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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Strings and things
Tunings
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Oskar



Joined: Jul 29, 2004
Posts: 1736
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:28 am    Post subject: Tunings Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

When stuck in a rut, it's often seen as productive to change some parameters in your workflow.
My favourite tack is tuning my guitar differently. Here are some of my favourites, low to high:

Drop-D: D-A-D-G-B-E
Doubledrop-D: D-A-D-G-B-D
Dadgad: D-A-D-G-A-D
Open G: D-G-D-G-B-D
Open D: D-A-D-#F-A-D
G6: D-G-D-G-B-E
G "modal": C-G-D-G-B-E

I also have a 3/4 size cheapo Morgan electro-acoustic tuned
A-D-G-C-E-A

And my Irish Bouzouki:
G-D-A-E
or
F-C-G-D

By no means a compleat list of tunings, but I was wondering if any of our members like to fool around with other tunings, possibly combined with different playing techniques. Do Ya?

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Oskar



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Actually, I forgot to mention that when playing solo acoustic on stage, I don't really tune to concert pitch, which means I often end up somewhere between a half step and a whole step below concert.
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RF



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for listing those tunings, Oskar.

I use DADGAD and Drop D every now and then - But there are some you listed I've never tried. Something for experimenting...

My wife, on the other hand is twisting tuners all the time. I often have no idea what she's doing...but it sounds great.

bruce

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Oskar



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

RF wrote:
Thanks for listing those tunings, Oskar.

I use DADGAD and Drop D every now and then - But there are some you listed I've never tried. Something for experimenting...

My wife, on the other hand is twisting tuners all the time. I often have no idea what she's doing...but it sounds great.

bruce


She wouldn't happen to be called Joni, would she? Wink

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DrJustice



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Say, don't you have to work hard to keep track of chords and scales in all those different tunings? I understand that some use alternative tunings to make certain songs (and chords/keys?) easier to play, but I know that at this stage of learning, the idea of having the notes shift around neck is a rather scary prospect...

DJ
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Oskar



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Spot on, DrJ! That is both scary AND exhilarating, without carrying the extra risk of, say, whitewater rafting or base jumping (as in parachuting off a high cliff)! Wink
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DrJustice



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ah, just as I feared then. I suppose I'll know when I'm ready for that extra kick - a good few years down the road Very Happy

BTW, isn't this where a robot guitar might come into its own, if you have to go through several tunings during a gig?

DJ
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seraph
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have seen/heard those scary Line6 Variax guitars where you can select different tunings without changing the pitch of a single string.

arrow http://line6.com/variax/workbench.html

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DrJustice



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
I have seen/heard those scary Line6 Variax guitars where you can select different tunings without changing the pitch of a single string.

Yes, just like the VG-99 that some of us here on EM have. I find it slightly disturbing to have the string play it's 'physical' pitch, and then another pitch comes out of the speakers. I guess it will be better if you crank up the volume so you mask the direct sound of the strings, or use headphones. Again, I reckon a robot guitar would be the right tool for the job (yeah, yeah, I know it's not hardcore to not tune manually Wink )

Edit to add: please forgive me for going on about robot tuning, it's just that I think it's sort of like the move from horse and carriage to cars, or from oil lamps to light bulbs. Or perhaps I'm just utterly misguided, and it's only neat in the same way as digital watches with LED readouts were once thought to be Confused

DJ
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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

THE VG99 does offer the extra ability to slide between two different tunings with the expression pedal as well which is really neat.
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Oskar



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Standard_Tuning
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Oskar



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BobTheDog wrote:
THE VG99 does offer the extra ability to slide between two different tunings with the expression pedal as well which is really neat.


It is! I borrowed my mate's ole VG-8 - or was it VG-88? - 8-9 years ago, and i enjoyed that particular trick immensely, especially ccombined with some slide work - it allowed me to achieve as good an approximation of pedal steel as I'll ever be able to. Very Happy

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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

DrJustice wrote:
Say, don't you have to work hard to keep track of chords and scales in all those different tunings? I understand that some use alternative tunings to make certain songs (and chords/keys?) easier to play, but I know that at this stage of learning, the idea of having the notes shift around neck is a rather scary prospect...

DJ
--
As long as you are leaving behind you the idea alternative tuning is done to play more easier Smile It's the sound which it makes, its character! I often use the open D tuning on my 12 string guitar, which has the G doubled instead of the octave string, and use it to play the blues, folk songs and etnic music, like the string music from Naples, you know, mandolin, autoharp and 12 string (with a capo) to be added to the flutes, percussion and vocals. Lets dance the Tarantula Very Happy

Wout
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Oskar



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:
Lets dance the Tarantula Very Happy
Wout


Wout, I'd love to, but I've got Arachnophobia; I WILL dance the Tarantella, though! Wink

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarantella

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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The same here!
(It's the place where you can find me in the ZOO! DrJ, this is really scary Smile

BTW damn SpellCheck (Wow, what an excuse!)
More BTW That SpellCheck still doesn't recognize 'SpellCheck' Very Happy

Wout

Last edited by Wout Blommers on Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm constantly scared of having a string snap in my face or on my fingers when I'm experimenting with tunings. I've been safe so far (touch wood). Any war stories?

I have one of my gits tuned to something like E1 E1 E1 B2 B2 B2. With a slide thingy and heavy distortion I can get a pretty massive sound with that.

/Stefan

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Oskar



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antimon wrote:
I have one of my gits tuned to something like E1 E1 E1 B2 B2 B2. With a slide thingy and heavy distortion I can get a pretty massive sound with that./Stefan


Another cool thing to do in that type of tuning is exploit the inherent drone possibilities, sounding like a Norwegian "Langeleik" and "Hardanger Fiddle" or the Finnish "Kantele" - or maybe even a zither or an autoharp thingy.

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BobTheDog



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

There is a strange patch on the VG99 called "All E Moving" which has two guitars both with all strings tuned to E. Each guitar has some strings Es at different octaves. The second guitar is then switched between its tuning and the other guitars tuning using an LFO, this creates a strange echo type effect.

It isn't that easy to actually play as there is also echo on the FX rack and it gets a little confusing to my poor brain, I have included a mp3 so you can hear what it is like, just me fingerpicking on one guitar and some naff drums.

Scuse the timing I blame the echo!

Andy


AllE.mp3
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DrJustice



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:58 pm    Post subject:
Subject description: Harmonic tuning
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I'm having fun with this tuning right now:
E2 E3 B3 E4 G#4 B4
It's the closest you can get to a harmonic series using only semitone steps in the VG-99.

I use a sound that has little overtones and I tweak the levels of each string to give a good playable spectrum. I'm playing barres to move the fundamental and modulate the timbre by picking/struming the upper strings in various ways, with or without the fundamental. Also trying some additional fingering to remove and double the highest harmonics. That's some kind of Interactive additive synthesis then... Probably nothing new, but it's my first foray into alternative tunings Smile

I take my chances and include a sound example. Nothing fancy - please excuse the lowly playing Embarassed

DJ
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harmonic_tuning.mp3
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Harmonic riffing in tuning E2 E3 B3 E4 G#4 B4

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