Guitar Ensemble School

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the Soprano, Alto, Requinto, Bass and Contrabass guitar family

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2nd Movement - Variations

In this section we'll see the variety of instruments

Contents

This lecture © Derek Hasted 1999 - please enjoy!


Meet The Guitars - 2

Soprano Guitar (sometimes called Piccolo or Octave Guitar)

Scale Length Typically 400mm
Tuning E A D G B E - One octave above the classical
Suitable strings Hannabach 835
Notation Plays in the same key as the Classical Guitar
What is
Scale Length?
Pluck this Hear this   Hear this Pluck this
Pluck this To hear this   To hear this Pluck this

 

Alto Guitar

Scale Length Typically 530mm
Tuning B E A D F# B - One fifth above the classical
Suitable strings Hannabach 836
Notation Plays in the key with one less sharp/one more flat than the Classical Guitar
 
Pluck this hear this   Hear this Pluck this
Pluck this To hear this   To hear this Pluck this

 

Requinto

Scale Length Typically 530mm
Tuning A D G C E A - One fourth above the classical
Suitable strings Suitable strings - La Bella. Hannabach 839 - quint - will also suffice
Notation Plays in the key with one more sharp/one less flat than the Classical Guitar
 
Pluck this Hear this   Hear this Pluck this
Pluck this To hear this   To hear this Pluck this

As you can see, the Requinto guitar and Alto guitar differ essentially only in their strings and the pitch to which those strings are tuned.

 

Prime (the ordinary Classical Guitar)

Well, you all know this one, I hope! But the scale length varies, like all the others - typically 650mm

 

Bass Guitar

Scale Length Typically 700mm
Tuning B E A D F# B - One fourth below the classical
Suitable strings Hannabach 840 - four are wound
Notation Plays in the key with one less sharp/one more flat than the Classical Guitar
 
Pluck this Hear this   Hear this Pluck this
Pluck this To hear this   To hear this Pluck this

The Bass offers the same bass notes as a 7-string guitar, but has a slightly larger body and a deeper front-to-back dimension that adds depth and power to the lower register.

 

ContraBass or Contra Guitar (sometimes called Bass or Double Bass Guitar)

Scale Length Typically 750mm
Tuning E A D G B E - One octave below the classical
Suitable strings Hannabach 841 -all are wound
Notation Plays in the key with one less sharp/one more flat than the Classical Guitar
 
Pluck this Hear this   Hear this Pluck this
Pluck this To hear this   To hear this Pluck this

Don't confuse the Contrabass Guitar with the acoustic version of the electric bass guitar, which has only four strings, a much longer scale, and much higher tension strings.

Indeed, don't confuse it with the 6-string electric bass, which is tuned very differently - B E A D G C - in perfect fourths, with an extra string above and below the normal four-string electric bass.

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