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Thread: Five alternate tunings every guitarist should try

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    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Five alternate tunings every guitarist should try

    Five alternate tunings every guitarist should try

    I've tried 4 of them.
    Mostly I use standard tuning.
    I do use dropped D on my bass for a pedal tone on the D for a bass riff I came up with that I am working into a song.
    And sometimes I play slide--and have a guitar dedicated to Open G.
    I find it works better for me than open D.

    So have you tried these?
    Or any alternate tuning?

    Do you like them?
    Never play in standard tuning?
    Think it's crazy to use them?
    Somewhere in between?
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

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    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    I'm having trouble developing enthusiasm for alternate tunings. Part of it stems from thinking that it would crazy to start trying to learn something different when I still feel like a hack in standard tuning.

    The other thing....and this is a big one for me...is that it seems crazy to tamper once the guitar's in tune and very stable. I think that constantly tinkering and stretching strings beyond their normal range or loosening them to a point where the tension's not what it's intended to be is just asking for trouble.

    My strings stay in tune for months at a time and don't need to be changed for years, and I think it's because I leave well enough alone. YMMV.
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

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    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spellcaster View Post
    I'm having trouble developing enthusiasm for alternate tunings. Part of it stems from thinking that it would crazy to start trying to learn something different when I still feel like a hack in standard tuning.

    The other thing....and this is a big one for me...is that it seems crazy to tamper once the guitar's in tune and very stable. I think that constantly tinkering and stretching strings beyond their normal range or loosening them to a point where the tension's not what it's intended to be is just asking for trouble.

    My strings stay in tune for months at a time and don't need to be changed for years, and I think it's because I leave well enough alone. YMMV.
    I resisted alternate tunings for years due to feeling I needed to know standard tuning better--and why I decided to pick one for slide--to learn that one--if I start to feel better about open G I may try Open D.

    And your point about tampering is one other reason why I never spent much time learning slide or open tunings--I hated switching it, etc.
    So that led to me considering buying a guitar similar to one I already had to leave in open tuning.
    Then I remembered I had a LP copy I didn't use much--so I fixed it up, put in new pickups, etc and set that one up for open G--it stays in that tuning.
    At least partly for the reason you gave.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

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    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spellcaster View Post
    I'm having trouble developing enthusiasm for alternate tunings
    I feel the same way. Alternate tunings annoy me because all the chord patterns are different- just makes it harder for me to play what I need to.

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    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post
    I feel the same way. Alternate tunings annoy me because all the chord patterns are different- just makes it harder for me to play what I need to.
    You just ned to adopt a different mindset--I had to do that when I took up mandolin.
    I know some guitar players will tune it like a guitar, but I wanted to play mandolin, not a tiny guitar.
    In one way it helps that the strings are the reverse of the 4 lowest on the guitar--but because it gets higher as well that can also mess me up.
    So I am learning the notes mandolin style--same with open tuning.

    But it wouldn't be my default position.

    ANd trying alt tunings can be fun, but no requirement you do use them.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

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    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Alternate tunings is why I never played my lap steel and tenor banjo...

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    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    I think if there's anything that intrigues me, it's the Nashville tuning system. I realize it's not so much a retuning as a restring to give the guitar a different voicing. If I ever decide to try something off the beaten track, that would be the first thing to come to mind.
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

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    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    could be cool.....

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    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spellcaster View Post
    I think if there's anything that intrigues me, it's the Nashville tuning system. I realize it's not so much a retuning as a restring to give the guitar a different voicing. If I ever decide to try something off the beaten track, that would be the first thing to come to mind.
    Well pitch wise it is a re-tuning.
    And it can be cool in some settings.
    Certainly worth considering in a list such as the one I linked to.
    But less likely to happen unless you have a guitar set up for it as it does, as you noted, involve a re-string
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

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    Axe-honerated spellcaster's Avatar
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    I thought we'd have heard from KC on this....I seem to remember him doing a build that was Nashville tuned a while ago.
    "I know just enough to be dangerous....."

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