• Alternate Tunings for Guitar - an aid to composing different songs ?
  • Started by MrBouzouki
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« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 13:57:29 by MrBouzouki »
I for one am a great believer in altered tunings, one of my own is just E's and A's (not sure it's got a name). I love DADGAD and I've used this tuning on many of my songs on SoundCloud. Sometimes capoed up too.

As a good intro to altered tunings just dropping the 3rd G string down to F# and you've got an easier fingering for medieval type chords in a sort of Lute type tuning.
There is a good article about it here.

https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Lute_Tuning_Tackling_the_Worlds_Oldest_Tuning

My instrumental  on SoundCloud called Forgotten Minuet features this tuning.

I've attached a PDF file dated circa 2007 that I found on the Internet that gives examples of different altered tunings for guitar.
I'm not sure of it's copyright status but I believe it was created with the intention of learning, not making money, so I'm taking a Creative Commons viewpoint on it.

Besides being of interest to guitarists I feel altered tunings can get you out of a compositional rut and allow fresh ideas to flow.
It's one of the advantages of composing on a guitar as opposed to a piano allowing you to use open strings as drones and changing your viewpoint of the guitar neck. They are also obviously also employed in slide guitar playing and were often used by early blues players. 

I would say that with altered tunings most musical people, guitarist or not, could get some pleasing sound after a bit of experimentation. So if you have a guitar, give it a go and who knows what song might fall out of the experience. ;-)

Ummmmm, I almost forgot. Open Tunings can be useful on electric guitar and with distortion, reverb, delay too. \m/
"Love and Life is all about connections"


I have had a guitar in my hands for the last 50 years or so and I still really have very little grasp of music theory as it pertains to that instrument. I do not know the names of most of the chords that I play.

I say that because when I go to alternate tunings....and I do every so often......I am able to become even more immersed in the feeling of spontaneous creativity. DADGAD is one of my favorites. I just let my fingers go to places that sound and feel SO good!
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

"Special thanks to Steve Gleason for making me who I am today." Leonard Scaper

Lenny's Tunes: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=540680

https://soundcloud.com/vincentgleason


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Changing the tuning of one or more of my six open strings did open up a new world of possibilities for me on my acoustic.  But, that provided just a glimpse of alternative possibilities.  I discovered many more cool chords by changing the tuning on one or more open strings and then partially capoing one or more strings at different frets.  I haven't gotten around to using more than one capo yet.  :)


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I've done the partial capoing thing in the past.  ::thumb::

It's good to keep the open string sound (maybe as a drone) whilst having a higher sound to play with. 


I was watching an interview this morning with David Crosby where he kept going over and grabbing these amazing vintage Martins of the wall and picking at them a little........he had one that was tuned to EBDGAD. Sounded very cool....I'm going to have to try that one.


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Cheers @Leonard Scaper I will give it a try too.
Try my all E's and A's one if you feel like experimenting. From Top to Bottom (1st) EAEAAE (6th)
Taking the D down to an A seems to work without it going flabby on you. You can Capo it up of course if you want.




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