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Wckoek

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Posts: 68
Reply with quote  #1 
Being a student of George Van Eps, is there a reason that Ted didn't play a seven string?
Did Ted made any comment on seven string guitars particularly on tonal perspective?
What kind of scale lenght and string gauge he recommend for such guitar?

I am asking this, because I am considering on custom order a Seven String archtop.

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Koek Wei Chew
barbarafranklin

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Reply with quote  #2 
Ted actually did own a 7 string for a while, and mostly it just gathered dust. Eventually he sold it. He stated decidedly that 6 strings are more than enough! Barbara
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Barbara Franklin
DanSawyer

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Reply with quote  #3 
Ted said that even though there were advantages to playing a 7-string guitar, there were just as many disadvantages.

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Dan Sawyer, friend of Ted's.
PaulV

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Reply with quote  #4 
I spoke briefly with Ted about 7-string guitars.  He mentioned that Lenny had put the extra string on top, and George put in on the bottom.  He said he wasn't satisfied with either, and that he was toying around in his mind with ideas for 8- or 9-string guitars...but said that it would probably have to wait for another lifetime to pursue. I guess Narciso Yepes developed a 10-string classical guitar that he played for years. (Google him)
While living in Minnesota I wrote Ted about a 7-string I had checked out in a local music store.  I liked the idea of having more bass string options, but the one I played was more of a collector's piece rather than a fine playing machine.  It felt awkward, and I wasn't committed to re-learning all my fingering and thinking processes. 
In the 3-18-1987 letter from Ted (posted in my "Student Notes from Lessons with Ted") he wrote back saying,
"I've had a similar reaction to the 7-string.... Mine sits in the corner, (but I do use it for my experiments with certain tunings I'm playing with)."
--Paul

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Wckoek

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Reply with quote  #5 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanSawyer
Ted said that even though there were advantages to playing a 7-string guitar, there were just as many disadvantages.
Besides playability, what would be the disadvantages of 7 String guitars?


Regards

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Koek Wei Chew
John

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Reply with quote  #6 
I once heard a lesson tape where Ted playfully tuned his Tele's 5th string down to E & the 6th string down to A (thus simulating the 6th & 7th strings on a 7 - string instrument.)
This trick will give those of you who are curious about the range of a 7 string a quick sense of what voicings sound like with a wider interval gap on the bottom....
So - whatever pitch you'd normally play when your voicing has a 5th string bass note can now be played on the 6th string...
As for 7 string: Van Eps liked tuning the 7th string to A since, as he noted, it does not require learning new fingerings...simply walk the finger which is on the 5th string on over to the 7th!
When they first came out with a production model 7 string Gretsch published a little flyer which featured some sample voicings and George's commentary.
Another fun anecdote I've heard is that Van Eps played a party trick of sorts where he would allow someone to tune any one of his strings up or down a 1/2 step and he would then play a tune on the fly making fingering adjustments as needed!! 
 
Best to you all from John in Maine
 
  
Bob

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Reply with quote  #7 

Hi John, I remember waiting in Ted's living room for a lesson. Ted was teaching another student in the back room. The room on the right side at that time. While waiting I heard that unmistakable "Van Eps" sound. I expected to find Ted playing some incredibly cool 7 string. Instead he had an old Epiphone non-cutaway arch-top with unplayable string action, a 1/4 inch high, and cables for strings. The guitar was tuned as you have noted with the "E" and "A" strings switched. It sounded huge and of course, beautiful. Ted said that this tuning was a great way to get into George's sound without incurring the expense of a 7 string. 


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Bob Holt
ronjazz

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Reply with quote  #8 
The 7-string is great fun in a trio setting with drums and horn, but it's very hard to solo on and keep the strong basslines going. Even so, in Latin music, Brazilian styles, etc., it really is a great sound. I use both a nylon string 7 and a conventional electric 7, using a low A most of the time, occasionally a low B on the nylon.
JohnGibbs

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Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #9 
Hello. Being a seven string guitar player myself, I am looking for photo copies of some of Howard Alden's lessons from Just Jazz Guitar. I have over half of them, but am missing the following issues: April 96, Aug. 96, Nov. 96, April 97, Also issues 11, 15, and 17. I don't know how many of these issues have his lessons, but would be willing to trade for copies of the lessons. I have two older John Pisano CD's that each have a couple of songs with Ted on them. (not the most recent one) Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. jgibbs@pontiac.k12.mi.us
seven

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Reply with quote  #10 

Hi Barbara   I own Ted's 7 string that you were refering to in your Feb post on this thread. Ted sold it to Howard Alden, & I bought it from Howard a few years back.It's a Gretsch Van Eps model & Howard thinks Ted may have gotten it from George Van Eps. Any info on the origin of this instrument is greatly appreciated ..TY    Seven 


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seven
barbarafranklin

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Reply with quote  #11 
Greetings Seven,
Unfortunately I have no info on that particular guitar. As I posted earlier she just sat and gathered dust until Ted found her a suitable home. This is possibly why Ted never gave mentioned anything about this guitar.
I am so happy to know you have her now and are enjoying her.

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Barbara Franklin
NickStasinos

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hi Seven,

In one of my lesson tapes for October 1980, Ted mentions he just bought this particular guitar and let me try it out.  I believe he got it from his friend Norman Harris at Norman's Rare Guitars.  You might want to contact Norm and ask him (818) 344-8300.

Nick  

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Patlotch2

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulV
I spoke briefly with Ted about 7-string guitars. He mentioned that Lenny had put the extra string on top, and George put in on the bottom.  He said he wasn't satisfied with either, and that he was toying around in his mind with ideas for 8- or 9-string guitars...


I understand Ted's point of view and agree. It's amazing and remarkable that, without having experienced it, he had this prescience that it was better to go to 8 or 9* strings rather than 7. I've experienced both and that's my belief both theoretical and practical

* 9 strings: I presume he thought one in the bottom like GVE and one on top like Lenny Breau


I played the 7 string guitar (tuned A) and the guitar 8 strings (tuned E A D ... ). I actually think that the historical musical logic leads to move from the 6 strings directly to the 8 strings rather than the 7 strings, first for the reason that one gets in the bass register, which is more interesting in the case of integral solo or accompaniment of a group without a double bass. Many 7-string jazz guitarists, as soon as they play in a group (Pizzarelli father and son, Ron Eschete, Steve Herberman...) play with a double-bassist or bassist, which tends to prove that they do not go down low enough in presence of a drummer


with the 7 strings I played only in trio with a saxophonist and a percussionist, it was well balanced for the volume. With two sax and a drummer, It needed a bass player, so I started bass and then double bass, but I was frustrated harmonically. I tried the six-string bass tuned EADGBE, like a guitar an octave below, but the neck was too wide and the gap between strings too large for chords

the misfortune is that most of the 8 strings are designed for metal, but some are very versatile, with qualities comparable to those of the Fender Telecaster for jazz

the ideal would be to start directly with the 8 strings, to have an overall concept as an instrument in its own right, and not a 6 strings + 2. The bass is the foundation of all music as the superior melody gives it its meaning. The story of the 7 strings did not happen like that, but with an added string, what shows the tuning in A, a bastard solution

https://forums.tedgreene.com/post/7-8-strings-solidbody-for-jazz-five-fingers-right-hand-counterpoint-vsystem-10389857?trail=15#3

7 et 8 CORDES, guitares-et-basses, impro/composition, investigations


*

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulV
J'ai parlé brièvement avec Ted des guitares à 7 cordes. Il a mentionné que Lenny Breau avait mis la corde supplémentaire au-dessus, et George Van Eps en bas. Il a dit qu'il n'était pas satisfait de l'un ou l'autre, et qu'il jouait dans son esprit avec des idées pour les guitares à 8 ou 9 cordes...

je comprends le point de vue de Ted et le partage. C'est incroyable que, sans l'avoir expérimenté, il ait eu cette prescience qu'il valait mieux passer à 8 ou 9* cordes plutôt qu'à 7. J'ai expérimenté les deux et c'est ma conviction à la fois théorique et pratique

* 9 cordes je présume qu'il pensait une en bas comme GVE et une en haut comme Lenny Breau

j'ai joué la guitare 7 cordes (accordée A) et la guitare 8 cordes (accordée E A D... ). Je pense effectivement que la logique musicale historique conduit à passer de la 6 cordes directement à la 8 cordes plutôt qu'à la 7 cordes, d'abord pour la raison que l'on obtient dans le grave le registre de la contrebasse, ce qui est plus intéressant dans le cas du solo intégral ou de l'accompagnement d'une groupe sans contrebasse. Beaucoup de guitaristes de jazz 7 cordes, dès qu'ils jouent en groupe (Pizzarelli père et fils, Ron Eschete, Steve Herberman...) jouent avec un contrebassiste ou un bassiste, ce qui tend à prouver qu'ils ne descendent pas assez bas en présence d'un batteur

avec la 7 cordes je n'ai joué qu'en trio avec un saxophoniste et un percussionniste, c'était bien équilibré pour le volume. Avec deux sax et un batteur, il fallait un bassiste, et je me suis mis à la basse puis à la contrebasse, mais j'étais frustré harmoniquement. J'ai essayé la basse six cordes accordée EADGBE, comme une guitare une octave en dessous, mais le manche était trop large et l'écart entre cordes trop grand pour les accords

le malheur est que la plupart des 8 cordes sont conçues pour le metal, mais certaines sont très polyvalentes, avec des qualités comparables à celles de la Fender Telecaster pour le jazz

l'idéal serait de commencer directement avec la 8 cordes, pour en avoir une conception d'ensemble comme un instrument à part entière et non une 6 cordes + 2. Les basses sont le fondement de toute musique comme la mélodie supérieure lui donne son sens. L'histoire de la 7 cordes ne s'est pas passée comme ça, mais avec une corde ajoutée, ce que montre l'accordage en A, une solution bâtarde...

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Patlotch
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