: Hey Ari, and all you folks,
: I ukulele, daily, but I've been secretly
: woodshedding with six strings since
: September. I bought a National Delphi Deluxe
: (vintage steel finish) in November. I was
: renting a Guild for awhile, but I took it
: back because of bad fret ruts. So my
: experience with wood bodied guitars is
: I have questions about damping the strings
: with my right palm on the Delphi. I notice
: that the low E (sixth) string doesn't
: 'bellow' out as loud as it would on a wooden
: guitar. Am I right on that score? Are wooden
: bodies inherently a lot 'heavier' and louder
: on their bottom strings? Is this due to the
: standard National cone being engineered to
: produce a louder treble response at the sake
: of a softer bass end response?
: Anyway, as a consequence, I've learned to
: not dampen the sixth string much, if at all.
: Otherwise, I can't hear the bass notes off
: that string as much as I'd like. (I must
: admit, I like a big bottom end!) The A
: (fifth), and the D (fourth)strings require
: more damping, otherwise, they will, indeed,
: overpower the treble notes. Which leads me
: to my next questions.
: I get a bit of a buzz off the D string when
: it's dampened, especially when I play with a
: thumbpick. I suspect that this is because
: the handrest biscuit cover won't allow me to
: dampen that string as close to the biscuit
: saddle as I'd like to be.
: The reason I mention this is because I saw a
: You Tube video embedded on the National
: website of Mike Dowling demonstrating the
: 'Hotplate' pickup system available for
: single cone Nationals. Mike discusses his
: penchant of taking the hand rest biscuit
: cover off for playing his El Trovador.
: (Don't worry! He puts it back on for storage
: and transport.) He states he does this for
: muting purposes with his right hand. Does
: anybody else do this, and remove the biscuit
: cover to play? How about you, Ari?
: If this is logically sound, am I right in
: presuming that the buzz I hear on that D
: string might likely disappear if I took the
: hand cover off to allow me to dampen the
: strings right at the saddle on the biscuit?
: This idea is a little scary! I once crushed
: a cone on one of my National ukuleles, so I
: know too well just how fragile the cone is.
: I guess I would like to hear input as to
: whether it is worthwhile to take the cover
: off. Do I need to start shopping around for
: the right size Allen key for that cover.
: (Imagine dropping one of the itty bitty
: screws! Tricky wicky wacky woe!)
: One final issue that's puzzles me a bit is
: Ari's use of a lowered tuning (every string
: down a whole step). I saw you discussing
: this on a You Tube video on The Guitar
: Workshop's You Tube channel. You mention,
: Ari, that, in order to do this, you had to
: get the action raised. I presume this mainly
: entailed installing a taller saddle on the
: biscuit? Did it also entail replacing the
: nut, so as to raise everything a bit at that
: end, too?
: (One of these days, Ari, I will buy your
: Blind Boy Fuller lesson. I am anxiously
: awaiting the release of your imminent Blind
: Blake lesson. too. So, I'll likely order
: both at the same time. I'm currently working
: on three Blake songs. But, I digress.)
: Anyway, that's all, folks! Cheers, Jimmy