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 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning 
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Post 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
I've been playing my new NS/Stick tuned with 8-strings in "bass 4ths" and I love it so much. I really dug the fifths tuning on the bass side of my first two Sticks (Rosewood and Railboard), but several prominent Stickists rock mirror 4ths tuning on their 12-string Grands. Everybody says you can't do the straight 4ths tuning on only 10 strings without giving up chords and the like.

Then I noticed that my favorite Russian Stickist, Valery Rovinskii--who I've posted several Bach videos of his here done on the NS/Stick and his homemade NS/Stick (he has both)--has his latest rocking tune done on his 10-string Stick. That is tuned in fourths. I believe all the way across (although he could be rocking an extended guitar tuning on it and I can't exactly tell).

Video


2-hand, traditional Stick pose (10 strings)
Image

10 Strings Fat to Thin, No Obvious Redundancy, No Bass or Melody Side
Image

Closer View
Image

But the way it seems to work is to not have a "bass side" and a "melody side" with redundant strings, or overlapping range. There's no redundant keys or overlapping keys on a piano (and lots of other differences of course). But just strings tuned in 4ths all the way across. Like a 10-string bass or a Harpeijji or ...that's all I got. (adds: LinnStrument!)

He can obviously play 2-handed counterpoint and full accompaniment. I don't know what his upper and lower ranges are, but he's obviously rocking out what anyone else does with the classic tuning(s).

Listen, people are different. 10 people: 10 colors, "We all have our rocks in the stream down from Stick Mountain." Your mileage will vary. Vegemite and/or nattou are just delicious, thank you (both are foul, foul, foul, but again, different strokes...)

For me, it's incredibly awesome because both hands have exactly the same fingerings, with the left hand reaching around the Stick. A minor third on the 4th fret is that on either hand. That's something that I DON'T have on piano. A major scale in both hands is fingered completely differently, even when playing identical parts. Let me say that instantly rocking two hands playing simultaneous leads as fast as I can play with either hand was an incredible adrenaline feeling of awesomeness (I'm downplaying it a bit.) So, it works for me.

My Questions:

1. What's this "called" and...

2. Can I convert either my 10-string Rosewood or (harder probably) my Railboard to do "straight 4ths" (my term)? The Railboard has those dugout frets, so I would think it's harder. The Rosewood, then?

3. Can I order such a set of "straight 4th" strings in a set from Stick and maybe closely related..

4. Is this a mod I can do myself or is it best suited in SE's hands back at the shop?

5. Yeah, I know: order a 12-string grand new and just get it made that way! I just bought an NS--no new sticks for Stevie Paigan for a while. But maybe a major mod on my oldest one...?

I appreciate the thoughts and opinions from the Stick and Tapping community, and from SE if anyone has the time or opinion (expertise!) to offer.

Cheers,
Mad props to the Fifths!
But also, Use The Fourths!
:ugeek: Stevie Paigan

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Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
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Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:52 pm
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
I believe the answer is... overlapping or redundant strings. It looks from the photo you posted like strings 5 and 6 are the same.

You can't get 10 strings in 4ths all the way across. 9, yes, but not 10..

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Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:07 pm
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
greg wrote:
I believe the answer is... overlapping or redundant strings. It looks from the photo you posted like strings 5 and 6 are the same.

You can't get 10 strings in 4ths all the way across. 9, yes, but not 10..

Okay, my premise is flawed: that's not 10 different strings across. That's exactly why I included the screen shots. It really looks like 3 of the middle strings have the same thickness to me, but it's hard to tell.

With that said, it isn't immediately obvious why a lower string couldn't be added and push everything over. A fourth down below the B is pretty darn low, I know--at least intellectually. But pianos have strings even lower than that (and the Bosendorfer goes a few more even lower.).

Contrawise, I'm guessing that there might not be a higher string one can add? Laws of physics, or string fragility, or tuning problems, or dynamics issues (too soft?)? I'm sure there are a number of somewhat obvious reasons but all I got is ill-informed speculation.

That aside, let's accept your premise, Greg, that two of the strings in the middle have to be repeated in order to get 4ths across. With that info added, could you still take a crack at any of the 5 questions, please? (4 questions and a post-thought, actually.) What would one call this, could I convert one of my Sticks to such a tuning (I'm already guessing "No" for the Railboard), could I order such a set of strings from SE, and should I do such a mod myself or send it in?

Thanks!

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Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:55 pm
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
You know, the thing I really hated about my 9string guitar was that the Low strings were a bit of a pain to get to; I vowed to never go past 8 on a guitar... plus, that lowest string was bloody unintelligible... hehe a big middle finger to Ibanez...

That Russian guy is amazing, really really good. Not anywhere the calibre of Adam Fulara or Stanley Jordan, but then again, who is? :D

I personally have gotten really accustomed to that lowest string being in the middle on the Stick, in my humble opinion I feel like that is one of the defining qualities of the Stick, regardless of the tuning. The repeating notes on either side make for some really interesting possibilities; Steve Adelson really takes advantage of this quality via "thumb attack"... (It's on his CD's) sometimes subtle other times "in your face"...

But I bet you could do a "Low to high" thing on the bass side BEADG or something, and EADGC low to high on the treble side ( not sure what the best actual tuning would be) I dunno, maybe talk to Emmett?

I was totally in love with my Low C on the Stick for the longest time, but I found over time that anything below E didn't seem to cut that well for what I do, y'know made everything pretty muddy haha I mean, it was fun sometimes for a meaty bass note... :D

Anyways, whatever helps you make music, man! Good luck, dude!

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Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:59 pm
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
paigan0 wrote:
My Questions:

1. What's this "called" and...



These tunings are called "parallel 4ths" tunings

paigan0 wrote:

2. Can I convert either my 10-string Rosewood or (harder probably) my Railboard to do "straight 4ths" (my term)? The Railboard has those dugout frets, so I would think it's harder. The Rosewood, then?



The fret coutours would not be good on the Railboad, but you can order one for a parallel tuning down the road if you want. Emmett has those machined as well. 8-)

paigan0 wrote:

3. Can I order such a set of "straight 4th" strings in a set from Stick and maybe closely related..



Yes, it would be a "custom tuning" and once you decide what pitches you want I can help you put the set together (this is one of the things I do for them).

paigan0 wrote:

4. Is this a mod I can do myself or is it best suited in SE's hands back at the shop?



There would be subtle difference in the Flaps that Emmett might do, but for experimental purposes yu can absolutely do this yourself.

paigan0 wrote:

I appreciate the thoughts and opinions from the Stick and Tapping community, and from SE if anyone has the time or opinion (expertise!) to offer.



I'd suggest the following tuning

Db
Ab
Eb
Bb
F

F
C
G
D
A

Hope that helps

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Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:22 pm
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
Jayesskerr wrote:
You know, the thing I really hated about my 9string guitar was that the Low strings were a bit of a pain to get to; I vowed to never go past 8 on a guitar... plus, that lowest string was bloody unintelligible... hehe a big middle finger to Ibanez...
I suspected that much. Too low and muddy. Probably not enough room for it to vibrate either. And I don't really need any lower notes. Just curious for the details.
Jayesskerr wrote:
I personally have gotten really accustomed to that lowest string being in the middle on the Stick, in my humble opinion I feel like that is one of the defining qualities of the Stick, regardless of the tuning. The repeating notes on either side make for some really interesting possibilities; Steve Adelson really takes advantage of this quality via "thumb attack"... (It's on his CD's) sometimes subtle other times "in your face"...
I do love the fifths tuning and that the strings are inverted on the bass side. And then I loved the NS/Stick bass 4ths tuning even more. But I saw Valery here rocking it out and I just assumed he had 10 equal strings. I also knew that asking to get rid of the inverted bass side would be a bit like farting in church and might be crucial to people's image of what a "Chapman Stick" is. But you all (okay, many of you) are also an experimenting, push-the-envelope bunch of Mother Stickers, so there's that too. :ugeek:

Jayesskerr wrote:
But I bet you could do a "Low to high" thing on the bass side BEADG or something, and EADGC low to high on the treble side ( not sure what the best actual tuning would be) I dunno, maybe talk to Emmett?

Actually, I was just hoping to start a conversation first about it. I'm sure there are pluses and minuses that I haven't begun to consider. And I have more than one Stick now, and some alternate tunings sounds like a good path to explore.

Jayesskerr wrote:
I was totally in love with my Low C on the Stick for the longest time, but I found over time that anything below E didn't seem to cut that well for what I do, y'know made everything pretty muddy haha I mean, it was fun sometimes for a meaty bass note...

Anyways, whatever helps you make music, man! Good luck, dude!
I like as low as the D but that's about as good as sounds useful in a mix. But again, piano goes lower but not as muddy. But then those are some long-ass, massive bass strings on a piano, which can also be used in series (3 or even 5 strings to a hammer). So maybe bad comparison there.

And it is all about just making music. I'm adaptable, but then, so are my Sticks. We'll meet somewhere in the middle--inverted or not. Cheers!

Oh, Greg had a lengthy reply back in the meantime. Let me look that through and respond in a bit.

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Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
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Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:25 pm
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
greg wrote:
paigan0 wrote:
My Questions:

1. What's this "called" and...



These tunings are called "parallel 4ths" tunings

paigan0 wrote:

2. Can I convert either my 10-string Rosewood or (harder probably) my Railboard to do "straight 4ths" (my term)? The Railboard has those dugout frets, so I would think it's harder. The Rosewood, then?



The fret coutours would not be good on the Railboad, but you can order one for a parallel tuning down the road if you want. Emmett has those machined as well. 8-)

paigan0 wrote:

3. Can I order such a set of "straight 4th" strings in a set from Stick and maybe closely related..



Yes, it would be a "custom tuning" and once you decide what pitches you want I can help you put the set together (this is one of the things I do for them).

paigan0 wrote:

4. Is this a mod I can do myself or is it best suited in SE's hands back at the shop?



There would be subtle difference in the Flaps that Emmett might do, but for experimental purposes yu can absolutely do this yourself.

paigan0 wrote:

I appreciate the thoughts and opinions from the Stick and Tapping community, and from SE if anyone has the time or opinion (expertise!) to offer.



I'd suggest the following tuning

Db
Ab
Eb
Bb
F

F
C
G
D
A

Hope that helps
Excellent, sir, that does indeed. Thank you much!

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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


Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:32 pm
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
You could pull that type of tuning with your Rosewood, but the Railboard is hardcoded to have the bass notes towards the center of the instrument. There are CDC cuts towards the more central frets (in and around the 12th) that scoop out a little bit, allowing the larger strings to do their thing.

I envy people that can play in multiple tunings like that. I have one tuning. And one Stick for that matter. Fun post, great to see this guy play!

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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
Neat, almost looks like a 10 string Stick Bass. Crazy talented dude.

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Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:25 pm
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Post Re: 10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning
earthgene wrote:
You could pull that type of tuning with your Rosewood, but the Railboard is hardcoded to have the bass notes towards the center of the instrument. There are CDC cuts towards the more central frets (in and around the 12th) that scoop out a little bit, allowing the larger strings to do their thing.

I envy people that can play in multiple tunings like that. I have one tuning. And one Stick for that matter. Fun post, great to see this guy play!
Gene, I think the Rosewood is a good candidate for this. I know what you mean about the CDC cuts to the Railboard. If I discover that "parallel 4ths" is my thing, I can order a Railboard cut that way down the line (but probably order a 12-string Railboard by that possible time in the not so terribly far future!). Funny thing is that it's due for a string change anyway, and I've got some bling flame decals that Kevin C turned us all on to, that I've been thinking about putting on whenever I did a string change.

Greg's suggested string tuning sounds interesting as well.
Quote:
Db
Ab
Eb
Bb
F

F
C
G
D
A


And as for "multiple tunings," it's actually just 4ths that we've all had on our melody sides, and non-inverted 4ths on the "bass side." It's seems a bit simpler tuning, and one that seems to make sense to my piano-upbringing mind.

****

And thinking about it for a minute, my style on piano, where my left hand is concerned, is more rock, with octaves and power chords (1-5-8), and not so much chords at all, unlike jazz. Even my classical New Age Progressive stuff is similarly constructed. I like to mirror the two hands together in runs and riffs but I'm a thick chord + a melody both in the right hand and a power chord in the bass hand for piano, and I suspect, with Stick and its variants as well. "Know Thyself and Plan Ye Around Thy Limitations," or in this case, Around Thy Style. I know my musical style on piano, and I'm not a triad/chordy left hand guy. I can walk a bassline, and I love to do octaves with pinky and thumb in the left hand. In fact, more than 50% of my left hand piano has always been just rocking back and forth over the 1-5-8 with my left hand at each chord change. And then doing chords and melody with the right hand. I just love that sound and perhaps am a bit locked into it, but we all have our styles and sounds. You can probably blame Eddie Van Halen for that keyboard style, as he was my biggest influence when learning rock keyboards. And then Billy Joel got me into a different style-- but Eddie set the foundations. And Bach got to piddle around a bit and influence me, thanks to music school and piano lessons.

Which means, I'm not necessarily looking for or needing big, thick, jazzy chords in the bass hand. Four lower strings for the left hand, and four higher strings for the right hand is my NS/Stick tuning at the moment. I think extending that to 5 and 5 on the Rosewood sounds like a definite thing I'm going to explore!

I also need a word for the idea of two hands fingering with exactly the same fingers on parallel lines in different octaves or registers (it's not mirrored but maybe "congruent"? Does "parallel" cover it?) I also need to demonstrate this technique at full speed to show why I find it musical and fun.
The_Afro_Circus wrote:
Neat, almost looks like a 10 string Stick Bass. Crazy talented dude.
Yeah, Josh, good thought--a 10-string Stick Bass! I don't think I've seen the 8-string Stick Bass anywhere yet.

And Valery is crazy talented. He's not Stanley Jordan or Yngvie or whoever, but he can express himself very well and fluidly. He can play some mean Bach pieces at full speed and with full 2-hand independence and counterpoint. In short, he's a "normal" talented musician that is able to express himself, and probably doesn't make a living at it and certainly will never fill stadiums. And that is a very worthy goal to shoot for, in my humble opinion!

So, recapping: Blue Railboard of Rocking, +3 against fascists, will stay as is, and Keep the Fifth. Rosie O'Woodrocking is probably gonna have a string change and a makeover to the Parallel 4th Dimension. Lord Vader will keep the Fourths.

And Stevie Paigan will continue to bug you about it all!
Down in Fractal Rock!

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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


Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:48 am
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