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• Iris tuning •

B-D-D-D-D-D • OVERVIEW • Unique droning layout created by John Rzeznik for Iris, the Goo Goo Dolls’ 1998 smash-hit power ballad. Balances purity and dissonance: 5-1str are all tuned to D, while the 6str is taken right down to a superlow B – giving a narrow, crunchy minor 3rd gap between the deepest pair.   […]

 

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• Carnatic (‘Drake’s Drone’) tuning •

B-E-B-E-B-E • OVERVIEW • Distinctive drone used prominently on the acoustic by Nick Drake – and on the electric by ‘Guitar’ Prasanna, a South Indian virtuoso acclaimed for playing Carnatic classical ragas on his Epiphone (in Guthrie Govan’s words, “If you don’t know about Prasanna, prepare to be terrified…”).   Highly versatile despite offering only two […]

 

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• Papa-Papa tuning •

D-A-D-D-A-D • OVERVIEW • ‘Double-dad’ tuning is handily symmetrical, mirroring its ‘D-A-D’ pattern across the guitar’s centre line to form a stacked D power chord (like a ‘double-decker D sandwich, each filled with A’). Only one string differs from the famous DADGAD – 3str is lowered by a fourth, going super-slack to add psychedelic phasing […]

 

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• Bruce Palmer (‘Judy Blue Eyes’) tuning •

E-E-E-E-B-E • OVERVIEW • Two-tone drone tuning known as ‘Bruce Palmer modal’ after its creator, Buffalo Springfield bassist Bruce Palmer (1946-2004). Famously showcased by his Buffalo bandmate Stephen Stills at Woodstock in 1969, anchoring David Crosby & Graham Nash’s soaring vocal harmonies on the rhapsodic, romantic Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.   Forms a many-rooted E5 […]

 

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• Zen Drone (‘Dulcimeric’) tuning •

D-A-D-A-A-D • OVERVIEW • Intriguing two-tone drone associated with writer, educator, and New York street-busker Philip Toshio Sudo, author of the cult-classic 1997 book Zen Guitar – aimed at providing a gateway to spontaneous improvisation for players of all abilities. I applaud his participative sentiments, and the immediacy of the tuning’s freedoms (…but you’ve gotta be […]

 

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• All Tritones (‘Symmetric’) tuning •

C-Gb-C-Gb-C-Gb • OVERVIEW • A ‘regular’ stack of tritones, forming what could be loosely described as a ‘diminished power chord’ (1-b5-1 instead of 1-5-1). The 6-fret jumps neatly bisect our 12-semitone octave, making the tuning symmetrical from any string – i.e. wherever you are, the same note names will be found at the same positions […]