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Cross or Dead Man's tuning
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Helvetika
The Paris of the Prairies Saskatoon SK Canada
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April 12, 2017 - 4:18 pm
Member Since: February 2, 2013
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Does anyone use cross tuning?  I recently came across this and had never heard of it before.

I watched a couple of bluegrass videos and it sounded kind of neat.

But I'm just wondering exactly how easy it would be use, or if you were reading sheet music, just how that would work.  Without trying it, I can't seem to fathom it.  But, I am not about to try tuning that way, unless I used my old fiddle, which is not close;  has been left at my parent's place.

Comments, anyone?

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
April 13, 2017 - 1:44 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1991
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Ha !   I found this some time ago, posted in the fiddle hang-out - 

GDAE -> FCGD = Cajun Tuning (Every string goes down)
GDAE -> GDGB = Open G Tuning (A string and E string go down)
GDAE -> GDGD = Sawmill Tuning (A string and E string go down)
GDAE -> GDAD = "Gee-Dad" (E string goes down)
GDAE -> DDAD = Dead Man's Tuning, or Open D Tuning, or Bonaparte's Retreat Tuning, or "Dee-Dad" (G string and E string go down)
GDAE -> ADAE = Old-Timey D Tuning (G string goes up)
GDAE -> AEAE = High Bass, High Counter or "High Bass, High Tenor", similar to Sawmill Tuning (G string and D string go up)
GDAE -> AEAC# = Black Mountain Rag Tuning, Calico Tuning, or Open A Tuning (G string and D string go up, E string goes down)
GDAE -> AEAD for Old Sledge, Silver Lake (G String and D Strng go up, E strng goes down)
GDAE -> EDAE for Glory in the Meeting House (G String goes down)
GDAE -> EEAE for Get up in the Cool (G string goes down, D string goes up)

I've only ever tried GDAD and DDAD - I guess the different tunings "fit nicely" ( in terms of the use of open string drones ) to certain tunes - and more specifically to certain key signatures - giving that nice fiddly, ringing, sustained pipe-like sound......

I haven't used it much at all though, I only really tried it out of interest, although I kind of get what it's all about....

Talking about "out of interest" - I also have a viola-strung fiddle - and although this is not quite as "radical" a tuning - I will often tune each string up a full tone from CGDA to DAEB - why ????   Pure convenience, suddenly it's just a full octave down from the fiddle and to put in a bass-line to tunes in G, D, A etc there is no thinking needed (apart from playing on a lower string).... but that's different.

As far as "mapping it to sheet" - you might (depending on the melody line) have to break ( if you learned like this ) the "apparent" one-to-one relationship between the note position on the page and the note position on the neck.  The notes you want are all there roflol - use your ear and knowledge of the scale steps / note intervals ( TTSTTTS etc ).   Besides, for the couple of simple tunes I tried, the melody was largely on the "normally tuned strings" anyway..... so there was in fact no deviation from sheet and the re-tuned strings were just used as drones... (which were not scored anyway, and just left to the player to figure out!)

Well - correct or not - having tried this, these were just my findings / feelings on the matter - it was a lot of fun trying it....  Oh - and check out Vi Wickam's Bonaparte's Retreat -  - in his comments he says he had initially worked it out in GDGD, but ended up going to DDAD

 

EDIT : I meant to refer to this by Ian Walsh as well - he goes through the retunig process from GDAE to DDAD... 

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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April 13, 2017 - 8:36 am
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I have a fiddle book that does use different tuning, but I haven't jumped into that yet, but it seems like it would be fun to try out 🙂 

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Helvetika
The Paris of the Prairies Saskatoon SK Canada
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April 13, 2017 - 11:19 am
Member Since: February 2, 2013
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Wow!! Sawmill tuning, cajun tuning, black mountain rag tuning, calico tuning & more----who knew there were so many kinds of tuning!!  

I guess I'd have to try it, try a simple song and see where the notes are.  

@BillyG  very good info there, thank you.  And I really enjoyed the video by Vi Wickham, was kinda getting into the groove , just like the guitar player (without the cool shades) sitting here at the table drinking my breakfast coffee.....

Cindy

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Kiara
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April 14, 2017 - 3:39 am
Member Since: March 3, 2014
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I have tried DDAD or Dead man's tuning before to try and learn the first part of this song

I did it for a couple of days which I quite enjoyed. The thing that bothered me though was that I couldn't play my other pieces without having to re-tune my violin so I haven't actually done it since!

I felt much safer tuning the strings down rather than up, didn't want to break them!

good luck and have fun if you give it a go. 🙂

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
April 14, 2017 - 4:04 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1991
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That - @Kiara - was one awesome piece of fiddling !  Thanks for sharing it !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 17, 2017 - 11:42 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 12308

Very nice. Thanks

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Helvetika
The Paris of the Prairies Saskatoon SK Canada
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April 18, 2017 - 9:59 pm
Member Since: February 2, 2013
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Thanks @Kiara, very much enjoyed that.

How are you doing on learning that song? Or part of it?

Cindy

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Kiara
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May 2, 2017 - 12:06 am
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It is a great piece @Helvetika I only tried playing it for a couple of days, maybe a week and then I tuned my violin back to normal and haven't looked at it since!

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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May 18, 2017 - 1:17 pm
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@Kiara 

My friend would play that Midnight on the Water.  I  have taken a stab at it and I LOVE it.   I have a second violin...so I have the luxury of tuning it that way.  I really love it ... it gives me that growly good sound.

I need to readdress that song.

Great post.. great tips.  MOTIVATiON.

and Thanks BillyG.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Schaick
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June 8, 2017 - 1:53 pm
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I have tried Dead Man's tuning in the past.  I loved the sound but I realized that if I was going to use it at jam I would be too slow at re-tuning.  Also I don't use sheet music at jam so I would have to memorize another set of fingerings.  

I am still just in the toddler stage at this point.  

I really do need a second fiddle!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
June 8, 2017 - 3:09 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1991
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Schaick said
.....   I really do need a second fiddle!!  

  Errrr.... well, of course, goes without saying... then the 3rd, and the 4th... LOLOL !!!!

 

  Hahahahaha : EDIT - ROFL I'm SO sorry - of course, fiddle number 5, the 5th, will of course be perfect...     I am SO SO sorry about that little musical joke - just couldn't resist...

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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