Convert Classical Guitar to Baroque Guitar

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dformell
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:07 pm

Convert Classical Guitar to Baroque Guitar

Post by dformell » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:32 pm

Hello Everybody,

Here's an interesting article by Clive Titmuss; https://www.thisisclassicalguitar.com/b ... e-titmuss/
Mr. Titmuss' method as follows:

1. Use a modern classical guitar
2. Remove the E,A, & D strings - 6th, 5th & 4th strings
3. Install B string in place of A string & install high E string in place of d string
4. Tune B string to A - G string fretted at 2nd fret
5. Tune E string to D - B string fretted at 3rd fret

I used Mr. Titmuss' method and the results were very convincing. The character of the modern guitar is completely changed and one can read baroque guitar music directly from the tablature. Mr. Titmuss' method is a great way to experiment with baroque guitar music & playing without changing your technique or spending a lot of money. It's my sincere hope that guitarists find the above information usefull.

Best Wishes,
Dan

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George Crocket
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Location: Scotland

Re: Convert Classical Guitar to Baroque Guitar

Post by George Crocket » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:25 am

Hi Dan. Welcome to the forum. Please post an introduction here.
George
2010 Stephen Eden spruce/cocobolo classical guitar
2012 Stephen Eden cedar/IRW classical guitar

gilles T
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:11 pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: Convert Classical Guitar to Baroque Guitar

Post by gilles T » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:15 am

Hello dformell,

And welcome to the club...

Mr Titmuss' method to mimic a baroque guitar is indeed a clever and cheap way to play baroque guitar music the way it should be, but be aware that this "double re-entrant" tuning (i-e with the third string being the lowest one) is only effective for the music of Gaspar Sanz, which makes great use of campanella scales.

The most common tuning is the french one, with a re-entrant A and octave strings for the fifth course, which means d-D. With this tuning, you can effectively play virtually all of the baroque guitar repertoire, and that's the main interest of having courses over single strings : you can choose which string you pluck in a course, in order to fit in the melodic movements of the music.

That being said, tweaking a regular CG the way you describe is still a good option, but for those who don't want to make this time-consuming modification on their regular instrument there is another solution. I recently found out that two traditional instruments from the Canary Islands are strunged and tuned almost exactly like a baroque guitar : the Timple, which is basically a 5-string tenor uke, and the bigger Rajao (closer to a baritone uke) are both cheap alternatives for a baroque guitar and make wonderful spare companions.

Please have a look to this exquisite rendition of Santiago de Murcia by the great Hermann Vandecauter on the rajao:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDHvCpquT88

I have a good baroque guitar, but I enjoy sometimes playing my timple on the sofa, watching TV for instance. Two different feelings, one being "the real thing", the other more of a cheerful and light way to experiment campanella scales on an fun instrument that fits any luggage; a very convincing "baroque travel" companion.

Hope this helps,

Regards,
Gilles

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Michael.N.
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:28 am
Location: UK

Re: Convert Classical Guitar to Baroque Guitar

Post by Michael.N. » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:35 am

The other alternative is to buy a real baroque guitar but a very plain 'student' model. You won't have much decoration (if any at all) but there's absolutely no reason why it shouldn't sound just as good as a fancy decorated version. Stripped down version that focuses on sound and playability, nothing else. Not as cheap as the psuedo modern classical baroque guitar but of course extremely close to the original instrument.
Historicalguitars.

dformell
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:07 pm

Re: Convert Classical Guitar to Baroque Guitar

Post by dformell » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:34 pm

Thank you both for your comments. Gilles, thank you for posting the wonderful video and your comments. Michael, nothing replaces the sweet sound of a baroque guitar. It's hard to find a good, student luthier-made baroque guitar in the U.S.. There is a luthier, I can't remember his name, in Spain that makes a student instrument that can be strung a a baroque guitar or vihuela for 1100 euros. Once you convert to dollars and include shipping you are looking at around $1500.00. A good price but still a lot of money.

gilles T
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:11 pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: Convert Classical Guitar to Baroque Guitar

Post by gilles T » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:01 am

Hello dformell,

My pleasure; you're welcome. Being short on money I have been craving for more than ten years before I can afford a good student baroque guitar, so I know exactly what you feel. ironically I wasn't aware of Timple and Rajao before I purchased my BG, but I still think they can do the trick for a fraction of the price (150 $ vs 1500 $). Have you consider purchasing a BG from a luthier in central or south America ? This might be cheaper than buying from an european luthier. Just a thought...
Regards,
Gilles

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