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