I worked together with guitar luthier Greg Byers on the internal and external design of this instrument. The 7th-string is a lower string and tuned to an "A" or "G" beneath the low "E"-string and has two extra frets past the nominal nut position, making a longer scale length of 729.6 mm. A sliding capo on the 7-string enables the player to stop the string on the first five frets. The 1st-string has 22 frets or a high "D." This instrument has one octave more melodic range plus an expansive harmonic/contrapuntal facility. I use this instrument for composing and transcribing in the classical music genre.
Currently, I am playing a 632mm scale built by Waylin Carpenter.
Luthier Scott Richter built this instrument. The Raga Guitar is a hybrid of an extended 7-string guitar and the Indian instrument, the sarod. There are 7 playing strings, 12 sympathetic strings, 2 chikari, and 4 jawari strings. The Raga Guitar utilizes a 5-limit just intonation fingerboard. Indian classical music has a new offspring.
Watch Matt talk about the Raga Guitar in this video clip:
Click the picture at left for a high resolution view of the Raga Guitar.
In early 2010, I had Scott Richter build a 5-limit just intonation fingerboard on a 6-string guitar built by Greg Byers. About 6 months later I decided to add two more tones to the existing fingerboard; this transition allowed my craft to transition into 7-limit J.I. In January of 2013, I was deeply moved by the auspicious quality of 11-limit J.I. and had Waylin Carpenter add four more tones to the guitar.
This instrument has: two minor seconds, two major seconds, two minor thirds, one major third, one perfect fourth, two augmented fourths, one perfect fifth, two minor sixths, one major sixth, two minor sevenths, and one major seventh. There are three Pythagorean (3-limit), eight 5-limit, three 7-limit, and three 11-limit ratios.
Here are the ratios in a strait line; "E" is the fundamental tone: 1/1, 33/32, 16/15, 11/10, 9/8, 7/6, 6/5, 5/4, 4/3, 11/8, 45/32, 3/2, 14/9, 8/5, 5/3, 7/4, 9/5, and 15/8.
The 1st string contains all of the 18-tones; the 2nd string has 15-tones (minus11/8, 11/10, 14/9); and the lower four strings are set in 7-limit J.I. with 14-tones (minus11/8, 11/10, 33/32, 14/9). Everything above the 2/1 (12th fret) is set in 12-tone 5-limit J.I.