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 melody (or bass) in 3ds? 
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Post melody (or bass) in 3ds?
As a player of a somewhat non-standard tuning it’s easy for me to see both sides, on one hand the Stick is flexible enough to accommodate many tunings which inherently encourages a “what if?” mentality, on the other hand there are people that have been at this for years, experimenting and developing an approach to the instrument, discovering what works best and provides the most musical options. Many paths can lead to wasted time and dead ends but a few open up some exciting possibilities.

I remember many years ago someone on the old Stickwire list said something along the lines of “if you don’t use the standard tuning, it’s not a Stick anymore” as if the true potential of the instrument would be severely compromised if not using bass in 5ths/melody 4ths. When I decided I wanted to try playing the Stick as a solo instrument in 2003 there were specific influences I wanted to adapt and pieces I wanted to play that I felt bass in 4ths would accommodate better (reading baroque keyboard music was part of this, but that is one area I never ended up investing a lot of time in - I agree with Mad Monk that there is a lot of value in mirrored 4ths for this type of thing). When I moved to Virginia around this time and first met up with Greg, I was wondering if he might try to talk me out of this idea, but in fact he just recommended mirrored 4ths over parallel, and his advice was spot on as it opens up the left hand to far more accompaniment possibilities. His overall encouragement was a vital part of me becoming a more active Stick player than I might've been otherwise.

When I started writing and arranging music for this tuning, Emmett could not have been more encouraging, and I’ve never once felt frowned upon by the “old guard”. I’ve also played a few Stick shows and been at Stick teaching events with Steve A and he has always been gracious and a wealth of valuable knowledge. While I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface and am nowhere near as polished as the professional veterans of the instrument, I think my music generally speaks for itself and would not be possible (or at least very difficult) to play on a non-mirrored 4ths tuning. I have a lot of my stuff available to view and hear online (warts and all), it wasn’t a conscious thing I did to prove the worthiness of the tuning so much as just sharing my music with the world, but it certainly played a big part in people seeing the value and potential of the tuning.

So in conclusion, I see how “don’t do it” comes across as a bit too definitive (after all someone posted a video of a Stickist playing in thirds) but I can understand where the sentiment comes from. I might be inclined to use the same phrase if someone asked me if mirrored 4ths on a 10 string instrument or parallel 4ths would be a good idea - there would be some roadblocks there that could stifle the potential of the instrument (although imagination overcomes many limitations).

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Last edited by robmartino on Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:24 am
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Post Re: melody (or bass) in 3ds?
When I hear a piece of music I don't immediately think, "What tuning is he/her using?" That being said I like Bach. But I don't get off on playing it or figuring out what he's doing. It's incredible, I dig it but I'm not that interested. It's stuff that everyone has been doing for a long time and I'm not clamoring to the concert hall to hear it. I might go to the conert hall if new music by modern composers were programed but that aint happenin'. I like Thelonious Sphere Monk and crack up at his voicings and approach to composition. I bought his songbook and some of the voicings I have to approach w/ two hands. I use 4ths/5ths because I can not play chords on a conventional guitar and can't play chords that actually sound good on a 4 string bass (or 5 or 6 for that matter) and play melody at the same time. Or play bass and melody, or chords at the same time on said instruments. I can play chords in inverted 5ths w/ my left hand. I can play chords in 4ths w/ my right hand because it approaches from above and my pudgy little fingers can cope with that. I can play single note runs with either hand in either tuning. I can play two-handed on either side and play difficult or wildly crazy things. Have not taken a lesson on Stick but have learned mucho from first, Emmett's book, Greg Howard's book and video, Steve Adlelson's book and video (and bad jokes), and Bob Culbertson's videos. Try any tuning just don't tuna fish unless you're hungry (sorry, Steve's influence). Bless all your pointed little heads.

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Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:37 am
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Post Re: melody (or bass) in 3ds?
The original post never implied that other tunings couldn't work. It was aimed at this particular thirds tuning.
Most music as we know it, pop, classical ,jazz is based very much on this concept of cycles of 5ths/4ths. Scales, keys progressions and harmonies rely heavily on this.
The Stick has inlays every 5 frets. This interval is a fourth. User friendly and navigationally sound.
This and other musucal reasons were why I advocated not to use a thirds tuning.
Of course anyone has the freedom to tune how they want. Detune, out of tune, quarter tones, move the inlays, remove strings, do what your heart and soul desires.


Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:49 am
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Post Re: melody (or bass) in 3ds?
There ya go. Monk. Excellent. Minor 2nds, dissonance, non standard progressions, interesting melodies.
All accomplished easily on standard Stick tuning.
Monk's tunes are a treasure. I advocate their exploration using any tuning you desire.
BTW......the jokes in the book reflect my personality. Music and learning are a balance of seriousness and fun.
I hope you're all enjoying the creative ride whatever your method or tuning
SA


Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:02 am
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Post Re: melody (or bass) in 3ds?
Hey!

A shitfest about the Stick that wasn't started by K Rex! Can you imagine that???

But how do you guys REALLY know I didn't start it? PM amongst yourselves and discuss...

K Rex

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Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:15 am
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Post Re: melody (or bass) in 3ds?
Lee Vatip wrote:
Monk's tunes are a treasure. I advocate their exploration using any tuning you desire.

I believe Steve is talking about Thelonious. That's why I stated Thelonious Sphere. Not Mad.

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Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:21 am
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Post Re: melody (or bass) in 3ds?
robmartino wrote:
So in conclusion, I see how “don’t do it” comes across as a bit too definitive (after all someone posted a video of a Stickist playing in thirds) but I can understand where the sentiment comes from. I might be inclined to use the same phrase if someone asked me if mirrored 4ths on a 10 string instrument or parallel 4ths would be a good idea - there would be some roadblocks there that could stifle the potential of the instrument (although imagination overcomes many limitations).

Hi, Rob! You're actually one of the "prominent Stickists" I was referring to just a couple of days ago in my posting about exploring "parallel 4ths," which I didn't even know what to properly call until I asked. Greg helped me a bit to sort out what might be workable and what might not, and here was my posting and the 1st paragraph of the "solution" I'm fumbling towards.

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=12010
10-String-Stick Straight-4ths Tuning

paigan0 wrote:
I've been playing my new NS/Stick tuned with 8-strings in "bass 4ths" and I love it so much. I really dug the fifths tuning on the bass side of my first two Sticks (Rosewood and Railboard), but several prominent Stickists rock mirror 4ths tuning on their 12-string Grands. Everybody says you can't do the straight 4ths tuning on only 10 strings without giving up chords and the like.


I was very careful to couch my post in a manner to avoid the trainwreck that happened here--I know how important tunings are to people!--but if you'd not mind sharing some more of your wisdom over there, I'd appreciate it deeply!

Greg just had Cambria set me up with an order of parallel 4th strings for my 10-string Rosewood this morning, and I'm going to be undertaking some drilling and rearranging of some string components: "In addition to string height and intonation adjustments at the pickups, nut and bridge, you will also need to drill out your 10th string tuning machine to accommodate the thicker string core. You can swap machines 6 and 9." (From Greg.)

I'm curious if you'd take a look at Valery Rovinskii's video with the parallel 4ths 10-string Stick. It seems imminently workable and expressive, for both Bach Etudes and Nirvana songs. And hopefully, SinkMusic songs (as demonstrated so far on the NS/Stick to my satisfaction in "bass 4ths" tuning.)

Anyone else is welcome to share more of your parallel 4ths journeys over there, politely and respectfully, and no credentials needed!

Cheers and thanks!

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Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:33 pm
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Post Re: melody (or bass) in 3ds?
K Rex wrote:
Hey!

A shitfest about the Stick that wasn't started by K Rex! Can you imagine that???

But how do you guys REALLY know I didn't start it? PM amongst yourselves and discuss...

K Rex


Priceless Rex! Laughed me ass off.....

Back to the original question.....
Ya you can do anything but I gotta agree with the cats with decades of experience.......4ths/ 5ths bro...or 4ths/4ths...keep it simple...

We continuously see folks come on here that want to reinvent the wheel.....the wheel works great the way it is.

Cheers,
Kev

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Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:18 pm
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Post Re: melody (or bass) in 3ds?
greg wrote:
whatever


The mindset of the elite, encapsulated in one word.

Perfect.

Bon appetit,

K Rex

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Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:28 pm
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Post Re: melody (or bass) in 3ds?
paigan0 wrote:

Greg just had Cambria set me up with an order of parallel 4th strings for my 10-string Rosewood this morning, and I'm going to be undertaking some drilling and rearranging of some string components: "In addition to string height and intonation adjustments at the pickups, nut and bridge, you will also need to drill out your 10th string tuning machine to accommodate the thicker string core. You can swap machines 6 and 9." (From Greg.)
Hi Steve,

Happy to help, and looking forward to hearing how you experiment goes.

robmartino wrote:
As a player of a somewhat non-standard tuning it’s easy for me to see both sides, on one hand the Stick is flexible enough to accommodate many tunings which inherently encourages a “what if?” mentality, on the other hand there are people that have been at this for years, experimenting and developing an approach to the instrument, discovering what works best and provides the most musical options. Many paths can lead to wasted time and dead ends but a few open up some exciting possibilities.

I remember many years ago someone on the old Stickwire list said something along the lines of “if you don’t use the standard tuning, it’s not a Stick anymore” as if the true potential of the instrument would be severely compromised if not using bass in 5ths/melody 4ths. When I decided I wanted to try playing the Stick as a solo instrument in 2003 there were specific influences I wanted to adapt and pieces I wanted to play that I felt bass in 4ths would accommodate better (reading baroque keyboard music was part of this, but that is one area I never ended up investing a lot of time in - I agree with Mad Monk that there is a lot of value in mirrored 4ths for this type of thing). When I moved to Virginia around this time and first met up with Greg, I was wondering if he might try to talk me out of this idea, but in fact he just recommended mirrored 4ths over parallel, and his advice was spot on as it opens up the left hand to far more accompaniment possibilities. His overall encouragement was a vital part of me becoming a more active Stick player than I might've been otherwise.

When I started writing and arranging music for this tuning, Emmett could not have been more encouraging, and I’ve never once felt frowned upon by the “old guard”. I’ve also played a few Stick shows and been at Stick teaching events with Steve A and he has always been gracious and a wealth of valuable knowledge. While I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface and am nowhere near as polished as the professional veterans of the instrument, I think my music generally speaks for itself and would not be possible (or at least very difficult) to play on a non-mirrored 4ths tuning. I have a lot of my stuff available to view and hear online (warts and all), it wasn’t a conscious thing I did to prove the worthiness of the tuning so much as just sharing my music with the world, but it certainly played a big part in people seeing the value and potential of the tuning.

So in conclusion, I see how “don’t do it” comes across as a bit too definitive (after all someone posted a video of a Stickist playing in thirds) but I can understand where the sentiment comes from. I might be inclined to use the same phrase if someone asked me if mirrored 4ths on a 10 string instrument or parallel 4ths would be a good idea - there would be some roadblocks there that could stifle the potential of the instrument (although imagination overcomes many limitations).


Rob, we miss having you here in Virginia, and I'm happy to see you posting here on Stickist (we miss you here, too). I always appreciate how reasonable and even-handed you are in your posts, but most of all I just appreciate getting to hear you play. Happy to have been a part of helping you on your musical journey, and on your terms. That's the best.

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Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:53 am
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