#1
Hey guys, I'm new around here =)

I'm a self taught guitarist and have written a song in GADGBD tuning, but I can't find any resources online that talk about that tuning, even on wikipedia's list of tunings. Is there a good reason for this. If possible please don't be too technical in explaining why the tuning is probably stupid, I have absolutely zero formal music education.

Also I'm getting different readings from different tuners about what note the 6th string is, some say it's a D others say its a G, from someone I know who I asked about this I'm told it's probably a G as I tuned it higher than an E or something like that xD

Thanks in advance =)
#2
I've never heard of that tuning and honestly it doesn't sound very practical, so that's probably why you're not finding it online. If you play the 2nd fret of the 6th string and it sounds the same as the open A then the 6th string is indeed G. If the 7th fret of that string is A then the open note is D, which is 2 halfsteps lower than the standard E. If it's D, then that's more common and known as double drop D.

If neither of those is right then you can find which fret is A by comparing to the A string, then count down through the notes until you hit the open note. For example, with drop D you'd find that the 7th fret is A, so the 6th fret is G#, the 5th fret is G, the 4th is F#, 3rd is F, 2nd is E, 1st fret is D#, and finally open is D.
#3
Yeah, compare the 6th string to the 1st and 3rd strings. If it sounds the same as the open 1st string, it is a D, and if it sounds the same as the open 3rd string, it's a G. It's really not rocket science, and you don't really need a tuner for that. Trust your ears.

GADGBD sounds a bit strange. That way the 6th string would be either over an octave lower than the 5th string, or just a second lower. I'm pretty sure it is tuned to D, not G. That would make a lot more sense. And yeah, it's called "double drop D". It's like standard tuning, but you tune both the highest and lowest string down a whole step (2 frets).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
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Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
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Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#4
Happens all the time man, I've written plenty of tunes in tunings that have no resources online for. You just gotta know a bit of theory, chord construction, and let your ears guide you. A kind of similarly impractical tuning I've used once is GAA#GAD (E string being tuned down to G), it's all kinds of messed up but I used that to my advantage to write a messed up song :P

The best way to learn the tuning is analyse the intervals between adjacent strings, in your case G to A is a 2nd, A to D is a forth, D to G is a forth, G to B is a major 3rd, and B to D is a minor 3rd. So essentially you got standard tuning (which already lends itself well to the key of G) and you made the bass string the root (always handy) and the high E to the 5th (nice too). To me there is no such thing as a bad tuning, if you can write good music with it then that's all that matters. In the future, if you find yourself in a situation where you have no help for a given tuning, try and find some basic chord shapes to get you going, always helps.
#5
It's fairly close to the GBDGBD tuning that Dobro players most frequently use, but with the lower B left as an A (which would make it a G2 or Gadd9 chord, whichever name you prefer; they mean the same chord but add9 is the more common name). It's also similar to the DGBDGBD tuning used on the Russian guitar.

I don't really see an advantage over the Dobro G tuning unless you plan on using a lot of sus2 or add9 chords or plan on making heavy use of the open A string. At the very least it doesn't really add any useful diads or a minor chord voicing the way throwing an E or F# or Bb into the tuning might, and no 7 the way an F would. Though I tend to think about open tunings like that from the perspective of a slide/steel guitar player, so maybe there are some advantages if you are fretting.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#6
Quote by Jimjambanx
Happens all the time man, I've written plenty of tunes in tunings that have no resources online for. You just gotta know a bit of theory, chord construction, and let your ears guide you. A kind of similarly impractical tuning I've used once is GAA#GAD (E string being tuned down to G), it's all kinds of messed up but I used that to my advantage to write a messed up song :P

The best way to learn the tuning is analyse the intervals between adjacent strings, in your case G to A is a 2nd, A to D is a forth, D to G is a forth, G to B is a major 3rd, and B to D is a minor 3rd. So essentially you got standard tuning (which already lends itself well to the key of G) and you made the bass string the root (always handy) and the high E to the 5th (nice too). To me there is no such thing as a bad tuning, if you can write good music with it then that's all that matters. In the future, if you find yourself in a situation where you have no help for a given tuning, try and find some basic chord shapes to get you going, always helps.


You hit the nail on the head with how I'm playing it, the 6th is normally open, I'm also using the A string as the main bass string for a lot of the song - and I'm just grooving on the other strings.

Looking at all the replies, I can see how it might not be practical for general use, I'll probably keep this tune in it though cause without the music theory not sure how I'd transpose the song onto a different tuning xD. Thanks so much for the help everyone =D

Are we allowed to youtube link to stuff we've written on the site, I'd quite like to see how other people would play my song but in other tunings potentially =D
Last edited by osigalas at May 18, 2015,
#7
It's cool for cases like this. If you're just like, "Hey, check out this awesome song I wrote" then that belongs in the recording section, but if it's related to a question like this, then it's cool.
#8
Quote by osigalas
Looking at all the replies, I can see how it might not be practical for general use, I'll probably keep this tune in it though cause without the music theory not sure how I'd transpose the song onto a different tuning xD.


Unless the tuning is so ungodly backwards that it's overly difficult to play the piece you wrote in it, I'll never see the point in changing the tuning. You wrote the song in that tuning, therefore it MUST have worked, changing the tuning is not only unnecessary but can make parts of the original song impossible to play. Tunings are nothing more than a tool, don't feel like you need to make some commitment to standard or other common open tunings, I've met elitists who think that using different tunings makes you an inferior musician because heaven forbid we use anything other than the CAGED system, but don't even listen to people like that. If the tuning does what you need it to do, then use whatever "impractical" tuning you want.
#9
Quote by The4thHorsemen
It's cool for cases like this. If you're just like, "Hey, check out this awesome song I wrote" then that belongs in the recording section, but if it's related to a question like this, then it's cool.


Thanks dude, I'll probs make a quick video of it later and put it here in that case, in regards to the tuning effecting the playing, I'm not able to vary up the bass notes very easily (unless I'm just not that good at guitar which is likely) so the bass line is pretty boring, this is the main thing I'm wondering if a different tuning would achieve, then again I'm doing so much with my other fingers that I'm not sure I could make it work anyways xD
#10
Quote by osigalas
Hey guys, I'm new around here =)

I'm a self taught guitarist and have written a song in GADGBD tuning, but I can't find any resources online that talk about that tuning, even on wikipedia's list of tunings. Is there a good reason for this. If possible please don't be too technical in explaining why the tuning is probably stupid, I have absolutely zero formal music education.


Most people would not want to tune their G-string up like that. That's putting a lot of extra tension on the neck, which it wasn't really build to withstand. Generally, guitars are build for standard tuning, and if you want an alternate tuning, you tune DOWN, e.g., we play tune to DADGAD by tuning our first, second, and sixth strings down a whole step, rather than tuning our third, four, and fifth strings up a whole step and playing in EBEABE.

So with your tuning, I'd be more inclined to tune to EF#BEG#B (I think that's right) and capo 3 to get your tuning, just to protect the guitar.
#11
This is the tune I wrote, nothing too interesting but I'm pretty new to finger picking. The thing I really want to work on is getting some more bass variation in there, if this could be better facilitated by a different tuning I'd be interested in trying it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMqraXsuRIY
#12
Quote by HotspurJr
Most people would not want to tune their G-string up like that. That's putting a lot of extra tension on the neck, which it wasn't really build to withstand. Generally, guitars are build for standard tuning, and if you want an alternate tuning, you tune DOWN, e.g., we play tune to DADGAD by tuning our first, second, and sixth strings down a whole step, rather than tuning our third, four, and fifth strings up a whole step and playing in EBEABE.

So with your tuning, I'd be more inclined to tune to EF#BEG#B (I think that's right) and capo 3 to get your tuning, just to protect the guitar.


Unless you have a really terrible guitar, your guitar should be able to withstand that level of tension. Tuning down is better for the strings sure, but unless you leave your guitar in that tuning for a really long time, it'll be fine. Take Andy Mckee for example, he's used F#AC#G#BE and EBEG#BE before, and he's never had a problem. OP is only tuning up 1 string, he'll be fine.
#13
Quote by Jimjambanx
Unless you have a really terrible guitar, your guitar should be able to withstand that level of tension. Tuning down is better for the strings sure, but unless you leave your guitar in that tuning for a really long time, it'll be fine. Take Andy Mckee for example, he's used F#AC#G#BE and EBEG#BE before, and he's never had a problem. OP is only tuning up 1 string, he'll be fine.


Should I not leave it in this tuning when I'm not using it? I've had it left in that tuning for months xD
#14
You can always change string gauges. If you have light strings, I don't think tuning your E string to G is a big deal. I mean, some people use 11s in standard tuning, others (like me) use 9s. Some people even use 8s.

If the string doesn't feel too tense, you'll be fine. But you may want to consider changing your 6th string's gauge to lighter. Maybe use an A string instead of an E string (so your strings in standard tuning would be AADGBE).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#15
Quote by osigalas
Should I not leave it in this tuning when I'm not using it? I've had it left in that tuning for months xD


It's fine, it's only an issue if the tuning is rather extreme, then you run the risk of things like neck bow, but even that is an easy fix. Going up a tone and a half on the E is certainly beyond what's recommended, but since all the other strings are pretty much standard, and with a maple neck, you don't have to worry. I would recommend changing it back to standard at some point though, just in case.
#16
Agreed - but I would at least consider tuning to a lower version of the same tuning, unless you have a strong reason not to.
#17
Quote by HotspurJr
Agreed - but I would at least consider tuning to a lower version of the same tuning, unless you have a strong reason not to.


Given that his tuning with 9-42's has less tension than standard tuning with 11-48's, I'd say your fear is unwarranted.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at May 21, 2015,
#18
Quote by HotspurJr
So with your tuning, I'd be more inclined to tune to EF#BEG#B (I think that's right) and capo 3 to get your tuning, just to protect the guitar.


He could use a meatball as a capo. You know, because his strings would be spaghetti.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#19
Quote by theogonia777
He could use a meatball as a capo. You know, because his strings would be spaghetti.


I laughed considerably harder than this actually warranted...
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#20
Quote by osigalas
This is the tune I wrote, nothing too interesting but I'm pretty new to finger picking. The thing I really want to work on is getting some more bass variation in there, if this could be better facilitated by a different tuning I'd be interested in trying it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMqraXsuRIY

You might be able to get more variation with the bass if you tune the big string down to D or E, which would allow you to throw in lower notes if you want that. The G note you were hitting would end up on the 3rd or 5th fret, so you'd have to find a way to fret that note while playing the other stuff. You can try tuning that string down and playing with the bass notes, but really it sounds pretty good as it is. Basically, just do what you want to do.

And don't worry about the string tension unless you've got like 12-58s or something on there and trying to tune the whole guitar up 3 halfsteps - just be sensible. If you're running 9s or 10s then tuning a couple of strings a little higher is fine, though I probably wouldn't go any higher than about 3 halfsteps (like E to G) because around there is where it starts getting likely a string will break. You can look up how to check your neck bow and adjust your truss rod if you need to, it's really not that hard.
#21
Quote by theogonia777
He could use a meatball as a capo. You know, because his strings would be spaghetti.


XD exactly, with 9s going that low you could tie a knot with how loose they'll be.