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Godin Glissentar Response
Hello folks.....One of you asked about the new Godin Glissentar, that was
introduced at Namm. I thought I'd respond, since I am familiar with the
instrument. I was pleased to have had an opportunity at Namm, to try
the prototype. Delivery has not begun on these models, yet, I am told. I
picked up the catalog at Namm, and I'm certain Robert Godin wouldn't mind
forwarding a copy of the page on the Glissentar to your attention, if you
would like it. It's an rtf file and may take considerable time to
So, I'll only forward it on request. Robert Godin is quite excited about
this new product which he has designed, personally.
This is a very unique instrument, a fretless 11 string. Nylon strings are
tuned in standard guitar tuning... unison for the first five pairs, and
sixth string is a single low E string. The instrument takes a little time
(not much) to get used to it. Sort of sounds like a fretless nylon string
with a sitar-like flair to it. It's great for World Beat / World Rhythm /
New World music where you want to have a specialty East / West sound in
mixes. Personally, I believe it's more well suited to single note melody
improvisation, than it is for chording....but, that may be only because I
didn't have enough time to "mess with it at the show!" Also, I've not had
much experience with a fretless anything...so, that alone was new to me.
>From the 2000 Godin Catalog:
More than ever before, musicians are mixing sounds and musical styles from
all over the world. This often involves the mixing of Eastern and Western
music, such as using a Sitar in a Western musical setting or using western
instruments to imitate the sounds in Eastern music.
The Glissentar was inspired by a similar desire to mix elements of East
West, but in this case, in the instrument itself. In a nutshell, it's an
eleven string, fretless, acoustic/electric instrument, strung with nylon
strings and tuned to standard guitar tuning.
The Western part of the equation is easy to recognize as a variation on
guitar. All of the instrument's basic dimensions -- scale length, body
and depth, fingerboard radius and string height -- are fairly standard for
The Eastern influence in the Glissentar comes from the Oud, an ancestor of
the Mandolin that dates back to the seventh century. The Oud is also an
eleven string fretless instrument and is still in use today, primarily in
Armenia and Egypt.
Adapting to this new instrument is actually a great deal easier than it
appears. The shape and scale of the neck and the easily visible side
markers help to give the Glissentar a very familiar feel.
The Glissentar opens the door to microtonal playing as well as some
incredible and unique new sounds for adventurous guitar players.
I've got one on order.....think it will prove to be very interesting in
studio and on stage. It's a specialty instrument, and a real cool
for the player that already has one of each of everything else in his /
toolbox. It should prove to be a nice addition to the arsenal. I'm
about it, because I believe it will open some new opportunities to me
personally, as regards my "world rumba flamenca / jazzamenco" music. I'm
certain new tunes will be written around this instrument, too.
Robert Godin, goes out of his way to create new and innovative guitar
concepts, and I've been very impressed with the new Classical (12 fret
Multiac, and the LGX-SA. Good quality for the money, and great tone, too!
I've visited their plant in Canada, as I am one of the firms artist
endorsees. The folks up there are great, as are the products and support.
They are now one of the largest suppliers / manufacturers of stringed
instruments in North America. They build a lot of guitars...and good ones
Trusting I've provided you with some insight as regards the Glissentar, I
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Regards, Wayne Wesley Johnson
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