gives a great sound.....and is still easy enough to fret for several hours at a time.

You can e-mail me at rfield@interlog any time for info. Plus, you've got a fine and helpful group of pickers here, and some of the most generous are in this thread. ONE Mudcatter KNEW Leadbelly, but that's another story.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 11:49 AM

Er.....rfield@interlog.com


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 12:36 PM

Hi Bobby,

Greg is right - if you want to play Leadbelly's tunes you should aim to get a 12-string of your own. However, if you can't locate one that's both affordable and playable right away, try retuning the low E (6th) string on your ordinary guitar down to D - an octave below the D on the open 4th string.

This gives you a big booming D chord. With a little ingenuity you can find satisfactory G and A7 shapes that take account of the retuned 6th string, and work up some simple chord accompaninments in the key of D.   From there, you can go on to playing Leadbelly-style phrases on the low strings of the guitar with your right thumb (best if you use a thumb-pick on it), while picking or strumming on the higher strings with your right hand fingers.

It's not a substitute for a 12-string, but it will give you something to work on until the real thing comes along.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: GUEST,Larry
Date: 01 Jul 04 - 01:42 PM

Hello Bobby, The other guys are right, but I have an idea that I am currently using on my Hohner 6-string dreadnought. Try tuning down a step below concert pitch. I will show you what I mean from the 1-6 strings. 1. d
         2. a
         3. F
         4. C
         5. G
         6. D             This will make it easier to get a halfway "Leadbelly" sound out of any 6er. It is also easier to coax out "Irene" in Bb.

Just trying to help, Larry


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Sep 05 - 02:05 AM

!


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Sep 05 - 03:36 AM

If you are playing a pluggable 6, and haven't got a 12 to hand, to try to approximate the sound of a 12, if your amp has the facility, whack up the "chorus" effect, and maximise the "detune" in it, and turn on a lot of simple echo with a short-ish delay and a very short decay.


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: GUEST,Jack P
Date: 04 Sep 06 - 10:45 AM

Im only 16 and looking to get a 12 string so i can play sme leadbelly songs but i dont have much money to spend only about £300 what would be a good place to start.thanks.


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 07:16 AM

vintage guitars are really good, i bought one for two hundred euros and its nearly as good as my fylde[which is about ten times the price]not sure if they do twelve strings but worth enquiring, after that try seagull.seagull normally have cedar top, vintage have spruce top.vintage were voted guitar of the year 2004 or 2005.


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Mark Ross
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 10:32 AM

The gauges given at the beginning of this thread are slightly off. The 3rd course should be both .026's. Note also that Lead Belly used a double octave on the bottom. In other words the high string should be tuned the same as the 1st pair. I talked with Bruce Taylor and ordered some strings from him this spring and he told me about the heavier gauge for the 3rd pair.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: GUEST,Will Thornton
Date: 10 Mar 08 - 02:41 PM

According to the book Leadbelly-No stranger to the blues, the strings are as follows:
High E: .014
B:          .019
G:       2 .022 wound
D:         .038; .019
A:         .048; .019
Low E: .070; .014

it's a double octave, but i guess if you're no into the whole double octave thing you do a .070 and a .022 or .024.


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Huddiesblues
Date: 05 Oct 08 - 01:06 PM

Hi again
About those strings. Although those are the normally quoted figures (14/14:19/19;22/22;38/19;48/19;70/14), when you think about it:
       1. He would not have had the SAME ocave string on the 4th AND 5th pair. The most likely thing is that the 5th octave would be about 26 or 28
       2.   22 for the 3rd pair would be light for a guitar in concert pitch let alone when
             tuned down 5 frets. I have 30s there, so 26 or 28 would seem more likely. I have
             been using : 14/14; 18/18 28/28(or 30/30);42/18;52/24;70/34 and I have small
             hands wth a little nerve damage to the first finger but I can still manage. However,
            I will now consider lightening everything up. The Labella silk and steel "C range"
             strings have roughly these guages but being silk and steel, are easier to hold
             down. they are: 14/14;18/18;31/12;44/18;56/25;68/33
       3.   I may well be wrong, but I do not seem to be able to hear the two octave                        
             difference in the bottom pair on the records. I wonder if, just occasionally, in able
             to get the unison on the 3rd pair which seem to characterise his sound, he
             swapped the octaves of the 3rd and 6th pairs of a SET rather than customise, as
             one would otherwise have to do. Maybe the two octave difference is more obvious
            to others with ears better than mine. Then again, there is a close-up photo on the
            Last Sessions box set which seems to confirm the two octave proposition.
I do not know if Harry Lewin or Alvin Youngblood Hart who know a lot about these things
contribute to these blogs or could be approached to give their expert help.
"The 12-String Guitar As Played By Leadbelly (Julius Lester and Pete Seeger) has some useful stuff in it.
Sorry to go on. I hope somebody finds some of this useful.
Huddiesblues


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Mark Ross
Date: 05 Oct 08 - 01:16 PM

The 22 for the third course is a misprint, they should a pair of 26's.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: GUEST,folkdad
Date: 18 Mar 09 - 04:49 PM

I recently purchased a Dell'Arte Leadbelly 12 string (the hand-built version not the Mexican-made version). I spoke with Alain Cola (info@gypsyjazz.net) and the builder John Kinnard who did an enormous amount of research into this instrument before building it. The strings they choose and used to sell for this guitar are:

14/14 18/18 25/25 16/34 19/46 14/64

I love this guitar by the way.


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 19 Mar 09 - 01:20 PM

Michael Hauver fell in love with the old Stella guitars. He spent many years repairing and restoring them. He now makes guitars that are similar to the old Stellas. They use the ladderback construction for the top. They have a good "Lead Belly" sound. For more information go to http://www.hauverguitars.com/home.html.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Leadbelly's strings
From: GUEST,Bluesman James
Date: 20 Mar 09 - 08:05 AM

According to "The Twelve String Guitar as played by Leadbelly" - Pete Seeger and Julius Lester, Leadbelly tuned his guitar two octaves below to "C" He also had his octave strings G,D,A,E two octaves apart. I believed he used heavy gauge strings. Remember he was playing an old Stella that was not as well reinforced as today's guitars (Guild - double truss rods)


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