"Decoding Fretted Instruments"


Page 1 Panel 1.

The World On A String, in the style of a secret agent gun barrel image. Text below reads, "Volume 1, number 2. CC BY-SA Ken Alleman 2019." Below that, a man resembling Desmond Llewelyn says, "Now, pay attention, Double Oh Zero."

Page 1 Panel 2.

This character, named K, presents an obect in a box to Ken. They stand in front of a door marked "K Labs." K says, "Here, we have a miniature decoder which is conveniently worn about the wrist." Ken says, "Huh."

Page 1 Panel 3.

K has mounted the object on his wrist. He points it at a banjo, which rests on an instrument stand. K says, "The decoder analyses any fretted instrument and provides a guitar-friendly readout." The device says, "The banjo. Fretted, four to six strings, finger-plucked or picked with thumbpicks, the banjo is frequently tuned to open tunings and is suited to guitarists who are accustomed to those things." Ken says, "Gee!"

Page 2 Panel 1.

Closeup of Ken. He has the device reflected in his glasses. He says, "Cool!"

Page 2 Panel 2.

Ken has the device on his own wrist now. He shines it on a ukulele. The device says, "The ukulele. A close instrument to the guitar. Chord shapes that work on the four thinnest strings on the guitar will work on a standard-tuned ukulele."

Page 2 Panel 3.

In a dramatic pose, Ken shines the device on a mandolin. The device says, "The mandolin. Shares tuning with the four thickest strings of the guitar in reverse order. Four pairs of strings, or 'courses,' each of which is treated as an individual string."

Page 2 Panel 4.

In a ridiculous over the shoulder pose, Ken shines the device on a violin. The device says, "The violin. Shares tuning with the mandolin. Strings are actuated by bowing or plucking. A fretless instrument, fret positions are implied."

Page 3 Panel 1.

First panel. Ken shines the device on an Appalachian dulcimer.

Page 3 Panel 2.

The device is starting to fizz and pop. It says, in tortured text, "Appalachian dulcimer. The Appalachian dulcimer is an instrument with strings that are tuned and fretted..." Standing behind Ken, K says, "Now, Double Oh Zero, do try to return the decoder in..."

Page 3 Panel 3.

The device has fully blown. K says, "...pristine order." End.

"The World On A String" site and contents
CC BY-SA 2023 Ken Alleman
except where indicated otherwise.