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Celtic Bouzouki

 
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FredJr
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 3:49 pm    Post subject: Celtic Bouzouki Reply with quote

A couple of years ago I decided that I needed a different way to make some music. After some searching I came across a truly magical instrument, the Irish or Celtic Bouzouki. From what I understand, the Irish people took the Greek Bouzouki and flattened out the back creating a long scale mandolin type of instrument. There are sveral popular tunings. I tend to use GDAD and GDAE. Yes you read that right - it is a guitar tuning upside down. This took a bit of getting used to with chords, note reading etc. I also use ADAD after reading that Beth Patterson used this and it is a fabulous tuning for drones. My current instrument is a 26.5" scale Trinity College, although I would like to go with a shorter scale made by Gerandt with a 23.5" scale - pretty close to my Jaguar Very Happy

Check out Beth Patterson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=HvZp4SdVsOg

and Dominique Riviere: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nungkbYskpY

Anyway here is a pic of mine:
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Dave
TOTALLY MODD


Joined: 09 Jun 2008
Posts: 10272
Location: UK - Southampton

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really nice! Don't know much about Bazoukis - would you say these are more truly a celtic traditional instrument than say a mandolin?
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FredJr
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave wrote:
Really nice! Don't know much about Bazoukis - would you say these are more truly a celtic traditional instrument than say a mandolin?


I'm not sure about a ranking per se but I know it's used a lot as accompaniment for vocals and as a lead instrument - to my ears I hear a powerful, magical, almost addicting kind of sound - I like mandolins but the bouzouki covers all the bases from its own range thru mandola thru mandolin depending on where you capo it. Incidentally if you really want to see something amazing check this guy out:

4 balalaikas on one mandola:

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=4+balalaikas&view=detail&mid=AAD4EC80FD740AEC27C0AAD4EC80FD740AEC27C0&first=0&FORM=NVPFVR
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laterallateral
Traynor or Death


Joined: 16 Jan 2008
Posts: 5944
Location: Montery Howl

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's one unaccompanied.


Link


Definitely an interesting sounding instrument. I bet it would do really well in a Bluegrass context, full on flatpicked, Maybelle Carter style.
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FredJr
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

laterallateral wrote:
Here's one unaccompanied.


Link


Definitely an interesting sounding instrument. I bet it would do really well in a Bluegrass context, full on flatpicked, Maybelle Carter style.


Lovely - working on this tune as we speak. When we go to a Renaissance fair this year, I was thinking of packing the bouzouki & playing it in the fair grounds for fun. It works well with this sort of music too Very Happy
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Bacchus
Whatever's handiest


Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 19122
Location: wandering

PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Ultra might be a mean bouzouki player.
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ultratwin
The 25.5" subversion


Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 6731
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hehe, 23 years ago a guy signed my high school yearbook writing "To Andi, the guy who plays a mean mandolin". I'm far from well-versed in the instrument compared to when I took two years of lessons from the phenomenal EVAN MARSHALL back in middle school, but to say the least, it made picking up Irish bouzouki a very easy shift and a lot of fun.

The big inspiration for me was seeing a contemporary "Celtic" band play in Eastbourne when I visited the UK back in 1999. The Mandolin player in the group also had a gorgeous archtop 10-string(5 course) cittern made by Fylde, and the sounds he was getting were quite enamoring, with a nasal-thinbody kind of timbre yet with the chime of so many octaves together. A few years later I ended up with a 26.5" scale 'Zoook over here made by the same factory that did the Trinity College models when they were still MIK.

Runs, drones, and the like with the open tuning are fun, and if you've got a folky band with another acoustic player on board, you can sound neato and have a lot of fun both doubling and contrasting parts. If you get a long scale one, however, simply because of the huge space between frets it's easy to find yourself thinking you're George Harrison stuck in one key while playing "unlabeled world music" pentatonic melodies over drones and a few stabs at non-existant ragas. Not much more to add, they're enjoyable to have around.
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FredJr
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ultratwin wrote:
Runs, drones, and the like with the open tuning are fun, and if you've got a folky band with another acoustic player on board, you can sound neato and have a lot of fun both doubling and contrasting parts. If you get a long scale one, however, simply because of the huge space between frets it's easy to find yourself thinking you're George Harrison stuck in one key while playing "unlabeled world music" pentatonic melodies over drones and a few stabs at non-existant ragas. Not much more to add, they're enjoyable to have around.


Actually I employ several different tuning hi to low EADG, DADG, and DADA. I have so far dived into Irish, Normandy, standards, surf, and yes, the ever popular fun to play pseudo raga drones. I do love them all. Very Happy
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johnnyseven
.
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Joined: 03 Jun 2007
Posts: 3996
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this the instrument that they guy in Public Image Ltd often plays?
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Chris Fleming
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Joined: 08 May 2013
Posts: 507
Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been meaning to make something like that. Sound great, and no need to do all the pointless carving of tops and back
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ultratwin
The 25.5" subversion


Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 6731
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might add to this thread that it can be immensely fun getting your imaginary 'zook on by playing a mandolin through a POG with the octave down knob all the way up Very Happy
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