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 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning 
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
I ended up using a parallel 4ths tuning, and like it quite a bit. I started with Mirrored 4ths, but then just switched the base side, but to have it truly parallel, I dropped the lowest string in mirrored 4ths to low B, so it's the same on both sides,

BEADGC BEADGC

One octave between sides. That said, if not for the symmetry that really appealed to me, I could have just flipped the mirrored 4ths strings to a parallel configuration, and it would probably have a low enough range, like this:

EADGCF BEADGC

It's very comfortable to play, and I'm not having to learn different 5ths while trying to learn 4ths.

One thing to be a ware of, the tuners are guitar tuners, so you may have to drill the low tuner out to accept the really fat strings. Not hard, just go slow.

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Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:04 pm
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
ArmyDoc wrote:
I ended up using a parallel 4ths tuning, and like it quite a bit. I started with Mirrored 4ths, but then just switched the base side, but to have it truly parallel, I dropped the lowest string in mirrored 4ths to low B, so it's the same on both sides,

BEADGC BEADGC

One octave between sides. That said, if not for the symmetry that really appealed to me, I could have just flipped the mirrored 4ths strings to a parallel configuration, and it would probably have a low enough range, like this:

EADGCF BEADGC

It's very comfortable to play, and I'm not having to learn different 5ths while trying to learn 4ths.

One thing to be a ware of, the tuners are guitar tuners, so you may have to drill the low tuner out to accept the really fat strings. Not hard, just go slow.
That's excellent information, Doc! I am very glad to hear that it's working for you!

And about drilling, Greg told me this about the string set in his email this morning:
Quote:
In addition to string height and intonation adjustments at the pickups, nut and bridge, you will also need to drill out your 10th string tuning machine to accommodate the thicker string core. You can swap machines 6 and 9.

Db .009
Ab .011
Eb .014
Bb .022R
F .032R

F .036R
C .056R
G .087R
D .106R
A .128R


So some assembly required! And I agree--the symmetry does appeal to me, too. I think.

So, no problem with getting all the chords in the left hand that you want to?

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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:14 pm
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
Hi Steve, you asked me to share some thoughts over in this thread about parallel 4ths, so here I am “by request”!

After a few years of playing NS/Stick (basically doing baselines in the left hand, chords in the right within the context of a church music group setting) I got the itch to try some solo music. I think I tried playing the first Bach Goldberg variation and quickly discovered my hands running into each other with a straight 4ths tuning, which immediately got me thinking about a standard Stick instrument with two regions (my very first instrument was a Massacar Ebony 10 string made in the 70s, which I traded towards an NS/Stick from the very first production run). It’s possible having a 10 string instrument with two repeated notes in the middle might have helped address this issue with two hands playing within a tight pitch range (as well as putting more thought into how the hands could split the parts as opposed to just assigning one hand to each staff on the music page), but I ended up trading the NS/Stick for a rosewood Grand and tuned it in parallel 4ths (using the same pitches I use now I think).

Since I was playing a lot of bass around this time, there was certainly an instant gratification factor, and some chord shapes were within easy reach (using bass E as the lowest pitch). However some limitations became apparent as I began using this tuning more - I wanted to develop a more complete left hand accompaniment style that combined bass lines with acoustic guitar style patterns (close voiced chords, pulloffs, little melodic runs in between chords). After thinking about it some more and talking to Greg about bass in 4ths, I inverted the bass strings, and a whole new world opened up. And the big surprise was that there was not a confusing mental adjustment to have the strings backwards compared to a regular bass, as there is going between bass in 5ths and 4ths. The same visual patterns are still there, just mirrored.

It’s helpful to have specific goals in mind when experimenting with a new tuning (as opposed to purely theoretical reasons). Indeed parallel 4ths would suit you well if you are certain you only want to play single lines, 1-5-8 patterns and right hand chords on top (that’s also how I played keyboard many years ago). On the other hand, I find these things are easy to do with inverted 4ths as well PLUS you get a lot more other possibilities.

To demonstrate the kinds of accompaniment ideas I wanted to develop I dig out this old private video every now and then (I should really do something more in depth someday). When the bass strings are inverted, the hand opens up, you can access more notes at once, and it’s easy to hold some chord tones while moving around melodically with other fingers. There is also that satisfying 1-5-8 power chord on the middle three strings you can play with one finger! These left hand parts would not be possible to play in parallel 4ths or inverted bass 5ths:



This is not to discourage you from exploring your own ideas, particularly since you are keen to focus on a specific bass approach. I watched a few of Valery’s videos and he uses that tuning very well, lots of nice bass lines and melodic movement, but it's usually one note at a time or simple chord arpeggios, which I would find too limiting for the music I play on the Stick.

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Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:30 am
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
robmartino wrote:
Hi Steve, you asked me to share some thoughts over in this thread about parallel 4ths, so here I am “by request”!

Hi, Rob! I'm so very thankful that you stopped by, and I think you've given perhaps the best responses here that anyone could have possibly asked for. Thanks so very much for sharing your experiences, and giving some very-much needed advice. I knew you had a particular expertise and experience with 4ths tuning on a Stick, and frankly, you are one of my favorite song writers with a Stick, and your style is somewhat similar to music that I do or would like to do on the Stick(s). So when I saw you comment on parallel 4ths, I thought I'd ask you to share. And judging by your response, I'm positive that others have learned a bunch too.

I will respond to chunks at a time, and maybe ask one or two specific questions at the end.

robmartino wrote:
It’s helpful to have specific goals in mind when experimenting with a new tuning (as opposed to purely theoretical reasons). Indeed parallel 4ths would suit you well if you are certain you only want to play single lines, 1-5-8 patterns and right hand chords on top (that’s also how I played keyboard many years ago). On the other hand, I find these things are easy to do with inverted 4ths as well PLUS you get a lot more other possibilities.

I actually did not have much of a problem getting the inverted fifths when I got my first Stick (1.5 years ago now). I find it very playable when I put two hands onto the inverted bass side, and I worked for quite a bit to be able to do most of that 2-hand stuff with just the left hand. I find I very much enjoy the 2-hand interplay back and forth from the right and left hands on either the bass or melody sides.

But then that's turned me into a 4-hand player, and I have to record bass side 2-handed and then melody side 2-handed. But I don't gig anymore and my playing is just to write songs and record them. So the 4-hand method has worked fine for making songs. And a looper would let me do 4-hands live, so that's a very new development I'm also working on.

The NS/Stick bass 4ths tuning seems to let me get both hands going in different registers at the same time. I had more of a problem getting two hands to do simultaneous lines when one was doing inverted fifths, and the other fourths. Even with MR tuning, it seemed easier on the NS in bass 4ths. I don't play piano with 2 hands on the melody or doing the bass, and I was trying to maybe make my Sticking a little more like my piano playing.

But my goal is a little nebulous--I have discovered that 4ths really, really suits my style, and I want to take that a little further. But I just got a new NS/Stick, and I can't spring for a 12-string anytime soon (maybe next year!) So, I wanted to see if there was a 4ths solution for one of my two 10-strings. I'll come back to that in just a bit.

robmartino wrote:
This is not to discourage you from exploring your own ideas, particularly since you are keen to focus on a specific bass approach. I watched a few of Valery’s videos and he uses that tuning very well, lots of nice bass lines and melodic movement, but it's usually one note at a time or simple chord arpeggios, which I would find too limiting for the music I play on the Stick.

Okay, thanks, Rob! I'm not here to re-invent my own wheel and I'm quite happy to steal a wheel from others, if it gets my musical car to where I want to go. I really hoped someone would be able to explain and educate me what Valery (and potentially me) might be missing out with his tuning. I only have a couple of his pieces (most of them are Bach etudes on the NS/Stick or the NS/Knockoff), and he seemed to be able to do two-hands together. But I hear you about chords. He's pretty much rocking two counterpoint lines but not doing as you said the guitar-voiced chords, which leads well right into the next chunk, that was very convincing to me:

robmartino wrote:
There is also that satisfying 1-5-8 power chord on the middle three strings you can play with one finger! These left hand parts would not be possible to play in parallel 4ths or inverted bass 5ths:

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :evil: :evil: :evil: Rock and roll! That is indeed a very convincing point, sir. 1-finger power chords are a thing of beauty that I've only had the pleasure of experiencing with 6-string guitar "Drop D" tuning. Me definitely likey.

Well, lots to think about. I'm not excited about making a permanent mod to my Rosewood by drilling and moving components around. I also have no problem with the inversion of the left hand, although I've not yet had the pleasure of playing in mirrored 4ths. But I can't afford another Stick so soon to get a 12-string.

So...is the mirrored 4ths a viable 10-string option? That was what my Railboard would have been if I went to 4ths, but I'll only have 10 strings rather than 12 to work with. Has anyone turned their 10-string into mirrored 4ths, and what does missing a string on each side do for playability? It would also have the advantage of not having to move fat strings around to make parallel 4ths work.

Thanks again, Rob! I appreciate the detailed response! I actually can't view the video here at work this morning, but I will definitely check it out later when I get home. (I'll probably watch on my cellphone over lunch!)

Hope Scotland and Apple are treating you well! Cheers!

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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:13 am
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
paigan0 wrote:
So...is the mirrored 4ths a viable 10-string option?

I wouldn't call it unviable, but I would just point out that for satisfying chordal accompaniment that gets into the acoustic guitar range, I'm using that top bass string for just about every chord I play (and that's with a low bass E as the lowest note). But there would certainly be some effective parts you could still play that are more than just single note baselines (think Geddy Lee when he does chord stuff higher up like Force Ten, Turn the Page, or The Pass).

paigan0 wrote:
Hope Scotland and Apple are treating you well! Cheers!

Thanks! No complaints, enjoying life here!

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Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:47 am
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
paigan0 wrote:
ArmyDoc wrote:
I ended up using a parallel 4ths tuning, and like it quite a bit. I started with Mirrored 4ths, but then just switched the base side, but to have it truly parallel, I dropped the lowest string in mirrored 4ths to low B, so it's the same on both sides,

BEADGC BEADGC

One octave between sides. That said, if not for the symmetry that really appealed to me, I could have just flipped the mirrored 4ths strings to a parallel configuration, and it would probably have a low enough range, like this:

EADGCF BEADGC

It's very comfortable to play, and I'm not having to learn different 5ths while trying to learn 4ths.

One thing to be a ware of, the tuners are guitar tuners, so you may have to drill the low tuner out to accept the really fat strings. Not hard, just go slow.
That's excellent information, Doc! I am very glad to hear that it's working for you!

And about drilling, Greg told me this about the string set in his email this morning:
Quote:
In addition to string height and intonation adjustments at the pickups, nut and bridge, you will also need to drill out your 10th string tuning machine to accommodate the thicker string core. You can swap machines 6 and 9.

Db .009
Ab .011
Eb .014
Bb .022R
F .032R

F .036R
C .056R
G .087R
D .106R
A .128R


So some assembly required! And I agree--the symmetry does appeal to me, too. I think.

So, no problem with getting all the chords in the left hand that you want to?



There were two changes that I made that helped me to be more comfortable with chords on the Bass side. The first is that I went to a non-angled belt hook. That made a BIG difference.

The second is switching to parallel rather than mirrored. That made comparatively small improvement - mostly in one chord. Rob often uses a chord pattern in mirrored 4ths where the middle finger is flexed and the ring and index reach out across the fret a couple strings over to play 3rd and 5th an octave higher. I found I could play it if hit the root first, but I couldn't easily play it all at once. With Parallel 4ths, the pattern is reversed, with the middle finger more extended, and the index and ring more flexed. For some reason this works better for me.

My path way was this. I started in mirrored 4ths with an angled belt hook. My left hand was cramping, so I tried MR 4ths/5ths. No joy, too hard for my poor brain to learn two different things at the same time. (I do not have the musical background most stick players seem to have)

Then I saw a video of someone using parallel 4ths... can't remember who. I decided I would try that configuration, but I needed a new set of strings to try it, because if you cut your strings in mirred, they won't reach the tuners in parallel. BUT I had half of the MR set I hadn't used... So I set it up in parallel 4ths, but with bass and melody sides identical. My thinking was that I might go to uncrossed and string the bass side on the left instead of right, and this way I could try it either way,

I played with this for several weeks, and really liked it. Ultimately I decided crossed made more sense and put the low strings on the right/Bass side. (In my experience, both crossed and uncrossed worked well in parallel 4ths on the melody side, but not as well on the bass side. For Bass I found I like reaching across better as it opened my hand more. Hmmm. Never heard that before, have you? ;) )

The Final decision I made was to use low B for the low Bass string rather than E like in parallel 4ths. You give up the high F string in exchange for the low B, but everything is identical which is easy to remember. I'm not sure if this was the right choice, but so far I like it. I play F on the lowest string a lot, not much lower than that though.

Best of luck, and enjoy the journey...

Oh! A side benefit of this journey is I feel a lot more comfortable adjusting / restringing my instrument etc.

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Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:10 am
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
Mirrored Fourths (on a 10-String)

So I was chatting with Kris about mirror 4ths. And reading what Doc and Rob have done here. And since Cambria hasn't gotten back to me yet on the pricing of a set of parallel 4th strings in a set of 10, I thought I'd experiment a bit non-destructively. Kris mentioned using some strings from another pack, and I have a spare set of MR medium gauge for either the Rosewood or the Railboard.

I also have no problem with the inverted fifths. So maybe the inverted fourths would not be a problem.

So I had various Stick.com tunings in front of me, and said "How I can I get to a workable set of mirrored fourths in 10 strings with the minimum of string changing and without breaking anything, or having to drill or adjust any flaps?"

This is what I did.

Matched Reciprocal has the following strings tuned like this:

Melody
1. C
2. G down a 4th
3. D down a 4th
4. A down a 4th
5. E down a 4th

Bass
6. C
7. G up a 5th
8. D up a 5th
9. A up a 5th (unison with 4th string)
10. E up a 5th

I left all the melody strings alone. I first just left the Bass C (#6) alone, and detuned the #7 a whole step, and then #8 two whole steps. That got the first three bass strings on the bass side in fourths, and let me just noodle for a second.

Then I dropped #9 all the way down six whole steps just to make the tuning work. That didn't sound too horrible for that string, so I said, well, just for experimentation, drop that #10 string all the way down until it's just a fourth above. That technically would stay in tune but sounded kind of shitty. But I had the five bass strings tuned in fourths without replacing a single string.

So here's where someone could have probably pointed out an easier solution but I tried replacing about three different things from my string pack, until I decided to tune that #6 bass string up a whole step to D from C, and now it matched fourths with string #7, which I left alone. Then I only had to drop everything one whole step less than previous, which got me to a slightly better range for the strings. But that high #10 string was definitely not cutting it.

Before I removed the #10 and replaced it, I rocked out in "Dropped C" tuning, with that low #6 string back in C but the strings above tuned in fourths. That gave me the equivalent of "Drop D" tuning for six-string guitar, and the low power chords can be fretted with just one finger across the three low strings. I found it wasn't a huge adjustment to change my scale patterns down a whole step for that low string, but I will leave "Dropped C" tuning for later (it's easily done at any time just by de-tuning back to C on the low string).

I moved a couple of strings out of my pack of new strings, but some of them just didn't sound good tuned up too high, or detuned too low. Here's where a few opinions I'm sure will differ. I tried doubling a couple of different strings on the bass side but they were too fat to be tuned up that high. So I took string #5 from the melody side pack of new strings, and it became my new bass string #9 tuned in Bflat, and I moved #9 over to #10. I probably could have just put #5 into #10's spot and left #9 alone. I'm not even sure how different #5 and #9 are in terms of string diameter. But logically, string #5 was already tuned in E and I needed it in F, so it was already almost the same tuning.

My new tuning is this:

Melody (unchanged from MR)
1. C
2. G down a 4th
3. D down a 4th
4. A down a 4th
5. E down a 4th

New Bass 4ths Tuning
6. D
7. G
8. C
9. F
10. Bflat

So strings 9 and 10 on the bass side maybe are not perfect, and I haven't even plugged things in to see how it sounds through the pickups, but playing acoustically, I can jam out mirrored fourths tuning in my left hand bass with absolutely no problem at all. I haven't yet got playing both hands together when strings are changed (I want to go in the same direction rather than the opposite direction to change strings), but it's only a problem when playing both hands together.

Hmmm. What this experiment has shown me is that my next Stick will be a Grand 12-string tuned in mirrored fourths.

Here's a Greggy question: If I was going to try to do the mirrored 4ths on a 10-string, instead of the parallel fourths, would I want to just order a 12-string mirrored 4ths set and throw away the bottom melody string and the top bass string, or would a different set make more sense for a 10-string solution? I'd have no problem changing out all of the strings for that--I just wanted to minimize changes to my current setup and I only had the one string set to pull from. And I'd like to keep the fat strings where they are on the Sticks (and keep them where they are on my bass-fourth-tuned NS/Stick.) I seem to have no problem changing between bass fourths and mirrored 4ths.

I appreciate the fine help, support, and ideas y'all have given me. Until I tune in tritones, The DEVIL'S INTERVAL, and then REALLY blow some minds and eternal souls.... :twisted: :ugeek: :evil: :geek: :shock: :mrgreen:

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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
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Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:41 pm
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
I love my Grand, it's awesome. Switching to mirrored 4ths opened the instrument up for me, but really hurt my hand a bunch. Then I went back to matched reciprocal until a meeting with kevin Chiasson where we messed with the Stick's truss a bit and REALLY got the action down! Wow! What a difference! So then I thought I'd switch back to mirrored 4ths, and it's awesome.
Everyone has a tuning and setup that's right for them, and mirrored 4ths is perfect for me. That's just me, though.

I have my Rail-board in Mirrored 4ths too, and y'know, I like it a lot that way. Just the way my mind works... I can't wait to hear/see what you come up with, man!

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Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:18 pm
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
Jayesskerr wrote:
I have my Rail-board in Mirrored 4ths too, and y'know, I like it a lot that way. Just the way my mind works...

That's awesome to hear the mirrored fourths is now working for you, Scott! And Kevin C rules!

Did you just take an extra pack of mirrored 4ths for the Grand and throw away two strings for the Railboard, or some other solution?

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Steve Sink, Paigan Productions
Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:24 pm
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
paigan0 wrote:
Jayesskerr wrote:
I have my Rail-board in Mirrored 4ths too, and y'know, I like it a lot that way. Just the way my mind works...

That's awesome to hear the mirrored fourths is now working for you, Scott! And Kevin C rules!

Did you just take an extra pack of mirrored 4ths for the Grand and throw away two strings for the Railboard, or some other solution?


lol Just tuned it to M4 using the existing strings. The Rail-board didn't seem to care, notes play nice, and the action is real low. I swear that Rail-boards are pretty much indestructible... Never had an issue with mine. Well, there WAS that time that my daughter put a smartie (Like an M&M) under one of the strings...

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Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:01 pm
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