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#1 KaZu

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 01:08 PM

As you could probably already tell, this is a forum for people looking to increase their knowledge about instruments besides guitars. PM me, KaZu, or dxl if you need anything.

I have found some websites that cover a wide range of instruments.
Have fun!
There's more to come, this will take a long time.
Feel free to discuss

Drums

How to Tune

Tutorial on Drum Tuning

Simply, How to Tune Drums

The Art of drum tuning, has samples of some famous drummer's tunings

How to set up and tune the drums

How to tune a conga

How to maintain drums

Fixing Cracked Cymbals

Cleaning Cymbals

Reskinning a Djembe

Djembe Drum Repair website

Misc Drum Information

How to buy a drumset

Recording the Drums

Mandolin:

What other instruments are in the mandolin family?
The (tenor) mandola and mandocello are larger members of the mandolin family tuned respectively like a viola (C, G, D, A ascending) and violoncello (C, G, D, A ascending). In other words, a mandola is a fifth lower than a mandolin, and a mandocello an octave and a fifth. A mandobass is a very rare beast, having four single strings tuned in fourths like a double bass (E, A, D, G ascending). An octave mandola has no violin family equivalent and is tuned an octave below a mandolin.
-Taken from http://212.67.202.53...or/MandoFAQ.htm --Which has a great FAQ page. Check it out.

Where can I get some Mandolin Strings?
Newtone: highly recommended, handmade by Malcolm Newton Tel: (01773 714409)
D'Addario (available most shops)
Picato (available most shops or tel: 01443 437928).
Many round-back players prefer flat-wound strings by Thomastik
(enquire at your local music shop - you will probably have to order specially).
(Also taken from http://212.67.202.53...r/MandoFAQ.htm)

Tuning the Mandolin:
Standard mandolin tuning is by far the most common: GDAE in fifths, starting at G below middle C. (On 8-string instruments, the string pairs are usually tuned in unison.) On a 5-string or 10-string mandolin, the extra course is usually a low C, giving the player the combined range of a mandolin and a mandola in one instrument. The lower course may also be tuned to D, which makes chords somewhat easier.
Plenty of alternate tunings are possible. Blues, slide, or Celtic players may want to try open tunings such as ADAD, GDGD, or GDAD (any of which will work over a low D). Maestro Alex Gregory recommends alternate tunings for some of his Pentasystem instruments (the Pentaula, for example, he likes to tune to AEBF#C#, although other tunings are certainly possible). U Srinivas, the Indian Karnatic virtuoso, plays a 5-course instrument tuned to CGCGC. John Kruth tunes his Fender Mandocaster to ADF#A. And blues pioneer Yank Rachell, in order to play comfortably in the key of E, tuned his mandolins a step and half down to EBF#C# (similar to what Pete Seeger did with his long-neck banjo).

Guitarists who want to diversify their sound without learning new chord shapes sometimes tune the mandolin like a guitar with one or two strings missing. I've seen it alleged that blues player Johnny Young tuned to DGBE (although I've also seen it alleged that he didn't); the same has been alleged of Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page. (The opening mandolin riff to Zeppelin's "Battle of Evermore" is reportedly a lot easier in DGBE than in standard tuning.) Jazz player John Abercrombie also reportedly uses a guitar-based tuning. Other possibilities, depending on the number of strings, are EADG, EADGB, and ADGBE.

Standard tuning for other electric mandolin-family instruments is as follows:

Mandola ("tenor mandola" in Europe): CGDA (a fifth below mandolin)
Octave mandolin ("mandola" in Europe): GDAE (an octave below mandolin)
Mandocello: CGDA (an octave below mandola)
Bouzoukis and citterns have several common tunings—none of which is really "standard," although individual players have their favorites. If you want to know the difference between a bouzouki and a cittern—so do I! Generally speaking, a Greek bouzouki has three courses; an Irish bouzouki has four; a cittern has five. In some circles it may be acceptable to call an octave mandolin a "bouzouki." In other circles the bouzouki has a longer neck than the octave mandolin, and may have two courses where the string pairs are tuned in octaves rather than in unison. Also generally speaking, bouzoukis and citterns are more likely to be tuned in combinations of fourths and fifths than they are in straight fifths.

Bouzouki tunings include GDAE, GDAD, ADAD, and GDGD. Citterns may be tuned CGDAE, DGDAD, DGDGD, DADAD, CGCGC, CGDAD, GDAEB, GCGCG, ADADA, AEAEA, EIEIO—I mean, the sky's the limit. Use your imagination.

Finally, there's at least one instrument on this site (by Texas violin maker F. A. Thorp) that was meant for a "baritone" tuning: FCGDA, like a mandola with an extra low F string. Which is fine with me.
(Taken from the great website, http://www.emando.com/faq.htm --Which has tons of information on mandolins, check it out...)

Mandolin TAB archieve:
Here are some websites with some good, free, mandolin tabs:
http://www.mandolinc...com/tabarc.html
http://www.alltabs.c...ature_list.html
http://www.users.csb...knuth/mandotab/
http://www.alltabs.c...ndolin_tabs.php
http://www.fretplay....abs/m/mandolin/
Have fun!
Piano:

What is the ideal humidity for a piano?
The ideal humidity for a piano is 40-50%.

How many keys does a piano have?
The "average" piano has 88 keys, of these, 36 are black keys commonly known as "sharps".
There are also some pianos made with 85 keys and one with more than 88! (The Bosendorfer 9'6" concert grand has 97, but not much music is written for these extra keys. The extra keys are mainly there because of the additional resonance produced by the extra strings and large soundboard).
You would be safe in saying that a piano has 88 keys!

How do I figure out what "type" of piano I have?
If you measure the instrument from the floor to the top, you can get a better idea of what type you have. Spinet pianos are generally 37" and under, consoles run from 38" to 43", studios from about 44" to 52". Another way to tell is to open the top and look down inside. If the "action" (the moving parts) rests on the back end of the keys, it is a console, if it appears to drop down below the end of the keys and then back up again, it is a spinet.

What does a piano weigh?
The following is from "The Piano Book" by Larry Fine:
The average spinet or console weighs in at from three hundred to five hundred pounds, full-size uprights at about seven hundred, but sometimes as much as a thousand. Grands vary from about five hundred to a thousand pounds though a concert grand may weigh as much as thirteen hundred.

According to the "Pierce Piano Atlas", in general the "box" for an upright piano adds between seventy five and one hundred fifty pounds (I presume they mean wooden crates).

I want to replace some keys, how do I remove the old ones?
The following is from the book "Piano Servicing & Rebuilding" by Arthur Reblitz.

Old ivory may be removed by heating it for a minute with an iron set on medium, and then slipping a 1" wide putty knife under it. Some old plastic keys may be removed with methylene chloride, a highly volatile solvent which softens the glue. Never apply heat to plastic or celluloid keytops.
Ivory can be identified by its grain pattern, which with careful examination will be seen to resemble a wood-grain. Plastic and celluloid sometimes have a simulated grain, which will be much more uniform than that of genuine ivory. After removing the keytop, remove the old glue by sanding. To keep from rounding the edges of the key, tape a piece of sandpaper down to a flat surface and rub the key over it until clean and flat.

Will moving a piano make it go out of tune?
That depends on what you mean by "moving". If you are just moving the piano from one room to another (or another area in the same room) the answer is no. If you are moving it some distance from one house (or store) to another, the answer is ... maybe. If the piano is going to be jostled around in a truck and subjected to changes in temperature and humidity it will likely speed up its going out of tune.

How often should I have my piano tuned?
The Piano Technician's Guild and most manufacturers recommend having a new piano tuned 4 times the first year and twice a year thereafter. Even if the instrument isn't played very often it is still a good idea to keep it tuned up. Pianos (except possibly the very old "square" ones) are designed to be tuned to A440 (the A above middle C vibrating at 440 cycles per second). This is considered to be "concert pitch".

What are the different pedals for?
Usually, with two pedals the left one is the Soft pedal. On a baby grand, the soft pedal actually shifts the entire "action" mechanism (the moving parts that rest on the back end of the keys) slightly to one side causing the hammers (the oval shaped felt pieces that strike the strings) to only strike two of the three strings which makes the sound softer.

On a vertical (upright) piano, the left pedal moves the action closer to the strings. Because they can't travel as far, they don't hit the strings as hard, again making the sound softer.
On both types of pianos, the right pedal, called the "sustain pedal" lifts the "dampers" (felt covered blocks that normally mute the string sound when a key is released) which causes the notes to sustain until either the pedal is released or the sound dies out.

The addition of the middle pedal is a little more complicated. It can perform a number of functions depending on the model of the piano. On many verticals (uprights) and some baby grands it works as a bass sustain. That is, pressing down on the middle pedal only sustains the notes in the bass section. On some verticals, it operated a "rinky tink" or "honky tonk" bar that lowered a series of felt strips with little metal pieces on the ends of them so that they came between the hammers and the strings. This produced a "rinky tink" sound.
Sometimes the center pedal is a "practice" pedal that lowers a long felt strip between the hammers and strings, muffling the sound so that it doesn't disturb others when the pianist is practicing. I have even seen (cheap) upright pianos where the center pedal was actually attached to the left pedal.

On most better baby grand pianos, the center pedal is a ""sostenuto" pedal. A sostenuto pedal only sustains the bass note(s) played immediately before pressing the pedal. This would in effect work like a "third" hand by keeping only the chosen notes sustained while playing other notes.

Is the piano a string or percussion instrument?
In spite of the fact that the average piano has about 230 strings, it is considered a percussion instrument. Symphony orchestra's consider it part of the percussion section.
Thanks to http://www.pianoworld.com/faq.htm for all the help!

What are some good Free Sheet Music sites?
http://sheetmusicarchive.net/
www.pianotabs.net
http://www.sinerj.or...oyer/PianoBook/
http://www.nissimo.com/index.htm
http://www.quiescenc...sheetmusic.html
http://www.pitt.edu/...n/freebies.html
More to come, also dont hesistate to use google.
Blues Harp
I just got a blues harp, where shall I start?
Note: Taken from DADFAD, thanks for the help man.
QUOTE
Sure. Harp is a great thing to learn to play, probably my "second instrument". First of all, you're going to probably want to play in a style called "cross-harp" which is most common for blues, rock, rock'n'roll, etc. In this style you use a harmonica in the IV position of the key of the tune. For example, if you have a C-harp, you'd use that for blues in the Key of G. (A-harp for Key of E, D-harp for key of A, etc, etc). The tonic-note for "cross-harp is the second-hole draw-note. The other way of playing is the more traditional style called "straight-harp", which is the more "normal" way to play. Used for pop, country, folk (Dylanish-style), etc. The tonic-note for straight-harp is the first-hole blow.

There are several good books and videos, etc. But there have been some really extensive and informative topics in this forum about it (probably enough for a book!) including tips, techniques, tunes and even equipment for electric set-ups, etc. I can probably find several of them. And this isn't a really long forum. Going back over the pages isn't too time-consuming so you might wanna try that too.

Here are some links concerning the blues harp.

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P
Once again, Thank you dadfad for all your help.
Singing
Check out this website, Free online singing lessons!
http://www.vocalist....cetraining.html

Sitar

What is a sitar?

The sitar a classical Indian stringed instrument, characterised by a long neck, large bulbous body, droning strings and buzzing tones.


Who are some famous sitarists?
Pundit Ravi Shankar
George Harrison (student of the above)
Gaurav Mazumdar

How many strings does it have?
There are two main playing strings, 4 bass playing strings, 3 chackari strings (tuned high, not frettable), and 11-14 tarb strings (drone strings).
The main playing strings are fingered like for the guitar; the chickari strings are closest to the player's hand and are flicked every so often to give the familiar tinkle sound, they cannot be fretted and run along the side of the neck. The tarbs sit underneath the main strings and cannot be touched easily. THey are tuned to notes of the scale, the important notes (I, IV, V, etc) have several strings of that pitch. They resonate in sympathy with the main strings and give the droning echo-like sound.

What's with the buzzing?
The brige does not have a sharp edge, but a curved one, so the last few millimetres of the strings touch the bridge as they vibrate. This reduces sustain but gives a warm buzzing sound.

How is it tuned?
The sitar is a modal instrument. That is, it's tuned to an open chord and to change keys it needs to be re-tuned. Common tunings are for C, C# or D. I tune to D.

What's with the funny scales/ragas?

Ragas are subsets of regular scales. They have very defined rules abvout what notes appear and in what order. The ragas are usually played at certain times of the day as they create different moods.
An example is, in the key of C:
Ascending B C E F G A B C
Descending C Bb A G F E D C
Note how on the ascent we start on B and omit D, on the descent we flatten B and include D.

Why do some have 2 gourds?
More expensive sitars have 2 gourds (the bulbous bodies). These create louder sounds but are heavier.

How is it played?
The player sits cross-legged and the instrument is balanced on his bare foot anf knee. It needs to support from a hand.
A wire pick, the mizrab, is place on the index finger. The thumb is balanced on the edge of the neck and the strings are plucked with in-out sweeps of the *whole* hand.
The left hand technique technique is very different from the guitar. The beginner is encouraged to use just one string and to slide up and down it. Only on finger is used (index) except when playing the highest note before descending the neck again, in this case the middle finger is used for the highest note.






Balalaika

What is a balalaika?
It is the small triangluar Russian instrument. Characterised by a tiny soundhole, beautiful decoration, and pointy corners! You will recognise one from my avatar!

How many strings does it have?
3, though ones with 6 in 3 pairs are not uncommon.

How is it tuned?
E A A usually.

How is it played?
It is very similar to the guitar or mandolin, though a plectrum is not normally used.
Rather than chords, single-note lead work is usually employed.

I've seen huge ones, what gives?
Like saxophones, they come in different sizes. Tenor, bass, etc. The largest I have seen was the size of a man!


A Big special thanks to dc197

Lap Steel

How to Tune
Here is a website that covers a lot of the lap steel tunings:
http://www.well.com/...vis/tuning.html
Enjoy!

#2 Jiveturkey

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 01:40 PM

Not that I'll be using any of it but it looks like you've got some really helpful stuff there. Nice one.

#3 KaZu

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 02:07 PM

Not that I'll be using any of it but it looks like you've got some really helpful stuff there. Nice one.



Thank you Posted Image Best of all there's more to come, I'm sure one day you'll need some of the stuff there.

#4 Jiveturkey

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 02:21 PM

Let's hope so. smile.gif

#5 KaZu

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Posted 13 February 2005 - 04:00 PM

Let's hope so. :)



With the kind of database that I am trying to make it should put GTU's Other Instrument q and a on the map Posted Image

#6 improviduto

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 06:53 AM

nice work, bud.
Fender Telecaster player

#7 KaZu

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 12:13 PM

nice work, bud.



Thank you very much improv

#8 led-zeppelin-ROCKS

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 02:38 PM

yah nice.Man did you type all of that, because if you di how long did it take
user posted image
And As We Wind On Down The Road
Our Shados Taller Than Our Soul
There Walks a Lady We All Know
Who Shines White Light And Wants To Show
How Everything Still Turns To Gold

#9 KaZu

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 02:45 PM

yah nice.Man did you type all of that, because if you di how long did it take


Yeah it took a long time Posted Image
Well, I am the mod of this forum, I gotta put time into keeping it neat etc

#10 led-zeppelin-ROCKS

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 06:14 PM

yah nice.Man did you type all of that, because if you di how long did it take


Yeah it took a long time Posted Image
Well, I am the mod of this forum, I gotta put time into keeping it neat etc



yah. If you dont who will, right
user posted image
And As We Wind On Down The Road
Our Shados Taller Than Our Soul
There Walks a Lady We All Know
Who Shines White Light And Wants To Show
How Everything Still Turns To Gold

#11 KaZu

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 08:52 AM

yah nice.Man did you type all of that, because if you di how long did it take


Yeah it took a long time Posted Image
Well, I am the mod of this forum, I gotta put time into keeping it neat etc



yah. If you dont who will, right


Well, dxl and kg...but its not like they come here. Posted Image

#12 dc197

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 08:10 AM

Hi KaZu

Here's my 2 cents' worth: some info on Sitars and balalaikas.



Sitar

What is a sitar?

The sitar a classical Indian stringed instrument, characterised by a long neck, large bulbous body, droning strings and buzzing tones.


Who are some famous sitarists?
Pundit Ravi Shankar
George Harrison (student of the above)
Gaurav Mazumdar

How many strings does it have?
There are two main playing strings, 4 bass playing strings, 3 chackari strings (tuned high, not frettable), and 11-14 tarb strings (drone strings).
The main playing strings are fingered like for the guitar; the chickari strings are closest to the player's hand and are flicked every so often to give the familiar tinkle sound, they cannot be fretted and run along the side of the neck. The tarbs sit underneath the main strings and cannot be touched easily. THey are tuned to notes of the scale, the important notes (I, IV, V, etc) have several strings of that pitch. They resonate in sympathy with the main strings and give the droning echo-like sound.

What's with the buzzing?
The brige does not have a sharp edge, but a curved one, so the last few millimetres of the strings touch the bridge as they vibrate. This reduces sustain but gives a warm buzzing sound.

How is it tuned?
The sitar is a modal instrument. That is, it's tuned to an open chord and to change keys it needs to be re-tuned. Common tunings are for C, C# or D. I tune to D.

What's with the funny scales/ragas?

Ragas are subsets of regular scales. They have very defined rules abvout what notes appear and in what order. The ragas are usually played at certain times of the day as they create different moods.
An example is, in the key of C:
Ascending B C E F G A B C
Descending C Bb A G F E D C
Note how on the ascent we start on B and omit D, on the descent we flatten B and include D.

Why do some have 2 gourds?
More expensive sitars have 2 gourds (the bulbous bodies). These create louder sounds but are heavier.

How is it played?
The player sits cross-legged and the instrument is balanced on his bare foot anf knee. It needs to support from a hand.
A wire pick, the mizrab, is place on the index finger. The thumb is balanced on the edge of the neck and the strings are plucked with in-out sweeps of the *whole* hand.
The left hand technique technique is very different from the guitar. The beginner is encouraged to use just one string and to slide up and down it. Only on finger is used (index) except when playing the highest note before descending the neck again, in this case the middle finger is used for the highest note.






Balalaika

What is a balalaika?
It is the small triangluar Russian instrument. Characterised by a tiny soundhole, beautiful decoration, and pointy corners! You will recognise one from my avatar!

How many strings does it have?
3, though ones with 6 in 3 pairs are not uncommon.

How is it tuned?
E A A usually.

How is it played?
It is very similar to the guitar or mandolin, though a plectrum is not normally used.
Rather than chords, single-note lead work is usually employed.

I've seen huge ones, what gives?
Like saxophones, they come in different sizes. Tenor, bass, etc. The largest I have seen was the size of a man!








- DC

Edited by KaZu, 30 May 2005 - 07:53 AM.


#13 -=FreeBird=-

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 08:20 AM

Good Stuff DC197, If I ever take up Sitar it will be most helpful!! laugh.gif .... Also KaZu, you should do some FAQ on the Oud (sp.)... I saw one in an ethnic instrument instrument shop and it reminded me of you... smile.gif


Edit: DC, do you play the Balalaika upright or like a guitar?

Edited by -=FreeBird=-, 18 May 2005 - 08:22 AM.


#14 dc197

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 08:22 AM

Like a guitar.

#15 KaZu

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 07:55 AM

Thanks so much dc, and Freebird, I will do a faq, in the mean time I recommend the website, http://www.mikeouds.com/
Greeeaat website, has everything youll ever need to know, soundclips and even other links to other good website.

P.S. Nicely done DC smile.gif

#16 Dave Snyder

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 11:43 AM

For Mr. Oud-Dude...In a senior moment I seem to have gotten two of them...One has the general 11 strings, the other has 12-strings; like a mandolin, these are in courses of doubled-same tuning-strings, with six notes. Best place for not-that-expensive ouds is Mid-East Manufacturing, at Mid-East.com...Now, keep in the back of your mind your beloved E-A-D-G-B-e...Traditional oud tuning is D-G-A-D-G-C. Thru a Mid-East handout, I saw that one local tuning in the Arab world is D-E-A-D-G-C. I figure that since I bought it, and it's mine, I can tune the highest string down a half-tone. Ergo, one of my ouds is tuned D-E-A-D-G-B, lowest-to-highest. Pretend you have a guitar and broke the highest string, got an extra slightly-lower bass string (what's a drop-D tuning anyway?); don't have to learn much at all to sound good... guitar.gif

#17 harrumphicus

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 10:27 AM

How about a section for banjos?

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#18 cheguevara_007

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Posted 11 January 2008 - 12:25 PM

(Refering to your drum tuning section) KaZu, I've spent 7 years now answering post after post on how to tune a drum. For some reason people think it's rocket science. Thank you for finally putting the question to rest in your thread-post thingy. Good Man. wink.gif

Edited by cheguevara_007, 11 January 2008 - 12:26 PM.


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#19 luminouscharm

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 10:18 PM

Here is a website that might help your research http://www.maestroal...ry.net/id2.html There are the patents for the 7 string guitar and electric mandolins posted there and a bunch of info about tunings, etc.biggrin.gif

#20 Tyroino09

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 12:57 AM

Hi Jasonhouse, I think this is great. I didnt even think it would be possible to transfer the threads from the old forum. If it is, awesome

Theres just one thing. You say that all the "Rate Our Talls" threads should be made as a poll because votes could be tracked more easily. Theres a problem with this though. I can only give so many voting choices, so it would be the integers from 0-10. This means if someone wants to give 8.5/10 or 7.25/10, for example, they cant do it. The results would be more accurate without the polls, I think.

I guess I could ask people to reply with their rating, and vote as well; I would only consider the posted ratings and the poll results could be for everyone to look at. Is that what you were thinking? People might be tempted to just vote and not reply though. Anyway, that was the only thing I was concerned about.



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