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• Alphabet tuning •

A-B-C-D-E-F • OVERVIEW • While admittedly easy to remember, ‘Alphabet’ tuning isn’t exactly the most melodically (or physically) practical. Nevertheless, there is always value to be found in embracing some creative chaos – in this case, via the arbitrary nature of ‘Alpha-melodic’ tunings (i.e. with notes chosen via some spelling-based method).   These oddball approaches can serve as […]

 

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• Zigzag Thirds (Major) tuning •

F-A-C-E-G-B • OVERVIEW • A ‘stack of thirds’, alternating between major and minor (i.e. semitone gaps of 4, 3, 4, 3, 4). Proposed by Greek mathematician Dr. Costas Kyritsis as an ideal landscape for simplifying the shapes of all common diatonic chords – a logical point, given that much of Western harmony is built from […]

 

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• Gothic tuning •

Eb-G-D-A-Bb-C • OVERVIEW • Introduced by Japanese axeman Ichika Nito to explore fresh avenues of his imaginative electric fingerpicking style. With a different tone on each string, it offers up a complex chordal canvas.   Only 4str stays familiar from Standard. Try raking through the divine natural harmonics at <12/7/5fr>, and sliding up and down […]

 

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• Zigzag Thirds (Minor) tuning •

F-Ab-C-Eb-G-Bb • OVERVIEW • A ‘stack of thirds’, alternating between minor and major (i.e. semitone gaps of 3, 4, 3, 4, 3). Proposed by Greek mathematician Dr. Costas Kyritsis as an ideal landscape for simplifying the shapes of all common diatonic chords – a logical point, given that much of Western harmony is built from […]

 

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• Cello (‘Haircut’) tuning •

C-G-D-A-B-E • OVERVIEW • While the highest two strings of this tuning are left as Standard, the rest are ‘widened’ in range to form a stack of perfect 5ths across 6-5-4-3str – thus matching the tuning of a cello. The treble side also gives open-string access to the next 5th up in the sequence, between […]

 

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• All Fourths (‘Regular’) tuning •

E-A-D-G-C-F • OVERVIEW • A ‘regular’ stack of perfect 4ths (also a Dmin11 arpeggio). Kind of like Standard‘s more logical cousin – the ‘odd one out’ gap between 3-2str is eliminated, simplifying the fretboard’s geometry. Great for quartal voicings, and the C & F open tones are useful for common keys too.   Guitarists arrive […]

 

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• Drop C (‘Neon’) tuning •

C-A-D-G-B-E • OVERVIEW • Dropping the 6str down four frets is fairly simple – but will give you a different perspective on how the other open string tones can fit together. Swapping the low E to a low C turns EADGBE’s somewhat vacant-sounding Em7(add11) open chord into a sultry, jazz-laden Cmaj9(13) voicing.   This drop […]