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Fuji

Bb-G-D-G-G-D • OVERVIEW • Just one I came across on the GTDB website, submitted as ‘Fuji’ by an anonymous user via an undated post. Tried it, loved it, included it here…   In the words of its unknown creator: “Here’s one I made up…I like to lumber away on the first two strings, and use […]

 

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Airtap!

F-A-C-F-C-F • OVERVIEW • Used by Montreal acoustic genius Erik Mongrain to facilitate the virtuosic ‘lap-tapping’ techniques of Airtap!, an oldskool viral favourite (uploaded back in 2006: YouTube’s early days). Like playing piano, bass, & drums on the strings – all at the same time…   The intervallic structure matches the guitar’s ‘classic’ Gmaj shape […]

 

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Rakotomavo

Bb-F-C-G-C-E • OVERVIEW • Used by Germain Rakotomavo – a Malagasy master known for fusing the folk repertoire of Madagascar’s valiha (tube zither) with more traditionally guitaristic ideas, from jazz chords to the fingerpicking patterns of Chet Atkins & Merle Travis.   In Rakotomavo’s words, EADGBE “doesn’t sing. It’s for playing chords”. His tuning adapts […]

 

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F Standard

F-Bb-Eb-Ab-C-F • OVERVIEW • By accident and design, countless guitarists have ended up tuning a semitone sharp of standard. Raises overall tension by ~12% – giving a fantastic volume boost – but limiting bends, barres, and general fluency, especially on steel-string acoustics.   Works best on lighter-strung, shorter-scale guitars – e.g Les Pauls will handle […]

 

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Mesopotamian

B-A-G-D-A-D • OVERVIEW • ‘I once met a mysterious guitarist from Mesopotamia, who would only teach in his local tuning…’ لول Pattern: 10-10-7-7-5 | Harmony: D6(sus4) | Intervals: 6-5-4-1-5-1 • TUNE UP • [YT] • SOUNDS • The actual music of Baghdad spans a rich variety of sonic and social influences, both ancient and modern. […]

 

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Papa-Papa

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 sandwich filled with ‘A’). Only one string differs from the more famous DADGAD – the 3str is lowered by a fourth, going super-slack to add psychedelic phasing […]

 

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C Mauna Loa

C-G-C-G-A-E • OVERVIEW • A C6 known in Hawaiian kī hō’alu (‘slack-key’) guitar as C ‘Mauna Loa’ – the name of the world’s largest active volcano, which has erupted non-stop since rising from the Pacific seabed over 400,000 years ago.   The tuning’s regular stack of three perfect 5ths brings a similarly balanced stability (6>5, 4>3, […]

 

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C Wahine / Keola’s C

C-G-D-G-B-E • OVERVIEW • An quick-to-reach Open C variant mixing 5ths, 4ths, and 3rds. Popular in Hawaii as ‘C Wahine’ (‘woman’) or ‘Keola’s C’ after modern slack-key legend Keola Beamer. The Honolulu maestro, who has long used it to explore fresh chord voicings and mellifluous natural harmonics (ho’opapa), hails it as “one of the easiest and […]

 

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All Fourths

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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Open Cm

C-G-C-G-C-Eb • OVERVIEW • Open Cm (unlike Open Dm, Gm, and Em) doesn’t really match with any of our familiar Standard-tuned minor-chord shapes (although it’s closest to the ‘xx0231’ Dmin sequence). Another ‘cross-note’ tuning – as you can easily ‘cross-over’ to Cmaj (like: 0-0-0-0-0-1).   The b3 is placed on 1str, giving the only minor […]