A and B guitars

Updated on September 27, 2017 in General Discussion
9 on July 1, 2017

Hello All,

I have been interested in seeing the classical guitar’s repertoire expanded ever since I first heard Vincenzo Macaluso play keyboard transcriptions on his 10 string guitar made by José Oribe.

I’m sure that this is not an original idea, but I’m wondering if anyone has strung up a couple of regular six string guitars, one as an “A” guitar with the first string being an appropriately smaller gauge and tuned to A 440.  The other five strings would be displaced down so that the sixth string is now filled with what would normally be a fifth string, tuned to A 110.

With the “B” guitar, you would do just the opposite. Add an appropriately larger gauge string as the sixth string, and tune it to the B below the normal sixth string E. The other five strings would then be moved higher by a notch, and the first string position would then be filled by what would normally be the second string B.

No special guitars required!

For a duet this would allow coverage of a a lot of great keyboard music. For instance, my wife who is a classical pianist, went over the Chopin preludes, and found that the extended range of such an arrangement would cover 23 of the 24!

Would appropriate arrangements of keyboard music be hard to find? Other difficulties?

Cheers,

Brian Burns

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0 on September 14, 2017

I cant answer your question but i’ve been interested in the same thing after seeing what Paul Galbraith has done with his 8-string guitars. After all, one thing on my bucket list is to make a solid guitar duo arrangement of bach’s 1056 in fm,.. makes my brain hurt when i sit down to try atm

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0 on September 14, 2017

Vince Macaluso was great. Too bad we lost him several years ago. He and Howard Heitmeyer work out of the same studio in Inglewood, California for many years. I play Vince’s arrangement of Yesterday.” It’s written with two flats in a DGDGBE tuning. I don’t play 10-string, but I do have his seven page arrangemt of “Clair de Lune.” The recording is on You Tube.

Paul McGuffin

 

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1 on September 14, 2017

Vince Macaluso, “Clair De Lune” on Jose Oribe 10-string guitar.

 

 

on September 27, 2017

dang, guitars really can do anything if you try hard enough 🙂 i don’t ‘spose you know how that beast is tuned? I hear a few lows but possibly just tuned down in steps from a 6-D? (3 down, one up?) Im not familiar with those instruments and im just trying to wrap my head around how they’re played. (Like a guitar styled lute??) Googling only showed me that they sell for a crapload of money and that some of my earliest guitar inspirations may have played them (members of the romero family)

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0 on September 27, 2017

I have Vince’s hand written arrangement of his “Clair de Lune.” He has 7=D, 8=B, 9=G and 10=F#. Naturally, the first six are standard EADGBE. He changed the tuning for many of his arrangments.

 

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0 on September 27, 2017

Neat, thank you. I dont doubt he changed for virtually every big arrangement. Such versatility available. Lol i would never be able to decide what was optimal and therefor never finish any project

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0 on September 27, 2017

Remember, Vince played all those strings, they just didn’t just sit there. 

 

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0 on September 27, 2017

There must be a system eh? As an (aspiring?) compsition enthusiast i find different ways to arrange incredibly interesting. Seems an easy way to go is start with whatever low end you need and work from there. But i dont know how to draw the line between acceptable sacrifices converting keys to solo guitar. I so often refuse to sacrifice and end up banging my head against the wall until i give up. Granted i only work with the standard 6 strings, but i feel if the end product doesn’t capture the whole idea then its not really worth doing. Thats why i have so much respect for these guys who play crazy modified instruments to be able to pull it off

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0 on September 27, 2017

Arranging for guitar is always a compromise or a sacrifice, to some degree. You pick a key that works for the instrument. By that I mean, when approaching the task, find a key where you don’t run out of room going up or fret board or going down. Just because Bach wrote “Jesu” in G-maj. doesn’t mean it will work (best) on the guitar in that key. Just look at how many guitar arrangements there are of that piece, in many different keys, and in my opinion, A-maj works best for the guitar. So, as I said, a guitar transcription is always a compromise to some degree.

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