January 25, 2006

Fun with Alternate Tunings

Filed under: Music — Cory @ 1:05 am

For the past few days I have been trying to figure out how to play the lead to Eleven Hundred Spring‘s “Long Haired, Tattoed, Hippie Freaks,” specifically the acoustic version from the “A Straighter Line” album. Chris Claridy, the lead guitarist on the album, plays a “dropped D” tuning in the song and the lead is one of my all-time favorites. It’s pretty fast too, but I think I’ve got it worked out.

So tonight while the guitar was tuned down I began playing around and I came up with some interesting sounds. Then I remembered learning Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” and “Friends” when I was back in high school, and that each of those songs used an alternate tuning. I googled around and came up with the tunings: D, A, D, G, A, D for Kashmir and E, G, C, G, C, E for Friends. After re-learning Kashmir I tried to come up with something else, but wasn’t much happening. DADGAD is a pretty difficult tuning.

However, the open C tuning used in Friends is actually really easy to play around with. After re-learning Friends I grabbed my glass slide and came up with some pretty cool sounding blues riffs. Dobro’s are normally tuned to open chords and I used to pick on my dad’s dobro when I was younger, so this was somewhat familiar. Then I began just playing around and I was surprised at how easy it was to play in the open C tuning. I ended up with a few really good sounding blues/country leads that I can’t wait to work into a song.

On the subject of music, I am considering getting a Taylor 412ce in the next few months, so if anyone is interested in buying my Taylor 414 please let me know. I bought it new in the summer of 2004 and its still in great shape, and comes with a nice hardshell Taylor case. I’ll give you a great deal. :)

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1 Comment »

  1. What? You mean there’s more than just drop D so I can hit major chords by simply barring across the fret? :o

    The DADGAD stuff is funky, but I think it’s common in some of the real blues type music… that song “Hard Time Killing Floor” that was in O Brother Where Art Thou uses it. But I suspect it’s not so much about making it easier to hit chords than it is to straighten out the blues boxes (just a theory, though).

    Comment by spoonix — January 25, 2006 @ 4:32 am

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