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Variations of G5 Tuning (GDg)
On my instructional video CD 4, I teach songs and how to explore GDg tuning on a 3 string CBG. On CD 6, using the same strings, we retune to ADf# and explore a "Moveable Chord Method" very similar to the approach used on a standard 6 string guitar.
Once you get this information under your fingers, there are many other possible tunings using the same strings, that offer endless possibilities for exploration and creativity. Here are a few ideas:
GDg (G5 Tuning) Tones 1 and 5 from the G Major Scale
GCg (G4 Tuning) Tones 1 and 4 / 2nd string tune down
GBg (G3 Tuning) Tones 1 and 3 / 2nd string tune down
Partial Chord (with extensions) Tunings
GDf (G7 Tuning) Tones 1 , 5, flat 7 / 1st string tune down
GDe (G6 Tuning) Tones 1, 5, 6 / 1st string tune down
GDa (G9 Tuning) Tones 1, 5, 9 When Tone 1 repeats in the next octave, it is called Tone 8. The 2 is called Tone 9 and it continues up...10, 11, 12, 13... / 1st string tune up.
GBf (G3 7th) Tones 1,3, and flat 7 / 1st and 2nd strings tune down
Full Chord (Triad) Tunings
ADf# (Open D) Tones 5,1,and 3 from the D Major Scale. / Tune 3rd string up, 1st string down
ADf (Open D minor) 5,1, flat 3 / Tune 3rd string up, 1st string down
Joni Mitchell, a folk musician popular in the 1960s, used a wide variety of different tunings to create her songs. Although, creating a new song by creating a new tunings is a good approach, I would also suggest pick a tuning, that appeals to you, and do an indept exploration. Use your knowledge from GDg tuning and relate it to the new tuning. By digging in deeper, your understanding will become unified and it will be easier to make arrangements with more intention. Definitely, using your ear as a guide is good, but organizing your discoveries will lead to your own defined approach and style. Enjoy your practice, Keni Lee
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