Author Topic: Guitar Tunings?  (Read 12195 times)

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id137

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Guitar Tunings?
« on: Saturday, August 8 2009 02:06PM GMT-1 »
Hey there,

I am pretty new to folk and S&B, so sorry if this has already been covered.

Does anyone out there know what guitar tunings Jon uses? I am thinking particularly on "Birth of Robin Hood" from Vagabond.

Thanks,


Offline Ollie

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Re: Guitar Tunings?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday, August 9 2009 05:22PM GMT-1 »
Ok, this is weird... I was just thinking about asking the exact same question! I personally use open G for Birth of Robin Hood.
"Tradition must be respected, convention can be broken; but only when you know which is which."

id137

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Re: Guitar Tunings?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday, August 9 2009 07:39PM GMT-1 »
I saw S&B at Cardigan a couple of months ago and JB played with a capo, but to my (untrained) eye it seemed to be a partial capo, i.e. the top string was played open.

I'm sure I can work on the "Birth of Robin Hood". Before I start does anyone have any idea of chords to get me started?

Thanks

Offline Ollie

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Re: Guitar Tunings?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday, August 9 2009 07:47PM GMT-1 »
Yup, here's what I play for the first verse

     G      G/A       G/B    C                    C        D         G
Oh Willy’s tall and Willy’s strong and he’s born of high degree
      G  G/B C          G                                      D     D/F#
And he has gone to Earl Richard to serve obediently
      G  G/B  C          G                                          D       D/F#
Earl Richard had one daughter dear, the fairest to be seen
      G      G/A   G/B        C       C       D        G
And Willy fell in love with her all in the garden green.

Hope that helps.
"Tradition must be respected, convention can be broken; but only when you know which is which."

Jon Boden

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Re: Guitar Tunings?
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday, August 12 2009 01:34PM GMT-1 »
Hi Ollie.
It's actually open F tuning, which is (top string to bottom) EBEBEC but with a capo on the first fret covering the top five strings, thus creating FCFCFC. Bold Sir Rylas is the same tuning but with the capo on fret 8 (so CGCGCC). I use basically the same tuning for most of the Floodplain stuff as well.
Hope that helps! Jon

Offline Ancient Muse

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Re: Guitar Tunings?
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday, August 12 2009 04:05PM GMT-1 »
D'you know I've been playing guitar (not particularly well, admittedly) for some 36 years and never knew you could alter the tunings to suit! Doesn't it get complicated then, knowing where to put your fingers?
Sorry, I'm not such an airhead, but it takes me a long time to learn how to do things right, then along comes somebody with a different method and and I'm just completely foxed!

Offline Ollie

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Re: Guitar Tunings?
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday, August 12 2009 05:49PM GMT-1 »
Thanks for that Jon, really interesting. When you say top to bottom, do you mean highest to lowest? Sorry, I get confuddled about these things. Sounds like an interesting tuning. I love playing in open G (DGDGBD) and yesterday discovered open F, a tone lower. I was amazed at the difference between the two. I shall enough messing around with your tuning after Cropredy. Thanks again.
"Tradition must be respected, convention can be broken; but only when you know which is which."

Jon Boden

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Re: Guitar Tunings?
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday, August 12 2009 08:03PM GMT-1 »
yes, highest (in pitch) to lowest. Sorry, it's normally done the other way round isn't it? doh. j

Offline tallship

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Re: Guitar Tunings?
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday, August 18 2009 06:00PM GMT-1 »
D'you know I've been playing guitar (not particularly well, admittedly) for some 36 years and never knew you could alter the tunings to suit! Doesn't it get complicated then, knowing where to put your fingers?
Sorry, I'm not such an airhead, but it takes me a long time to learn how to do things right, then along comes somebody with a different method and and I'm just completely foxed!

Yes, different tunings are quite common particularly amongst folk guitarists. The simplest and probably most common thing to do is drop the low E string down to D and play in the key of D.

After that you're into 'open tunings' where the guitar is generally tuned to the root, third and fifth of a chord so strumming the guitar without fretting any of the strings plays a nice rich chord like G, F or even C.

One exception to this is the commonly used D tuning DADGAD usually referred to as D modal (First letter in the tuning is the lowest pitched string) So to go from standard tuning tune both E strings down two semitones (tune them against your D string but obviously in different octaves) then tune the B string down two semitones using your A string as a reference. There's a site somewhere on the web dedicated to playing Irish tunes in DADGAD but it's a versatile tuning for many styles.

Have a google about and give it a try, it's fun!

Offline Kay_fin

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Re: Guitar Tunings?
« Reply #9 on: Tuesday, August 18 2009 06:38PM GMT-1 »
I really enjoy playing in DADGAD, discovered it a while ago and just like having a mess. The last few days iv been trying the open f tuning, it sounds lovely, been trying an arrangement of Annan Waters with it. I just cant get the hang of the rhythm at all with Birth of Robin Hood.

D'you know I've been playing guitar (not particularly well, admittedly) for some 36 years and never knew you could alter the tunings to suit! Doesn't it get complicated then, knowing where to put your fingers?
Sorry, I'm not such an airhead, but it takes me a long time to learn how to do things right, then along comes somebody with a different method and and I'm just completely foxed!

You should just have a mess, its great fun. Just make sure you have some spare strings to hand, i always seem to break strings when trying new tunings, same with the fiddle.

id137

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Re: Guitar Tunings?
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday, August 19 2009 01:47PM GMT-1 »
Wow! The actual JB replying to my post. I feel rather special.

Having played about with loads of guitar tunings recently, I have now found my favourite in Open F (until I try the next one I suppose). All other music now sounds so limited in Standard (EADGBe) tuning. Although it must be said that just altering the tuning doesn't make you play any better.


Offline Ollie

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Re: Guitar Tunings?
« Reply #11 on: Wednesday, August 19 2009 08:57PM GMT-1 »
Wow! The actual JB replying to my post. I feel rather special.

Having played about with loads of guitar tunings recently, I have now found my favourite in Open F (until I try the next one I suppose). All other music now sounds so limited in Standard (EADGBe) tuning. Although it must be said that just altering the tuning doesn't make you play any better.



No, but it makes you sound so much better, and more intelligent.  ::) ;D
"Tradition must be respected, convention can be broken; but only when you know which is which."

Offline tallship

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Re: Guitar Tunings?
« Reply #12 on: Sunday, August 23 2009 11:13PM GMT-1 »
Here's one to try if you have a Shubb capo (a Keyser might work too). Drop the low E down to D; capo second fret but only on the highest five strings. Play a tune in C (effectively D because of the capo) but every time a C chord crops up leave the bottom string un-fretted. Sounds grand. Same trick works if you capo at fifth fret and play in A but I haven't found a a suitable tune that picks well and I can sing to in that key as yet.  ???