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Old 12-24-2017, 12:34 AM
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David MacNeill David MacNeill is offline
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Default Any 8-string tenor uke players?

Love my Kala Acacia 8. Standard tuning felt really tight to me, so I’ve been experimenting with slack tunings — and slacking off, but that’s another story. Anybody tried tuning down to E-A-C#-F# ?
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Old 12-24-2017, 11:02 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I have an all-koa Pono eight string. I keep it in standard tuning, just like my twelve string guitars. It is not surprising that the tension feels higher -- there are twice as many strings. Like my twelve string guitars, it sees about 10-15% of my play time.

Don't do what I did, though. One day I opened the case after several months of not playing it and found both strings on the first course had broken right at the nut! I replaced only those two with Worth fluorocarbon strings, leaving the original Ko'olau Golds on the other courses. (I like those Ko'olau Golds, but the new version of those strings is different, so I wanted to preserve the old ones). But the two materials respond differently to temperature. As the instrument warms with play, nylon goes one way while the fluorocarbon goes the other. Keeping it tuned is a bear. Guess I'm going to have to give up on the nylons and switch to a whole new consistent set. Lesson learned.....
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Old 12-24-2017, 12:48 PM
M Sarad M Sarad is offline
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I have one just made from insanely flamed Koa top, back, and sides. Sadly, the bridge cracked while being tuned up for the very first time. A new one will be done after Christmas.

I will put a K&K in it and play it live.
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Old 12-25-2017, 02:43 AM
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David MacNeill David MacNeill is offline
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I expected that slack tuning a tenor would make for lousy tone, but this Kala sounds and plays better this way.

A6A5774B-C6DB-44C4-B229-D9405A0C3EC8.jpg
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Old 12-25-2017, 08:33 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Not tenor, but I re-strung a baritone uke to convert it to a low-tuned nylon-strung mandolin.

https://youtu.be/53pDFOQe048
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Old 12-26-2017, 01:18 AM
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David MacNeill David MacNeill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
Not tenor, but I re-strung a baritone uke to convert it to a low-tuned nylon-strung mandolin.
That sounds great! Is that two octaves down from standard mando tuning?
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Old 12-26-2017, 02:39 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
Not tenor, but I re-strung a baritone uke to convert it to a low-tuned nylon-strung mandolin.
I had a friend (now passed away) who ran a small music shop from his home. He used to buy inexpensive (sub-$100) soprano ukes and changed out the strings for mandolin tuning. He sold a bunch of them to mandolin players as inexpensive travel / practice mandolins. Soprano was his choice because it was the same scale length as a mandolin.

Unfortunately, I never got the gauges of the alternate strings from him before he died, but I know he bought several grades of fluorocarbon fishing line to make his own sets in bulk.

David, I play slack key guitar a lot and have experimented with GCEG tuning on my ukulele to emulate taro patch (open G tuning). That sounds good, but I miss the alternating bass notes on the fifth and sixth strings.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:05 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David MacNeill View Post
That sounds great! Is that two octaves down from standard mando tuning?
Nope, it's a bit of a different animal, tuned A-E-B-F#, a whole step up from standard octave mandolin.

Since it's in between the range of octave and mandola I just call it a "low tuned mandolin".

Here's the same basic instrument in a steel-strung version that gets a lot of good comments:

https://youtu.be/ydA7JgMHlQ4
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Old 12-31-2017, 11:41 PM
bellgamin bellgamin is offline
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I have an Ohana 8 tenor, 2 Alulu koa tenors, & a kala baritone 8. I like 8's for straight strumming accompaniment -- they have a much fuller sound than 4's do. I have no problem with tenors at GCEA -- I squeeze a rubber ball as a stress-reliever, & it strengthens my fingering hand.

A looong time ago I dated a farm girl for a while -- she milked a whole herd of cows every day. She played banjo & had a 6 fret reach, with hands strong enough to get every string singing sweet & lovely.

If you don't have cows to milk, a rubber ball works pretty good.
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellgamin View Post
I like 8's for straight strumming accompaniment -- they have a much fuller sound than 4's do.
Same here. Now I want an 8-string baritone!
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Old 01-02-2018, 01:15 AM
bellgamin bellgamin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David MacNeill View Post
Same here. Now I want an 8-string baritone!
Kala makes a great baritone 8-string: model ka-abp8-ctg. It has a solid cedar top..... It even has a truss rod, so that it can be tuned a lot higher than the normal dgbe. I like mine a lot -- it's tuned eac#f#.
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