New Way Of Tuning The Guitar???

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New Way Of Tuning The Guitar???

Postby Doug Working » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:34 pm

I have to admit, I had never heard of this before. And I've been playing a loooong time.

Anyway, I guess my ears are bad, because I honestly can not hear the subtle difference.

Set me straight, though. I thought I had heard that Chet sometimes intentionally tuned the G string a smidgen flat for reasons I'm not informed about.
Is that true?
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Re: New Way Of Tuning The Guitar???

Postby DagerRande » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:10 pm

Doug, back in the 70's I had a close friend who tuned pianos for a living. He was from the era when the "old timers" used their ear for certain parts of this process. He told me that they had a special sensitivity to actually feeling the vibrations of the lower notes with lower frequencies. He told me that where the hammers strike 3 strings, he intentionally tuned the middle one to be exact and then the two outside strings were tuned a little flat on one side and a little sharp on the other side, which he claimed that when all 3 were struck simultaneously, the note being sounded was the most "pleasing". He said that if they were all tuned exactly the same, it wouldn't sound right.

I never completely understood this but I also never forgot it. Your comment made me wonder if there was a connection?
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Re: New Way Of Tuning The Guitar???

Postby Steve Moran » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:15 pm

Doug and Rande,
I believe Paul Yandell had posted on this before. If remembering correctly it should be in the Chetboard archives somewhere and references tuning that string down a little.
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Re: New Way Of Tuning The Guitar???

Postby Doug Working » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:43 pm

I wasn't sure if I had actually remembered reading that somewhere in the murky past, or if it was just my imagination. But your post confirms it to be a fact.

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Re: New Way Of Tuning The Guitar???

Postby Larry Marchino » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:04 pm

Very interesting! I've never heard of this tuning, but I've read some info about the inexactness of a guitar fingerboard and that to note as exactly as possible the frets would need to be placed in different locations for each string up a the fingerboard (not one continuous fret across the fingerboard at each position) so that at each fret position the fret would be somewhat stair stepped as you go across the fingerboard. Hope that makes sense. As to Chet, I remember a video clip of Chet and Jerry both with Telecasters and Chet says to Jerry as he tuned something to the effect of "you need to leave the third string a little flat or it won't note right up the neck". I have noted (no pun intended) that the third string sometimes doesn't note right on some guitars. To my ear a wound third seems to note better on some guitars, but on some guitars a plain third works OK. Maybe it's just me, but I like a wound third on my 6120 and HOF, but I also have a double cutaway center block Gretsch Electromatic and my old ES 335 and a plain third doesn't bother me on them. I also have a Peavey Reactor (basically a Tele) that I superglued a short piece of fret wire right next to the nut to in effect make a compensated nut to make it note better. I may be wrong but I believe that maybe Paul Yandell did something like that sometimes. Anyway, it helps on the Peavey. Without the compensation the third string notes sharp even at the first fret.
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Re: New Way Of Tuning The Guitar???

Postby ceciltguitar » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:19 am

If you spend a little time on the internet you can find graphs and tables showing just how far off each note is on each string at each fret. This is why there are various systems of compensation at both the nut and at the bridge. This is also why there are guitars with goofy snake-like frets to achieve "correct" tuning. Of course there are several tuning systems, true temperament, well tempered, even tempered. I don't remember all of the different tuning temperments. But again, if you are interested, it doesn't take long to find more than you ever want to know about different tuning temperments on the internet. and various performers have various tunings to make adjustments to match what key they are playing in etc. I seem to recall reading at one time that Tommy Emmanuel sometimes uses 2 different guitars, one standard tuning, the other one with 6 tuned to D and 5 tuned to G, with different tuning changes (how many cents off each string is tuned) for both guitars because he only plays in certain keys on each guitar. I don't know how true this is. Also, the graphs and tables for how "off" the tuning is for each string at each fret is different for nylon string guitars than it is for steel string guitars.

So........we are all pretty much always out of tune to some extent.......
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Re: New Way Of Tuning The Guitar???

Postby Doug Working » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:03 pm

Whew! That's a head full of facts that it may take me a while to digest!!
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