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Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings

17 Mar 01 - 11:20 AM (#419928)
Subject: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: Peter T.

I don't claim to be in RFielding's league (except in baseball, these days), but we have been nurding around in open D tuning -- so here is a separate thread on open tunings. Open season.
The seed for me in this was Bod Dylan's obsession with a few neat details in open D, which he uses in Tangled Up In Blue, Simple Twist of Fate, Shooting Star, and a zillion others. The chords he uses are:

D 054000
Dmaj7 044000
D7 034000 sometimes 030300
G 020120
Gm x05450
A4 x42000
A? x02120
Bm x20020

The bass run down the 5th string and occasionally onto the 6th is infinitely useful. He also has these great chords:

Em7 222100
F#m7 444300

Also worth noting is the really nice:

Em9 or something 005554
This can go up and down almost everywhere.

yours, Peter T.


17 Mar 01 - 12:06 PM (#419946)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: Rick Fielding

Well ya learn something every day!!

I finally clicked into that particular number system. For three years here, I've been doing "index on third fret, second string....etc. That is much simpler, and explains things fine. For me, it's seeing multiple numbers....and I freak. Don't know why, I just do.

Thanks for starting this thread Peter. Is this your first "Tech. Tips" thread, where you're "demonstrating" some of your skills? If So, Bravo.

Rick


17 Mar 01 - 12:11 PM (#419948)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: Justa Picker

Here's a nice tutorial on Open Tunings, as well as chord charts and lots of good information.


17 Mar 01 - 12:12 PM (#419950)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: Peter T.

Hi, Rick. I confess to being the perpetrator of the Modes thread, but that is it -- that nearly killed me.

It is a good system, but it does have one big flaw -- you don't learn the tricks of where to put your fingers -- not that that does me any good, still.
yours, Peter T.
p.s. beautiful day, huh? (grey, snow, cold)


17 Mar 01 - 12:53 PM (#419970)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: John Hardly

no, the number system doesn't say where the fingers go but in a way that simplifies things.

For instance I play my movable 7th (G7=3X343X) thumbed over but my friend plays it "properly". It's funny how many times I stumble at someone's explanation of their fingering only to realize they are describing a chord in my current vocabulary (that I might have recognized easier with the numbers).

rabbit trail over

JH


17 Mar 01 - 02:11 PM (#420002)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: GUEST,marty D

The 'modes' thread was very good. Thanks peter. I have to agree with John, that the numbers are easier to follow. No offence Rick, you've helped me a lot, but sometimes your 'finger placement' descriptions are confusing. To me anyway.

Martin


18 Mar 01 - 09:36 AM (#420382)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: Peter T.

It is worth pointing out that there are some nice diminished chords in open D. The two easiest shapes seem to be:

X232XX
and
XXX223

These go nicely in something like from D to A7 (and back to D):
X343XX
X232XX
X02102

or

XXX334
XXX223
X02102

with the D alternating on the 6th string, or the 4th string, or the 1st string.

I stole this from a recent article in Acoustic Guitar magazine by Mike Dowling.

yours, Peter T.


18 Mar 01 - 10:42 AM (#420393)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: JedMarum

I like to play with this tuning. It forms the basis for the high strung, reconfigured Backpacker I use as a 'poor man's bouzouki' - and I occasionally use it for a song or two on my guitar, but it's a bit impractical to retune during a set, and it's hard to dedicate a guitar to the tuning - so I use it mostly for fun. But I love the possibilities it offers. The inside four strings use (G tuned) banjo chords, and the 6th and 1st strings can be easily extended. You can pick out melodies up the neck, with one and two fingered chords against the full open string accompaniment.

It's so close to the popular Celtic tuning, DADGAD - the only differnec is the 3rd string is tuned 1/2 step down for D major - but there is a world of difference in the sound.


18 Mar 01 - 10:51 AM (#420399)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: Willie-O

Awhile ago someone (Shambles I think) was saying how he preferred playing 8-string instruments due to the richness of the octave-tuned (and double unison) strings.

You can, of course, get this effect without much technical finesse using DADGAD or I suppose other open D. Since there's three D's and two A's, all spaced a convenient octave apart and fretted on the same , it's easy to play those octaves as a fill for that 12-=string/zook effect.

Just to show that rather than being "lame" as certain unreasonably prejudiced persons have referred to 6-strings, a 6-string is the most versatile thing going for imitating other instruments.

W-O


18 Mar 01 - 11:07 AM (#420410)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: JedMarum

good point, Willie re: ocatves. I use them in this tuning, usually to accent a melodic line ... playing it once or twice, and then, after the line is 'introduced' playing as an ocatve line. It gives a nice accent.

This tuning is great for finger picking, too - by the way. In fact, I prefer to finger pick D tuning, when I'm playing guitar (as opposed to my highstrung Backpacker, that is).


18 Mar 01 - 11:38 AM (#420426)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: GUEST,marty D

Does anyone know if Doc Watson plays in open tunings? Thanks.

Martin


18 Mar 01 - 11:59 AM (#420438)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: GUEST

So, guys, say I'm a player who has never been one to take notice of all the inovations of book learning when it comes to playing music and I'd like to understand just what those X's and O's mean when describing the chord. I think they mean open or do not place fingers here. Am I right? Then do the numbers describe fret positions for whatever fingers you might find able to accomodate? First I'll need a starting point or the tuning in question. I have only played in a few different tunings and explored only one in any depth. I've fooled around in a drop D tuning a little, where the low E is dropped to D. Is that what the chords described above are based upon?


18 Mar 01 - 12:01 PM (#420439)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: GUEST,ghost

So, guys, say I'm a player who has never been one to take notice of all the innovations of book learning when it comes to playing music and I'd like to understand just what those X's and O's mean when describing the chord. I think they mean open or do not place fingers here. Am I right? Then do the numbers describe fret positions for whatever fingers you might find able to accomodate? First I'll need a starting point or the tuning in question. I have only played in a few different tunings and explored only one in any depth. I've fooled around in a drop D tuning a little, where the low E is dropped to D. Is that what the chords described above are based upon?


18 Mar 01 - 12:28 PM (#420449)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: Peter T.

(1) Yes, Doc Watson plays in open tunings sometimes.
(2) Yes, you are right guest, ghost. Yes. Open D is a D chord -- biggest string, bass string, is D and then you tune the rest, reading from left to right:

DADF#AD.
DADGAD is Celtoid tuning, with the F# tuned up a half step.
Open G is a G chord: DGDGBD.
Open E is open D up two frets.

There are others, many others!!!
yours, Peter T.


19 Mar 01 - 03:48 PM (#421082)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: Peter T.

refresh


20 Mar 01 - 09:36 AM (#421480)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: Rick Fielding

Hi Marty. If you haven't heard Doc's wonderful version of Frank Hutchinson's "Train that Carried My girl From Town" you ain't hoid nuthin'!

It's in open D, and Doc plays it fast and clean.

Rick


20 Mar 01 - 06:49 PM (#421978)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: Little Hawk

This is great! Thanks, Peter, for all the valuable info. Now if I only lived closer to Toronto, and could get lessons from Rick Fielding on those Dylan style picking techniques.

- LH


20 Mar 01 - 09:02 PM (#422062)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: Peter T.

Two nice D variants in open D are:
D sus2 which is 002300
and a Dm 003300 (though the Dm at 353353 is nice too)

It is also worth noting that by simply putting a finger on the first fret of the 3rd string, you have entered DADGAD. For instance, 003130 sounds nice (a Dm11), and even nicer at 005350 (whatever that is).

yours, Peter T.


18 Oct 03 - 10:53 AM (#1037706)
Subject: RE: Nurd Talk: Tricks in Open Tunings
From: The Fooles Troupe

the link

http://my.execpc.com/~pgkuchar/opentune.htm

referred to above has now shifted to

www.acousticfingerstyle.com/opentune.htm

Robin