Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

I’m sitting in front of some drawings for a new cittern. The question that is exercising my mind.. what body shape? Should I stay with simple teardrop, or get some cutaways. If the cutaways, should I opt for muted cutaways and a symmetric arrangement, or for assymetric with a larger cutaway for resting on the knee, and a smaller decorative or even non-existent cutaway on the top?

Any informed opinions on this welcome.

Re: Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

well if it’s female;
a thin bodyshape is best,
plenty of cutaways, esspecially near the top,
never deny a symetrical face, and a cutaway that enables resting on the knee is particularly desirable… that’ll excercise more than your mind.

don’t stay still with a teardrop looking at drawings. get out there and you’ll find the right one. maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but some day.

we’re all with you.

J.M.

Re: Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

Ignore these jesters !
I think you’re working on the right lines, so long as its not a guizouki.
My personal suggestion would be to ensure that the bridge is as near as possible to the widest part of the body - if that means effectively pushing bridge, soundhole,and fingerboard further up the body, then go for it.
Nothing wrong with a little waist to rest on your knee.

Re: Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

Here’s the coolest instrument I’ve seen in a while:

http://www.luthier.com/Mandolins.htm

No, I take that back. THIS is the coolest instrument I’ve seen in a while:

http://musicthing.blogspot.com/2005/08/its-pink-flying-v-ukulele.html

I like the idea of keeping some sort of “traditional” look, however loosely defined, but adding your own creative twist to it. And keeping the acoustical integrity of the instrument in mind (you still want it to sound good!).

Good luck. Wow, what fun.

Re: Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

Wow! I like that pink uke. That may go on my Christmas wish list. For some more fine looking mandolins go to www.driftwoodmandolins.com. Check out the whole gallery. I just bought #021. Good advice above, fidkid--I like traditional with a twist. Acoustical properties must always come first, too.

Re: Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

Nice mando, dmarie.

Re: Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

Thanks for comments so far. I must admit, that pink number was not quite what i had in mind, but I can see it would be a head turner if one appeared at a party with it on your arm…..

Re: Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

May I ask who’s making your cittern Neil?

Re: Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

About a year ago I kluged together a bouzouki design with Rickenbacker stylings . . .It looks like a teardrop version of Pete Bucks‘ black 360. I’l try to post it tonight.

Then again I might get sued. . . so you never know.

Re: Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

You whatted together??

Posted by .

Re: Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

I have one of those Dave Dart Octave Mandolins (http://www.luthier.com/Mandolins.htm) and it is a wonderful instrument. He will make one in a 22“ scale or a 25” scale (or anything inbetween, I imagine) for you if you ask nicely. These instruments are loud, have an archtop sound (which tends to have more overtones and is fuller but not always louder) and works best with a .048 G course and the rest of the D’Addario OM set.

Mike Keyes
http://www.banjosessions.com/dec05/triplets.html

Re: Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

Let me be more specific - I didn’t actually make an instrument, I designed one in a photoshop-like program.

Re: Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

Forget cutaways! Teardrops all the way!!

Re: Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

I am glad I didn’t expect some sort of consensus! Its easy to make some eliminations… not pink, not bluegrass shape, not double necked. But as fo rthe rest, I’m going to have to just wait until my heart settles one way or the other.

Re: Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

I like the thought of an asymetrical body. A friend of mine has an acoustic guitar that’s teardrop-shaped on the top, with a standard bout curve on the bottom half, so it sits well on your leg, plus a venetian cutaway. Sort of an odd paisley-mitochondria shape but amazingly ergonomic. A Vantage, if I remember correctly. Tried to do a search for a link but to no avail.

Or reconsider the flying-V, I urge you!

Re: Preferred bouzouki (cittern) body shapes. Opinions please.

It’s too bad that the Steve Smith website is reduced to only the face page… He’s made some absolutely stunning shapes.

Neil, I’m glad you won’t use a guitar shape. Zouks is zouks and guitars is guitars. So there. <GGG>

Personally, I like the shape that Sobell and Joe Foley use, the basic “onion on a stick” shape. Brazilian “bandolim” mandolins have a nice variation on that.

My Phil Crump is a two-point that he calls a B-II, just because I wanted something a little different. Now I’m drawn to all sorts of two-point designs. Here are some who do it nicely:

http://www.oldwavemandolins.com/

http://www.bfolk.com/bfolk.html

Here are a couple of very non-traditional shapes:

http://www.corradogiacomel.it/

Bluegrasser-turned-Irish-roots-player Tim O’Brien has one of those.

http://www.arrowguitar.com/AbarrowL2.html

Look for the “G-model” from this luthier, Paul Lestock.

Here are the Weber Mandolin shapes, pretty traditional, but nice.

http://www.soundtoearth.com/instruments.htm

I have ‘designed’ an OM based on the Bighorn, but I can’t pay for it yet… <GGG>

All the best,

stv

http://cdbaby.com/Culchies