Octave stringing on Octave Mandola

Octave stringing on Octave Mandola

Has anyone tried octave tuning on the Octave Mandola i.e one plain string with G and D wound?

Re: Octave stringing on Octave Mandola

There seems to be one on ebay at the moment with G, D, AND A all strung as octaves.
I do like my zouk with the bottom 2 pairs in octaves.
You’ld probably have to make up your own sets of gauges of strings for the octave (strung ) mandola.

Re: Octave stringing on Octave Mandola

Thanks, I am experimenting with different gauge strings but in unison and having restrung my bouzouki in octave which sounds special I felt that it may also work well with the octave mandola.

The rapid response is appreciated.

Re: Octave stringing on Octave Mandola

It’s going to depend on how you use your OM.

If you play mainly straight melody it doesn’t really work - it sound like you’re changing instruments every time you cross between the unison and octave courses.

If you use enough double stops and chording you can get away with playing melody with octaves, but they really only work nicely for strumming.

Re: Octave stringing on Octave Mandola

I’ve just sold an OM tuned GDAE. The sound was absolutely beautiful. Its only drawback was lack of projection in a session when playing melody. Nonetheless, I can’t see the point in octave stringing. You’re actually adding two more treble strings to an instrument which, I would have imagined, you’d have bought it for its base spectrum in the first place. Skreech is correct in that octave tuning gives out a mixed message - and you’re only talking here about two pairs of strings - unlike a 12 string guitar with 4 pairs tuned in octaves producing a much fuller sound. But have you ever wondered why 12 string guitars are not more popular? They’re great as a novelty but they tend to dominate a little. Of course, it’s your choice and, depending on what you want to do with the instrument, it could work for you. It might have the opposite effect on your colleagues, however!

Re: Octave stringing on Octave Mandola

For a subtler effect, I use octave stringing , but with the octave pairs the "wrong" way round, ie with the higher string on the treble side of the instrument. (like Ricky 12er guitars). This makes for a much less uncomfortable sound when playing melody and crossing between octave and unison pairs, abd still gives a pleasing shimmer to strumming.
Keith

Re: Octave stringing on Octave Mandola

The point of octave stringing is that it gives more top-end harmonics to these lower notes - especially in a noisy session it’s harder to pick out the frequencies of lower-pitched notes - the octave stringing remedies that. So you have both the power of a lower-frequency note, and the ringing harmonics of a higher-frequency note.
Can’t say that it sounds, to me, as if you’re crossing octaves/changing instruments. And, after all, no-one complains when a flute or whistle player goes up an octave when the tune goes below a bottom D, do they ?
As Pete Seeger once said "It’s differences of opinion that makes horse races."

Re: Octave stringing on Octave Mandola

Posted on May 28th 2011 by skreech refers: Music is a hobby for
me, a bit long on the denture for any thing else. I did not know that octave tuning was not suitable for playing melody, I tried octave paired strings on A as well, it was terrible.

Re: Octave stringing on Octave Mandola

Oh well, lets’s bite then; what was the gauge of string you had to use for the octave A ?
I can see how you’ld have to compensate on the bridge, probably with a new hand-made bridge, with two very different size plain wire strings, as opposed to the lower octaves, where the compensation required for the wire octave and the covered lower string is virtually the same.