Hi All,

Just finished (minus small cosmetics) my first CBG.  It is three string, tuned to open E.  I chose open E because I have fooled around with bass guitar for a couple years and open E seems easier to play.  

Problem I'm having is how to play minor chords.  I realize this is because of my lack of knowledge about the topic in general, but I was hoping someone could explain this to me.  I also play left handed.  

So for example, Who'll stop the rain by CCR starts with G, F, Em.  I have been fretting the high E string at the third fret, but I'm not sure this is correct.  Or, should I just play the root like with the bass?

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There are many ways to string and tune a CBG, but it all comes down to how you want the instrument to "function". As for strumming chords, the best approach I have found is retuning from GDg (use standard strings ADg) to ADf# (Open D) using this tuning it is possible to create a method of movable chords that functions very similar to a standard 6 string. Please see the video. I hope this helps. Enjoy your practice, Keni Lee

I think KLB probably answered your question, so I'll just go on record with this: love the middle tuning key mounted that way.

CBG people: we're nothing if not creative.

Thanks for the replies Gents.  I like using barre chords with the open E because at this point it is the easiest thing for me.  I hopefully will move on to standard tuning some time.  I guess what I really wish I had was a comprehensive chord chart for a three string tuned to open E.  

I also switched to steel strings and am using the E,A,D strings.  Gives it a nice deep sound.  

you could hit the open top string, fret the middle string at the fifth fret and the bottom string at the third fret. ive been wanting to try this tuning setup and experiment with heavier strings. 

  i like how you got your strings on a straight path from the nut to the tuning pegs. nice clean looking gitty.

 Hi , Will !    I'm no expert but I'll try to give you a few ideas .   If you go to the home page , at the top right of the page there is a place you can type in a search .   Type in "The old Greek bouzouki chord chart .  In the first thing that came up when I searched is a pdf file for this instrument , that is tuned DAd .     I'm assuming you are tuned Ebe , so you would have to transpose these to E , but the same chord shapes work ( or you could tune to DAd .)    DAd tuning and EBe are relevant to each other and that they are composed of the first (root) , the fifth and the first again an octave higher .  DAd is also also used in "drop D" tuning on a standard guitar .    You could also look up open E chords on a standard guitar and play what you can on the strings you have , but many of these chords would be incomplete using only three strings .      Also check out some banjo tunings ,any of those tunings would allow you to use three out of the four stings used in most chords on the banjo . Get a banjo chord book for the tuning you've picked and you're good to go .       DAd and Ebe  both lack a third in open tuning .   It is the change in the third that makes a minor or major chord .  That being said , I play my minor chords the same as my major chords if it sounds okay "to me"!!   I tune Gdg ,( Still the first , the fifth and the first an octave higher .)  I like the sound of this tuning ...... but it is a bear to work with when trying to make different chords !!

When you say Open E, do you mean EBE tuning?   

Yes, I have it tuned to EBE.  The downer I'm finding with this type of tuning is some notes are quite high on the fretboard (D and C with open E).  I guess until I can deal with standard tuning, I'll have to work with it.  I've got the minor chords down now, but am struggling with 7th chords; weird finger gyrations!  

There is a c at the first fret and a d at the third. If you can't reach these from the nut you scale is far too long :)

E5 or 151 Tuning is good for walking bass lines, shuffle rhythms, two lines of music: alternating bass and slide on the  first string, doublestops. Technically, it is not Open E because it is not a full chord like 513 / BEg# tuning. Although, I prefer to tune down a whole step to ADf# and capo 2 if I want to play Open E.    

 Keni Lee (you da man!!) is correct .  151 tuning lacks a 3rd and is not a "true" chord . Lacking a 3rd in the tuning causes all kinds of problems when trying to make chords.    Will , you mentioned " until I can deal with standard tuning " ......... so , here's a thought .   What about tuning to DGB ? ( An idea I got from Uncle John.)   This gives you a  513 tuning and are what the 4th , 3rd and 2nd strings are in STANDARD tuning on a regular guitar !  This "may" allow you to use standard chord charts and apply them to those three strings .     Keni Lee , I would love to hear your thoughts on this !  As I have not tried it and I'm walking on the edge of what I know about music theory !!            Will ,  you could do a"bass" tuning of this by tuning a low E string and two A strings to DGB ....... or even a low E string tuned to D and G & B( 3rd & 2nd) strings tuned to G & B ( kind of a baritone Lowe Bow tuning ) !

I don't know about 'all kinda of problems' it's only three or four frets away

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