Thinking of abandoning full-fifths as my main tuning

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by Explorer, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    I've been working on a few playing and sound-production techniques, and I think that they work better with either full-fourths or the bass/dropped-guitar hybrid tuning I have been using more and more (EADGCFAD). I've been thinking of converting my Agile Intrepid Pro back to this tuning (dropped a whole step, most likely, to DGCFBbEbGC), and seeing how I get on with it.

    I'm finding that it's easier to make the horizontal leaps for some things rather than the vertical ones, and with where my playing is going, that's going to be a major factor.

    I've had guitars in the two different tunings for a while, but the Intrepid has been the flagship in terms of my having made the commitment to full-fifths. I'm ambivalent, but the urge to switch back has been at the back of my mind for a bit, and as the B/G hybrid tuning makes more and more possible, I want to be able to use the Agile for it.

    The other thing which makes me a little sad is that I'm also coming to the conclusion that I might be better served with a shorter scale length like 25.5". I've been using that scale length successfully for quite some time to get to E1. So... I might wind up selling my Intrepid, which was my introduction to the wonderful world of eight-strings. (I'd have to wait until the Rondo custom shop is open to order a Pro at that shorter length with an ebony board and dual actives, but I really like the combination at this point.)

    There is quite a difference in chording and melodic work between full-fifths and fourth tuning variants. I guess I'm curious if someone else has gone through this, and how they finally decided that it was the right thing to do.

    Has anyone else ever turned back from a major commitment to a different tuning?
     
  2. troyguitar

    troyguitar SS.org Regular

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    I haven't really made what I would call a major commitment, but I've more or less abandoned M3 tuning on my 9-string. I have gone back to a "standard" tuning EADGCFBbDG so that I can play more 'regular' music on it, including my own songs which were all written in 6 or 7-string standard tuning. If I had more free time to practice, I'd stick it out with M3 and also try 6-string P5 tuning but I'm just too busy.
     
  3. MF_Kitten

    MF_Kitten Set up us the bomb

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    I'd like to suggest an alternating fifth-fourth tuning. It makes the entire fretboard lay itself bare and open to you, somehow. I don't know what this would be on an 8 string, because it would depend on what range you want to be in, or can reach physically (how high and low the scale allows). If you can do all fifths, then you'll be fine i'm sure.

    Start with the lowest string. Make the next string a fifth higher. Then make the next one a fourth higher, and just repeat upward. Fifth-fourth-fifth-fourth etc.
     
  4. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    I'm just too weird to go back to fourths :nuts:
     
  5. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Hey, MF! Long time no read... welcome back!

    The reason I'm going with the full fourths except for the standard-guitar discontinuity is because of both the standard funk bass guitar playing on the bottom, and the regularity when I'm covering cello and flute parts across the fretboard. Going to discontinuities every string pair would just add hassle to what I'm doing, and since a lot of what I'm playing is now melodic (yes, even down to the bowed bass viol range), consistency is king.

    And, having the standard-guitar discontinuity means I can play standard funk chord shapes on the high edge of the fretboard. Although I wrote a funk and gypsy chord/scale dictionary for myself, some of this stuff is just easier with fourths/standard.

    It's funny... although I put in the time to really learn the scales and chords in full-fifths, some stuff is just easier in standard. Is it because my brain has been playing on that for more than 20 years? It's hard to say....
     
  6. TemjinStrife

    TemjinStrife Power Metal Cellist

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    I am a cello player, and recently picked up a Celloblaster.

    Let me tell you, the most awesome thing about the "standard" fourths guitar tuning is that you don't have to do all kinds of lengthwise shifting to play a standard major or minor scale. The 5ths-tuned Celloblaster is great fun for chording (lots of cool voicings), but I prefer either real cello or guitar for melodic work.
     

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