Open minor 7 tuning

Girobu

New member
Joined
Jan 11, 2024
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
Hi everyone!

I like to experiment with music instruments in general and particulary with uke. I prefer to play melodies, without singing. I've adopted this tuning, which is very helpful in playing melody and chords at the same time. I've found no info on such tuning, but I think it's impossible to devise a "completely new" one, so, it means, that for some reason (which?) no one lkes it :) If you know the reason, please, educate me. Maybe, I'm on very wrong way...

The tuning is A-C-E-G. It's basically same notes as in original tuning, but rearranged. With this arrangement, I have a Amin7 on open strings, Amin on 2-4 strings, C on 1-3, all basic, no inversions. The same for each fret: minor chord at top, major at bottom. And you can transform any of this minor chords to major by adding one finger on 3 string. I've also found some nice chords with open strings. I was able to use this tuning with standart low G ukelele strings.

What I do like about it:

  • a lots of chords with basic voicing and dead simple fingering
  • easy melody play
  • minor chords :)

And this thing lead me to some more experimenting, maybe will post later.
 
Nice idea, but it shrinks the intervals from 4 to 3 so now there is less than an octave difference between highest and lowest string whereas with fourths there is more than an octave. I think that the fourths are also appealing for playing scales as you can place one finger on each fret to get continuous chromatic scale in one position. With shorter interval there is more redundancy for scales.
 
Hi everyone!

I like to experiment with music instruments in general and particulary with uke. I prefer to play melodies, without singing. I've adopted this tuning, which is very helpful in playing melody and chords at the same time. I've found no info on such tuning, but I think it's impossible to devise a "completely new" one, so, it means, that for some reason (which?) no one lkes it :) If you know the reason, please, educate me. Maybe, I'm on very wrong way...

The tuning is A-C-E-G. It's basically same notes as in original tuning, but rearranged. With this arrangement, I have a Amin7 on open strings, Amin on 2-4 strings, C on 1-3, all basic, no inversions. The same for each fret: minor chord at top, major at bottom. And you can transform any of this minor chords to major by adding one finger on 3 string. I've also found some nice chords with open strings. I was able to use this tuning with standart low G ukelele strings.

What I do like about it:

  • a lots of chords with basic voicing and dead simple fingering
  • easy melody play
  • minor chords :)

And this thing lead me to some more experimenting, maybe will post later.
Looking forward to hearing more about it! I think I tried a minor 7th tuning on guitar once.

Love alternate tunings!
 
For reentrant tuning, this is just a "mirror" image of standard and would make my head explode. For linear, I guess it makes a little more sense but would still be confusing to me.
 
I have found open/alternate tunings to be like jumping into a swimming pool that feels cold when you put just your foot in.

Once you take the plunge it’s a shock at first, but you wiggle around and start swimming a bit, and then it feels fine!
 
Looking in my files I did create a good sized chord sheet for open E minor 7 tuning for guitar. I don’t remember why I didn’t work with it more. I think with more dexterity now it might work for me. I will keep it in mind in case I get stuck and want to see if this tuning would help.

I think the open D or E minor tunings can really work as an alternative to standard. Sidney Pratten devised a guitar method for beginners using open E major. The idea was to get people making music and then have them transition to standard tuning later, if they wanted to.

The advantage of using an open tuning, like open D, is that you can really get a lot of useful other tunings with just a few turns of a tuning key or two.

From open D (DADF#Ad) it’s easy to get to
Open D Maj 7 (DADF#Ac#)
Open D minor (DADFAd)
Open D minor 7 (DADFAc)
DADGAD

There are 4 string equivalents for ukulele, too.

Sometimes you want the open position chord sounds in a certain key but can’t get those in standard tuning. Alternate tunings can get you those chords in the open position in that key that you otherwise could not. It can make strumming and signing easier, and get that fuller sound too.
 
Nice idea, but it shrinks the intervals from 4 to 3 so now there is less than an octave difference between highest and lowest string whereas with fourths there is more than an octave. I think that the fourths are also appealing for playing scales as you can place one finger on each fret to get continuous chromatic scale in one position. With shorter interval there is more redundancy for scales.
Yes, it's more narrow. I think, it's possible (with special strings) to tune uke to AECG, which has mostly the same properties (but different chord shapes and voicing), but way wider. And untested :)
 
I play in open Dm7. I'm not as fancy as some of you folks. So I just take a blank fretboard map and then plug in the new values so that I know where the notes are. I usually highlight my minor pentatonic notes. I just let the chords take care of themselves. A straight bar is the m7, but who stops there? A finger here or a finger there makes it a m9 or a m11. Or sus7.

To be honest, I thought having a tuning with a b7 would be a big boon, but I didn't really find that. It was just different. It did open up a few vistas for me in improv/composition because the notes are arrayed differently and suggest different connections.

But I am glad to meet other enthusiasts. I think that the minor and m7 are the natural state of stringed instruments. And that's how I conceive of music. That's my starting point. The major is just an aberration of the minor.
 
Last edited:
I play in open Dm7. I'm not as fancy as some of you folks. So I just take a blank fretboard map and then plug in the new values so that I know where the notes are. I usually highlight my minor pentatonic notes. I just let the chords take care of themselves. A straight bar is the m7, but who stops there? A finger here or a finger there makes it a m9 or a m11. Or sus7.

To be honest, I thought having a tuning with a b7 would be a big boon, but I didn't really find that. It was just different. It did open up a few vistas for me in improv/composition because the notes are arrayed differently and suggest different connections.

But I am glad to meet other enthusiasts. I think that the minor and m7 are the natural state of stringed instruments. And that's how I conceive of music. That's my starting point. The major is just an aberration of the minor.
The Baroque lute is in open D minor. 🙂
 
Top Bottom