Standard vs Open tunings

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RE: Standard vs Open tunings

Postby bighollowtwang » Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:02 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Apr-18-06 AT 02:03 PM (EST)]>My question is, for most blues songs played with slide can
>you pretty much play them in either tuning so long as you
>make necessary adjustments so that it sounds right?

No, certain sounds are specific to certain tunings. It would be impossible to play Blind Willie Johnson or Tampa Red material, for instance, in an accurate manner in open G because both those players (and many others) relied on playing the melody almost entirely on the two top strings, and you're missing that open string root note in opne G. It is easier to adapt open G material to open E/D, but then you are giving up the V in the bass...but there's no rule that says you can't arrange tunes your way and play 'em the way you want to...but then it won't sound entirely "right" either.


>It would be eaiser than switching tunings 5 times a
>day based on what I feel like playing.

This is why we have more than one guitar!
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RE: Standard vs Open tunings

Postby savage » Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:47 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Apr-18-06 AT 02:55 PM (EST)]>>It would be eaiser than switching tunings 5 times a
>>day based on what I feel like playing.
>
>This is why we have more than one guitar!

Thats the truth. I used to have each of my guitars in a different tuning.

Now I keep my acoustics in open D most of the time, and capo sometimes. I started out playin in open G since it was the first open tuning I encountered. But now I play almost exclusively in open D (on acoustic). My electrics are pretty much always half a step down from standard. Every once in a while I use a capo on my electrics to mix it up.

I don't think you'd be limiting yourself by leavin a guitar in one tuning. I mean, if you want to change the tuning, its not really much of a hassle. Especially when goin back and forth from open D/open G to standard.

I don't really play electric slide, nor do I ever really play slide in standard tuning. I would imagine though, with time, you'll decide what suits you, and what tunings you like playing in when it comes to slide.
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RE: Standard vs Open tunings

Postby allanlummox » Tue Apr 18, 2006 7:37 pm

Switching tunings on the fly isn't that hard - about the same as keeping the guitar in tune, in one tuning - once you get used to the idea.

Typically, I use open D, open G, and the minor tunings closest to them - but I'm back and forth pretty much. I'll do several in one tuning, although I never do more than one in a row in the minors.
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RE: Standard vs Open tunings

Postby ricochet » Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:48 pm

Just takes a few seconds to go between a major and minor open tuning. Doesn't affect the tension on the neck enough to require retuning the other strings.

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RE: Standard vs Open tunings

Postby badfinger » Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:53 am

And "switching tunings 5 times a day..." helps train (or maintain)the ears, so that occasionally you can check your tuner.
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RE: Standard vs Open tunings

Postby maxx england » Wed Apr 19, 2006 10:27 am

>My question is, for most blues songs played with slide can
>you pretty much play them in either tuning so long as you
>make necessary adjustments so that it sounds right?

>Also, any sites for me to find basic chords in those open
>tunings? It would be eaiser than switching tunings 5 times a
>day based on what I feel like playing.

You only need to go to the right interval to play any number, it's just the tonality that's different. As for sites with chords for open, they exist, but I'm damned if I can remember what they are.
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RE: Standard vs Open tunings

Postby ricochet » Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:23 am

http://www.looknohands.com/chordhouse/g ... ex_rb.html

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RE: Standard vs Open tunings

Postby angry » Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:35 am

Gday All,
Once again thanks to all for your sterling advice, you've all come through with the goods. I've decided that since slide is the technique, and music, that most appeals to me I will attempt (and I do mean attempt) to master Open D and devote my attention, and limited practise time (the kids still hassle me for kiddie tunes whenever I pick up the guitar)to open tunings. I expect I will want to switch back to standard at times, so hopefully that will keep my hand in enough so that I don't forget everything. I just don't feel "multi-skilled" enough to attempt to learn more than one tuning at a time.

Thanks again fellas, the advice is much appreciated.
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RE: Standard vs Open tunings

Postby ricochet » Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:44 am

Open D's still my personal favorite.

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RE: Standard vs Open tunings

Postby lpdeluxe » Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:35 am

I'm another one who hasn't used standard tuning for years. I no longer play any style of guitar other than slide, since -- around here, at least -- there are plenty of very competent standard style players, but far fewer slide players. Knowledge of standard tuning is useful to me mainly when I'm jamming with someone so I can "read" the chords he or she is playing.

That said, one of the sweetest sounding slide players I've ever heard played a Tele, lap style, in standard tuning. The difficulty with using standard tuning for slide is that so many slide licks are idiomatic to the tuning. Try playing "Runnin On Faith" in anything but open G, and you'll see what I mean...or, "Dust My Broom" in anything other than open D or E.

If you've got good ears and dogged perseverance, slide in standard is probably a viable alternative, and saves retuning, which wears out strings. OTOH, I have three resos tuned in G, D and E tuning, and three electrics in E, Em and C, so I'm probably not the person to give advice.

I do play the bass in standard....
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