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• Teardrop tuning •

D-A-D-A-B-E • OVERVIEW • Simple in design, this tuning expands the range of 3-4-5-6str, opening up two perfect 5ths in the process (6>5str and 4>3str). The open chord – a ‘suspended‘ Drop D variant – has an ambiguous character, leaving room for varied explorations.   Demonstrated superbly by José González on his booming nylon-string cover […]

 

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• Yvette’s Dadd9 tuning •

D-A-D-F#-A-E • OVERVIEW • A melodious Open D variant, which retains Standard’s high E1str tone to give a spacious Dadd9. Pleasingly, the 6-2str intervals are arranged in descending order of width, narrowing in neat sequence as you go towards the treble (7>5>4>3: 5th > 4th > maj. 3rd > min. 3rd) – until you encounter […]

 

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• Dracula tuning •

C-G-C-F-Bb-D • OVERVIEW • A deepened tuning showcased on Dracula and Friends (Pt. 1) by Mi’kmaq-Canadian fingerstyle virtuoso Don Ross (who thankfully deviated from his original career plan: he was once enrolled in priesthood training at at San Damiano Friary, set to become a Franciscan friar…).   Robust interval pairs, set in neat descending order (perf. […]

 

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• Blown a Wish tuning •

F-C-F-Bb-Bb-G • OVERVIEW • An odd DADGAD variant – it is transposed upwards 3 semitones, with 2str dropped into unison with 3str, and 1str raised by a further whole tone (equivalent to ‘DADGGE capo 3’). Showcased by My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields on Blown a Wish (with a 1fr capo), track nine from their droning […]

 

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• Place to Be tuning •

C-G-C-F-G-E • OVERVIEW • Used to give life to the legato-tinged cluster voicings of Nick Drake’s Place to Be – the second track from 1972’s Pink Moon, his third and final album. Almost identical to his tuning for the title track: the only difference being that here, 2str is a full 5 semitones lower – decreasing […]

 

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• Pink Moon tuning •

C-G-C-F-C-E • OVERVIEW • A resonant Open C variant, with 1str left at E to create a wide-spread Cmaj11 voicing. Used by enigmatic English folkster Nick Drake for Pink Moon, the opening track of his 1972 album of the same name: capoed at 2fr, and slightly sharp of concert pitch (n.b. lower 2str by 5 […]

 

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• Ghost Reveries tuning •

D-A-D-F-A-E • OVERVIEW • A spacious Open Dm variant, which retains Standard’s E1str tone to give a minor 9th open harmony. Great for chord voicings which combine intricate high extensions with robust bass structures – with note-shuffling added by the tuning’s irregular interval sequence (a 4th, min. 3rd, and a maj. 3rd, sandwiched by two 5ths). […]

 

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• Karnivool tuning •

B-F#-B-G-B-E • OVERVIEW • A fascinating blend of Standard + ‘Drop D -3‘ (3-1str & 6-4str respectively), closely associated with Australian prog-rockers Karnivool. According to its creator, lead guitarist Drew Goddard, “It just made sense to have the low tuning, while keeping the first strings high. The best of both worlds I guess…I liked the sequence […]

 

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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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• Albert Collins Fm tuning •

F-C-F-Ab-C-F • OVERVIEW • Essentially ‘Open Dm raised by 3 semitones’ – thus matching the interval pattern of a Standard-tuned ‘0-2-2-0-0-0’ Em chord (or, more precisely, a ‘1-3-3-1-1-1’ Fm barre shape). Categorised as a ‘cross-note‘ tuning, as you can easily ‘cross’ from minor to major with the one-finger shape ‘0-0-0-1-0-0’ (whereas in Open Dmaj, the […]