Ten-string guitar

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A classical ten-string guitar JME ten string guitar.jpg
A classical ten-string guitar

There are many varieties of ten-string guitar , including:


Uncoursed ten-stringed guitars

Yepes' ten-string guitar

The extended-range classical guitar is a classical guitar with additional strings, normally extra bass strings past the bass E string, that are available on the fingerboard.

Many configurations have been produced, but the ten-string classical guitar received a particular boost [1] in 1964, when Narciso Yepes performed the Concierto de Aranjuez with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, using a ten-string guitar invented by Yepes in collaboration with José Ramírez III, with a specific tuning designed to supply sympathetic string resonance to all twelve notes of the chromatic scale, in unison with any note played on the treble strings. This was significant for two reasons:

The use of the ten-string classical guitar is similar to that of the harp guitar:[ citation needed ]

Unlike the harp guitar, the extended-range classical guitar has a single neck and allows all strings to be fretted.

While the six-string classical guitar remains the standard and most common instrument, since 1963 ten-string guitars in similar configuration to the original Ramírez have been adopted by many classical guitarists and produced by several first-class luthiers, using both Yepes' original tuning and others.

In January, 2009, Gadotti Guitars announced the 10 String Nylon King Electric, a solid body, nylon-stringed ten-string guitar, suitable for both Yepes and other tunings such as the Baroque. [2]

A ten-string jazz guitar by Mike Shishkov, based on the ten-string extended-range classical guitar, was demonstrated at the 3rd International Ten String Guitar Festival in October 2008. [ citation needed ]

Ten String Electric Guitar

These guitars are either custom-made or they are produced in small quantities due to the very small market they're intended for. Most of these instruments are tuned like nine string guitars with either an extra High A string or an extra Low G# string.

Ten string Agile Pendulum Extended-Range guitar. 10 String Djent Guitar.jpg
Ten string Agile Pendulum Extended-Range guitar.

In 2012, a new 10 string guitar started production by Rondo music. This extended range instrument is tuned in G# ,C#, F#, B, E, A, D, G, B, E. To accommodate the lower strings, the guitar is multiscale and uses wide soapbar humbucking pickups. One of these guitars was used jokingly in Andrew Baena's "If [whatever metal band] tuned down" videos. It is qualified as hard to use due to the wideness of the neck.

Five- and six-coursed guitars with ten strings

Baroque guitar

The baroque guitar is one of the earliest instruments considered a guitar, and the first to have significant surviving repertoire.

Surviving baroque guitars have (or originally had) nine or ten strings, in five courses. [3] [4] Stradivarius guitars (of which two, the Hill (1688) and Rawlins (1700) survive complete, plus a neck and several other fragments) all had ten strings in five courses. [5]

English guitar

The English guitar is a type of cittern that was particularly popular in Europe from around 1750–1850. The English guitar has a pear-shaped body, a flat base, and a short neck. Its distinguishing feature is that it has ten strings in six courses, of which the highest eight are paired in four courses (duplicated strings) with the two lowest strings in two separate courses. This is the same stringing as was later used for the B.C. Rich Bich 10 Guitar, although the traditional tuning for the English guitar is a repetitive open C tuning (C E GG cc ee gg).

Viola guitar

Viola guitar Brazilian 10 String Viola.jpg
Viola guitar

The viola guitar is a guitar with ten light steel strings in five courses, played with the fingers rather than with a plectrum. It is particularly prevalent in the folk music of Brazil, where it's called "viola caipira" (country guitar) or simply "viola." The viola braguesa and viola amarantina are other types of ten-string Portuguese folk guitars, [6] which are possibly predecessors of the Brazilian instrument.

Bich 10

The initial B.C. Rich Bich design is a six-course instrument, with four two-string courses. The top E and B strings are strung as unison pairs, and the G and D strings as pairs with a principal and octave string, in the manner of the top four courses of a twelve-string guitar. The A and lower E strings are single-string courses. This unusual stringing was said to obtain the brightness of the twelve-string guitar, while allowing higher levels of distortion before the sound became muddy.

The Bich had a conventional six-string headstock for the six principal strings. The four additional strings are tuned by machine heads positioned in the body, past the tailpiece, with a large angled notch allowing access to the tuners. This radical body shape also countered the common tendency of coursed electric guitars to be head-heavy due to the weight of the extra machine heads.

The design was moderately successful, but many players bought it for the body shape alone, and removed the extra strings. B.C. Rich eventually released six-string guitars with the Bich body shape. All Bich variants are hardtail guitars with through body necks and two humbucking pickups.

Guitar-like instruments with ten strings

Vihuela de mano ViolaDaMano Raimondi c1510.jpg
Vihuela de mano

Close relatives of the guitar with ten strings include:

Ten-string Chapman Stick 10 string Chapman Stick.jpg
Ten-string Chapman Stick

See also

Related Research Articles

Classical guitar member of the guitar family used in classical music

The classical guitar is a member of the guitar family used in classical music. An acoustic wooden string instrument with strings made of gut or nylon, it is a precursor of the modern acoustic and electric guitars, both of which use metal strings. Classical guitars are derived from the Spanish vihuela and gittern in the fifteenth and sixteenth century, which later evolved into the seventeenth and eighteenth-century Baroque guitar and later the modern classical guitar in the mid-nineteenth century.

Cello Bowed string musical instrument

The cello ( CHEL-oh; plural celli or cellos) or violoncello ( VY-ə-lən-CHEL-oh; Italian pronunciation: [vjolonˈtʃɛllo]) is a bowed (and occasionally plucked) string instrument of the violin family. Its four strings are usually tuned in perfect fifths: from low to high, C2, G2, D3 and A3. The viola's four strings are each an octave higher. Music for the cello is generally written in the bass clef, with tenor clef and treble clef used for higher-range passages.

Guitar Fretted string instrument

The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that typically has six strings. It is held flat against the player's body and played by strumming or plucking the strings with the dominant hand, while simultaneously pressing the strings against frets with the fingers of the opposite hand. A plectrum or individual finger picks may be used to strike the strings. The sound of the guitar is projected either acoustically, by means of a resonant chamber on the instrument, or amplified by an electronic pickup and an amplifier.

Mandolin Musical instrument in the lute family

A mandolin is a stringed musical instrument in the lute family and is generally plucked with a plectrum. It most commonly has four courses of doubled metal strings tuned in unison, thus giving a total of 8 strings, although five and six course versions also exist. The courses are typically tuned in an interval of perfect fifths, with the same tuning as a violin. Also like the violin, it is the soprano member of a family that includes the mandola, octave mandolin, mandocello and mandobass.

Twelve-string guitar

A twelve-string guitar is a steel-string guitar with 12 strings in six courses, which produces a thicker, more ringing tone than a standard six-string guitar. Typically, the strings of the lower four courses are tuned in octaves, with those of the upper two courses tuned in unison. The gap between the strings within each dual-string course is narrow, and the strings of each course are fretted and plucked as a single unit. The neck is wider, to accommodate the extra strings, and is similar to the width of a classical guitar neck. The sound, particularly on acoustic instruments, is fuller and more harmonically resonant than six-string instruments.

Sympathetic string

Sympathetic strings or resonance strings are auxiliary strings found on many Indian musical instruments, as well as some Western Baroque instruments and a variety of folk instruments. They are typically not played directly by the performer, only indirectly through the tones that are played on the main strings, based on the principle of sympathetic resonance. The resonance is most often heard when the fundamental frequency of the string is in unison or an octave lower or higher than the catalyst note, although it can occur for other intervals, such as a fifth, with less effect.

Seven-string guitar

The seven-string guitar adds one additional string to the more common six-string guitar, commonly used to extend the bass range or also to extend the treble range.

B.C. Rich American brand of acoustic and electric guitars and bass guitars

B.C. Rich is an American brand of acoustic and electric guitars and bass guitars founded by Bernardo Chavez Rico in 1969.

Russian guitar

The Russian guitar (sometimes referred to as a "Gypsy guitar") is an acoustic seven-string guitar that was developed in Russia toward the end of the 18th century: it shares most of its organological features with the Spanish guitar, although some historians insist on English guitar ascendancy. It is known in Russian as the semistrunnaya gitara (семиструнная гитара), or affectionately as the semistrunka (семиструнка), which translates to "seven-stringer". These guitars are most commonly tuned to an open G chord as follows: D2 G2 B2 D3 G3 B3 D4. In classical literature, the lowest string (D) occasionally is tuned down to the C.

Course (music)

A course, on a stringed musical instrument, is either one string or two or more adjacent strings that are closely spaced relative to the other strings, and typically played as a single string. The strings in each multiple-string course are typically tuned in unison or an octave.

An extended-range bass is an electric bass guitar with a wider frequency range than a standard-tuned four-string bass guitar.

Outline of guitars Overview of and topical guide to guitars

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to guitars:

The scale length of a string instrument is the maximum vibrating length of the strings that produce sound, and determines the range of tones that string can produce at a given tension. It is also called string length. On instruments in which strings are not "stopped" or divided in length it is the actual length of string between the nut and the bridge.

Classical guitar with additional strings

A classical guitar with additional strings is a nylon-string or gut-string classical guitar with more than six strings, in which the additional strings pass over a fingerboard so that they may be "stopped" or fretted with the fingers. These are also known as extended-range guitars, and should not be confused with harp guitars.

Acoustic guitar Musical Instrument in the guitar family

An acoustic guitar is a musical instrument in the guitar family. Its strings vibrate a sound board on a resonant body to project a sound wave through the air. The original, general term for this stringed instrument is guitar, and the retronym 'acoustic guitar' distinguishes it from an electric guitar, which relies on electronic amplification. Typically, a guitar's body is a sound box, of which the top side serves as a sound board that enhances the vibration sounds of the strings. In standard tuning the guitar's six strings are tuned (low to high) E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4.

Reentrant tuning

On a stringed instrument, a break in an otherwise ascending order of string pitches is known as a re-entry. A re-entrant tuning, therefore, is a tuning where the strings are not all ordered from the lowest pitch to the highest pitch.

Bass guitar tuning

Each bass guitar tuning assigns pitches to the strings of an electric bass. Because pitches are associated with notes, bass-guitar tunings assign open notes to open strings. There are several techniques for accurately tuning the strings of an electric bass. Bass method or lesson books or videos introduce one or more tuning techniques, such as:

Ten-string classical guitar of Yepes

The ten string extended-range classical guitar, with fully chromatic, sympathetic string resonance was conceived in 1963 by Narciso Yepes, and constructed by José Ramírez [III]. This instrument is sometimes referred to as the "modern" 10-string guitar to differentiate it from ten-stringed harp guitars of the 19th century.

Guitarrón chileno

The Guitarrón Chileno is a guitar-shaped plucked string instrument from Chile, with 25 or 24 (rarely) strings. Its primary contemporary use is as the instrumental accompaniment for the traditional Chilean genre of singing poetry known as Canto a lo Poeta, though a few virtuosi have also begun to develop the instrument's solo possibilities.


  1. Ramirez III, José (1994). "The Ten String Guitar". Things about the Guitar. Bold Strummer: Soneto. pp. 137–141. ISBN   8487969402.
  2. "Gadotti: The 10-string King Nylon Electric". Premier Guitar. 9 April 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  3. Guitar, late 17th century at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)
  4. Guitar, 1697 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  5. Stradivarius#Guitars
  6. See Lark in the Morning