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Thread: .....and for something completely different........

  1. #1
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    .....and for something completely different........

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    One of my lots in life has been this thing called congenital mirror movement disorder. It's a fancy name for saying that if I make a fist with my right hand, my left hand will try to do that too. It's never been a big deal except for two things.... typing.....and playing guitar....

    So after spending a frustrating year and a half trying to play and ready to quit the dang thing, a friend suggested a tenor guitar. Well that worked out extremely well!! I could control my left hand better with not as many fingers to move and by the tender age of 50, I was starting to have fun playing.

    One of the problems though with a tenor is the the thin sound from the lack of bass notes, so I decided to tinker and this is what I came up with.

    file-dec-19-2-50-18-pm-jpeg

    I ended up octaving the D and G strings similar to a twelve string. The problem with doing that is I have to modify the bridge. Here's the one I did yesterday. It was an old top load Ovation Applause that is going to be the one that gets banged around in the camper.

    file-dec-19-2-51-02-pm-jpeg

    The other thing I did was try to spread out the strings on the neck similar to a mandocello or bouzouki. This also seemed to help me with my coordination problem,

    file-dec-19-2-52-38-pm-jpeg

    When I was trying to figure this all out, I used an old epiphone 12 string as a prototype to figure all this out and get the string spacing right. I ended up having to slot the saddle to keep the strings in place, but it also allowed me to double up on the B and high E strings. So far I've done 2 twelve strings 3 six strings and a squire strat like this with mixed results. Intonation is really bad on the strat. I'm thinking of going to a 12 string bridge.

    The problem with doing 6 strings is they have to stay like this and have no resale value (...and yes, I've even done a <gasp> Martin). The twelve string all I have to do is replace the saddle. I am thinking about trying a twelve string with a trapeze to see if I can minimize the guitar modification further.

    I am open to any suggestions. I've been playing on this configuration for about three years now and really like it. I guess getting repeatability is what I'm after....
    Brad Bachelor
    "Marrying an old bachelor is like buying second-hand furniture." - Helen Rowland

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    It's cool that you found a way around your problem...but I'm not understanding one thing.
    If you have a problem with a regular guitar...you right and left hands want to do the same thing...how is that different with a tenor guitar...?
    Maybe I'm just not understanding the whole concept of your "fix"...or your actual problem.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    It's cool that you found a way around your problem...but I'm not understanding one thing.
    If you have a problem with a regular guitar...you right and left hands want to do the same thing...how is that different with a tenor guitar...?
    Maybe I'm just not understanding the whole concept of your "fix"...or your actual problem.
    Its kinda hard to explain.... my right hand is dominant.... if I squeeze a ball with my right hand, my left hand will halfway mimic the movement but really weakly... I can still control my left hand, but if Im not paying attention it will mimic the right one.

    When I play the guitar, the real problem seems to start happening when I try to position 4 fingers at a time, three or less I seem to do fine... for example I still practice a Bm most everyday... for 3 years.... it takes 4 fingers on 4 strings... I can almost do it during a slow chord change, but it still looks like mashed potatoes (....hows that for a visual.... ). To answer your question, I think that the tenor having less strings (DGBE) allows for more 3 finger open chord combinations. Barre chords are also three fingers....
    Brad Bachelor
    "Marrying an old bachelor is like buying second-hand furniture." - Helen Rowland

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    Quote Originally Posted by bachelorb View Post
    I think that the tenor having less strings (DGBE) allows for more 3 finger open chord combinations. Barre chords are also three fingers....
    Ahh...now I get it. Less strings, less fingers needed.
    So you are able to keep some "separation" between the right and left...it just gets wonky when you have to use most/all of your fingers independently.

    Maybe you should play lefty...since your right hand is more dominant. That way you "mashed potatoes" hand only needs to hold a pick...and not even that if you just pick with one or two fingers....but I bet it would be even harder to relearn the guitar as a lefty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    Maybe you should play lefty...since your right hand is more dominant.
    now that is not a bad idea to try.... right after I saw this, I was trying to make a D shape with the right hand and it was all backwards, but it might be worth a try.... I've got an old silvertone with a floating bridge I can set up left handed..... I've been thinking about a New York reset on its neck anyway......

    Thanks,

    Brad
    Brad Bachelor
    "Marrying an old bachelor is like buying second-hand furniture." - Helen Rowland

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    ...... alright...... I was messing around with lefty playing last night....... there is no effffff’n way........ .......
    Brad Bachelor
    "Marrying an old bachelor is like buying second-hand furniture." - Helen Rowland

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