Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Discussion of all aspects of multi-string guitars, namely those with 7 or more strings.
Conall
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Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Post by Conall » Fri May 11, 2018 11:49 am

Having played an 8 string for a few months now I'm contemplating a 10 string.

There is some debate online about the merits of Yepes' re-entrant / sympathetic string version of the 10 string versus the so-called Baroque (or Romantic as described elsewhere) tuning where bases descend by step from E 6th (D, C, B, A).

Could 10 string guitarists & lutheirs answer the following please?

- Yepes' 10 string has strings 8, 9 & 10 at the Bb, Ab & Gb pitches between our A 5th and E 6th primarily (as I understand it) to aid more equal sympathetic vibration than that of a 6 string guitar.
- Would it not be better to use strings of pitches one octave below for the 8th - 10th strings when playing regular 6 string guitar music and then tuning each of these up a semitone when playing Baroque & Renaissance lute music by Weiss, Dowland & others?

It seems to me that this would be the best compromise (in theory at least). When playing regular 6 string guitar pieces we would have sympathetic resonance similar to the Yepes guitar & when we want to play Weiss etc we merely tune the 3 lowest strings differently. Presumably the 3 strings "native" pitch would best be B, A & G so that there would be less tension on the neck when re-tuning.

Even better might be an 11 string tuned E,B,G,D,A,E, D,C,B,A,G for early music & E,B,G,D,A,E, D,C,Bb,Ab, Gb for 6 string music (& sympathetic vibration). I suppose an alto guitar / Bolin type guitar could be tuned the same up a minor 3rd but I don't really want that because I'm interested in ensemble playing as well as solo performing & having to transpose all my current pieces would be a pain & not work in many cases.

Any knowledgeable comments appreciated!

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Jouni Stenroos
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Re: Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Post by Jouni Stenroos » Fri May 11, 2018 12:18 pm

Regarding the symphatetic resonances, the overtone series is different with basses an octave lower, and does not support higher notes as well. Yepes tuning is very well crafted for that purpose.

But as a more concrete point, they help maintaining bass lines in baroque lute transcriptions, which is a thing that is often overlooked. I wrote about this just a few days ago on the other recent 10-string thread. On a 6-string guitar bass lines are often raised an octave just because you cannot fret one of the lowest notes on 6th string. Having those as free strings is a huge help. Still, you have the option for the lower basses with the low 7th, which can be detuned to as low as A. But I'll rather lose one or two lowest basses occasionally, than lose whole moving basslines through the normal low register of the guitar.

Renaissance lute music is another story, the tuning is close to modern guitar tuning. If you play Dowland, a 7-string guitar is enough for that in 90% of cases, there are very few pieces for lutes with more than 7 courses.

You might want to check two Weiss suites I transcribed for 10-string, and see how the extra basses can be used.

https://jounistenroos.wordpress.com/s-l-weiss/

Edit: Of course there is always the point of being compatible with already written/transcribed music. :wink:

-Jouni
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Conall
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Re: Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Post by Conall » Fri May 11, 2018 5:47 pm

Jouni Stenroos wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 12:18 pm
Regarding the symphatetic resonances, the overtone series is different with basses an octave lower, and does not support higher notes as well. Yepes tuning is very well crafted for that purpose.

But as a more concrete point, they help maintaining bass lines in baroque lute transcriptions, which is a thing that is often overlooked. I wrote about this just a few days ago on the other recent 10-string thread. On a 6-string guitar bass lines are often raised an octave just because you cannot fret one of the lowest notes on 6th string. Having those as free strings is a huge help. Still, you have the option for the lower basses with the low 7th, which can be detuned to as low as A. But I'll rather lose one or two lowest basses occasionally, than lose whole moving basslines through the normal low register of the guitar.

Renaissance lute music is another story, the tuning is close to modern guitar tuning. If you play Dowland, a 7-string guitar is enough for that in 90% of cases, there are very few pieces for lutes with more than 7 courses.

You might want to check two Weiss suites I transcribed for 10-string, and see how the extra basses can be used.

https://jounistenroos.wordpress.com/s-l-weiss/

Edit: Of course there is always the point of being compatible with already written/transcribed music. :wink:

-Jouni
Thanks for your interesting answer Jouni.

I tried your arrangements on my 8 string with the 8 string tuned down to A (I had to adapt the fingering a bit obviously) - v nice!

With the 8 string, whether tuned to C or A (8th string) it's fairly easy to adapt Weiss - but I think I'm ready to try a 10 or even 11 string. I fancy the extra resonance - & despite the valid sounding points you make I'm fairly sure there would have to be some sympathetic resonance (even if not as even or as much as via Yepes' tuning) with the low strings down the octave - at least more (& more evenly spread) than on a 6 string.

I'm not overly fond of the idea of re-entrant tuning for early (or later) music. That's another reason I propose my solution of varying these low strings in order to make them by step when desirable.

Any more takers in whether my suggestion is viable? Is the tension of these low strings going to be OK on a non-custom built 10 string (eg Bartolex / Milagro etc - I'm not in the market for a custom built yet!)?

RobMacKillop
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Re: Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri May 11, 2018 6:02 pm

I don't think you'll be satisfied with what anyone has to say until you try it for yourself. Your ears are the best guide to what you want, assuming you know what you want. Just get a 10-string and try a few ways.

Conall
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Re: Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Post by Conall » Fri May 11, 2018 6:15 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:02 pm
I don't think you'll be satisfied with what anyone has to say until you try it for yourself. Your ears are the best guide to what you want, assuming you know what you want. Just get a 10-string and try a few ways.
Hi Rob,

Yes, I agree that ultimately only my ears will confirm or confound my theory. But I need to find a 10 string within my budget (under £3k but pref closer to £2k) that will take the tension of these low strings & ideally one I could borrow from someone first to experiment with my tunings before spending what is a large amount on something that may not be what I hoped.

Unfortunately 10 strings don't seem popular in Scotland! Now if Bartolex or Laudarra were to open a shop here....

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Post by Adrian Allan » Fri May 11, 2018 6:27 pm

Conall wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:15 pm
RobMacKillop wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:02 pm
I don't think you'll be satisfied with what anyone has to say until you try it for yourself. Your ears are the best guide to what you want, assuming you know what you want. Just get a 10-string and try a few ways.
Hi Rob,

Yes, I agree that ultimately only my ears will confirm or confound my theory. But I need to find a 10 string within my budget (under £3k but pref closer to £2k) that will take the tension of these low strings & ideally one I could borrow from someone first to experiment with my tunings before spending what is a large amount on something that may not be what I hoped.

Unfortunately 10 strings don't seem popular in Scotland! Now if Bartolex or Laudarra were to open a shop here....
I have tried Bartolex and don't really rate them. Plus they use a Chinese maker who you may be able to track down and charge a ridiculous mark-up.

To get a half decent 10-string you need to pay probably £4k.
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RobMacKillop
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Re: Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri May 11, 2018 6:29 pm

I'll have one in Edinburgh about six weeks' time...but a bit above your budget. It will be made by the Juan Hernandez company in Valencia. They have models at various price points, and will build a 10-string version at each of them, I think. You will be welcome to try mine after it arrives, but it will remain in Yepes' tuning.

Conall
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Re: Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Post by Conall » Fri May 11, 2018 7:49 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:27 pm
Conall wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:15 pm
RobMacKillop wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:02 pm
I don't think you'll be satisfied with what anyone has to say until you try it for yourself. Your ears are the best guide to what you want, assuming you know what you want. Just get a 10-string and try a few ways.
Hi Rob,

Yes, I agree that ultimately only my ears will confirm or confound my theory. But I need to find a 10 string within my budget (under £3k but pref closer to £2k) that will take the tension of these low strings & ideally one I could borrow from someone first to experiment with my tunings before spending what is a large amount on something that may not be what I hoped.

Unfortunately 10 strings don't seem popular in Scotland! Now if Bartolex or Laudarra were to open a shop here....
I have tried Bartolex and don't really rate them. Plus they use a Chinese maker who you may be able to track down and charge a ridiculous mark-up.

To get a half decent 10-string you need to pay probably £4k.
I can appreciate that a Bartolex costing under £2k is highly unlikely to be up to the standard of a custom made though the Milagro models are supposedly better.
What did you not like about the Bartolex exactly?
Thanks for your input.

Conall
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Re: Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Post by Conall » Fri May 11, 2018 7:59 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:29 pm
I'll have one in Edinburgh about six weeks' time...but a bit above your budget. It will be made by the Juan Hernandez company in Valencia. They have models at various price points, and will build a 10-string version at each of them, I think. You will be welcome to try mine after it arrives, but it will remain in Yepes' tuning.
That's really generous of you Rob - thanks very much. I may well take you up on that offer & take up a wee while of your time at your place or wherever is least inconvenient to you - unless I've bought a 10 string in the meantime.
I'll look into your maker (& continue to save!).
I hope you share your thoughts & impressions on your new guitar here / YouTube etc after you've had it a while.
I was also considering a Swedish maker who charges about £3k for a non-nomex 10 string.
But I worry about how to get a guitar to Scotland safely!
How are you doing it?

RobMacKillop
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Re: Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri May 11, 2018 8:07 pm

They'll just post it with FedEx, one-day delivery.

If the Swedish maker is Heikki Rousu, I have an oder in with him for an 11-string alto. His reputation is excellent. Delivery time seems to be six or seven months, and he is used to shipping guitars all over the world.

Conall
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Re: Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Post by Conall » Fri May 11, 2018 8:28 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 8:07 pm
They'll just post it with FedEx, one-day delivery.

If the Swedish maker is Heikki Rousu, I have an oder in with him for an 11-string alto. His reputation is excellent. Delivery time seems to be six or seven months, and he is used to shipping guitars all over the world.
Yes indeed it is! His prices seem very reasonable - but I had forgotten about waiting times. I might ask you if I can try that one too!

I hope FedEx is reliable....

RobMacKillop
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Re: Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri May 11, 2018 8:58 pm

You can try any guitar I have. Just PM me. Late July for the 10-string, December for the 11-string.

Conall
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Re: Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Post by Conall » Fri May 11, 2018 9:00 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 8:07 pm
They'll just post it with FedEx, one-day delivery.

If the Swedish maker is Heikki Rousu, I have an oder in with him for an 11-string alto. His reputation is excellent. Delivery time seems to be six or seven months, and he is used to shipping guitars all over the world.
Your solution of 2 guitars is the obvious other route to what I'm seeking but my thinking is it would be handier & cheaper to get a guitar that can do both jobs (sympathetic resonance or extended range) depending on how it's tuned.

RobMacKillop
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Re: Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri May 11, 2018 9:03 pm

Good luck with that. :okok:

Conall
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Re: Why not a Yepes 10 string with Bb, Ab, Gb at 8ve below?

Post by Conall » Fri May 11, 2018 9:18 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:03 pm
Good luck with that. :okok:
Ha ha...I live in hope!

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