Wednesday, 7 November 2007

How to convert a guitar into a bouzouki

This article might be useful for those who want to try out the bouzouki without spending too much money. Just take your old guitar and make some adjustments. Here's a tutorial with lots of photos. But don't blame me, if it does not work!

http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Luthier/Technique/Guitar/Structural/8StConvert/8stconvert.html

Another article on this item is to be found at:
http://www.ehhs.cmich.edu/~dhavlena/mandolin.htm

8 comments:

philbert said...

I have to say that this will cause significant distortion of the top due to the increased tension .Considering the effort required for a luthier I would not recommend it for anyone .See Graham McDonalds book for a complete discussion .
Phill kearney www.kearneyluthier.com

Ohrenspitzer said...

Hi Philbert,

thanks a lot for this comment. I am not a luthier, so I can't tell if this works or not. I just found the article and thought it could be if interest to someone.

Doesn't the tension depend on the strings that are used? So wouldn't it be possible to use thin strings and avoid strong tension?

philbert said...

Hi Yes the tension depends on 2 variables The scale length and the gauge .If you use lighter strings the tension is less but so is the volume and the strings buzz more .I can copy a article for you if you wish and email as PDF .phil

Ohrenspitzer said...

Hi Phil,

this is interesting. Yes, it would be great if you could copy this article for me. irish-bouzouki@web.de
By the way: if you have got anything interesting to be posted on this blog feel free to let me know.

Frank

philbert said...

Thanks I have sent you a very good article by my friend Graham Mc Donald I will see if I can contribute any thing worthwhile. Phill

Rory said...

I have done quite a few bouzouki conversions from guitars- all with great success & no structural issues & moderate cost. A couple of things to consider- if you convert a 6 string guit to a 4 string zouk, you have an alternative sounding 4 course instrument that is easier to pick than an 8 string.
For full 8 string bouzouki guitar- I have taken old 12 string guitars and adapted them-the resulting string tension is less than the 12 string configuration. Lastly, what I do to keep the conversion cost down is carefully re-carve the neck & fretboard to the desired width without removing it from the body. This idea does work & works well, with the proper considerations taken.
Rory
Sea to Sky Stringed Instruments

keko perera said...

Thanks for the post! here is my guitar converted. Great sound!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuSCuEpaVTg&list=UUSugDAxmUhUIVNFP1x9cWBQ

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