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Author Topic: M. Lipscomb question  (Read 1741 times)

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M. Lipscomb question
« on: January 25, 2006, 05:35:05 AM »

I've been watching the footage of Mance Lipscomb on the Legends of Country Blues Guitar vol 1 and I think it looks like Mance was using almost some kind of "Nashville"-type setup on his guitar. Looks like the top four or three strings are unwound. Can anyone shed some light on this? Is there anything special with this or is he just using very light guage stings and might this be one of the keys to playing the monotonic base style?

Thanks for any info

Offline waxwing

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Re: M. Lipscomb question
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2006, 06:20:38 AM »
I don't have the video available at the moment, but an unwound 3rd string was commonly used by players in the prewar era. Do a search here for unwound third (or 3rd) and you should find a whole thread devoted to the discussion. Also, in John Miller's review of the Furry Lewis/Bukka White CD he mentions them complaining that the guitar supplied for the recording party does not have an unwound 3rd.

I never heard of this called a "Nashville" set-up.

Monotonic bass just refers to the bass staying on one string and not alternating.

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
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  • Guest
Re: M. Lipscomb question
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2006, 08:37:34 AM »
Yeah, what I think it really boils down to is that he seems to be using really skinny strings. I'd have thought that it would be better to use kinda heavy strings so you can really thump away on that low E string.

I should have expressed myself more clearly. The question might be "Maybe using skinny strings
could be a way of getting closer to copying the sound of the monotonic bass?"

The "nashville tuning/setup", according to Guitartips: Although I find it hard to believe that a country blues player would go through the hassle of doing that.

But that fourth string still looks unwound to my eyes  :)
« Last Edit: January 25, 2006, 08:45:30 AM by Clawhead »

Offline a2tom

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Re: M. Lipscomb question
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2006, 11:18:26 AM »
that's a weird string set in that link.  Can't imagine Mance was using teenie strings on his bass.  But I've been wrong before, and will be wronger still...


Offline Johnm

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Re: M. Lipscomb question
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2006, 04:36:19 PM »
Hi all,
Mance may have preferred a slightly buzzy sound in the bass.  In any event, in choosing to use an unwound or plain G string he conforms to the preference of players of his generation.  If you watch carefully through that video, virtually all the players are using unwound third strings.
All best,


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