Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
2lost2find
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Re: Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Post by 2lost2find » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:21 pm

I'm working on it a little now while I rock my youngest to sleep. Got the first 8 measures notated out on a grand staff for lute tuning, and I'll transfer the voices to a single guitar staff from there. It's fun; I haven't looked at a cello score in fifteen years or so.

2lost2find
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Re: Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Post by 2lost2find » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:24 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:15 pm

It makes your guitar only usable for certain pieces and you start missing being able to play pieces that would normally be available to you.
Would you say it makes the pieces impossible, or just weird to play due to unfamiliarity?
gilles T wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:20 pm
Hello,
viewtopic.php?t=55102

Hope this helps,
cheers.
Thanks!

soltirefa
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Re: Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Post by soltirefa » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:27 pm

Would you say it makes the pieces impossible, or just weird to play due to unfamiliarity?
I think you would have to take each piece on a case-by-case basis to see if it fits the new tuning. I think in most cases it screws up the piece to have a G 6th string instead of E. I think the decacorde tuning is great for some things, but I wouldn't hope you could play your regular repertoire with it, nor would you want to.

2lost2find
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Re: Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Post by 2lost2find » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:48 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:27 pm
Would you say it makes the pieces impossible, or just weird to play due to unfamiliarity?
I think you would have to take each piece on a case-by-case basis to see if it fits the new tuning. I think in most cases it screws up the piece to have a G 6th string instead of E. I think the decacorde tuning is great for some things, but I wouldn't hope you could play your regular repertoire with it, nor would you want to.
Hmm. I'll challenge that line of thinking over the next couple of weeks. I promised my GF some decacorde arrangements anyway so she can try them once she gets her 10 string. Is there any piece(s) in particular that you tried and found unworkable?

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:37 pm

Just to say that I agree with Solti re. the suitability of décacorde tuning for such composers as Bach, Weiss, Gaultier etc.

You should be aware however that simply tuning a 10-string in that way does not properly replicate the décacorde which uses "harp levers" for the switching of accidentals on three of the bass strings - mid-piece if necessary.

The levers pull the strings on to the second nut - see picture below:
head.png
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2lost2find
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Re: Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Post by 2lost2find » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:42 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:37 pm
Just to say that I agree with Solti re. the suitability of décacorde tuning for such composers as Bach, Weiss, Gaultier etc.

You should be aware however that simply tuning a 10-string in that way does not properly replicate the décacorde which uses "harp levers" for the switching of accidentals on three of the bass strings - mid-piece if necessary.

The levers pull the strings on to the second nut - see picture below:
head.png
I did not know that... there is an interesting and potentially very useful feature. Does it work well?

As for the other, it'll be a fun experiment anyway. Not working a regular job == I clearly have way too much time on my hands... :lol:

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:53 pm

2lost2find wrote:I did not know that... there is an interesting and potentially very useful feature. Does it work well?
It works very well mechanically ...

... you can imagine the possible problems switching mid-phrase. Again - remember that the décacorde was designed solely for the use of amateurs, playing easy pieces with few modulations. Carulli gives some instruction on adapting 6-string works for the instrument simply suggesting that bass lines are raised where accidentals can not be avoided.

My previous décacorde had levers, the current one, which i bought purely on aesthetic grounds, does not; I play it as a 10-string, tuning it according to my fancy.

2lost2find
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Re: Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Post by 2lost2find » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:00 pm

I got it all notated onto a grand staff 8vb as per standard guitar notation. I also found a YouTube of somebody performing it on a six string guitar, transposed to the key of A. I'll start turning it into an actual guitar arrangement next. My first stab at it will be in C and in the original register (which never goes above G4), and we'll go from there. It's immediately apparent that the duration of the voices here is largely dictated by the technical demands of the cello, so I will probably take some liberties in that regard. Won't happen today; I'm filling in tonight and need to go back over the songs.

2lost2find
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Re: Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Post by 2lost2find » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:03 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:53 pm
2lost2find wrote:I did not know that... there is an interesting and potentially very useful feature. Does it work well?
It works very well mechanically ...

... you can imagine the possible problems switching mid-phrase. Again - remember that the décacorde was designed solely for the use of amateurs, playing easy pieces with few modulations. Carulli gives some instruction on adapting 6-string works for the instrument simply suggesting that bass lines are raised where accidentals can not be avoided.

My previous décacorde had levers, the current one, which i bought purely on aesthetic grounds, does not; I play it as a 10-string, tuning it according to my fancy.
Still a cool feature. Puts me in mind of the hipshot detuner some people put on a non-floating Floyd Rose.

Conall
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Re: Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Post by Conall » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:06 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:45 pm
I tried the decacorde tuning to play this Weiss piece. It's nice in that you have the alphabet of open basses, but you miss that E 6th string after a while.

Lovely!
Kind of in keeping with Weiss' lute with step wise descending basses though presumably the decacorde tuning does not go low enough for many of his pieces.

Conall
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Re: Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Post by Conall » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:11 pm

2lost2find wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:17 pm
Don't worry about the transposition, BTW. I'm going to have to re-input anyway anyway and I read bass clef just fine. I was more interested to see how other transcriptionists approach this stuff.
I'm not sure why you'd bother arranging the piece if you can read bass clef. For me, one of the points of playing the cello suites on extended range guitar is that I can play directly from the cello score without needing to alter anything. In addition, the phrasing suggested by cellists / cello editors can give alternatives that to my ears anyway often sound more appropriate than phrasing suggested by guitar editors.

soltirefa
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Re: Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Post by soltirefa » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:18 pm

Lovely!
Kind of in keeping with Weiss' lute with step wise descending basses though presumably the decacorde tuning does not go low enough for many of his pieces.
You're right that many of Weiss' pieces go below low C (the lowest bass with Decacorde tuning). Interestingly, this particular piece is found in more than one manuscript. In the Dresden Manuscript version it is written for 13-course lute and goes down to low A. But there is also a version in the London Manuscript that only goes down to low C, and the lower basses in the Dresden version are up an octave.

There are a lot of Weiss' pieces that will work with the Decacorde tuning. I also found some David Kellner pieces that would fit, as well.

Conall
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Re: Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Post by Conall » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:24 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:27 pm
Would you say it makes the pieces impossible, or just weird to play due to unfamiliarity?
I think you would have to take each piece on a case-by-case basis to see if it fits the new tuning. I think in most cases it screws up the piece to have a G 6th string instead of E. I think the decacorde tuning is great for some things, but I wouldn't hope you could play your regular repertoire with it, nor would you want to.
Yes, it's logical that trying even to finger traditional chord shapes isn't going to work: the top 5 strings are ok but 6 string chords like G or E are going to have to be broken awkwardly presumably?

So if I was to use such a guitar tuning it would only be for arrangements. I imagine a lot of normal 6 string music would in fact fit with a little re-arrangement & some pieces would be easier in the left if more difficult in the right?

soltirefa
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Re: Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Post by soltirefa » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:26 pm

So if I was to use such a guitar tuning it would only be for arrangements. I imagine a lot of normal 6 string music would in fact fit with a little re-arrangement & some pieces would be easier in the left if more difficult in the right?
Correct. You need to use the right tool for the job. Don't try to force things to fit that already work perfectly the way they're intended.

Conall
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Re: Bach & Decacorde Tuning

Post by Conall » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:36 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:26 pm
So if I was to use such a guitar tuning it would only be for arrangements. I imagine a lot of normal 6 string music would in fact fit with a little re-arrangement & some pieces would be easier in the left if more difficult in the right?
Correct. You need to use the right tool for the job. Don't try to force things to fit that already work perfectly the way they're intended.
It wouldn't really be my intention to use decacorde tuning for normal 6 string guitar music, rather for Bach / non guitar music but I guess if I had it I'm sure I'd be tempted to try some of the traditional repertoire anyway ....for fun if not much else!

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