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Guitar tunings


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#1 Jason Panella

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 12:07 AM

I'd always been a standard tuning guy (EADGBe). Aside from drop-D (DADGBe), anything else was just too hard for me to learn. Weird tunings take time, man...time I could've been using to rock.

But, in a coffee-and-white russian-fueled night, I stayed up 'til 4 a.m. searching message board before I finally uncovered for what I was digging--how Eric Bachmann (Archers of Loaf, Crooked Fingers) tuned his guitars. I saw the phrase "banjo-like tunings" pop up more than once. So I did some more searching, learned that DADGAD was a banjo-like tuning, and went to town.

And it opened a new world to me. I've had my guitar this way for a month and I've been pulling some great stuff out of it. I figured a few Crooked Fingers songs out in one night (something I had tried for months to no avail in standard tuning). It's fun, since you can pull off droning notes like crazy.

Guitarists, bassists, violinists and all other string players--are there any alternate tunings you like?

#2 Holy Moly!

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 02:58 AM

laura veirs told me when i tried to play the banjo: DGAD for ghostly, DF#AD for happy. it works on guitar too. take that G in the DADGAD down to an F# and you get a nice open D. I have a lot of fun with this. most of the Thanksgiving album "Welcome Nowhere" is in this tuning

#3 draper

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 01:02 AM

A recent obsession of mine is DADAAD. It is a misunderstanding of DADGAD by Dave Wakeling of the(English) Beat and is what he used for Save It For Later.
I spent some time this year revisiting Lowell George, he used A ( EAEAC#E)

#4 Jason Panella

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Posted 23 December 2007 - 01:53 AM

All of this talk of tuning has heightened my wish to get a tenor guitar. I think they're cool, especially since I've been listening to a band (Idaho) that uses them almost exclusively. The tenor guitar community seems to actively encourage weird tunings, all of the time.

Oh, and mumbleypeg--those tunings are cool. I'm going to have to play with DADAAD.

Edited by Jason Panella, 23 December 2007 - 01:54 AM.


#5 Persona

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 02:10 PM

Are there alternative tunings for a baritone guitar? I believe the standard is BEADGB.

-s.

#6 Jason Panella

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 04:10 PM

I'm sure there are; a baritone is tuned a fifth down from standard EADGBE tuning. You can probably do lots of open tunings that take advantage of the lower register of that instrument.

#7 John Drew

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 02:46 PM

I am by no means a competent guitar player, but I have dabbled in alternate tunings, trying to learn some tunes by my favorite composer/musician, guitar virtuoso Michael Hedges. Aside from barely ever using the standard E2A2D3G3B3E4 tuning (I can only find 2 compositions where he used this tuning), his unique approach to playing the guitar was just astounding. It never felt like he was showing off for styles sake. He just did what he had to do to get the music he wanted play. Here are a couple of rare clips of Michael in concert. I tried to find clips that focused as much on the hand work as well as overall performance.

The Funky Avacado - tuning B1A2D3G3A3D4



The Rootwitch - tuning B1A2D3E3A3B3



and Ritual Dance, which you may recognize from the film August Rush - tuning D2A2D3G3C4C4


Edited by Baal_T'shuvah, 06 March 2008 - 03:01 PM.


#8 Persona

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 03:52 PM

Wow, thanks for sharing, BT. That was awesome.

#9 John Drew

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 01:49 PM

QUOTE (stef @ Mar 8 2008, 01:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow, thanks for sharing, BT. That was awesome.


Hey, stef, your welcome. Any time I can introduce the music of Michael Hedges to folks makes me a happy camper. If you want to see more, follow this link to YouTube. This user has some incredible video's of Hedges in concert from the early 80's, up until Nov. 1997 a few weeks before his sudden death. It is really a treasure trove of clips.

There is a six part guitar lecture he gives that is fascinating to watch (even if the quality is poor). I didn't realize that Hedges was left handed until viewing this footage, and I wonder what inspired him to take up the guitar using the right handed style. But it does explain how he had so much strength to continuously tap/hammer on-off/pluck with his left hand.

Hope you decide to check it out.