• 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 it better than Stratocasters. Although a capo can often be a better option (my acoustic playing in this tuning was jumpy, reflecting my constant fear of an imminent string snap…).
Pattern: 5-5-5-4-5 | Harmony: Fm7(11) | Intervals: 1-4-b7-b3-5-1
• TUNE UP •
• SOUNDS •
- Walk the Line @ Town Hall Party – Johnny Cash (1958):
• NUMBERS •
- See my Tunings Megatable for further such nerdery: more numbers, intervallic relations, comparative methods, etc. And to any genuine vibratory scientists reading: please critique my DIY analysis!
• RELATED •
—Associated tunings: proximities of shape, concept, context, etc…
- Airtap!: a high-sided shuffling of an Fmaj triad
- Albert Collins (this with 4/5str +2): tight-wound blues
- Flip Thirds (Min): stacking up thirds from F root
• MORE INFO •
—Further learnings: sources, readings, lessons, other onward links…
- F Standard: discussion with some quality insights on the Acoustic Guitar Forum (“…retain perspective with the fret markers, instead of capoing and losing them as references…”)
- Luther Perkins: how to emulate his sound with Dirk Wacker in Premier Guitar (“So, what does ‘boom-chicka-boom’ style mean? It’s an onomatopoetic word, similar to the fast, stomping tone from a freight train in motion. Several urban legends exist about how Luther Perkins developed this tone…”)
Browse 100+ tunings: type in names, notes, artists, sequences, words, etc. Also see tags below & the Full Menu.
—Rāga Junglism’s World of Tuning—
Everything you didn’t realise you wanted to know about guitar tuning – fresh perspectives from Ming Dynasty manuscripts to modern psychoacoustics via jazz, Joni Mitchell, Madagascar, & more. Ad-free, open-access multimedia resources, continually updated (‘tuned’) over time. Feedback encouraged!
George Howlett is a London-based musician, writer, and teacher. I play guitar, tabla, and santoor, loosely focusing on jazz, rhythm, and other global improvised traditions. Above all I seek to enthuse fellow sonic searchers, interconnecting fresh vibrations with the human voices, cultures, and passions behind them. Site menu above, follow below, & get in touch!
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