"Homage To The Romantic Spanish Guitar"

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
astro64
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Re: "Homage To The Spanish Guitar"

Post by astro64 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:38 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:19 am
Never when playing. Either during the night, or when I'm watching tv...

Parga - yes, him too. Arcas as well, of course.
Might it help to detune the instrument while not playing it? Bit of a pain, for sure...

RobMacKillop
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Re: "Homage To The Spanish Guitar"

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:49 pm

That's what I do, astro. Almost to completely relaxed.

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Jorge Oliveira
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Re: "Homage To The Spanish Guitar"

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:50 pm

Uhm… not sure it is an advisable thing to do. A string does not have the elasticity of a spring. Moreover, its section and the density of the material is never perfectly uniform and it feels to me that to submit it to such a drastic tension/no_tension state, repeatedly, may aggravate the resistance of the material and make it more prone to break in its weakest point. But this is simply an impression, a gut feeling, not supported by any research that I've done... :)
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/52, Spr, IN RW, Tokyo, JP
1976 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.50, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CA Ced, MG RW, Banyoles, ES

RobMacKillop
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Re: "Homage To The Spanish Guitar"

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:55 pm

It's the advice given out by Aquila, from Mimmo himself.

RobMacKillop
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Re: "Homage To The Spanish Guitar"

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:22 pm

Well, I learned something today.

The three silk-core bass strings from Aquila that broke, did so between nut and the hole in the tuning machine. The nut is smooth, so the string was not snagging there. But the tension between nut and tuner is high, and the old-fashioned string construction means that the string is likely to break there, more than anywhere else.

This was well known in earlier times, and a solution was found which helps preserve the use of the string after a breakage. Emilio Pujol talks about it in his Guitar School, Volume 1. I share a page from the Editions Orphee English-language edition. Basically, the bass string is cut short of the hole, and an old gut string is tied around it - my wife described as just like platting hair. Now the breakage will be to the old gut string, rather than the expensive silk-core bass.

Here's Pujol's diagram:
Gut Leader.jpeg
And here is our first attempt - well, I stood and watched while my wife platted the strings:
IMG_20190308_205035-816x460.jpg
IMG_20190308_205615-816x460.jpg

The string tuned up easily, and appears to be functioning well.

So, a little bit more of the historical practices. Before anyone says it, I know that this doesn't happen with modern strings and guitars, but that's irrelevant to this inquiry into old instruments, techniques, and practical matters. My luthier friend Bill, remembers this still being done in the 1950s.

Ours is not as neat as the one depicted as figure 24 in Pujol's book (above). I thought ours would tighten-up to look something more like that, but not so. Not bad, though, for a first attempt.
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Jacek A. Rochacki
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Re: "Homage To The Spanish Guitar"

Post by Jacek A. Rochacki » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:31 pm

I see with great joy this as another example of old procedures and ways of fixing or preventing problems today A.D. 2019. I know it from my own field of conservation of old gold and silversmithing, where sometime materials and techniques from centuries ago were later forgotten, now are rediscovered and they serve purpose again well.
Antonio Picado, model 60, 2015, Cedar/IRW. Scale 640 mm.
Antonio Picado, model 62, 2018, Cedar/Madagascar Palosanto. Scale 640 mm. Doble Tapa.

RobMacKillop
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Re: "Homage To The Romantic Spanish Guitar"

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:02 pm

After playing it for two minutes, the 6th string broke in the same place...

Now, the instructions from Pujol shows a different technique for tying on the old string onto the 6th string. Here's our first attempt at this new technique:
IMG_20190308_215633-816x460.jpg
Now, shall we place bets on how long they last? I'm being positive!
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Christopher Langley
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Re: "Homage To The Romantic Spanish Guitar"

Post by Christopher Langley » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:06 pm

How interesting.

I bet they hold for a long time now :)

P.S.

Gorgeous Lagrima Rob :bravo:
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RobMacKillop
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Re: "Homage To The Romantic Spanish Guitar"

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:11 pm

We shall see. Thanks, Chris.

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Jorge Oliveira
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Re: "Homage To The Romantic Spanish Guitar"

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:19 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:02 pm
After playing it for two minutes, the 6th string broke in the same place...

Now, the instructions from Pujol shows a different technique for tying on the old string onto the 6th string. Here's our first attempt at this new technique:
...
Now, shall we place bets on how long they last? I'm being positive!
Uhm... having fished a lot with a rod in my youth, I recognize that Pujol's instructions are similar to those used to tie a fishing line to a hook, but instead of a hook you have the new guitar string and an old string as the fishing line (see here how it is done). You have to have the new string stretched while you wrap the old string around it, so, perhaps your wife could grab the loose end of the guitar and keep it stretched during the operation?
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/52, Spr, IN RW, Tokyo, JP
1976 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.50, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CA Ced, MG RW, Banyoles, ES

RobMacKillop
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Re: "Homage To The Romantic Spanish Guitar"

Post by RobMacKillop » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:40 pm

Yes, we will improve our technique, but hopefully we won't have to do it often. The strings are holding up well. I even did a short recital this afternoon to the Scottish Lute and Early Guitar Society. See report here: https://scottishluteandearlyguitarsociety.wordpress.com

Wuuthrad
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Re: "Homage To The Romantic Spanish Guitar"

Post by Wuuthrad » Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:37 pm

Interesting re. the string tying. My uncle, a Guitarist and Fisherman taught me this many years ago. As a result I've always wound the ends of strings and not cut them should I need to tie this knot later.

I've considered it to be a bit of an economic and practical move, that was handed down by word of mouth, and up until now hadn't known it was written about!
"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." -Jean Sibelius

RobMacKillop
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Re: "Homage To The Romantic Spanish Guitar"

Post by RobMacKillop » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:11 pm

I've made a short video for my regular YT subscribers. You can hear a few more sneak-peaks at the end.



RobMacKillop
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Re: "Homage To The Romantic Spanish Guitar"

Post by RobMacKillop » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:28 am

UPDATE: this evening I recorded two pieces by Arcas, the Bolero and also a piece called Solea de Arcas from Rafael Marin's Flamenco Guitar Method of 1902. It's (mercifully) much shorter than the more well-known Solea from Arcas.I also made a couple of minor edits to previously-recorded tracks, and I much happier with them now.

So far: 31 minutes of music, which I suppose is the half-way stage.

The strings are behaving, no breakages to report!

RobMacKillop
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Re: "Homage To The Romantic Spanish Guitar"

Post by RobMacKillop » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:45 pm

Still no string breakages :-)

I have a gut-string order in with Damian Dlugolecki, but he's on vacation, and won't get back to work before the end of the month. Even then it will take two or three weeks for them to get to me. So, basically my recording is on hold for a month. That's okay, though, as I want to spend time rehearsing the remaining pieces, which include a Tango Flamenco by Luis Soria, another Tango, this time by Federico Cano, which is a world away from the Soria tango, and a homage to Tárrega by José Viñas. Soria was a good friend of Tárrega's. In fact, all four composers were on good terms, it seems.

The recording will show the popular guitar styles with a (19th-century) flamenco influence, alongside "posh" salon pieces by Tárrega, Viñas, and others. I've been rejecting repertoire I would like to record, if it doesn't reflect what this amateur (albeit very good quality) guitar might have played. I'm thinking of the more musically-advanced pieces by Pujol. I'm contemplating making a second recording for more recent material, using my Valencia-made Juan Hernandez 6- and 10-string guitars. So, over two recordings, I would celebrate two eras of guitar making in Valencia.

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