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Thread: open tunings

  1. #1
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    Default open tunings

    When using an open tuning, does it matter which string has the root note, which the third and which the fifth (assuming that we are talking about open major chords?

  2. #2
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    Could this be dependent on whether one has linear or reentrant tuning?
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  3. #3
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    I use open tunings all the time, but I don’t understand your question.

    Open tuning, as far as I know, means tuning one’s first string (#1) up a full tone. So if one is in Hi-G CEA, he/she would be in Hi-G CEG open tuning. All the notes on string #1 would have to be played one full step higher. So, C would be 0000 instead of 0003, F would be 2012 instead of 2010, and G7 would be 0214 instead of 0212. One can get a chord chart for open tuning.

    Some of the keys are better (easier), and some are more difficult. I hope I’ve helped you.
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBE
    Kala tenor eight string - gG cC EE AA
    Gold Tone tenor banjolele - Hi-D GBD

    Luna "Peace" concert - Lo-G CEA
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-G CEA

    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B
    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift) - C
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift - C

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    When using an open tuning, does it matter which string has the root note, which the third and which the fifth (assuming that we are talking about open major chords?
    An open turning simply means that strumming produces a (typically major, though sometimes other) chord. There are lots of different "open" tunings, and no, it doesn't matter which string makes which note.

    If you start with an open tuning and swap strings around, you'll still have an open tuning. Now, some orders will be easier to play than others, both in chord shapes and where to play any melodies, which is why despite the huge number of possible open tuning string combinations, you'll see only a few that get used regularly.

  5. #5
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    thanks for the input, everyone. My question stemmed from watching guitar videos and wanting to emulate some of the stuff. The problem arose because guitar strings are a bit different from ukulele strings. For example, for an open Eb the guitar would tune: Eb-Bb-Eb-G-Bb-Eb. I don't have all those strings. My inclination would be to tune: G-Bb-Eb-G and to then alter the fingering of my picking to match my new strings (i.e., when the guitar plays something on the 3rd string, I play it on the 1st).

  6. #6
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    Wow! You guys have lost me! I should go back to my tuba or a flute . . .
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBE
    Kala tenor eight string - gG cC EE AA
    Gold Tone tenor banjolele - Hi-D GBD

    Luna "Peace" concert - Lo-G CEA
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-G CEA

    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B
    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift) - C
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift - C

    Eat, drink and make merry for tomorrow you’ll be too old.

    God gave us old age so we wouldn't mind dying so much.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Down Up Dick View Post
    Wow! You guys have lost me! I should go back to my tuba or a flute . . .
    Not at all; you totally have this. The open tuning you described above is the open C tuning in which each of the four strings plays one of the three constituent notes of the C major triad. That concept can be applied to any key. For example a G major chord=G-B-D. The ukulele's G-C-E-A can easily be re-tuned to G-B-D-B to attain the open tuning in G.

  8. #8
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    Hi, riock!

    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    When using an open tuning, does it matter which string has the root note, which the third and which the fifth (assuming that we are talking about open major chords?
    Basically open tuning is made by minimal adjustment from regular tuning.

    In ukulele, we have open C and D, which have their roots on 3rd string. And we also have open G and A, which have their roots on 1st string.

    Open C: We tune 1st string one tone down.
    Open D: We tune 4th, 3rd and 2nd strings one tone up.
    Open G: We tune 1st sting one tone down, 3 and 2nd strings one semi tone down.
    Open A: We tune 4th string one tone up, 3rd string one semi tone up.

    Open C and D have same intervals. Open G and A have same intervals.
    Kamaka HF-1 100

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    My mind has just been blown.
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  10. #10
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    thanks for all the help and the clarifying, everyone. So it seems it doesn't really matter which inversion of the chord is used, except in terms of licks and patterns. For example, if you figure out some tasty pattern using the open A tuning, it won't work with an open D tuning since the strings have different intervals. Well, let me emend that a bit: it will still work since the notes are all part of a chord, but it will not sound the same.

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