OPEN D TUNING To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=25456
59 messages

OPEN D TUNING

16 Sep 00 - 02:17 AM (#298533)
Subject: OPEN D TUNING
From: bbelle

I've never used alternate tunings on my guitars but I'm in the throes of learning new material and one of the tunes calls for Open D tuning.

One ... What is the reason for this type of tuning?

Two ... How is it accomplished?

Three ... Can any tune be adapted to this type of tuning?

Four ... If a musician is using alternate tuning, is it best to take two guitars to a gig, one in normal tune and one in alternate tune?

Five ... Can one still use a capo in alternate tunings?

Six ... What are, if any, the pitfalls of using alternate tunings?

Seven ... Any other information, with which you would like to part.

Thank you.


16 Sep 00 - 03:21 AM (#298551)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST,Paul Crawte

I use a couple of tunings on my twelve string when I play, and I also use a capo. However, whilst I find that I can tune and re-tune at home quickly and with few troubles, when I've got people looking at me ..... I guess its nerves but suspect that I'm kind of use to the acoustics at home and so get a bit thrown by different ones in different halls. I'd guess that the need for another guitar is dependent upon the kind of gig you play. Go round to a gentle and informal gathering with loads of guitars and you might look a bit of a git. However, standing on stage a desperatley trying to get the E string just right also makes you look like a fool.

When talking to partners about the need for more instruments, however, ALWAYS explain that a different tuning requires a new piece of equipment (and bag, and plectrum, and strings, and strap....)


16 Sep 00 - 03:37 AM (#298555)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Clinton Hammond2

The reason?? A guitar in standard tuning is a fairly feeble instrument, in my opinion.. I like open tunings much more.. They make you sound better than you really are!! LOL!!

Accomplished? Well, depends on how open you want your open D to be... I tend towards DADGAD tuning myself... but some folks get by with DADGBD Or DADGBE even...Open D is often DADF#AD

Any tune?? well... ya provided you want to play it in the Key of D... Actually DADGAG played in the key of G sounds really cool, with some lovely unresolved chords and such...

Mulit-instruments? Yup... saves on wear and tear on strings, and it gives one ax a chance to cool off while you play the other one! {~`

Capo?? Capo away!! Won't hurt a bit...

Pitfalls?? None that I can see... The broader your horizons the better.. just try not to become too reliant on one specific tuning... Try not to get to the point where you have to say, "sorry, can't play that song... I don't have my open Bb guitar with me tonight.... "

Other stuff... Ya... check this out for a few more tunings to try... http://www.guitarists.net/tunings.cfm

Enjoy eh!

{~`


16 Sep 00 - 08:23 AM (#298597)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: gillymor

Mark Hanson's Alternate Tunings Guide For Guitar will give you a leg up if you're just starting to explore them. It costs about $5, can be found at elderly.com and includes an overview, scales, chords and fingerings for a bunch of different tunings. He also has some more comprehensive books on the subject and has his own publishing so he probably has a .com.

F


16 Sep 00 - 10:22 AM (#298632)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST,Joyce

Enjoy life. Open D lets you take a break from the technical work of fretting so you can play from the heart.

A guitar in standard tuning is indeed a fairly feeble instrument unless it was made by a great guitar maker. Open D reaches the soul. My guitar store guy calls Open D with just 1 and 6 tuned down "Drop D". Try: "The Art of Fingerstyle Guitar: Solos in Open Tunings" by Stefan Grossman, with arrangements by John Fahey and others, published in 1984 by Mel Bay, Pacific, MO 63069-0066. Open-chorded tunings of any sort are a great kindness for a child's guitar.


16 Sep 00 - 10:35 AM (#298636)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Midchuck

I'm very partial to DADGAD - in the living room. Especially on a 12-string. But I've tried using it at gigs, and decided it wasn't worth it. Retuning on the spot takes too long (if you have an ear like mine) to keep the flow of the set moving, and I prefer to put heavier strings on the strings that are going to be tuned down, on a guitar for use in DADGAD. Hauling two guitars is too much work for the amount I'd use it in the gig. When you have a partner that won't go to a gig without at least nine instruments with 77 strings between them, you have to travel light (sneaky smirk!)

Peter.


16 Sep 00 - 11:30 AM (#298650)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST,Lucius

I'm barely a novice, but here goes:

One ... What is the reason for this type of tuning?

Open strings sound great on Celtic guitar. This isn't true in swing or other "sock" styles but there is a great deal of Celtic guitar literature that uses open strings and drones effectively.

Two ... How is it accomplished?

I don't know what is meant by "open D". I use a ton of tunings for which I have no names. Could it be (bottom to top) D A D F# A D?

Three ... Can any tune be adapted to this type of tuning?

Yes, reservedly. The question is really how well does any particular tune fit a given tuning. I believe that a tune like "Banish Misfortune" is almost universally played as DADGAD. I've refingered some DADGAD tunes my preferred CGDGAD tuning.

Four ... If a musician is using alternate tuning, is it best to take two guitars to a gig, one in normal tune and one in alternate tune?

Sounds like a good idea to me. I am too poor to have more than one "fingerstyle" guitar, so I'm stuck retuning. I'd have to take five guitars anyway.

Five ... Can one still use a capo in alternate tunings?

Yes. I use a CGDGAD tuning that I capo at the second fret. It will often return the tune to its original key. I also use EADF#BE (lute) tuning that I capo at the third fret.

Six ... What are, if any, the pitfalls of using alternate tunings?

Guitar strings have memory. I use a tuner attached to my guitar, but I often find that halfway through a song my strings want to return to their original setting. As they start going sharp or flat, my concentration drifts as well. Maybe its due to my advancing years, but I need a notebook to keep my tunings straight, life was simpler.

Seven ... Any other information, with which you would like to part.

If your reading this you must have a computer. Do you have a notation program like Encore or Sibelius (or Finale) that can do TAB? It's nifty to be able to input a melody with a simple bass line, then TAB out several tunings and look for a good fit.

Have Fun

Lucius


16 Sep 00 - 11:40 AM (#298656)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Bernard

I use open D (D A D F# A D) for songs like Joni Mitchell's 'Big Yellow Taxi' - it's a lot more resonant for bashing chords (I've got a LOUD voice). I know Joni used open G, but D suits me better.

It's also useful if you want to experiment with 'slide' guitar - a 'Canada Dry' bottle works well.

The advert also sums up my life's ambition - 'Drink Canada Dry'...

Ooops! Thread creep!


16 Sep 00 - 12:16 PM (#298673)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Magpie

There was a thread on this about a year ago (incidentally started by me) and you'll find it if you search for "DADGAD tuning". Infortunately I don't know how to make a blue clicky thing for you, but maybe someone else will help you out?

Good luck Magpie


16 Sep 00 - 12:17 PM (#298674)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: bbelle

Ah, Lucius ...

"Guitar strings have memory. I use a tuner attached to my guitar, but I often find that halfway through a song my strings want to return to their original setting."

Thank you ... that's the kind of information, for which I seeking. I certainly know that nickelcad batteries have a memory, but I never thought about guitar strings having memory.

I can envision this occurring during a particularly difficult tune and creating performance havoc.


16 Sep 00 - 12:19 PM (#298676)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: bbelle

I know there was a thread because I read it. I want current information. There are new people on the forum who have different thoughts on the subject and I didn't want anyone to have to wade through the past.


16 Sep 00 - 12:33 PM (#298686)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Naemanson

It's nice to see you on the Mudcat again, Moonchild, and thanks for this thread. I will continue to read this one with interest. These are questions I have had for a long time.


16 Sep 00 - 03:39 PM (#298774)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: MarkS

DADF#AD can be really nifty for slide and bottleneck blues. Try it with a slide on your little finger. Richie Havens got famous with this tuning as well. If you are just getting into alternate tunings, stick with drop D for openers. Drop you low E to D and alternate strings 6 and 4 with your thumb while fooling around in normal D on the high strings. You will find lots of neat stuff there.


16 Sep 00 - 09:07 PM (#298964)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST,Murray MacLeod lost in a cybercafe

IMHO, a much more useful tuning, with more potential than open D is open C: CGCGDE. Stick on a capo at the second fret and you are in D, anyway. The reason for it being a more useful tuning is that the major third is safely out of the way on the top string, unlike open D or open G, where the major third kind of gets in the way.

I use this tuning for a lot of Celtic stuff, particularly jigs. Brian Mcneill plays ragtime in this tuning, so it really is versatile.

Murray


16 Sep 00 - 10:21 PM (#299009)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST,John Bauman

Moonchild,

Great thread. I am kinda loathe to change my tunings 'cause I'm lazy to the core and I hate to change strings! The back and forth of multiple changes cause severe metal fatigue in the strings--wind 'em wide! I suggest perhaps for a while, while getting used to the tuning(s) keep that new Larrivee in the altered tunings--longer scale length works better for altered tunings (just try to git that Gibson of yours to tune to the low C 'twon't work too well and sounds flabby--great for that Peter Mulvey sound but pretty limited). This way, when you're sick to the point of pulling your hair out 'cause all the notes have changed--musical chairs style :=), you'll have that Gibson to pick up and play and reassure yourself that you can still play!

One thing that made me finally explore the world of open/altered is, curiously enough, a new pursuit of fiddle tunes to flatpick. Having said that, one of the most elementary but entertaining, insightful, and informative sources for introduction to open D, C(I agree with the poster before this may have more appeal to you)and DADGAD is Homespun Tapes produced "Lesson in Open Tunings" with David Wilcox. He goes into an elementary and understandable explanation of how the tunings relate to each other and to standard, as well as what can be done with each.

Happy Playin',

John


16 Sep 00 - 11:06 PM (#299030)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Oversoul

I've grown to hate all the "open tunings" on the guitar. The best configuration is the "standard". Want to learn learn a new voice? Learn another stringed instument to answer that call! Explore an acoustic bass guitar, a viola or a mandolin. Violins too!.


17 Sep 00 - 06:15 AM (#299134)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: gillymor

Lucius, You wrote "Guitar strings have memory." "...halfway through a song my strings want to return to their original setting." I'm a bit skeptical about that, did you buy that guitar from Stephen King *grin*? I use 5 tunings other than standard and have never had that problem. If you have decent tuning gears and not-too-old strings on your guitar they should stay there, assuming it's not a top or bridge problem. I do sometimes find it tough to get into low tunings (eg, those involving going to CG on the low strings) as things can get flabby, to borrow someone else's word, but I put bluegrass sets on the guitar that gets most of the retuning. These strings sets have heavier gauges in the lower end and their extra tension removes some of the flab. I know D'Addario puts them together and I think John Pearse does also and I think someone, not sure who, puts a set together for DADGAD.

Regards, Dave


17 Sep 00 - 11:02 AM (#299253)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST,Carlin the Lurker

Hello.....I lurk a lot, but this is the first time I've posted....hope I got this right.

I use an open D a lot (DADF#AD). It is very good for Irish and Scottish tunes and if you use a slide it can be pretty bluesy. I use a glass slide on my electric, but for the acoustic I prefer brass.

I can go back and forth between the D and a standard tuning pretty quickly with very little delay, but all that tuning and re-tuning is hard on the strings. If you're playing in front of people it is probably best to have two guitars....or else play all the open D tunes in one set and tune back to standard during the break.

If you like blues, allow me to suggest an open E minor tuning...it can be a lot of fun.

PS Capos are fine.....if you use one then yes, you can adapt more or less any tune to any open tuning.


17 Sep 00 - 11:26 AM (#299262)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Peter T.

I am in the throes of learning open tunings as well. There was a really helpful tip given by Paul Reisler in an article in Acoustic Guitar Magazine. He notes that if you think about the open forms in terms of 1st, 3rd, and 5th of each key (say D, F#, A in open D), then you can relate the tunings of open D, open G, and open C -- the 3rd of the chord is on the open third string in the D, on the open second string in the G, and the open first in the C). And the 1st and the 5ths can be seen to shift down the guitar similarly. You can move a chord fingering pattern learned in one of them up or down (until you run out of guitar) as long as you shift into the 1,3,5 of the new key when you change tunings. (So a G in a D tuning looks like a C in a G tuning one string further towards the bottom, and so on). It doesn't solve everything, but it helps a bit in the myriad of chords.
Joni Mitchell uses an open D tuned down to C (CGCEGC) on one of her best songs - Amelia. I can't decide if I like that C better than the open C discussed above. And there is the "low C" -- standard tuning with the lowest E as a C and the A as a G. I am just trying that one thanks to my teacher who is currently eating in a McDonalds somewhere in Perth.

yours, Peter T.


17 Sep 00 - 01:34 PM (#299314)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Bernard

Regarding 'string memory' - I've never found it to be a problem with steel strings, but nylon strings do it very noticeably.

As to whether to use open tunings or not - so called 'standard' tuning is really just one of many tunings used over the centuries, and there is no reason to suppose that it is any better than any other tuning. It simply standardises things for written notation, but it certainly ain't logical!

I believe in getting the sound you want, not the sound you are given. If that means retuning one or more strings, then do it! If you're happy with 'standard tuning' (I use it a lot, anyway), stick with it.

It's all down to personal preference...


17 Sep 00 - 01:51 PM (#299327)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Rasta

more threads like this would be handy. I know a bunch of open tunings over the past 30 years and also for instance if I capo up to the fourth fret but dont capo the sixth string leave it open, you need a certain capo for that and play in c chord formation it is really the key of E with a nice low E. I came upon D A D F# A D back in the 70s and had no use for it , than last summer i was surfing a Dylan guitar site and found a version of Simple Twist of fate where you fret the fifth string and the fifth fret and fourth string at fourthe fret and drop fifthe to fourth and keep dropping towards nut and works really well, Its the tuning I believe Bob used on the cut. Now I have a place to go with this tuning ,wish i could write tab on this site but cantl. improvise good luck ---Rastaaaaaa (Pat)


17 Sep 00 - 03:00 PM (#299362)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST,leeneia

It may be that all they want you to do to get "open D" is to lower your lowest string, an E string, to the note D so that you can have a nice low note in your G,D, and Bm chords. In this case, you will leave the other strings alone and play familiar chords on them.

You will not be able to use your lowest string with chords such as A, E, and C.


17 Sep 00 - 04:06 PM (#299382)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST,John Bauman

Rasta,

Those partial capos like Third Hand or the Drop D Kyser are absolutely fascinating to me because, unlike altering the tuning (for instance drop D), you haven't changed pitch by tension but by string length. Thus, if you "fake" drop D's relative pitch by partially capoing A,D,G,B,&E and leaving the low E open, you can still play your G (now an A) as you normally would, as well as all the barre chords.

leeneia,

When I'm playing in drop D I still sound the E in my E & Em by merely reaching up above the B I'm already holding down and hold down the E (now at the second fret)(critical for playing "Castles In The Air"-D.McClean). The C doesn't need the low G to be a C chord but if you want that fuller sound, depress the G (now a the 5th fret) and the C chord will be right there below it on the D,G,&B strings--purdy handy huh? As for the A...are you pretty handy at thumbing over? You can hold down the E with your thumb, though again, it's not necessary to the chord.


17 Sep 00 - 05:45 PM (#299449)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Lucius

Thanks Frankee for a good laugh and a reminder not to take myself too seriously. But by God's teeth... this has happened to me. Only thing is, I'm not sure if it was on my steel or nylon stringed guitar (thanks Bernard). Then again, I still have the ears that I had as a piano tuner.

Lucius


17 Sep 00 - 08:58 PM (#299543)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: DADGAD

Get some MArtin Simpson cd's - he uses tunings very well and expores the percussive possibilities of ac. guitar very well indeed. I use variety of tuning but note no one here uses G minor which demands some stretching but has wonderful possibilities. Gerry Forrester


18 Sep 00 - 12:41 PM (#300014)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Whistle Stop

I use open tunings a lot. They definitely do fatigue the strings, but it's the price you have to pay, I guess. If you use open tunings often, you'll have to change strings more frequently.

Regarding "string memory": yes, it exists. A helpful hint is to always make sure you tune UP to pitch, not down. If you need to tune a string down (low E down to D, for example), first tune it below the pitch you're going for, then tune up to pitch. This can help overcome string memory, and keep you more firmly on pitch for the duration of the tune.

Standard tuning does have some advantages over open tunings. For one, it's "keyless"; it doesn't steer you to a particular key, but is equally adaptable to a lot of different keys. For another thing, the intervals between strings are pretty uniform (with that one exception between the second and third strings), so it is easier to find your way to the next note in the heat of the moment. The final advantage is that it IS standard -- so again, it helps you become, and remain, more familiar with the fretboard, allowing you to veer off in any direction you choose with some confidence that you'll be able to find your way.

For all that, however, I like open/altered tunings. I see no reason not to enjoy them.


18 Sep 00 - 05:31 PM (#300187)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: gillymor

Yikes! I've been arguing tuning with a piano tuner! It's nice to see you here, Lucius, welcome. I remain skeptical though. Whistlestop in his excellent posting also brings up coil memory. I don't understand how a Low E string tuned down to D, considering all the tension pulling it in the other direction, could make any movement back to E. It would be like a salmon swimming up stream while towing an oil tanker (or something like that). I'm not looking for an argument here so much as enlightment.

Dave


18 Sep 00 - 07:36 PM (#300271)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Jed at Work

I use the open D frequently .. in fact it forms the basis for my reconfigured Backpacker - (that is I use a Nashville tuning, then a D Major). It's lottsa fun!

D Major is good for slide, and for folk/blues tunes. You can get some interesting chord voicings, and have nice options moving up the neck. I've written a few songs using Open D. And capoing is OK, as others have said, but you'll find your neck inconsistenies are more sensitive to the capoing when open tuned (though your Larrivee will likely be darn near perfect). The decreased string tension makes it easier to overstrech the string using the capo, also - so it may have some impact.

Anyway - good thread moonchild! How's the new Larrivee settling in?


19 Sep 00 - 08:37 AM (#300566)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Whistle Stop

Thanks for your posting, Frankee. I don't necessarily understand the physics behind a string "rebounding" after it has been tuned down. But it does seem to happen. It's very slight, of course, but then again it really doesn't take much of a change in tension to throw a string out of tune.

Another helpful hint (along with my earlier one about tuning UP to pitch) is to first loosen the string to bring it close to the desired pitch, then pull the string outward gently to stretch it before fine-tuning. This can be done very quickly and unobtrusively -- it makes retuning a lot quicker, in fact, than trying to fine-tune without stretching the string ("hang on, I've almost got it"). I find that it does help prevent the string from rebounding in the middle of a tune.


19 Sep 00 - 12:37 PM (#300763)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Easy Rider

Drop-D can be accomplished easily, by capoing only the first five strings, at the second fret and leaving the 6th string open. Of course, you're really playing in Drop-E, but it eliminates having to retune, and it fits my voice better. I do this for the couple of songs I know in Drop-D, "Green Green Rocky Road", and "Death Come Creeping".

I learned Mississippi John Hurt's "Payday", in open D (D-A-D-F#-A-D) when I hurt my Left Index finger, last year. I can play "Payday" with only two Left hand fingers, one, if I had to! Capoed at the second fret, Open D becomes open E.

With either of the above tunings, you get a more resonant, open string, alternating bass line, and the melody fingering is easier. I really like the resonance and richness of tone I get with these two "open" tunings. It does help, though, to have two guitars, especially if you are on stage. You should try it and see if it suits you. A lot of blues and most bottleneck blues are played in Open D or Open G. If you have a program, like TablEdit, you can easily transpose between tunings and try things out.


19 Sep 00 - 08:03 PM (#301066)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Lucius

OK, maybe "string rebound" is just a result of my overactive imagination, combined with a distractible personality. I have no enlightenment, and all I have to argue with is my own questionable perception. I still fiddle with my knobs, despite my admonitions that "it's close enough for jazz".

WhistleStop, good suggestion, though I'm already a committed string yanker. It runs slightly contrary to "tuning up to the pitch" but I think that it does provide more pitch reliability.

Lucius


19 Sep 00 - 09:14 PM (#301100)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: bbelle

Ok, guys ... and what is this mysterious implement that only capos the first five strings? You just can't say stuff like that, without telling me what it is and where I can get it!


19 Sep 00 - 09:40 PM (#301106)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Jeri

Moonjen, I don't know nuthin' about no geetars, but lookie here at Third Hand Capos.


19 Sep 00 - 09:59 PM (#301109)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: bbelle

Thanks, Jeri ... I'll take a look.


19 Sep 00 - 10:46 PM (#301141)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Jeri

I should have mentioned I got the link for the site from Harvey Reid's site. He not only uses one of those thingies, he invented them. Info here, somewhere.


23 Sep 00 - 05:15 PM (#303994)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST,John Bauman

The Kyser capo also has a "drop-D" capo. Kysers are those easy-to-release spring thingys that you can clamp on your peghead when not in use.

John


23 Sep 00 - 05:18 PM (#303998)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: bbelle

John ... Thanks. I'll check that out. I own a Kyser capo, but I much prefer the Dunlop spring release capo ... it's much tighter than the Kyser capo.


23 Sep 00 - 11:05 PM (#304177)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST,furry


23 Sep 00 - 11:17 PM (#304179)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST,furry

Take a look at Blood on the Tracks by Dylan and the outtakes from the album as they appear on biograph and the bootleg series. one or aanother version of nearly every song is in D tuning DADf#AD capoed up to E . for cool blues in D check out FURRY LEWIS get the early recordings from Yazoo.D tuning is great have fun with it.


24 Sep 00 - 09:12 AM (#304333)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Clinton Hammond2

No offence... but the 3rd Hand Capo is a joke... what a fiddley bit of uselessness it is... I carry it around in my gig bag for when people need a good laugh...

Anyone have luck using these things effectivly??

Oh ya... and what's the point of a Kyser Capo designed for Dropped D?? You can do the exact same thing with any Kyser capo by putting it on from the high side and just leave it off the low string, no?? Some people will buy anything I guess...

[~`


24 Sep 00 - 09:28 AM (#304339)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: gillymor

Your perception is good enough for me, Lucius.
Capoing the first five strings, as mentioned earlier by John and Easy, can be done with a standard Shubb capo or one similar by putting it on with the open end facing up. If you do it at the 2nd fret you can play in E using a first position D form and will have that (uncapoed) low E in your bass. This also means you can play your 1st position G form to get the 4th (A) and your 1st position A form to get the 5th (B) without having to bring your thumb over to fret the low E. It opens up some new possibilities and makes some things easier for dropped-D (-E).
Another trick that can be done with Kysers is to cut out spaces to allow one or more strings to go unfretted.

Dave


24 Sep 00 - 09:36 AM (#304343)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Roger in Baltimore

Clinton is right, or at least half-right. If you only want to drop your bass D, you put your Kyser or Shubb on from the high string side and just not cover the E string. If I remember correctly, the Kyser D-tuning capo actually spaces four strings and allows you to effectively "drop" both the high and the low E. I suspect a little hacksaw work on any Kyser or Shubb (just cutting away part of the rubber pad) would be a reasonable approximation.

I find these tunings easy enough to get in and out of so I never pursued the capos. Of course, they would ease the "string fatique" of constant pitch change.

Stefan Grosmann also recommends that when you are lowering the pitch on a string that you go lower than the desired pitch and then bring the string back up to pitch. He also says it helps prevent the string pitch from altering as you play. So that "string memory" may be real. I would suspect that since metal is elastic (just not very elastic) that the "memory" idea has validity.

Whistlestop and Lucius' string yanking has some credibility as well.

I'm not sure anyone has addressed the "why" of open tunings. Most everyone is sucked in by the lush sounds of multiple open strings sounding the same note. If you have not tried it Moonchild, seriously consider not doing it. You can see from all of these postings the mindfield you run into when you consider stepping out of standard tuning (**grin**). Them blues boys can bend one string out of pitch while leaving an adjacent open string in the same pitch. Talk about your musical tension, whoo boy!!!

Roger in Baltimore

Roger in Baltimore


24 Sep 00 - 09:40 AM (#304346)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Midchuck

Clinton, I agree that you can do the same thing with any Keyser capo; but I find that putting a Keyser on "upside-down," the machinery gets in the way of my hand. So the "Drop-D" capo is Peter.


24 Sep 00 - 09:57 AM (#304353)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: gillymor

RiB, I know I'm flogging a dead horse here but I've been tuning up to pitch for a long time and it works but I do it to prevent the string (or perhaps the tuner) from slipping to a slightly lower pitch, which in the case of low E to D would have the string moving in the opposite direction than you would suppose it's "memory" would dictate. This is just my experience and I'm not trying to devalue anyone else's, just curious.

Dave


24 Sep 00 - 10:19 AM (#304362)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: bbelle

Hey, Rog! Glad you stopped by. (I'll see you and Marge in just a few weeks now. Can't wait!)

I've printed and read all of this several times, because you've provided me with several scenarios and solutions.

I've read several times that you should always tune from below the string pitch, rather than from above, and I've been doing this for several months, now.

I tried the dropped D, one night last week, and my Low E cum D string was flabby, like described above. I have Earthwood Lights on my Larrivee, which is probably what caused the flabbiness, but I wouldn't have known that before.

As for the Kyser capo, I'll probably get one. I've learned that what may not work for one, may work just fine for another.

I do thank you all who took the time to funnel your experience to me. Think I'll play with alternate tunings on my Gibson and leave Larrivee to standard tunings, for a while.

Again, thanks all.


24 Sep 00 - 10:55 AM (#304377)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST,John Bauman

Hi Roger from Baltimore,

To answer your question of the "Why" of altered tunings--and I'm not trying to presume that you don't know, or haven't thought of this. It isn't the "lush sound of open strings ringing the same note" as you described. It is the accesibility to close intervals that is otherwise impossible (or at least improbable). It is the capability to mix slide with fingerstopping. It is the capacity for notes lower than standard tuning (open D,C etc.). It is also to solve the need that many soloists have to be their entire accompaniment and wanting a fuller sound. There's also an alternate tuning "culture" that has developed and, though as I mentioned previously, I'm not a huge user of any of them except drop D, anything that gets more people interested in, and playing the guitar is, to me, a good thing.
As an aside, the upside down kyser gets in the way, as mentioned by midchick, takes FOREVER to get set that way, and, because the back piece of the capo grips so little of the neck when clamped that way it goes FLYING off the neck at the most inopportune time!
Humbly submitted,

John


24 Sep 00 - 02:17 PM (#304471)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: bbelle

John Bauman ... I don't think you have to be humble about your submission, because it's all "educated" information, i.e., you've done it and I haven't.

BTW ... "midchick" is "midchuck" and from what I've heard in hearme, he's ALL boy!

Why don't you join up with us? It's not a bad deal, if you can stand a little heat sometimes, and it's free. It gives you the opportunity to send and received PMs (Personal Message), which is often a very good way to communicate between mudcatters. Sometimes, rather than started a thread, you might just want a tidbit of info from just one person. Often, I have a single question I need to ask about guitar playing, and I always PM Rick Fielding, first. (He's my Edgar Cayce Teacher of Guitar and Guitar Repair.)

It's just a thought ...


24 Sep 00 - 04:47 PM (#304543)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Bernard

Just a little digression - Martin Carthy was playing at our folk club last night -

The Railway Website

- and he played a song with all the strings tuned to G. Very perverse! Can't remember what the song was, though...

He claimed it was a difficult tune to find a tuning for, and it seemed to solve the problem. He had a second guitar specifically for the purpose, though! Didn't risk his Fylde on it!

Nice chap - he lent me his Shubb capo for my warm-up spot, as I'd left mine at home.


25 Sep 00 - 07:36 AM (#304909)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Midchuck

Moonjen, thank you - not so much for the specificity as to gender as for the "boy." As my 59th birthday approaches it's nice to think I have someone fooled.

I play a strongly rhythmic boom-chunka "Carter" style guitar - being in a trio with a mad fiddler and a mad mandolinist/blues guitarist, I have to - and I like the Drop-D capo for playing in E or F (with a standard capo 2 frets lower), because I use the D formation, which I think sounds better for folk and country than the E, unless you're doing blues, but I get the low bass note in the "D" (actually E) chord; and I also have that note as an alternating V bass in the "G" (actually A) chord. The Drop-D also works well for playing in A, Bb, or B, using G positions.

I like DADGAD for a few specific songs - mostly slow ballads with a celtic sound, that most people would probably do unaccompanied but I'm not brave enough to. Used it on HearMe the other night for "Reynardine," and Mbo got really into it, so it must work somewhat.

Beyond that, I don't mess with altered tunings. I've heard too many SSSWs who retuned after nearly every song and made the show drag horribly; and I'm not strong enough or perfectionistic enough to do a Garnet Rogers and haul 4 or 5 guitars to every gig. (I have enough trouble with bigchuck's guitar/banjo/mandolin/mandola, and my wife's upright bass)...

Peter.


09 Dec 01 - 08:26 PM (#606945)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: WyoWoman

I've refreshed this because in one of the musical advice threads, Rick suggested using an open tuning when you're practicing fingerpicking, etc., so you can concentrate on what the right hand (or in the case of GaryT, the left) is doing.

So ... if I tune my guitar to DADGAD, does it start with the higher-pitched strings (at the bottom of the guitar as you're holding it) or the lower-soudnign strings? And how do I change chords once I've got this tuning? I can't just play an A, can I? Do you just barre straight across to make the different chords?

Sorry to sound dumb but ... on this, I AM.

ww


09 Dec 01 - 09:01 PM (#606962)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST

Hi WW, to get into DADGAD lower the low E string to D, the B string to A and the high E string to D. This gives you a Dsus4 chord, I believe. If you're doing this to practice right hand picking you might try lowering your G string to F# as well which will put you into Open D and then you'll be able to simply barre the 5th fret to make a G chord and the 7th to make an A which will give you the 1-4-5 progression. Good luck, f

PS if you're interested in DADGAD there is at least one good website out there that has chord charts. Maybe someone here knows it's whereabouts.


09 Dec 01 - 09:18 PM (#606969)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Rolfyboy6

I'm a blueser and open 'D' tuning is traditional in the blues. It was call 'Sebastopol' or 'Vestopol' from a ragtime piece popular when guitars became more common arund 1900 and began to supplant the banjo. Open 'D' is used by many of the greats of the blues (along with "G" tuning ["spanish"]. It has the same string/interval relationship as open 'E' tuning only with less string tension. Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, and Elmore James all used this tuning, as well as others. And the great Blind Willie Johnson who I recommend even to the Celtic players.


09 Dec 01 - 09:21 PM (#606971)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Jeri

Open D is tuning I've been using most to get started. It's (low string/6th) DADF#AD (high string/1st).

Open Dmin: DADFAD - pretty much same as above with the F# tuned a step lower. If you happen to like tunes in a minor key, this is a nice one.

Open G: DGDGBD

DADGAD isn't open tuning, just a versatile one a lot of people like.


09 Dec 01 - 09:22 PM (#606972)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Ian Darby

Open D is a great tuning, but I suggest you have a play about with open g (DGDGBD)

Its a lot easier to pick up if you're used to standard tuning and is great for Irish/O'Carolan stuff.

Apart from the top string most of the melody notes stay in the stame place. Its also the similar to five string banjo tuning, and much favoured by Robert Johnson, Keef, and Ry Cooder.

You can play some really nice, easy slide without too much thinking. (open, third, fifth, seventh & twelfth frets.)

Start with 'Little Red Rooster').


09 Dec 01 - 09:40 PM (#606981)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: WyoWoman

Thanks, folks. This helps ...

Looks like it's in the cards for me to learn to barre, heh? Shouldn't be that hard, just smashing one finger across the frets ...

We shall see.

Thanks again, ww


10 Dec 01 - 05:31 PM (#607439)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: Deckman


10 Dec 01 - 07:49 PM (#607525)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST,truckerdave

Open D is good for slide blues on a steel body instrument. It really rings. It's called "vastopol" tuning by some older guys here in Mississippi although they really don't know where the name came from. Someone said that in another post to this thread, about the old song "sebastopol". You can work a steady bass rythm with thumb and slide the upper strings at the same time if you're good, kinda like Booker White did in 1940 on "Bukka's Jitterbug Swing". It's a really fascinating style of playing. Best to use a guitar dedicated to open D and use heavier strings cause they have less tension on them.


10 Dec 01 - 08:05 PM (#607532)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST,frankie

Wyo, when you're "smashing" your index finger across the neck you might try bingin your middle finger up over the back of it for additional clamping power. f


10 Apr 07 - 10:23 AM (#2021349)
Subject: RE: OPEN D TUNING
From: GUEST,Guest

Here's a link to a very useful "open D tuning" chord chart for beginners and pros:
Here