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Manocello tuning a guitar
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DanielB
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December 2, 2013 - 2:32 pm
Member Since: May 4, 2012
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Why would anyone want to?  Well, for fun, maybe.  Or if a violin/viola/cello/mandolin/etc player has a guitar around that they don't actually use, it would allow for practising chords and etc on a fretted instrument to work on your ear a bit.  And it sounds kinda neat. 

Normal guitar tuning is E A D G B E.  Mandocello is tuned C G D A.  It's is a compromise, but I came up with a tuning that would basically be sort of a 5 string mandolin tuning, but down an octave. 

The tuning I'm playing with on a guitar is C G D AA E.  From what I gather, mandocellos usually have 8 strings, tuned in pairs.  This trick tuning would only give a doubled string on the A, but it doesn't need buying special strings or modifying the guitar.

Tune the guitar's low E down to C.  Tune the A string down to G, leave the D tuned as it is.  Then tune the guitar's G string up to an A and tune the B sting down to match that A note.  Leave the high E tuned as it is in normal guitar tuning.

That's it. You can get some neat sounds with it, and can use violin/viola/mandolin/etc scale and chord patterns. 

I got the idea from member Raywells mentioning mandocellos in chat, and remembering that acoustic guitars are tuned almost as low as cello.  So I looked up mandocello tuning and puzzled it out.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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JackL
Andros Island, Bahamas
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December 5, 2013 - 7:35 pm
Member Since: January 28, 2013
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That's really interesting; think I'll give it a try when my guitars catch up with me here.  Thank you!

 

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DanielB
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December 7, 2013 - 5:34 pm
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The awkward bit is having to play the two strings tuned to A as a single string.  That's not a huge problem, though.  No worse than some other "funny tunings".  

Next time I see some poor beat up little guitar going cheap at a yard sale or second hand store, I may have some thoughts for something neat that could be done with it rather than just thinking "and what would I ever do with that thing?"  LOL

For this, though, I was just looking for an alternate tuning that was relatively easy to change in and out of.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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