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Teardrop

D-A-D-A-B-E • OVERVIEW • Simple in layout, this tuning expands the note range of 3-4-5-6str, opening up two perfect 5ths in the process (6>5str and 4>3str). The open chord – a ‘Drop D sus’ variant – has an ambiguous resonance, giving room for varied explorations in all directions.   Demonstrated superbly by José González on […]

 

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Jack’s Chikari

Ḋ-Ḋ-D-G-B-E • OVERVIEW • Jack Jennings (like me, a UK-based Hindustani guitar explorer) replaces his two lowest strings with super-light .8s, both tuned to high D to mirror the chikari of a sitar – two unfrettable ‘rhythm strings’ on the large Indian lute’s top side, used to add groove and textural colour.   Jack’s ingenious […]

 

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José González

D-A-D-F#-B-E • OVERVIEW • A blend of ‘Open D + Standard‘ (or ‘Drop D + Lute‘) used by Swedish singer-songwriter José González and others. The lowest four strings provide a solid, stable Dmaj voicing (1-5-1-3), while the high-end pair add ambiguity and intrigue (maj 6th & 2nd) – forming a wide-spread D6/9.   Great for ‘vertical’ […]

 

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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 […]