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#2889515 - 11/10/17 06:39 AM Open Tunings - Rhythm
DocPate Offline
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Registered: 01/11/16
Posts: 649
Loc: Virginia
Here's an interesting (IMHO) question for all of the open tuning gurus.

If you play mostly a rhythm guitar like I do since arthritis has me somewhat limited in my playing, what open tuning do you find easiest to play?

For me it's a draw between Open D (DADF#AD) and Open G (DGDGBD). Now actually in Open D, I usually capo up to the second fret (Open E) but when playing in the Key of G, it makes the C and D chords pretty far up the fretboard. Open G works great for the key of G, but the keys of C and E are somewhat difficult to master for me.

Any thoughts??

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#2889571 - 11/10/17 10:28 AM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: DocPate]
desertbluesman Offline
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I do not play rhythm guitar much because it takes a different touch than the lead stuff, but...... I practice some rhythm guitar every day that I play as part of my warm up just to keep my chord knowledge/feel up to snuff. I never use open tuning because it is a pain in the neck to tune and then re-tune the guitar to exact concert pitch tuning. I tried of all that stuff in my beginning years, and my mind was set on playing lead guitar, so I stuck with that. But all the stuff you mentioned above Doc is of great value. I am a big big fan of the side men which includes all the instrumentation/players in the rhythm section. They lay down the basis for any song. And the guys that do it flawlessly are the best of players, I admire them greatly. Without the side men the front men are rather useless, and totally boring to watch (in my humble opinion) if they do long and winding solo's. However players like the country side men (rhythm guitar in the country style) and guys like Tommy Emmanuel are super entertaining all by themselves. I was a big fan of Chet and Merle Travis back in the day, and they played mostly melodic country rhythm guitar (not all but quite a lot)
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#2889595 - 11/10/17 12:20 PM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: desertbluesman]
DocPate Offline
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Posts: 649
Loc: Virginia
Thanks Dave. I understand the thinking. When I was able, I would always play flatpicking songs which was "lead" back then. Except when I was writing songs, then it was rhythm guitar or keyboards.

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#2889616 - 11/10/17 01:24 PM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: DocPate]
Larryz Offline
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Loc: Northern California
@ Doc, I seldom if ever, play in altered tunings or use a capo on a guitar. Not for now anyway. As I get older and have to deal with things like Arthritis, I will put these two things to good use, so I can keep on playing the guitar as long as possible. Then I'll play my Dobro. I use G B D G B D tuning and also tune to G7...G B D F B D. And Gminor G Bb D G Bb D on the Dobro... cool


Edited by Larryz (11/10/17 01:24 PM)
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#2889623 - 11/10/17 01:37 PM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: Larryz]
harvey Offline
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Registered: 04/05/09
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Loc: Sydney, Australia
Hey Doc,

I'm no expert - although I've recently started noodling around with a slide in open E.

I get the idea trying to find a compromise between G and D turnings that gives you access to those keys you mentioned. Do you have a second guitar lying around to have one tuned in each?

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#2889633 - 11/10/17 02:38 PM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: harvey]
whitefang Offline
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I only use a "D" tuning on a little cheapie guitar I use for trying to get the hang of slide. And I use a "standard" D tuning on my 12-string acoustic and capo on the 2nd fret to play in a "standard" E (if ya get that drift). With only two main guitars, using a lot of different alternate tunings would be too much of a hassle to keep tuning one way for a couple of songs, and re-tuning to a different one for a few others.
Whitefang
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#2889705 - 11/11/17 05:36 AM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: DocPate]
Fred_C Offline
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Posts: 2037
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Originally Posted By: DocPate
Here's an interesting (IMHO) question for all of the open tuning gurus.

For me it's a draw between Open D (DADF#AD) and Open G (DGDGBD). Now actually in Open D, I usually capo up to the second fret (Open E)


Doc,

It's Open D and Open G for me as well. But I play in Travis/Piedmont style where the thumb plays a constant alternating bass while the first and second fingers simultaneously play melody and rhythmic figures.

Some of the tunes I play are:

Sittin' on Top of the World - Doc Watson's arrangement in Open D
Worried Blues - As above
Police Dog Blues - Blind Blake's arrangement Open D
Knoxville Blues - Sam McGee's arrangement Open D
Frankie and Albert - Mississippi John Hurt's arrangement Open G
(John Hurt's F&A is a bitch to play. The phrasing is very difficult)
Mole's Moan - Geoff Muldaur's arrangement Open G

and a few others.

In addition, I played a few slide tunes in Open D and G.

Dust My Broom - Elmore James arrangement Open D (this is the anthem of all Slide style blues players)

The Sky is Crying - As above -

And a few others. I was never much of a slide player. My teacher, Jerry Ricks taught me a few slide tunes. It has been several decades since I've played any slide at all.





Edited by Fred_C (11/11/17 05:45 AM)
Edit Reason: additional content
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#2889730 - 11/11/17 08:48 AM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: Fred_C]
DocPate Offline
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Registered: 01/11/16
Posts: 649
Loc: Virginia
Thanks all for your replies. @Harvey If I was gigging, yes I'd have multiple guitars for standard tuning and Open G. But just at home I retune

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#2889789 - 11/11/17 02:49 PM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: DocPate]
whitefang Offline
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@Fred---

Couldn't find an exclusive, but singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Smither uses a variety of different tunings during his performances. And here is a live version of his cover of "Dust My Broom", apparently with a "slide" tuning, but not played slide. The man is brilliant. Listen to his other stuff if time allows...


[video:youtube]https://youtu.be/X2PjkDXbUfs?list=RDX2PjkDXbUfs[/video]

Whitefang(don't know why it didn't take...


Edited by whitefang (11/11/17 02:56 PM)
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#2889791 - 11/11/17 03:00 PM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: whitefang]
Fred_C Offline
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Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 2037
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: whitefang
@Fred---

Couldn't find an exclusive, but singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Smither uses a variety of different tunings during his performances. And here is a live version of his cover of "Dust My Broom", apparently with a "slide" tuning, but not played slide. The man is brilliant. Listen to his other stuff if time allows...

[video:youtube]https://you.tube/P-OPDcybMZM?list=RDP-OPDcybMZM[/video]

Whitefang



@WF,

I am very aware of Chris Smither's work. I've seen him in concert a number of times since the '60's. He's very good, but I've always thought of him as an "acoustic blues" player rather than a "singer/songwriter".

As I've mentioned several times in various threads, when it comes to the Blues, I prefer to listen to the original artists as opposed to "covers" by contemporary players. Just a personal preference.
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#2889806 - 11/11/17 04:54 PM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: Fred_C]
DocPate Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/11/16
Posts: 649
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: Fred_C
Originally Posted By: whitefang
@Fred---

Couldn't find an exclusive, but singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Smither uses a variety of different tunings during his performances. And here is a live version of his cover of "Dust My Broom", apparently with a "slide" tuning, but not played slide. The man is brilliant. Listen to his other stuff if time allows...

[video:youtube]https://you.tube/P-OPDcybMZM?list=RDP-OPDcybMZM[/video]

Whitefang



@WF,

I am very aware of Chris Smither's work. I've seen him in concert a number of times since the '60's. He's very good, but I've always thought of him as an "acoustic blues" player rather than a "singer/songwriter".

As I've mentioned several times in various threads, when it comes to the Blues, I prefer to listen to the original artists as opposed to "covers" by contemporary players. Just a personal preference.


Bentonia tuning? E minor DADFAD


Edited by DocPate (11/11/17 04:55 PM)

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#2889840 - 11/12/17 04:29 AM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: DocPate]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9889
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
@Fred--

I've yet to have that pleasure. Seems whenever he comes around to where I live it's either a venue too far or bad timing all around. frown But he did and does write many good songs is why I think of him as a "singer/songwriter" as well as a very good guitar stylist. And since the thread IS about open tunings, and Smither uses several, I thought I'd bring him up. wink
Whitefang


Edited by whitefang (11/12/17 04:30 AM)
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#2889967 - 11/12/17 04:54 PM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: whitefang]
hurricane hugo Offline
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Registered: 10/01/08
Posts: 2682
Might wanna try what the old blues guys used to call Sevastopol tuning - drop both E strings down to D. Also, the G6 tuning that you get when you drop the low E and A strings down a whole step: D, G, D, G, B, E.
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#2890015 - 11/13/17 04:37 AM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: hurricane hugo]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9889
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Those sound interesting Hugo. I'd say the "alternate" tuning I've used most in my time would be "drop D", and that's just dropping the 6th string to "D", not both E strings. Gonna have to give that a try. wink
Whitefang
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#2890033 - 11/13/17 07:22 AM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: whitefang]
DocPate Offline
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Registered: 01/11/16
Posts: 649
Loc: Virginia
But, back to the question...

Which open tuning do you find easiest to play rhythm?

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#2890820 - 11/17/17 10:48 AM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: DocPate]
hurricane hugo Offline
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Posts: 2682
Isn't that going to be dependent on whether your repertoire's mostly major or minor? If you're doing lots of major-key material, you might wanna go with some 6th-chord tuning or other. You know, taking a page from the pedal-steel playbook and such. Minor keys...I guess any open minor chord tuning? I've done a lot of my slide playing in standard tuning, so I don't really have solid advice or strong opinions on how to handle minor-key work.
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#2891987 - Yesterday at 06:54 PM Re: Open Tunings - Rhythm [Re: DocPate]
spiral_light Offline
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Registered: 11/03/11
Posts: 84
Loc: Out there, somewhere...
Not so much of a rhythm tuning but I do sometimes like to default to DADGAD just for the Bert Jansch/Davy Graham vibe.
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