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Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???

14 Feb 11 - 08:39 AM (#3094978)
Subject: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: Bobert

I was in a local BBQ joint yesterday and they had a photograph of bluesman Big Joe Williams... His guitar caught my attention becuase it had 9 tuners... Hmmmmmmm??? Underneath the photo was "Big Joe Williams with G String Guitar"...

Anyone familiar with 'um??? Anyone played them???

B~


14 Feb 11 - 08:45 AM (#3094982)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: evansakes

Is this a wind-up, Bobert?

Were there 9 strings attached to the 9 tuners?

Was the 'g' in capitals or lower case??


14 Feb 11 - 08:49 AM (#3094986)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: bobad

Some info here: http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=2102.0


14 Feb 11 - 08:58 AM (#3094989)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: Steve Shaw

No, but I know a couple of people who play the pink oboe.


14 Feb 11 - 10:12 AM (#3095020)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

It would seem very likely as suggested above that the G was actually a figure 9 which looked like a lower case G.

The nine string that Joe adapted himself from a six string was according to him the result of getting pissed off with people asking to borrow his guitar. He thought that adapting it this way would stop them asking. Whatever the truth of the matter in Joe's "rediscovery" period he always played a nine string.

Surely you blues experts out there that keep telling us where to hear and where and how to play the blues knew this already, it's all out there for anyone with a real interest in the real thing.

Hoot


14 Feb 11 - 11:06 AM (#3095058)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: GUEST

heard of 9-string guitar which has some of the strings doubled in unison or octave pairs (E A D gG bb ee). A bit like a 12-string but with only single strings at the lower end


14 Feb 11 - 11:29 AM (#3095073)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: Dave MacKenzie

I think I remember other people copying Big Joe, though not many. Narcisco Yepes did something similar in the classical field, because he wanted to play lute music.


14 Feb 11 - 11:34 AM (#3095077)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: Bernard

I've also seen a 9-string done the opposite way from GUEST above - the singles are the three trebles, as per a 6-string, with the basses in octaves, as per a 12-string... I've played one and it seems a bit limited in use to me!! Still, each to their own!


14 Feb 11 - 12:12 PM (#3095100)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: GUEST,(same guest as above at 11:06)

I often consider taking off the octave strings on my 12-string as it makes it hared to emphasise the bass E and A strings.


14 Feb 11 - 12:16 PM (#3095102)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: GUEST,leeneia

The question before the House is "Has anyone played a guitar like this, with nine strings?"

Bernard is the only poster so far to even get close to answering. Thanks, Bernard.

Bobert, I have not played a guitar with extra strings, but I have played fretted dulcimer with the melody string (highest string) doubled, which is supposedly the traditional way. I decided that it is a pointless complication, adding nothing to the volume but making it harder to keep in tune. I now use one melody string. (I'm not alone in this.)

I listened to two of Big Joe's videos, and I don't think the extra strings are accomplishing anything, except perhaps to keep people from borrowing his guitar, as he said.


14 Feb 11 - 01:30 PM (#3095162)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: Bobert

Okay... Yeah, the "G" was most likely a "9"... The writing wasn't all that good...

Everything makes sense now...

Not that I'm going to make one of these, mind you but...

...I do own and play a 5 string solid body custom electric geetar...

(Pics at Ted Crocker Guitars, Mine is the "Back Porch'r"... Nice story there, too about Ted makin' it with lots of pics...)

B~


14 Feb 11 - 02:51 PM (#3095208)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: Tim Leaning

A friend of mine here in Grimsby does I believe own and play a Nine string Guitar also a harp guitar of some kind..
I wouldn't be surprised if he could get a tune out of a G string too.


14 Feb 11 - 02:58 PM (#3095210)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: Richard Bridge

John Mayall used a 9-string guitar quite a lot.


14 Feb 11 - 03:40 PM (#3095246)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: nager

A friend of mine plays a seven string guitar .. he has an octave higher G alongside the normal G string. A guitar repairer made the necessary adjustments including of course an extra tuner post and a new nut and saddle. The sound is very good.


14 Feb 11 - 04:16 PM (#3095267)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: GUEST,jeff

I've seen it both ways. Octaves on the lower three and gG BB EE as stated above. Have played them both. Always seemed the worst of both worlds. There's a reason they've never really caught on to any extent.

When touring solo I take a six and a twelve as they voice the same songs completely different. Also, a mandolin and an autoharp, but that's a whole other thread.

As a cyclist I'd compare them to a hybrid...not quite a road bike and not quite an off-road bike. Slow on the pavement and dodgey in the dirt.


15 Feb 11 - 07:55 AM (#3095587)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: Bee-dubya-ell

Washburn or Alvarez had a 9-string on the market at one time. I played one in the late 1980s. It had octave strings on the high end, single strings on the bass. I was not impressed, but I can't say whether it was due to it being a bad idea or just a crappy guitar. I'd be interested to see what a real luthier could do with the idea, but it'd have to be with somebody else's money.

If you really want 12-string jingle with punchier bass, it makes more sense to do as GUEST above suggests and just swap out the two-string courses on the bass side of a 12-string with heavier single strings. Then, if it sounds like crap you can put it back like it was without having spent hundreds of dollars.


15 Feb 11 - 09:22 AM (#3095638)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: GUEST

Or swap order of pairs in the bass (Ee Aa Dd... Not eE aA dD...) Then you emphasise bass more when strumming down


15 Feb 11 - 09:30 AM (#3095643)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker

A long while back I was curious about a modified 9 string vintage 60's Danelectro
hanging up in a notoriously overpriced London guitar shop..


Anyway, it all just seems no big deal..???

I've got 4 good quality budget priced electric 12 string guitars
and can swap and omit strings in any configuration I want
depending on purpose and whim..

I just wish I could afford more 12 string guitars...


Btw.. I've got a very nice Les Paul copy sold off cheap
because the bridge was drilled in marginally inaccurate
and can't intone properly for the heavy E string.

So until I can find an affordable replacement tunamatic with longer saddle travel
and more scope for adjustment,
I've discovered that replacing that one problematic string with a much lighter gauge
and tuning it up an octave..

gives me a temporary solution of accurate intonation
and a very crisp jangly tone for rythm chordal strumming...


win, win.. i'm happy enough...


15 Feb 11 - 04:04 PM (#3095908)
Subject: RE: Anyone play a 'G String Guitar'???
From: Don Firth

Probably not what anyone here is interested in, but a couple of years ago, someone gave me a CD of a guitarist I had never heard of before:   Göran Söllscher. The CD is "Eleven-String Baroque," pieces originally written for the Baroque lute or the harpsichord (lots of Bach) and played on an 11-string guitar. When Söllscher reaches down for one of those bass strings, it just about registers on seismographs (rumble-rumble). He's Swedish, and the guitar was made by Georg Bolin, also of Sweden.

Here he is with his instrument.

And here is Söllscher playing it in concert:   TWANG!

Apparently these guitars by luthier Georg Bolin are pretty rare beasties and pretty pricey. But with a little research, I learned that there is a luthier here in Washington State, in Bellingham, just a couple hours drive north of Seattle where I live, who makes a variety of instruments, including critters like the one Söllscher plays. His name is Steve Ganz.

I'd love to get my sweaty little hands on an instrument like that, but it would probably cost the deed to my ranch and my first-born son!

Don Firth