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Which tuning(s) do you use the most and why?

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I started out with DADGAD as my first alternate tuning and it remains one of my favorites today. I have several songs in DADGAD. This is also known as D-suspended or D-sus tuning because there's not major or minor third in it. There simply is no third, so it's called suspended. I would also like to point out that many guitar players will drop their 6th string E down to a D, and this tuning is called Drop-D, however I personally don't classify Drop-D as an alternate tuning because it's so close to standard tuning. I also feel that Drop-D is so common that it's over used. If you were to drop the 3rd string from a G to an F# (Lute Tuning), I would classify this as an alternate tuning because it's rare.

Does anyone else care to comment on DADGAD?
I started out with DADGAD as my first alternate tuning and it remains one of my favorites today. I have several songs in DADGAD. This is also known as D-suspended or D-sus tuning because there's not major or minor third in it. There simply is no third, so it's called suspended. I would also like to point out that many guitar players will drop their 6th string E down to a D, and this tuning is called Drop-D, however I personally don't classify Drop-D as an alternate tuning because it's so close to standard tuning. I also feel that Drop-D is so common that it's over used. If you were to drop the 3rd string from a G to an F# (Lute Tuning), I would classify this as an alternate tuning because it's rare.

Does anyone else care to comment on DADGAD?


I started out with DADGAD as my first alternate tuning and it remains one of my favorites today. I have several songs in DADGAD. This is also known as D-suspended or D-sus tuning because there's not major or minor third in it. There simply is no third, so it's called suspended. I would also like to point out that many guitar players will drop their 6th string E down to a D, and this tuning is called Drop-D, however I personally don't classify Drop-D as an alternate tuning because it's so close to standard tuning. I also feel that Drop-D is so common that it's over used. If you were to drop the 3rd string from a G to an F# (Lute Tuning), I would classify this as an alternate tuning because it's rare.

Does anyone else care to comment on DADGAD?


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I really love C add 9.( CGCGCD ) C minor (CGCGCEflat ), DADGAD, and open tunings D, G, C. Drop D. Each time I try a new one it becomes my favorite for a while. DADGAD was my first altered tuning and I went nuts with it.
I also like the C add 9 tuning and have 2 songs in it. The C-minor I haven’t had as much luck with, but the C add 9 is beautiful. I'm more of a street player and don't get too analytical with my tunings. I just set 'em up and hunt around for shapes and chords that sound good to me, then I put them all together in some sort of pattern. C add 9 came to me rather easily, meaning I found shapes to work with rather quickly.

I have found that there are chords and music that you can play in alternate tunings that simply don't exist in standard tuning. Oh sure you can find similar named chords, after all an E major is an E major no matter how you slice it, but in an alternate tuning the sound really resonates, and many times you cannot duplicate that in standard tuning.
Most of the alternate tunings that I use are from the covers I play from Jimmy Page. The one that I am most comfortable with is DGDGBD, which is the tuning for "That's the Way". The other one that I use is CGCGCE for "Friends", and CACGCE for "Bron-Y-Aur". I've not been able to write very much with these tunings, but I am experimenting with a new capo from Kyser called the "Short-Cut". This capo will bar the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings and if put on the 2nd fret produces a form of DADGAD. The actual notes are EBEGBE. I've got an instrumental based on this that I'm working on right now. I'm still having trouble getting my brain around some of the chord forms in the other tunings. Does anyone know if there are any chord charts available for alternate tunings?
This looks like a great creative resource.

I play Hawaiian slack key guitar, which is all about open tunings. There are literally hundreds of Hawaiian tunings; of course most players stick to just a few of their favorites.

Certain tunings become associated with an individual player, like Keola's C (for Keola Beamer): CGCGBE and Leonard's F (for Leonard Kwan): CFCGCF.

Hawaiian tunings fall into some broad families-- tunings with a maj 7 interval are called Wahine tunings. So both Keola's C and Leonard's F are wahine tunings.

I play mostly in Taropatch (DGDGBD), Drop C (CGDGBD) and Double Slack (DGDF#BD).

There's a list of common tunings, as well as links to chord charts I made for many of them, on TaroPatch.net, a forum for lovers of Hawaiian music.

http://www.taropatch.net/tunings.htm

Incidentally-- you can play any kind of music in these tunings; I regularly use Drop C for backing Celtoid tunes. And it appears Jimmy Page has used some, too.

Wotta a great world!
Check out this site for more info on the Short Cut capo. It is actually a DADGAD capo, only you're up in E. So it's an Esus rather than a Dsus, but the tuning relationship is the same. This site will give you video tutorials you can learn from. Kyser will change the name of the Short Cut to DADGAD for the K-Lever Series of Partial Capos. You will find some really beautiful chord voicings with this capo.

http://www.kysermusical.com/shortcut/
I like to mess around in Open D (DADF#AD) tuning and have a couple of tunes worked out in it. I actually keep one of my guitars in that most of the time. Also acquired a Kyser Short Cut capo a few years ago and have put together a few tunes with it. Agree that Drop D is used a lot but it's still an alternate tuning and is great for finger style. And then there's Double Drop D for cranking out those Neil songs. I've messed around a bit with open G (DGDGBD) but nothing original has come out of it yet.

Yesterday I found my main guitar in some strange tuning. A quick check of the tuner revealed (C#G#C#C#C#C#). Nothing like having teenage guitar players in the house.
If you haven't used it do the DADADF#
it's cool!
Craig,
Most of the tunings you mentioned will be available from Kyser in their K-Lever series of partial capos. Drop D, Double Drop D, DADGAD, and Open G. They'll be out in late January. You can see pictures of them on My Page. They are a lot of fun.
Greg

Craig Packard said:
I like to mess around in Open D (DADF#AD) tuning and have a couple of tunes worked out in it. I actually keep one of my guitars in that most of the time. Also acquired a Kyser Short Cut capo a few years ago and have put together a few tunes with it. Agree that Drop D is used a lot but it's still an alternate tuning and is great for finger style. And then there's Double Drop D for cranking out those Neil songs. I've messed around a bit with open G (DGDGBD) but nothing original has come out of it yet.

Yesterday I found my main guitar in some strange tuning. A quick check of the tuner revealed (C#G#C#C#C#C#). Nothing like having teenage guitar players in the house.
At a typical instrumental gig, I'll play about half of my tunes in standard, maybe half a dozen in Drop D, a couple in Double Drop D, a half-dozen in Open D, a couple in Open G, three or four in DADGAD and a few in CGDGCD. I'll also add a capo here and there.
Greetings my fellow alternate tuners,

More than half of my instrumental guitar compositions are in open tunings. The first I tried was DADF#AD (Open D), followed by DADGAD (D Modal or Celtic tuning) and DADFAD (Open Dm). I also have been experimenting with CGDGCD (G Modal or Orkney tuning) for the last year or so. My favorites are DADGAD and CGDGCD.

Regards,
- Robert
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