I had a few folks that expressed an interest in buying a CBG from me, but it appears they were intimidated by the 3 string versions, and felt that a 4 string version would be more familiar to them. No amount of explaining would suffice, so I built a couple of 4 stringers.

I was not sure what type of tuning would satisfy these guys. The guy a the music store suggested maybe I should tune them like a mountain dulcimer. I figured I would give it a try, but the strings he gave me are really light and I am not sure I like them.

How could I tune/string a 4 stringer that would satisfy someone who is familiar with a normal 6 string guitar?

The bottom 4 strings? The top 4 strings?

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I started this thread almost 4 years ago, when I didn't know jack. ( Like I know Jack now...???)

Interesting that it is still getting responses.

The 4 string I just built (my first) I have tuned to open E, like it's the 4 high strings on my dobro or Tele: EG#BE. I don't play a lot of real finger style picking with the thumb bass lines and all. Kudos to those that do though! That's a beast in itself!!! And a good majority of the licks I play with slide are on the high 4 strings anyway, so it just seemed natural to tune to this. Right now I have it strung with 10, 13, 17, 32, but I'm thinking about going a bit thicker with the strings, provided the neck can handle the tension. So I'm basically playing roadhouse style blues on a cbg, not country delta style stuff. Blasphemy to some I imagine!! LOL!!! But the tone is great and the fun level is extremely high! :) Oh, I have electric strings on it as well, since it has a single coil pickup, not acoustic strings.

lol i built a 4 stringer and cant even figure out how to play it . the 4th string just gets in my way . ive tried top 4 bottom 4 and middle 4 . nothing i do . so 4th string got ripped off and now its a nice barritone 3 stringer lol .

GDgd is a good start for 4 stringers. But GDga is very cool too - easy maj and min chords, lots of lovely add2, sus and 6th shapes too - I'd say GDgd for bluesy, GDga for pretty.

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