Inventing the Octave Guitar stringing system
I invented the Octave Guitar's unique stringing system to allow me to achieve my
favourite bass guitar sounds whilst still playing a guitar part on the thin strings.
The super-thick strings are set one Octave (eight notes / twelve frets) lower than on a standard Guitar. The playing techniques I have developed allow me to provide an exceptionally full solo sound for my songs using a standard guitar neck and no gadgets.
I started combining bass strings and normal acoustic guitar strings on the same instrument during the early 2000’s. By February 2004 I had permanently converted my dreadnaught acoustic to take much thicker gauge strings at the bass end. The thin strings remain at guitar guages, ranging down to a standard Bass-Guitar low E sixth string.
This development process would not have happened without Rotosound Chairman Jason How. Jason kindly personally made several unique sets of strings for me over the years which were impossible to buy in the shops. After many years I only swapped to using Newtone Strings because they didn't also have to spend their time travelling the world Chairing a big company like Jason. It was always a wonder to me that Mr How found the time to get onto the string-making machine for me, for which I'll always be grateful.
Gary Burton helped me give my first Octave Guitar a louder and higher quality sound in 2014 by filling the old pin holes and cutting a new saddle slot allowing for a proper saddle. After fine-adjusting the saddle height and intonation, the note accuracy and tonal quality became markedly better and made for greater sensitivity and dynamic range. This was two weeks before my videos at Hugo Brijs Goggin's studio. In 2017 I bought Faith Neptune guitar which allowed me to produces an even better Octave Guitar.
Brian Rodgers the Guitar Tech wizard is the last but not least person who keeps my guitars working properly. Cheers Maestro!