Topic: Multi-Scale Guitars

As I've been watching a lot of fingerstyle guitarists and tutorials in recent weeks, I've noticed that a number of them use multi-scale guitars. This is most common with those using DADGAD tunings, or other such lower pitched alternate tunings. The claims are that multi-scales are more ergonomic / comfortable, offer exact intonation on every string, and produce better sounding low-tuned strings due to higher tension levels:

http://galloup.peak-staff.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/fan-fret.jpg

They're sometimes referred to as "fan fret guitars", which is really just a visual description. The more common scale length seems to be 27" > 25", but there are also more extreme variations. I'm wondering if anyone on Chordie owns / plays one, and what's thought of them?

ACOUSTICS:  Cordoba D10-CE / LaPatrie "Concert" / Takamine GD30CE-12 / Norman ST30
ELECTRICS:  EP Les Paul Custom Pro / Gretsch Streamliner G2420T
AMPS:  Traynor YCS50 / Peavey VK212 / Traynor AM150T
EFFECTS: Boss ME-80 Multi-effects / Ibanez WD7 wah

Re: Multi-Scale Guitars

I have never seen one,but I hopesomeone here can talk about them they look interesting.

my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman

Re: Multi-Scale Guitars

Actually the term multi-scale has been trademarked..... but then for all I know so has fan-fret..... the more common is Baritone Guitar.  Long scale and the unusual fret angles do a lot in keeping the intonation correct for all the strings at any given tuning.  The perpendicular fret is usually around 7 with scales extending up to 30".  Heavier strings and a more bracing, and sometimes 7+ strings.  The more common tuning is perfect 4th at BEADF#B although there is no "standard tuning" for the Baritone Guitar.

Several manufacturers make them although finding one hanging on the wall of your local music store is rare.  I've only seen a couple, handled one Breedlove..... and with the unusual tuning couldn't get my brain around fingering even the most basic chords.  I need a lot more studying of the notes on the fretboard and chord building with inversions before I would consider owning one..... but I will say in the hands of the likes of Don Ross or Andy McKee they do sing!

"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

Re: Multi-Scale Guitars

Doug_Smith wrote:

Actually the term multi-scale has been trademarked..... but then for all I know so has fan-fret..... the more common is Baritone Guitar.  Long scale and the unusual fret angles do a lot in keeping the intonation correct for all the strings at any given tuning.  The perpendicular fret is usually around 7 with scales extending up to 30".  Heavier strings and a more bracing, and sometimes 7+ strings.  The more common tuning is perfect 4th at BEADF#B although there is no "standard tuning" for the Baritone Guitar.

Several manufacturers make them although finding one hanging on the wall of your local music store is rare.  I've only seen a couple, handled one Breedlove..... and with the unusual tuning couldn't get my brain around fingering even the most basic chords.  I need a lot more studying of the notes on the fretboard and chord building with inversions before I would consider owning one..... but I will say in the hands of the likes of Don Ross or Andy McKee they do sing!

Thanks for the info Doug.

my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman

5 (edited by Tenement Funster 2016-02-16 11:36:48)

Re: Multi-Scale Guitars

That's great info, Doug ... many thanks! Don't know if I'll run right and get one, but it's all good to know. I can't recall ever seeing one at a shop, so it's difficult to try one out. RONDO sells one for $400, and that may be the only way ... but it would be an expensive trial if it didn't work out:

http://www.rondomusic.com/renaissance6xeqsb.html

http://www.rondomusic.com/photos/acoustic/renaissance6xeqna1.jpg

ACOUSTICS:  Cordoba D10-CE / LaPatrie "Concert" / Takamine GD30CE-12 / Norman ST30
ELECTRICS:  EP Les Paul Custom Pro / Gretsch Streamliner G2420T
AMPS:  Traynor YCS50 / Peavey VK212 / Traynor AM150T
EFFECTS: Boss ME-80 Multi-effects / Ibanez WD7 wah

Re: Multi-Scale Guitars

hmmm, never heard of it.  I will say, it has a very interesting look!  It also clearly means someone would likely have to work pretty hard at retraining muscle memory to play it!  Wowzers!

Art and beauty are in the eyes of the beholder.
What constitutes excellent music is in the ears of the listener.

Re: Multi-Scale Guitars

you could always stick a dot on the 3rd, 5th etc... that's what I would do smile

"Growing old is not for sissies"

Re: Multi-Scale Guitars

Of the many things in the world I have no intention of paying for, those can be added to the list.

"If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome!" - Mekidsmom

Official recipient of B chord amnesty.

Re: Multi-Scale Guitars

As usual, I agree with Zurf.

10 (edited by Tenement Funster 2016-02-18 11:06:30)

Re: Multi-Scale Guitars

Just for a bit more perspective, here's an explanation and demonstration (following video) of a multi-scale guitar by virtuoso Andy McKee. The broken string gave the opportunity to talk about it, while he replaced a broken string on the fly. Multi-scales are commonly used by finger-stylists Don Ross, Spencer Elliott, Pierre Bensusan, Antoine Dufour ... to name only a few:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQX-WgT0ACQ

I'm lazy. I don't intend to stop playing a standard guitar, but am intrigued by the DADGAD tuning, which a multi-scale is much better suited for. Instead of tuning and re-tuning, I'd like to have a guitar set up for DADGAD so I can pick it up, practice, and put down when frustrated. It'll be a challenge, but for me that's a part of the musical journey that makes it so absorbing.

ACOUSTICS:  Cordoba D10-CE / LaPatrie "Concert" / Takamine GD30CE-12 / Norman ST30
ELECTRICS:  EP Les Paul Custom Pro / Gretsch Streamliner G2420T
AMPS:  Traynor YCS50 / Peavey VK212 / Traynor AM150T
EFFECTS: Boss ME-80 Multi-effects / Ibanez WD7 wah