What guitar features and construction would be best for an Oud-like timbre?

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Bobro, Oct 3, 2018.

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  1. Bobro

    Bobro SS.org Regular

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    Maybe doesn't belong here in luthiery, but I think guitar builders would be most likely to have good answers:

    My new band just got a new lead guitarist (I just play rhythm); he brought his Turkish Oud yesterday (fretless, so no problem with playing my very alternative medieval Persian tuning system- my Strat copy has a neck fretted to this tuning). He has a good contact pickup fitted to the Oud, so no problem with volume at any volumes. But in the future, I'd rather have him playing electric guitar as well. So I'm wondering, what guitar features do you guys think would most facilitate an Oud-like timbre? if you're familar with that deep husky voice of the Oud...

    The Oud does not have a long scale, but I'm thinking a baritone electric guitar might be good for a similar kind of depth and roundness to the sound. And humbuckers, I would think- single coils tend to be more plinky Saz-like than throaty heavy Oud-like. I know it's an odd question, but there you go! Our band is pretty much ethno (Balkan) and Medieval music Prog, closer to Jethro Tull than to Dream Theater kind of prog metal, but with more modern heavy drumming, and now with a shredding lead guitarist, some shredding. We have yet to see how audiences react to virtuoso Balkan accordian in a proggy folk-metal kind of setting, but I think fans of Arkona (Russian folk metal) and Belphegor (Austrian medieval-metal) will dig us a lot.
     
  2. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Sounds very interesting! A few of us here would love to hear in detail about your tuning :)

    I would be looking at a semihollow baritone, perhaps Fender Telecaster or Jaguar style electronics. I love that style of guitar in baritone, semihollow would be the icing on the cake.
    I'd say you're still a long way from sounding like an Oud at that point, but it should be quite suitable.

    However, have you considered nylon piezo? It would take away the ability to sound like a normal electric guitar, but I'd say a classical guitar sounds closest to oud - so an electric emulating classical (nylon piezo) would be a good shout.
     
  3. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    How about a... fretless HH guitar with piezos and/or MIDI capability? This for a 6 stringer, for a 7 stringer, the same setting less the MIDI thing. As for the Neck pickup, how about a sustainer? Sustainer and fretless guitars are a match made in the dark side of the universe...

    For sure this can't be found in any shop, so go for a medium quality fixed bridge guitar (trems and fretless are kind of pointless) like an old MIJ Ibanez (late 90's, early 00's) and mod it accordingly. Flatwouns strings are a must for untreated fingerboards or a mellower tone...

    Here's a sample of what it can do:

     
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  4. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Keep using the oud. That's got to look awesome on stage. And then when people hear that sound they know exactly where it is coming from.

    If you want him to also have an electric guitar for electric guitar bits, get him one of those too. Nobody said you can't switch back and forth.
     
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  5. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire despair ahead

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    prob a nylon string guitar or else a piezo system on an electric. the other easier option is using an acoustic simulator with the electric.
     
  6. Bobro

    Bobro SS.org Regular

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    Well, that has to happen anyway for quite a while due to financial considerations. And switching back and forth is a great idea for the future. We have yet to see how many gigs will be more in the ethno kind of field, and how many will be more Rock. All five of us have serious CVs and experience and contacts in the more acoustic/ethno/historical side of things, and we're all music instructors as well. And all parents, so it's technically a "Dad and Mom Band", lol. Well, it's 2018 and rock audiences have a huge age spectrum. In this part of the world at least, teens are not ashamed to go to a rock concert with their parents, though they generally don't do as much booze and drugs as their parents. :-D And bands have a huge age spectrum, too.
     

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