Early Guitars and Vihuela

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I am experimenting with different stringing approaches. I read Monica's paper on stringing and tuning and it is very helpful (thank you!). But I still have a few questions.

My guitar came to me with strings/tuned thusly:










I'm experimenting with a low A string. My question is this... do I put it so it is the lowest string, or do I place one string in (next to the D). And if I do that, do I then want the 4th course also with the lowest D close to the A (it is currently closer to the g string).

e              or should it be this ->       e

b                                                       b

b                                                       b

g                                                       g

g                                                       g

D                                                       d

d                                                       D

a                                                        a

A                                                       A

Also when putting on a low A string, should it be knotted or looped around the bridge? I looped it... took a little coaxing but wasn't overly difficult.

Sorry if these are newbie questions... I am a newbie. I very much appreciate all the good info I get from this site. Thank you!

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If I were you I would put the lower A and lower D both on the same side, because there will be a small difference in the sound depending if the lower (sounding) string is on one side or the other :-)

Personally I prefer having the lower string on the bass side, so, identical to your second example. 

I agree with Jelma that one should do the same on both basses. I think that it very much depends on what one is playing. Sanz said something like " ...in stringing there is variety..." which suggests we could do whatever we liked but I think composers' preferences may be discerned from the music... The lute seems to have  always placed the octave below the bass so the thick string is struck first by the thumb. On the guitar, some music clearly uses campanelas (like Santiago de Murcia's) and, for that purpose, it is necessary to play strings individually, which gave rise to the custom on guitars of placing the octave string above the bass to make it easily playable with the thumb. I also think Santiago used bass d and A but that is a big discussion.

Thank you, Jelma and Ken.

I ended up moving the bass strings so they are both on the bass side. It sounds right for the particular set of dances I am working on. I had to enlarge the size of the holes ever so slightly on the bridge and the tuning pegs. So I enlarged both "a" string holes so I can put the "A" bass on either side. I'm in good shape now. 

I have a little experience with campanela, so I understand how that works, and previously had by "D" bass on the treble side for that reason.

Thank you! 


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