For anyone who hasn't visited my 3-String site I have a bunch of free video lessons with diagrams and tabs at the link above. I am tuned EBE just to get a nice low bass, but the concepts apply to any 151 tuning.

I would love to hear your comments and feedback.



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Thanks for sharing.  I have the boxes, now all I have to do is build it.

Really nice! Nice brief booklet--well designed and laid out. I know enough to understand how hard it is to produce a professional-looking document. (You REALLY ought to stick a copyright notice on there. You don't have to register it, but indicate that you're retaining your rights.)

I've only looked at the book and the "tuning" video, but it looks like you've produced what everyone needs to sell their instruments. Nobody's gonna' buy a 3-string funky guitar if there's no instruction book on how to play it.

I've been kicking around the idea of creating such a book, but, as I'm sure you know, there are many, many problems deciding on tunings, creating tabs, etc. When you start to commit your ideas to written words, it suddenly becomes clear that there are many different answers to each question. I hope that yours is the solution I've been looking for.

That said, I hope to snipe at your work at every turn. Now that you've committed your ideas to print, it's easy to sit back and question your decisions.

For example, your tuning the 1, 2, and 3 strings up to open G scares me. That's cranking two unwrapped strings up a 3rd. I don't make the necks that strong even if the strings can take the abuse. I tune 1, 2, and 3 to open E--either E-b-e or (I prefer) G#-b-e.

Another option is to not use consecutive strings. Tune 1, 2, and 4 to D-a-d or E-b-e. I like to use one set of strings for two guitars (1-3 on one guitar, 4-6 on the other), but once you get into the "middle" strings you're only gonna' get one instrument per set anyway. (Everybody on the CBN website has a drawer full of mismatched strings.)

I haven't seen all the lessons yet, but I take it you're trying to get me tuned in the keys of E, A, D, and G. I love the symmetry, but tuning a high string up to G seems to be going too far. (Just my $0.02)

More to follow... I look forward to your lessons.


Hey Twang,

Thanks for the feedback. You're right, if I were to play in the key of G with these strings I would capo 3. For these lessons I am tuned EBE because I like the nice low E for blues.

Based on your input I have reworked the video a little bit to reduce confusion (hopefully), and simplified Figure 1 to show just EBE (using 654) and GDG (using 543).


Just a reminder that strings go all the way down to "Extra Light" re: needed neck strength.

Yep. Every purchase I make seems to run to lighter and lighter strings.

I've also saved some money by buying 4-string dulcimer sets for the high strings. D'Addario dulcimer sets provide 3 appropriate thin string sizes plus an extra top string that's useful when I break one.

Obviously, all my builds are acoustic--with or without a piezo.

Great idea, hadn't thought of dulcimer strings.


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