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Photo credits: Alan Porter
Guitarangi da Gamba

The Guitarangi da Gamba was created by Fred Carlson of Beyond the Trees, for multi-instrumentalist and solo performance artist Todd Green. It combines influences from eastern and western instrument traditions, as well as aspects of plucked and bowed instruments. Six main stings over the fingerboard (gut viola DA gamba strings) can be plucked guitar-like, or bowed using techniques similar to playing a bass viola DA gamba. Todd combines tunings from 'cello (the lower 3 strings are CGD) and Turkish oud (the top 3 strings are EAD) for his standard tuning: CGDEAD. These strings attach to a guitar-like peghead (tuned with classical guitar tuners), go over an arched, viola DA gamba-like bridge, and attach to a tail piece at the bottom of the instrument. The arched fingerboard has tied-on nylon frets, as with a lute or viola DA gamba.

These allow for greater ease in playing complex chordal fingerings than if the neck was fretless, and offer adjustability of scale and intonation. Ten sympathetic resonating strings run inside the neck and over the the instrument's top. Their path runs beneath the six main strings; they go over their own "jiwari" bridge (Indian style bridge that gives the strings a buzzing quality), between the legs of the main bridge, and attach to a block at the butt of the instrument. Fourteen additional sympathetic strings (that can also be plucked) run diagonally from a bass-side body extension underneath the other two sets of strings to a hitching-block on the lower treble side of the lower bout

Visit Fred Carlson's BeyondTheTrees.com website for more information on his quality custom stringed instruments and more.


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