[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: Anyone here tuning guitars in fifths?

I am an ancient Guitar Craft person who began using the New Standard Tuning (C-G-D-A-E-G) back in 1985. I find the New Standard Tuning excellent for melody work, open-voiced chords and ensemble playing. But I still play primarily in the Old Standard Tuning because of my accumulated repertoire in it, as well as its equal excellence in supporting melody work and ensemble playing, and my own ability to play open-voiced chords in it and its superiority for close-voiced chords and small harmonic intervals. So, horses for courses, as they say in sunny England.
For my acoustic guitar in the New Standard Tuning, I use the following gauges and windings:
Low C = .070 stainless steel wound
G = .050 stainless steel wound
D = .032 stainless steel wound
A = .020 plain
E = .012 plain
high G = .0095 plain
This requires a new bridge saddle to intonate properly.
"Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.
-- Frank Zappa
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, April 08, 2013 11:00 AM
Subject: Re: Anyone here tuning guitars in fifths?

Yep — started tuning the xtSA with the NST about 4 years ago — CGDAEG — but took the precaution of adjusting the string gauges, which allows a bit of "bending" on the higher strings.

As for feel, no noticeable difference. Resonance I think is dependent upon the instrument. I did notice that the xtSA is especially resonant with a dropped-D tuning; the NST seems to a bit more resonant, but it could all be subjective.



On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 5:51 AM, Per Boysen <perboysen@gmail.com> wrote:
The more I play fifths tuned string instruments (like the Cello and
the Stick) the more I like it and I'm curious about if it would even
be possible to tune a six stringed guitar in fifths? What I mean is
that if starting by the low E the highest string would have to be
awfully thin, as it would have to be tuned to Eb... oh my gosh, almost
one octave higher than the normally tuned guitar's high E string! That
just can't work.

But if starting even lower at the bottom? From experimenting with
down-tuning normal guitars I know that you can tune at C on the bass
string without loosing too much good tone. Anyway, let's say we string
up a guitar like a cello: C-G-D-A-E; as my five stringed cello goes.
Adding a sixth string on a guitar would mean tuned to B - that is B
one octave higher than the B string on a normal fourths tuned guitar.
Something tells me that string will break every ten minutes :-)

The more I'm thinking about it the more it seems to make sense to tun
the fifths tuned guitar's highest string one octave lower, in the C
based cello tuning that would imply (for 1st string) the same B note
that a normal guitar has as 2nd. Then that string could be used for
cluster and close voicing chord work. Imagining a guitar tuning going
(low to high) C1 G1 D2 A2 E3 B2. That would definitely work as far as
mechanics go. The A2 string and above should plain to allow glissando
bending. When thinking about how chords and scales work out on such a
fretboard it seems even better than the traditional guitar tuning. The
key question here is how does such a tuning affect the feel and
resonance of a normal electric guitar? So, has anyone tried it?

Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen