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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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• Lefty Flip (‘Mirrored’) tuning •

E-B-G-D-A-E • OVERVIEW • Spare a thought for left-handed guitarists everywhere – though they can count Hendrix, Iommi, Cobain, McCartney, and many other six-stringed innovators among them, this comes as little solace whenever there’s only a ‘normal’ guitar lying around to jam on at a party.   This ‘mirror of Standard’ is an intriguing workaround: […]

 

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• Overtone Series tuning •

G-B-D-F-G-A • OVERVIEW • My basic setting of overtones 4 to 9 in the harmonic series – if ‘squashed’ to 12-tone equal temperament, they spell out a dominant 9th arpeggio as an ascent-ordered stack of thirds (1-3-5-b7-9). Also see Sethares’ variant: which keeps tension within more sensible bounds by adding a register-jump in the middle (C-E-G-Bb-C-D). […]

 

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• All Minor Sixths tuning •

F-Db-A-F-Db-A • OVERVIEW • A ‘regular’ stack of minor 6ths – i.e. 8 semitones separate each string. This produces an expansive augmented sequence, starting from any of its three notes: whichever string you begin on, playing the two below will give 1-b6-3 (=an 1-3-#5 augmented triad: but one which cycles through the same notes in […]

 

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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 […]

 

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• All Major Thirds tuning •

E-G#-C-E-G#-C • OVERVIEW • A ‘regular‘ stack of major 3rds (i.e. 4 semitones separate each string) – forming an augmented triad (1-3-#5) from any of its three notes, regardless of which string you start on. These symmetrical properties arise because our 12-semitone octave divides neatly into 4*3 with no remainder – meaning that sequences of […]

 

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• All Minor Thirds tuning •

G-Bb-Db-E-G-Bb • OVERVIEW • A ‘regular’ stack of minor 3rds (i.e. 3 semitones separate each string) – forming a diminished 7th arpeggio [1-b3-b5-bb7] regardless of where you start. These odd symmetrical properties arise because our 12-semitone octave divides neatly into 3 with no remainder – meaning that sequences of 3-fret jumps will always ‘orbit’ back […]