6 string griffrett: next project

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Rudy Mueller
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Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

6 string griffrett: next project

Post by Rudy Mueller » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:30 am

Our family keeps one zither in Germany for use there. This is an old timer, with a 6 string griffbrett rather than 5, with pegs rather than the usual tuning machine. but this instrument is solid as a rock. It needs neither re-finishing nor restoration, but rather restringing and perhaps clean-up on the pegs.

How should this griff be strung? (high) e a a d g c , or a a d g c (low) e ?

It also apparently has a spot for an ab accompaniment.

Any opinions? Please comment.

Rudi

velocio
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:19 am

Re: 6 string griffrett: next project

Post by velocio » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:53 pm

Rudi Knabl is a good reference. As you can read in http://zither-virtuose.de/rudi-knabl.html :
"Viele Instrumente wurden um eine 6. Griffbrett-Saite (F) (...) erweitert".

Rudy Mueller
Posts: 401
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: 6 string griffrett: next project

Post by Rudy Mueller » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:09 pm

Thank you!

Hmmmm. That's a a d g c F alright. I'll have to listen to a couple of recordings.

kenbloom
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

Re: 6 string griffrett: next project

Post by kenbloom » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:04 am

Hi Rudi, I have an old album of Rudi Knabl with a photo of him on the front holding a perfekta zither with a 6 string fingerboard and the string is definitely a low F. It's VERY thick. I would measure the string length of the fingerboard. If this is an old instrument with a shorter string length I would go for a high E string instead of the low F. Short fat strings usually don't sound very good unless they have been especially designed for the pitch, like a low F cello string. I don't know if anyone makes a low F fingerboard string.
Having a high Ab on the accompaniment strings may or may not be useful to you. It depends on the keys that you mostly play in. If you add a high E on the fingerboard and keep the accompaniment strings with a normal tuning then you can preserve the normal spacing for the right hand which I would think make the instrument more comfortable to play. Just a few things to think about.

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.org

Rudy Mueller
Posts: 401
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: 6 string griffrett: next project

Post by Rudy Mueller » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:04 am

Thanks Ken,
High e it is. I have yet to see some zither music with melody below low c on he griff.....but lots with melody above e on the a strings.

Rudi

Will let you know how it goes.

velocio
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:19 am

Re: 6 string griffrett: next project

Post by velocio » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:17 pm

About three years ago, Freddy Golden experimented with tuning the outer a string up to e. But he didn't find strings that would resist the high tension required to achieve an e with the usual fretboard string lengths of some 435 mm. So he added a kapodaster to effectively shorten the string lengths of all fretboard strings.

Rudy Mueller
Posts: 401
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: 6 string griffrett: next project

Post by Rudy Mueller » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:13 pm

Hmmmm. That's a great hint!

Several years ago I made a 3 string capo for guitar, to help my old hands make the Bb. Maybe I'll play around with a one string "bridge" or capo on the right hand side for this zither, either empirically, or perhaps starting with the "guitar calculator".

We get to Essenheim March 26.

Rudi

kenbloom
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

Re: 6 string griffrett: next project

Post by kenbloom » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:24 am

With a string length of around 17 inches, try a .009" for the high E and see if it makes it up there. You will need a string that is thick enough not to break from metal fatigue and thin enough to make it up to the required pitch. If the instrument is a shorter string length then you should be able to do it without a problem. I guess you'll know when you get there.
Ken Bloom
]http://www.boweddulcimer.org

Rudy Mueller
Posts: 401
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: 6 string griffrett: next project

Post by Rudy Mueller » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:06 am

Thanks Ken,

That is a good approach. D'Addario lists some possibilities. Keeping in mind that a guitar string length is about 650 mm, and the zither griff length is 435 mm, the possible choices would be E4 stings ( from https://wahiduddin.net guitar- string calculator)
diameter string tension
inches mm pounds Kg
extra light gauge 0.010 0.25 16.2 7.35
light gauge 0.012 0.30 23 10.6
medium 0.013 0.33 27 12.4
heavy 0.014 0.36 32 14

The a griff strings currently here are 0.50 mm in diameter. Apparently, the frequency depends on the weight of the string per unit length. Since the string can be considered a long cylinder, (volume = l x pi x r^2 ), could one expect the frequency to increase EXPONENTIALLY as the diameter decreases?

What are the string tensions on the zither grifbrett?

I will try to get a set of four of these D'Addario guitar strings to take along to Germany.

If all else fails, has anyone ever tried TITANIUM griff strings? Fort Wayne Metals ( WWW.FWMETALS.COM/PRODUCTS/WIRE/ROUND )
APPARENTLY has titanium wire down to 0.0127 mm in diameter. The specific gravities of iron and titanium are about 7.8 and 4.5 respectively. Titanium wire is common in surgical implants, ear rings and eye glass frames.

Thanks again all. As usual, this problem, when solved, will be simple.

Rudi

Rudy Mueller
Posts: 401
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: 6 string griffrett: next project

Post by Rudy Mueller » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:08 pm

addenda:

The stainless steel griff a strings here are 0.5 mm.

Conceivably, titanium a griff strings could be of a larger diameter. That would be easier on beginners fingers. Wonder what they'd sound like?

Rudi

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