Before the CBG I experimented with some alternate tunings for other songs. Is particular I have used Open-D tuning (D-A-D-F#-A-D) to learn and play Taj Mahal's Country Blues #1:
Go check out the full original here: Taj Mahal - Country Blues #1
I then did some experimenting with that tuning to come up with this original work:
With the addition of slide playing and my research into the Blues and Delta Blues I have been introduced to more alternate tunings. The 3-string CBG limits you again with the 3 strings so open tunings become the course of the day.
Here are some really great resources I have found for alternate tunings:
- Wikipedia: Guitar Tunings
- Warren Allen's Encyclopedia of Alternate Guitar Tunings
- This is an invaluable resource of tunings, who uses them, representative songs, and the various versions of the tunings that are used. A great read for anyone researching new tunings.
- William A. Sethares: Alternate Tuning Guide
- On this page, there is a link to his paper as a PDF covering alternate tunings. This is another one you want to download and keep. This has a ton of great guitar music theory and alternate tuning information. Here is the direct link to Alternate Tuning Guide PDF.
|Only way to remember stuff is to
write it down I find.
Here is how I approach a new tuning when I want to learn it:
- Draw out a fret board.
- Map out the notes for each fret.
- If I am trying to learn a specific scale, like D Major on an Open D tuning, I highlight the notes in the scale and where they lay on the fret board. In general I will draw a fret board with just this mapping to make learning it easier.
- Then I practice the scale on each string up the string and then back. For each string I am interesting in learning. I do these sets for about 5 minutes at a time, each day as I am learning the new tuning.
I hope that helps you figure out how to use alternate tunings yourself.
Now I am off to practice Open-G on the CBG.