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Playing in Different Tunings

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Re: Playing in Different Tunings

Postby awjoe » Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:14 pm

zenguitar wrote:If you get a chance, see Richard Thompson playing solo. You get a long acoustic set all played on just one guitar. He uses a variety of tunings and is very adept at changing tunings quickly whilst chatting to the audience.

He has one less obvious trick. He has versions of a number of his most loved songs in different tunings. That means he can drop them into the set in several places without have to retune too often.

Andy :beamup:

I didn't think it was possible for me to admire Richard Thompson more than I do, but you've gone and done that for me. Well done!
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Re: Playing in Different Tunings

Postby awjoe » Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:21 pm

BJG145 wrote:The SpiderCapo might be worth a look.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/cr ... spidercapo

Most def. It's got limitations, and small dangers ("you need a light touch to avoid sending strings sharp"), but it opens a number of doors quickly and easily. It's cunning in its simplicity. Thanks for the nudge.
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Re: Playing in Different Tunings

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:38 pm

I use open D quite a bit in my songs (solo and with band). When solo I'm generally using my variax where I have it stored as an alternative tuning; so a press of a button sorts it out. If the monitoring isn't great you can still hear the natural sound of the guitar though so you do have to sort of learn to play through that.
With the band I tend to have three guitars for a full set, an electric in standard, an electric in open, and then the variax for the acoustic numbers. This also provides redundancy for both electrics without any retuning.
The two electrics are both now on wireless connections so that I'm not tying three guitar cables in knots - especially as our drummer borrows a guitar for some songs.
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Re: Playing in Different Tunings

Postby zenguitar » Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:30 pm

blinddrew wrote:The two electrics are both now on wireless connections so that I'm not tying three guitar cables in knots - especially as our drummer borrows a guitar for some songs.

Tell him to buy his own spare drumsticks :protest:

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Playing in Different Tunings

Postby SecretSam » Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:19 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I use one of these (pic below) to simulate DADGAD* on a few tunes. It's just as quick to use as a standard capo and lets you get a DADGAD (or A maj) tonality while in standard tuning. It capo's the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th or 3rd, 4th, & 5th strings, used at the second fret on the bass side it gives you EBEABE (DADGAD a whole step up).

Image

https://shubb.com/product/partial-capo-c7/


Capo. Thanks to the alcohol ban, I will let that pass this time. But don't expect me to be so lenient after the pubs reopen.
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Re: Playing in Different Tunings

Postby JRC1 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:11 am

You have to have separate guitars if you are not doing just basic one or two different string adjustments. I love experimenting with tuning and in the weird alt rock world it almost becomes a go to. For the band I play in we have used about 20 different tunings for all the songs we have ever recorded I usually only use 5/6 guitars per show for so many reasons but especially when we have short sets if I had to retune I'd get two songs in the half hour set rather than 8.
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Re: Playing in Different Tunings

Postby awjoe » Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:19 am

Is it ever a problem adjusting quickly to a different guitar?
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Re: Playing in Different Tunings

Postby SecretSam » Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:33 am

Depends. I got rid of a fender jazz bass because it needed very different eq settings from my others, and hung further to the right, which didn't help with sight reading. I was playing in a big band at the time, and watching the scores, the band leader and the drummer was challenging enough without wondering where the frets had gone.
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Re: Playing in Different Tunings

Postby Luke W » Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:24 am

awjoe wrote:Is it ever a problem adjusting quickly to a different guitar?

I don't know about anyone else, but I find that if I play certain songs on certain guitars I get used to it very quickly. It then seems more odd to play a particular song on the "wrong guitar". Certainly true for my electrics anyway. Acoustics I've got two of the same model, just one is a bit fancier so it doesn't really make a difference.
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Re: Playing in Different Tunings

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:46 am

SecretSam wrote:Depends. I got rid of a fender jazz bass because it ..... hung further to the right,

I bought and sold a Gordon Smith GS2 for that very reason, I have no trouble swapping from a Les Paul to a Strat though. I suspect they are sufficiently different that I don't have to think which one I'm playing.
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Re: Playing in Different Tunings

Postby BigRedX » Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:31 pm

awjoe wrote:Is it ever a problem adjusting quickly to a different guitar?

So long as you always use the same guitar for a particular tuning you should get used to it in no time.

For several years I played in a band where half the songs were done on fretless 4-string bass and the others on a fretted 5-sting bass. I never had a problem because the same songs were always played on the same bass.
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Re: Playing in Different Tunings

Postby shufflebeat » Tue Jan 26, 2021 1:45 pm

For me "knowing" a piece of music means following the logical progression which makes it easier for me to swap from one instrument/tuning to another, once it's properly baked in.

For others it's more of an academic experience which is more easily externalised (I'm dead jealous of sight readers) which is also more easily transferrable from one situation to another if you're comfortably with all your instruments.

For some people performance is very situation specific and any variation in the situation can throw them out of their comfort zone. These are the folks I'd suggest are more likely to struggle but this is easily dealt with by repetition.

Often a different instrument/tuning brings possibilities which were not previously obvious and finding them can be quite exciting.
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Re: Playing in Different Tunings

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:21 pm

I'm with BigRedX and Luke W in that generally certain songs are played on certain guitars so it's all part of the muscle memory.
That being said, I can't recall having any particular issues when switching to other guitars for back-up or just when we're doing a short set and I don't want to lug so many around.
But I just play very simple guitar, I leave all the clever stuff to other people.
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Re: Playing in Different Tunings

Postby ManFromGlass » Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:06 pm

I’m still digesting the fact that the drummer borrows a guitar. (Endless possibilities float through the empty space in my mind)
:crazy:
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Re: Playing in Different Tunings

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:10 pm

The drummer in my band plays a little acoustic guitar, he is an excellent gypsy jazz rhythm player (though with a limited repertoire). :D
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