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JackLuis
02-10-2017, 05:59 AM
I found this Uncle Raggy vid about Open D tuning on a Baritone (DGBD) and began to think about it, me being an Old Geezer and all.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxMk1qb32lU

I had tried Open Tuning and a slide some time ago but didn't do much with it. However I thought that Open C might be a way to explore my spruce topped CK22 which was tuned GCEA. I don't play it much, focused as I have been on Tenors and Baritone. so I detuned to GCEg and tinkered a bit.

Raggy makes the point that if you aren't making mistakes, you aren't learning much. He also makes the point that Open tuning is about playing by ear. I learned very quickly that 0000 is a C, 2012 is a F, and 0234 is a G! Wow, this was pretty cool! 2222 is a D and 4444 is an E! OMG!

Do any of you play open tunings?

Down Up Dick
02-10-2017, 06:13 AM
I use open tuning on some of my ukes and, of course, banjos. It didn't take long to get usta it. I guess it depends on what ya wanna do with it. If you chord a lot, many of the chords are easy-peasy, but some aren't. I like it a lot.

You can get open chord charts on the internet. I think I would use gCEG. :old:

Rllink
02-10-2017, 06:25 AM
I use open tuning on some of my ukes and, of course, banjos. It didn't take long to get usta it. I guess it depends on what ya wanna do with it. If you chord a lot, many of the chords are easy-peasy, but some aren't. I like it a lot.

You can get open chord charts on the internet. I think I would use gCEG. :old:I did that a few times, tuned the A string down to a G. It is fun to mess around with. It isn't as easy as it looks though. I tried using a slide, and it didn't work very well. Using my finger as a bar and sliding it worked better, but I have not spent enough time with it to be very good at it.

Jim Yates
02-10-2017, 06:42 AM
I've been messing a bit with gCEG, open C, using a slide for bluesy stuff and also playing Wake Up Little Susie Everly Brothers' style.
I think, if I did more of this, that I would use a low G. There's not much point in having the unison Gs and sometimes I want to go down below the C.
I also have tried gBDG, an open G tuning. I'd also like to try this with a low G. Time for a new uke?

townsley
02-10-2017, 08:47 AM
I think Uncle Raggy's open D tuning is DF#AD.

Gary52
02-10-2017, 08:52 AM
I've been playing slack key style using open C tuning and a low G.

JackLuis
02-10-2017, 05:32 PM
My CK-22 is strung Low G so I just slacked off the A string to g. I haven't had time to explore much but it is interesting. I thought I'd try using the side and figure out how to form more chords. I should probably lookup open tuning chord charts, but that might cause me to not make the mistakes that would teach me the key board, so what's the point in that? ;)

Uncle Raggy was using a DGBE Baritone, but I could be in error. I think DF#AD might make my head explode trying to figure things out, so I'll stick with a simple slacking off the A string on a concert. It's taken me a year to switch from g/GCEA to d/DGBE and relearn the chord names. I wouldn't want to get too crazy about this. I kind of wanted to do this as a way to learn the key board better. Next month I celebrate my second anniversary of playing the Uke and I'm still learning the left hand and starting now to learn more right hand.

I don't take Uke playing as a deadly serious thing, but like to explore the different ways to make music as I learn more. I am interested in hearing your observations about playing open tuning.

Demick
02-10-2017, 07:30 PM
gCEG. i have sometimes heard referred to as Low G taropatch and used for slack key style ukulele

geetee
02-10-2017, 09:03 PM
The first published (1915) ukulele instruction book uses a linear open G tuning DGBd. I've recently been playing around with a soprano in this tuning. I like it.

http://ukulele.space/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=pdf:mat:1915_santos_nunes.pdf

Jim Yates
02-11-2017, 04:16 AM
The first published (1915) ukulele instruction book uses a linear open G tuning DGBd. I've recently been playing around with a soprano in this tuning. I like it.

http://ukulele.space/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=pdf:mat:1915_santos_nunes.pdf

This is 5 string banjo tuning minus the thumb string. Often the plectrum banjo is tuned either DGBD or CGBD, although some treat the plectrum like a tenor, CGDA or GDAE with a long neck and some also tune it DGBE, like a Chicago tuned tenor guitar/banjo or a baritone uke.

LucilleJustRocks
02-11-2017, 04:26 AM
Open D minor is another option...DFAD or a modal tuning DGAD (on guitar it would be a DADGAD or Open Dsus4 tuning)----applied to a baritone ukulele!!!! Don't know much about tenor or concert ukes.

Cornfield
02-11-2017, 04:27 AM
Believe it or not, a lot of slide players use 6th chords so standard uke tuning of GCEA will work for picking and selective strumming. The GCE strings for major chords, the CEA strings for minor chords.

southcoastukes
02-11-2017, 10:21 AM
Jack, you might take a look at our Tips page for the archived letter on Open Tuning. There's all kinds of info, sound samples and sources for the particular form you're experimenting with, from Ukuleles, Banjos and Cavaquinhos.

It's funny, one of the links posted in this thread is to the Santos method. The Germans that posted it stole it off that page of ours. Not that we mind, and in this case it was a very good thing, as they are obviously better at editing pdf files than I am - it's in a nice "page by page" format on their site instead of the way I scanned the original. BTW, that copy may well be the last left in the U.S.

And should you get serious about playing this form, every one of our Linear sets has an option to Add-On a matched Open 1st string. Tuning down like you did is a good way to expermiment, but a bit higher tension will not only give better feel but produce better sound as a result.

JackLuis
02-11-2017, 11:25 AM
Jack, you might take a look at our Tips page for the archived letter on Open Tuning. There's all kinds of info, sound samples and sources for the particular form you're experimenting with, from Ukuleles, Banjos and Cavaquinhos.
-
And should you get serious about playing this form, every one of our Linear sets has an option to Add-On a matched Open 1st string. Tuning down like you did is a good way to expermiment, but a bit higher tension will not only give better feel but produce better sound as a result.

I'll remember that, but doubt I'll get much beyond experimentation with it. I was fooling around with this morning and tried it on a Tenor and the concert with a slide. Not sure I should devote much time to open tunings yet, I'm still pretty poor with my right hand. I like instrumental music and love arpeggio sounds, but lost the skill I had when I dropped the guitar ~20 years ago.

A couple of week ago I dumped all my "discretionary funds" on a cedar topped and solid rosewood Ohana tenor and it is really sensitive to heavy 3rd and 4th strings. I've tried it Low G and it boomed horribly, switched out the 4th for a high g and the 3rd still boomed! I was able to reduceit somewhat with a different strumming technique but I think the solution is to shift to finger picking it.

But come payday I might just buy three sets from you to try out a set for my spruce topped concert, the cedar top tenor, and a laminate tenor in dGBE .
I'll be in touch with you to see what might be a solution.

ubulele
02-11-2017, 12:32 PM
Some other options:

Open F: f c' f' a' -or- a c' f' a'.

Open C7: g c' e' bb'—an interesting option for slide blues.

Open Cm: g c' eb' g'—easier mixing of major and minor chords (3rd string root).

Open Cm7: g c' eb' bb'—ditto, including their 7th variants. Doubles as Eb6 tuning.

Open A tuning: a c#' e' a'

Open A7 tuning: g c#' e' a'

(Open Am7 tuning is the same as C6 tuning.)

Double-Slack G (aka. Drop G): g b e' g'—forms an open E minor chord.


LucilleJustRock's guitar/bari tunings would equate to these tunings in the standard range:

Open Gm: g bb d' g

Modal G (Gsus4 or Csus2): g c' d' g


I'm sure Ken Middleton will make you a custom set of Living Waters, if you need matched unison strings or other tweaks for open tunings.

Neal
02-11-2017, 01:29 PM
fcfa tuning. It's fun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0qTeT32bkw&app=desktop

Neal
02-11-2017, 01:30 PM
Nose to toes fcfa...

JonThysell
02-11-2017, 05:54 PM
A couple years ago I made chord charts for gceg and dgbd tunings: https://jonthysell.com/2013/06/20/free-slack-key-ukulele-chord-charts-and-diagrams-gceg-baritone-dgbd/

I almost exclusively play dgbd baritone these days. It can be scary to commit to an alternate tuning after you've invested the muscle memory in standard, but I haven't regretted my decision to switch.

JackLuis
02-11-2017, 06:15 PM
fcfa tuning. It's fun.

:agree:

Wow, I checked your videos and love your playing. Its way over my head though, maybe in a couple of ten years?

JackLuis
02-11-2017, 06:27 PM
A couple years ago I made chord charts for gceg and dgbd tunings: https://jonthysell.com/2013/06/20/free-slack-key-ukulele-chord-charts-and-diagrams-gceg-baritone-dgbd/

I almost exclusively play dgbd baritone these days. It can be scary to commit to an alternate tuning after you've invested the muscle memory in standard, but I haven't regretted my decision to switch.

Thanks, Nicely done. Not sure I'm ready to 'commit' to slack key yet but this will make it a lot easier to experiment.

PeteyHoudini
02-12-2017, 11:21 AM
The first published (1915) ukulele instruction book uses a linear open G tuning DGBd. I've recently been playing around with a soprano in this tuning. I like it.

http://ukulele.space/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=pdf:mat:1915_santos_nunes.pdf

Interesting taking a look at that method with its strums (UDDD) using the thumbnail up, and four fingers down on the nails.

Thanks.

Petey

IamNoMan
02-12-2017, 12:06 PM
Iam partial to Open C7 tuning, gCEBb or GCEBb. As Ubulele said its good for the Blues. The F, F7, G and G7 chords are very easy to adjust to when playing in this tuning as well.

librainian
02-12-2017, 05:45 PM
I agree that open tunings are fun to experiment with. I went back over some of my attempts using different tunings and was surprised to find how many I actually recorded on various baritone ukes, including some rudimentary slide which turned out better than I expected. I had a vintage Cameo uke of Japanese manufacture at one time with higher action which suited slide playing.

I made a YouTube playlist of these in case you are interested: Open tuned uke (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLV87R5ThRVKiU8uDJvODrovek-sBjeFMh)

JackLuis
02-13-2017, 03:34 AM
Very Cool Andrew! I noticed one of your vid's was for SOTU #222 the first time I entered. I sent this to a good buddy, who I convince to buy a Uke, he's a Seasick Steve Fan, but I fear he has not persisted in learning to play. Thought your playing might get him motivated. Thanks.

It gave me a few ideas about how to slide and chord too. Hope it inspires a few more to explore open tunings.

librainian
02-13-2017, 12:50 PM
Glad you might get some other ideas out of them.

Open D and OPen G are both fun to experiment with. I might also suggest you check out ToddB for some YT videos where he uses open tuning and slide. This one here is my favorite but there are plenty of others. Check the older stuff. He doesn't play blues much these days and mostly plays gospel tunes.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OobnEA8ObTA

librainian
02-13-2017, 01:07 PM
Here's another in open G (DGBD)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbVu0mPPblE

Down Up Dick
02-13-2017, 01:52 PM
librainian, some people say slides don't work well on ukes, but these sounded fine to me.

I'm lookin' forward to when i can start my "slide study". I hope i'll be able to do some of what he did. Thanks. :old:

ubulele
02-13-2017, 05:08 PM
Of course one can do slide on uke. There are, however, three general weaknesses:

1. Nylon strings instead of steel; slide sounds better with steel strings.

2. Most people adjust their ukes to have low action; for slide playing, a high action is preferred. But if you mix fretting and sliding, stay with low to medium action.

3. Narrow string spacing. Unless you're just sticking to open chords and melody notes, a lot of slide playing involves playing dyads (two-note "chords) of varying intervals, and you have to angle the slide to hit many of them properly. The closer the strings, the more extreme the angle for certain intervals.

On the plus side, if you stick with re-entrant tunings, you have a richer assortment of close intervals available with shallower slide angling. Fleas tuning is especially good for this, though coping with the neck jumps and angles needed to use the various intervals can be as mind-twisting as when playing campanella.

One thing that helps slide sound is to mute the part of the string behind the slide with a trailing finger (like the index), laid similarly to playing a barre but with no downward pressure. If you're only applying the slide to one string, you only have to mute that one string, and similarly with dyads. This trailing mute is why the slide is usually worn on the 4th finger rather than the 1st. Otherwise, wearing the slide on the 1st might make more sense, since it would allow you to fret above the slide in certain situations in order to form a richer assortment of movable chords—you just wouldn't be able to slide or waver them in the same way as straight barre chords. See my note in this spirit on minor 7th tunings.

Hmm, that's got me thinking about the merits of a minor 6th tuning (like Cm6, g' c' eb' a'), though not for slide playing.

JackLuis
02-13-2017, 07:37 PM
librainian, thanks for the vid's they make me more motivated to put some effort into open tuning my baritone. I have seen some of ToddB's vid's before and liked them.

ubulele: I wondered about which finger to use with a slide, and your explanation helped me understand some of the considerations...

Well that just cost me 15 minutes to fool around with a slide! But I learned a bit making my mistakes, like Uncle Raggy said.

bigfellow
03-05-2017, 07:53 AM
Jack, you might take a look at our Tips page for the archived letter on Open Tuning.
Dirk,
Do you have a link? I couldn't find the "letter".

southcoastukes
03-05-2017, 10:21 AM
Dirk,
Do you have a link? I couldn't find the "letter".

I don't think I'm supposed to post links to our own site. But just click on the main link in the signature below, go to "Strings", then under the "Tech Pages" menu go to "Tips". It's #011.

(We're about to update the String site and will try to make navigation more intuitive)

Tenor
03-05-2017, 03:01 PM
[QUOTE=librainian;1941059]Glad you might get some other ideas out of them.

Open D and OPen G are both fun to experiment with. I might also suggest you check out ToddB for some YT videos where he uses open tuning and slide. This one here is my favorite but there are plenty of others. Check the older stuff. He doesn't play blues much these days and mostly plays gospel tunes.


Excellent, thank you!