PDA

View Full Version : 5 string uke question



whistleman123
12-29-2015, 06:54 AM
I've been watching a lot of John Pizzerelli and l'm intriuged by his 7 (or is it 8) string guitar. Playing your own base lines on uke would be cool.

Does anyone make a 5 string uke strung low C, low G, C, E, A? Would it even be possible/feasable?

phil_doleman
12-29-2015, 07:15 AM
The Canarian timple is essentially a 5 string uke. As for the tuning, a low C might be pushing it a bit, depending on the scale length.
I have a vague memory of someone making a 5 string for John King that had both low and high G (but as separately playable strings rather than the octave pair that some makers are now producing)

DownUpDave
12-29-2015, 07:15 AM
I have a five string Compass Rose that has been strung "Low G" with floro 5th sring, wound 4th string, wound 3th string then Oasis florocarbon for 2nd and 1st. It sounded great, like the uke equivalent of a 12string guitar, sorta, kinda. It was chimey anyways.

spookelele
12-29-2015, 07:18 AM
At that point... why not just go guilele/kiku?
Or. if you really want to go nuts.. that harp uke thing.

maxmax
12-29-2015, 07:21 AM
I'm sure you can make it work, after some experimenting with string gauges for the extra bass string. In my mind, it would be more logical with an added low d though, not sure why you would like a low a string? But also in my mind, you are now very close to just playing a smaller, higher pitched guitar, and I don't really see the charm of that. But that's just me. :o

Jon Moody
12-29-2015, 07:25 AM
I'm sure you can make it work, after some experimenting with string gauges for the extra bass string. In my mind, it would be more logical with an added low d though, not sure why you would like a low a string? But also in my mind, you are now very close to just playing a smaller, higher pitched guitar, and I don't really see the charm of that. But that's just me. :o

The low D would follow the regular tuning, which is the same concept with 7 and 8 string guitars.

---

To the OP, go for it. There are plenty of naysayers that say "Why don't you just buy a _____ instead?" but if everyone listened to that, the entire family of (what are being called) extended range guitars and basses wouldn't exist. And there are plenty of guys playing the hell out of those more specialized instruments (even if the guys playing an 11 string bass groan about the price of changing strings).

The biggest hurdle I would think, is finding a builder that would be onboard with making this 5 string ukulele, as it would require a wider neck and fretboard at the very least. But, again, that's how some really cool instruments are made and how musicians find their own voice. Give it a shot.

maxmax
12-29-2015, 08:03 AM
The low D would follow the regular tuning, which is the same concept with 7 and 8 string guitars.

Hence why I thought low D would be more logical, rather than low A. But now the original post has been changed to low C, so it's confusing anyways.



There are plenty of naysayers that say...
I resent being called a naysayer! I prefer to look at myself as a sceptical know-it-all (apart from when I'm the one asking questions, then I'm just a modest, random person on the Internet).

But being as I'm not the one asking questions here, I actually do think a number of custom builders would be happy to build one. It would just kinda suck if it cost a lot and wasn't any fun to play. Capoing a child sized classical guitar with a removed sixth string would give you a somewhat idea of what it would be like, for a feasible cost. Might be worth experimenting with before ordering a custom?

whistleman123
12-29-2015, 09:40 AM
Hi, OP here. After a little more research I took the usual jazz tuning for a 7 string guitar of AEADGB transposed it up a 5th to DADGCEA to C tuning and then dropped the lowa&d strings and end up with lowDlowGCEA.
I what size uke would accomodate a D below low G?

hollisdwyer
12-29-2015, 11:56 AM
I had the double gG course of my Barron River 8 string spaced out a little more so I could finger pick either the high or the low g separately. If you are buying a custom you can have any string spacing you want.

I believe I have also seen 5 string production Ukes. Possibly by Ohana??

Jim Hanks
12-29-2015, 01:26 PM
I what size uke would accomodate a D below low G?
Typically baritone. Another thought is to start with a short scale guitar in the 19-22" scale range. I forget if that is 3/4 size or 1/2 size.

Lori
12-29-2015, 04:53 PM
The Koaloha DVI can be played as a guitarlele, or, as you describe, with the extra 2 bass strings tuned to open notes of your choice. Daniel Ho has played it like that. The DVI is an expensive uke so you might test it out first on a less expensive Guitarlele like the Kanile'a Islander.
–Lori

Booli
12-29-2015, 05:25 PM
The Koaloha DVI can be played as a guitarlele, or, as you describe, with the extra 2 bass strings tuned to open notes of your choice. Daniel Ho has played it like that. The DVI is an expensive uke so you might test it out first on a less expensive Guitarlele like the Kanile'a Islander.
–Lori

For the least expensive Guitalele, the Yamaha GL-1 normally sells for $99 everywhere and can frequently be found on sale for ~$69.

It is 17" tenor scale and typically tuned ADGCEA, i.e., A2-D3-G3-C4-E4-A4, with a 'standard' classical guitar string set. There are other (high-tension) string sets for 'fractional' guitars that can be tuned in standard EADGBE guitar tuning, and IIRC this scale length would qualify for the 1/4-scale description.

An inexpensive experiment could be to get hold of a GL-1, remove the low A string, and re-cut the nut for 5 strings equally spaced across it's 50mm width, OR just make a new nut to these specs, as well as create a new 5-string bridge with the same idea, and then replace the bridge with this new one.

I expect that some woodworking skills, as well as lutherie-repair skills would be required to accomplish this without destroying the GL-1.

Normal classical guitar strings, tuned up a 5th for a 17" scale guitalele will work, and is considered the norm by many folks.

I've never seen a 'ukulele' with more than 4 courses (which includes the octave strings for a 5-string, 6-string or 8-string) that had more than 4 courses other than a Harp Ukulele, such as the AnueNue played by Jan Laurenz and others, but that does not mean that it does not exist yet, but may be an extreme niche instrument.