sgraham924 wrote:Anyone else think that the 10 string might eventually replace the modern guitar as we know it since you can still play 6 string stuff on it, it sounds better, and you can do more with it?
Yes and No.
Because both will continue alongside each other just as grand pianos and upright pianos do, serving different functions. If that sounds a bit condescending, rather, consider that both the grand piano and the 10-string guitar feature extended tonal range, extended dynamic range, and timbral/colourisric properties not heard in the others. However, what we will see is that more and more of the serious concert artists start adopting 10-string guitars, especially recording artists and those who perform big auditorium recitals with large and varied programmes, because it gives more sustain, and because it really extends the repertoire to include most of the lute works (not just the odd popular piece here and there), as well as multi-string guitar music of the 19th century and great modern works. That is, the serious concert artist will accept it once the instrument is better understood for its true nature and rescued from the gimmicky treatment it has suffered in recent years at the hands of certain amateur enthusiasts who adopted it for the wrong reasons, knowing next to nothing about it, let alone about musicological issues like period performance practice of baroque music. If that happens, if there are musicologically well-informed performance editions and method books, and if it is understood that the 10-string guitar is to the 6-string guitar as the modern piano WITH PEDAL is to the old piano without pedal, then we might even see it replacing the 6-string guitar in serious performance contexts just as the pedal of the modern piano became de rigeur despite the added technical difficulties it brings.
Also, the 10-string guitar (while it has the benefits and potential you mention) will only be widely accepted and make real progress once it is understood and accepted that it has a standard tuning, which is based in the science of acoustics and also based in musico-technical reasons. I mean to say it will only make real progress when there are foundations to build on: once all new compositions, transcriptions, exercises and literature on the instrument is built upon those foundations, rather than having those foundations constantly kicked over and rebuilt from scratch for some other idea about how to string up the instrument that is acoustically and musico-technically inferior to the original design. Instruments like the piano, violin family or orchestral wind instruments have thrived because they have been more or less standardized for centuries. There is never an issue that a composition, transcription or pedagogical work for the violin is only good for some violins but incompatible with others. By comparison, instruments like Carulli's "decacorde" never took off because the standard guitar repertoire could not be played on it due to the displacement of the 6th (E) string to the 8th string position. By the same token instruments of the lute family, which had no standardized tuning/stringing system and a constantly changing number of strings, died out after their brief popularity in the Renaissance and baroque periods, to have no continuous, living tradition or living repertoire, only to be resurrected centuries later because of the historical performance movement of the late 20th century. The 10-string guitar will go the same way, as a "museum" instrument, for historical performance of music by Ohana, as long as disparate and incompatible camps continue to tear it apart, and as long as guitarists are drawn into the fallacy that there is not a standard tuning, but instead a so-called "Yepes" or "Modern" tuning as well as "Romantic" or so-called "baroque" tuning, not to mention the others. The fact is very simple: these ideas come not from a deep musicological/acoustic/performance scholarship as Yepes's original concept did, but out of a context of dearth, out of NOT having the facts, not knowing how to play the instrument, because unfortunately Yepes did not publish a method book. Left to their own devices, well-intentioned but ill-informed devotees of the 10-string guitar have turned the wheel into a square. This is not progress.
The 10-string guitar has INCREDIBLE potential (if we build on Yepes's sound foundations), but it needs to be rescued or it will amount to nothing but an amateurish gimmick, or as a musical crutch to prop up a feeble technique so as to be able to play "difficult" bass notes more easily on open strings, but often with harmonically or stylistically destructive consequences.