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#a78 :: Ukelin strings

May 1, 2008

ENLARGEStrings own our music.

Violin, viagra buy electric guitar, this site piano, search mandolin, koto, balalaika, electric bass, bull fiddle – all vibrate with the voices of plucked, sawn and hammered wires.

More than brass or woodwind or electronics, second maybe only to drums in the pantheon of world musical instrumentation, strings run the longest and deepest in the bloodstream of intelligent sound.

I’m midway through a project – restringing a circa-1926 ukelin that I retrieved from my parents’ attic …

I’ve been using this tool to pull off the corroded, dull old strings and replace them with bright, new steel. I’ve just finished stringing up the 16 chord drones, which had to be stripped of winding at the ends so they’d ring brightly from the bridges.

So far, they sound a little like this – slightly out of tune (tuning this creaky little monster is quite the struggle) and sort of Appalachian. Four chords that you basically can’t change, but they work out into some pretty useful chord progressions, including at least one minor-key variation.

I just started replacing the 16 melody strings, and will post more about how they sound – they’re meant to be bowed – once I finish tuning up and learn how to play a bit.

Meanwhile, what to do with all this sacrificed old wire … Campbox wire saw? Auto repair? Garrote?

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