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Author: Subject: string conversion oud to cumbus
playthebanjo
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[*] posted on 4-21-2019 at 03:31 AM
string conversion oud to cumbus


My current string tuning for Oud is cc (highest treble) gg dd AA GG D. I use the 13o Arabic oud set from aquila (and tune the lower pitched strings up a step).

I would like to use the same tuning on the cumbus, but I need loop end steel strings.

Can anyone help me convert the string gauges to something that would work for this tuning? Is this even possible?

thank you.
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Jack_Campin
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[*] posted on 4-21-2019 at 06:51 AM


You can't. The cümbüş will sound pathetic if you tune it down a fourth. I know someone who keeps his tuned that way and it's unusable. Another acquaintance had the loan of one of mine for a while and did the same thing. It took weeks to restabilize.

I have one normal cümbüş that I keep tuned down a step for playing with a group that mainly does Arabic pitch level - low to high, GADgcf. My other one is a very unusual small one, which I keep in the commonest Turkish tuning, ABEadg. Standard cümbüş strings on both.

I hardly ever hit a range problem with either. For the very few Arabic tunes that fall off the bottom end of my "Arabic" one's range, I can fake it somehow.




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adamgood
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[*] posted on 4-21-2019 at 10:20 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Jack_Campin  

I have one normal cümbüş that I keep tuned down a step for playing with a group that mainly does Arabic pitch level - low to high, GADgcf. My other one is a very unusual small one, which I keep in the commonest Turkish tuning, ABEadg. Standard cümbüş strings on both.


Jack, I always tune my cumbus to (fairly) regular Turkish ud tuning:

DAbead

Simply because when I tune up to high g, the string breaks pretty much quickly, also the whole thing feels way too high tension.

Do you have any advice for cranking it up to pitch? Just do it?

Adam
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Jack_Campin
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[*] posted on 4-21-2019 at 11:13 AM


I've hardly ever had cümbüş strings break, and I don't use expensive ones (I'm on Avarez at the moment, I think). Where do yours snap and when?

I use a variety of plectrums made from building-materials strapping, maybe a bit lighter and springier than most folks. Getting the tips smooth probably helps.

When changing the tuning that much you'll need to adjust the neck screw. Takes a bit of fiddling about before you'll get the action exactly right.




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adamgood
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[*] posted on 4-21-2019 at 04:54 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Jack_Campin  
I've hardly ever had cümbüş strings break, and I don't use expensive ones (I'm on Avarez at the moment, I think). Where do yours snap and when?


I also use the standard cumbus strings from Avarez. It's the thinnest string that gives me trouble, for you the high G.

I'm pretty convince that those aren't the proper gauges for that high of a tuning. I do really like the material that they use for those! Much smoother and last longer than standard nickel guitar strings. Does anyone have any idea what it's made from??
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[*] posted on 4-21-2019 at 11:44 PM


That is the one most likely to go, but still not very often for me. When it's happened it's usually been on the peg as a result of kinks when putting it on. There is a trick to avoiding these - fold the string back through the hole in a U but don't immediately twist the free end round the main length, turn the peg a bit first and slip the loose bit of the free end back along the main part. Then twist it a couple of times. That avoids getting a loop of string sticking out among the coiled windings.

You also need to handle the loop end carefully, squeezing it gently before you put it on to get it to fit in the slots.

In between the bridge and the nut the strings seem plenty strong enough for that high pitch to work.




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