A point in question about Griffbrett string gauge

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Musicmaker
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:32 pm

A point in question about Griffbrett string gauge

Post by Musicmaker » Wed May 02, 2018 10:05 pm

Please tell me to wind down if I am suggesting something out of the norm.
I will not be offended.
Okay....
My A strings on the Griffbrett are 0.015".
On an acoustic guitar which is 1 1/2 times the Zither length, this would equate to about a 0.020" on the top E string.
This is massive!
No wonder we suffer and get calluses.
It is no wonder that with such a string gauge it is hard to fret the strings.
Has it been known to use a lesser string gauges for example 0.010" for the A strings?
Why suffer when there may be an alternative?
I will very much appreciate your views negative or positive.
If the down line is " Pete, get on with it " then i will accept.
No worries.
It is just an enquiring observation?
Pete
Downunder.

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

Re: A point in question about Griffbrett string gauge

Post by kenbloom » Thu May 03, 2018 8:27 am

Hi Pete,

I think your calculations are a bit off. If we assume a general string length of about 25" for the guitar, then you look at what length gives you the same A as the zither A string. That would be the fifth fret of the first string of the guitar which would be about 19" long. This is only 2" longer than the A of the zither which is around 17" long. I use a .012" for my first string. Granted a .015" is a little on the heavy side for that note you have to take into account that the zither is a very different animal from the guitar. It operates differently. Why not try out a .014" or a .013" for your first string and see what happens. It might work great on your zither. You may run into some intonation problems and you will defintiely not have the volume you had with the .015" but the compromise might be worth it. You certainly can't harm the instrument by using a lighter gauge.
The wound strings on the zither have a different construction than guitar strings. Zither strings have a smaller core and are much more flexible than guitar strings. You are asking a short string to make a reatively low note and still sound good. Modern zither strings do this very well. I like to use a plain phosphor bronze string for my D. It sounds better than the skinny wound string that is available for that note. You just have to experiment and see what sounds good and feels good for you. A longer thinner string will sound better than a shorter thicker string, all things being equal. I hope this helps.

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.org

Musicmaker
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:32 pm

Re: A point in question about Griffbrett string gauge

Post by Musicmaker » Thu May 03, 2018 10:59 pm

Thank you Ken.
It is okay.
In view of what you have said, i will stick with what i have.
Pete

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