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"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."

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November 15, 2005 | It's in the Hole Pt. 2

More on the difference between Oval Hole and F Hole instruments from the always articulate Niles Hokkanen. This subject was first brought up in this archive of Tips and Tricks: "It's in the Hole."

"From my own experience, oval-hole instruments will give you a wider spectrum of tone quality. A lot of people prefer F-hole instruments because they are so tonally consistent. You play soft - you get a certain sound at low volume; you play harder - you get the same sound/tone at a higher volume.

On ovals, when you play with a hard attack, you end up getting a different tone quality (as well as increased volume) than you do when playing more softly. I find that I have to work a lot harder to pull the type of dynamics and sounds I want out of an F-hole instrument as opposed to an oval-hole. Plus there are the matters of sustain and having a more powerful bottom end. I can get closer to an electric guitar attack on a round-hole instrument. (And having a metal bridge saddle gives you and edge on this additionally.) And use steel strings instead of bronze - more bite."
Niles H

Niles is both master and innovator of all things Mando, a true Renaissance Man.
Check out his Mandocrucian Catalog, or better, take advantage of one of his many clinics.

Posted by Ted at November 15, 2005 3:07 PM

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