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Post new topic Tunings for a triple neck steel
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Author Topic:  Tunings for a triple neck steel
Dave Robbins


From:
Cottontown, Tnn. USA
Post Posted 21 Sep 2009 9:41 pm     Reply with quote

I'm working on a 8 string, triple neck, Fender steel. I need three good tunings for it. Does anyone have any recommendations?

It's been years since I fooled with a stand up steel. When I was a kid growing up, I had tried E7, C# minor, A tuning, G tuning, C6, E13, etc. But that's been a looonnnggg time ago! Embarassed

What do ya'll recommend? Question

Need the tunings "and" the gauges.

Dave
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Drew Howard


From:
Mason, MI, U.S.A.
Post Posted 22 Sep 2009 6:43 am     Reply with quote

Dave,

I'd go with E13 on the front neck, C6 on the middle, A6 on the back.

E13

E .014
C# .017
B .017
G# .020
F# .022
E .030SF
D .034SF
B .036SF

A6

E .014
C# .017
A .022w
F# .024
E .030
C# .034
A .042
F# .046

A6 string gauges work for low C6 (ECAGECAF).

good luck,
Drew
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Bill Hatcher


From:
Atlanta Ga. USA
Post Posted 22 Sep 2009 7:50 am     Reply with quote

What kind/style of music do you want to play?

On a triple neck I would say that one neck would need to be a 6th tuning just because of the history of this tuning and the vast amount of music played on it for so many years and the amount of study material available for it.

You need to only figure out the other two necks.
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Neil Cameron


From:
England, United Kingdom
Post Posted 22 Sep 2009 11:06 am     Reply with quote

http://www.rickalexander.com/BigSteel/Tunings.html

http://www.hawaiiansteel.com/tunings/my_tunings.php

Check out these 2 websites from John Ely and the late Rick Alexander for comprehensive information on tunings, string gauges and much much more.

I am a beginner so can offer no opinion myself other than to say I really appreciate access to the wealth of information they contain.
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seldomfed


From:
Colorado
Post Posted 22 Sep 2009 11:20 am     Reply with quote

hi Dave,
Tune them all to C6, then when you play, make sure you switch necks a lot. People will be amazed Smile
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Dave Robbins


From:
Cottontown, Tnn. USA
Post Posted 22 Sep 2009 10:19 pm     Reply with quote

OK...Thanks everybody. There will definitely be a C6 tuning on there!

Dave
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Ryan Barwin


From:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 23 Sep 2009 4:21 am     Reply with quote

Not sure of the gauges, but I'd go with these:

E9th:
(you could also use a high F# as the first string instead of the F# in the middle, or you could put a C# above the B)

G#
E
B
G#
F#
E
D
B

C6th

D
E
C
A
G
E
C
A

A6th:

E
C#
A
F#
E
C#
A
F#
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Bill Baker


From:
Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA
Post Posted 23 Sep 2009 8:00 pm     Reply with quote

[quote="seldomfed"]hi Dave,
Tune them all to C6, then when you play, make sure you switch necks a lot. People will be amazed Smile[I love a/quote]I love your answer-very impressive. Very Happy Idea
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John Bechtel


From:
Nashville, Tennessee, R.I.P.
Post Posted 23 Sep 2009 10:50 pm     Reply with quote

Hi Dave; I've been using these three tunings for years!
(#1)-C6/A7__(#2)-C-Dia.__(#3)-E9/13
E_.015p_____E_.015p______G#_.012p__
C_.018p_____C_.018p______E_.015p___
A_.022p_____B_.020p______C#_.017p__
G_.024w_____A_.022p______B_.020p___
E_.030w_____G_.024w______G#_.022w__
C#_.036w____F_.028w______F#_.026w__
C_.038w_____E_.030w______D_.034w___
Lo-A-.070w__C_.036w______E-.056w___
Additional-Tunings available on (#1):
D9___E9___C#m7___A6___A9___B11_____
E____E____E______E____E____E_______
C____B____C#_____C#___C#___C#______
A____G#___G#_____A____B____A_______
F#___F#___F#_____F#___G____F#______
E____E____E______E____E____D#______
C#___D____D______C#___C#___C#______
C____G#___G#_____A____A____A_______
Lo-A_Lo-B_Lo-B___Lo-A_Lo-A_Lo-B____
And undoubtedly more! I still use the three Basic~Tunings on my T10 Remington! I never retune Necks #2 or #3.
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post Posted 7 Nov 2017 8:50 am     Reply with quote

seldomfed wrote:
hi Dave,
Tune them all to C6, then when you play, make sure you switch necks a lot. People will be amazed Smile


Bumping this thread for two reasons, firstly, because the above is quite funny...

And second, to ask a related question. I have two tunings picked out for my recently purchased Stringmaster: C6 and B11. (Farthest neck will be either baritone or something else that interests me at the time.) One thing I'm not clear on, which tuning would be best on which of the necks (near and middle)? I'm still a beginner but most of what I play in general is in C6, with a minority in B11 (mostly very specific songs that really call for it, not just general playing). So would you want your primary tuning on the near neck? I've never played a multi-neck console before so I'm not sure what the ergonomics are like...

Thanks!
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post Posted 7 Nov 2017 9:26 am     Reply with quote

Nic Neufeld wrote:
One thing I'm not clear on, which tuning would be best on which of the necks (near and middle)? I'm still a beginner but most of what I play in general is in C6, with a minority in B11 (mostly very specific songs that really call for it, not just general playing). So would you want your primary tuning on the near neck? I've never played a multi-neck console before so I'm not sure what the ergonomics are like...

Thanks!


I use my main tuning (A6 in my case) on the neck nearest to me. Not primarily for ergonomic reasons - when you play standing up, you can move further away from the steel when you play the neck nearest to you if that's more comfortable) but because that it the strongest sounding neck - because of the way Fenders are wired up.

For example (and this is very important to me) when I use my volume/tone pedal for tone sweeps, the effect is much stronger on the neck nearest to me and not very noticeable at all on the 3rd neck (or the 4th on my quad). I don't really understand why - something to do with impepedence, I think.

You can hear that the furthest neck is a little quieter and thinner sounding but for me that isn't so noticeable - the volume/tone pedal thing is the primary reason for me.


Last edited by Jeff Mead on 7 Nov 2017 9:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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Stan Schober


From:
Cahokia, Illinois, USA
Post Posted 7 Nov 2017 9:33 am     Reply with quote

Nic Neufeld wrote:
seldomfed wrote:
hi Dave,
Tune them all to C6, then when you play, make sure you switch necks a lot. People will be amazed Smile


Bumping this thread for two reasons, firstly, because the above is quite funny...

And second, to ask a related question. I have two tunings picked out for my recently purchased Stringmaster: C6 and B11. (Farthest neck will be either baritone or something else that interests me at the time.) One thing I'm not clear on, which tuning would be best on which of the necks (near and middle)? I'm still a beginner but most of what I play in general is in C6, with a minority in B11 (mostly very specific songs that really call for it, not just general playing). So would you want your primary tuning on the near neck? I've never played a multi-neck console before so I'm not sure what the ergonomics are like...

Thanks!

A lot depends on where your hands are most comfortable. Sightline is important, too.
Do you play standing or sitting ?
My own preference would be to put my most used tuning in the center, with the next most used to the front, and least used to the back.

No love for E13 ??
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post Posted 7 Nov 2017 10:08 am     Reply with quote

Stan Schober wrote:

A lot depends on where your hands are most comfortable. Sightline is important, too.
Do you play standing or sitting ?
My own preference would be to put my most used tuning in the center, with the next most used to the front, and least used to the back.

No love for E13 ??


No familiarity with E13 is more the case. But it's listed as one of Jules Ah See's tunings, so maybe someday, unless I get really attached to that low bass tuning idea. Pretty sure B11 and C6 will be long-term residents though.

But thanks for the advice...maybe I should hold off on the string change and play the former owner's strings a bit til I figure out which neck is most comfortable...
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post Posted 7 Nov 2017 10:15 am     Reply with quote

Jeff Mead wrote:

I use my main tuning (A6 in my case) on the neck nearest to me. Not primarily for ergonomic reasons - when you play standing up, you can move further away from the steel when you play the neck nearest to you if that's more comfortable) but because that it the strongest sounding neck - because of the way Fenders are wired up.


That's quite interesting, hadn't heard that before. I would think there would be an electrical solution for that (although I can understand a reticence to start rewiring a vintage instrument). Is it the same for early and late model SMs, since they redid the switching mechanisms? I'm getting a late 50s with the Tele type switch.
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post Posted 7 Nov 2017 10:30 am     Reply with quote

Nic Neufeld wrote:
Jeff Mead wrote:

I use my main tuning (A6 in my case) on the neck nearest to me. Not primarily for ergonomic reasons - when you play standing up, you can move further away from the steel when you play the neck nearest to you if that's more comfortable) but because that it the strongest sounding neck - because of the way Fenders are wired up.


That's quite interesting, hadn't heard that before. I would think there would be an electrical solution for that (although I can understand a reticence to start rewiring a vintage instrument). Is it the same for early and late model SMs, since they redid the switching mechanisms? I'm getting a late 50s with the Tele type switch.


Actually, I said "Fenders" rather than "Stringmasters" as I have noticed the same thing on my Dual Pro and Custom Triple guitars (the earlier trapezoid models).
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post Posted 7 Nov 2017 10:39 am     Reply with quote

Ah, right, sorry, wasn't thinking of the other Fenders. With the Stringmasters there's also the progressively thicker neck which could conceivably affect tone, despite the necks all being linked, but I can't see it being anything but very, very subtle...
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Thiel Hatt


From:
Utah, USA
Post Posted 7 Nov 2017 5:57 pm     Reply with quote

My triple neck is a nine string. There's how i have it set up.
Bottom neck C6th High to low: D-E C-A-G-E-C-A-F
Middle Neck E13th F#-D#-G#-E-C#-B-G#-E-D
Top Neck: A6th F#-E-C#-A-F#-E-C#-A-E
Slightly different than the norm, but it works very well for me. The chromatic strings on the E13th are a neat addition, (like the pedal steel E9th.)
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Rich Sullivan


From:
Nelson, NH 03457
Post Posted 8 Nov 2017 4:53 am     Reply with quote

For years I used to play a non-pedal triple neck (8 string) guitar. I don't seem to ever hear mention of this idea, but I liked having tunings that had different functional tones on the top string. One neck would have the root, one would have the third, and another the fifth on the top string. I used E6 with a high G# (the third on top), B11 (I considered this the fifth of A6 on top), and E13 with an E (the root) on top. Basically any E tuning with an E for first string would work for the root on top. C6 with an E on top, or some kind of E tuning with a high G# would work for the third on top. And A6 or B11 or C6 with a high G would work for the fifth on top.
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 8 Nov 2017 1:07 pm     Reply with quote

Wow, a post by John Bechtel from 2009. John passed away more than a few years back. Smiley Roberts would remember.
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 8 Nov 2017 6:33 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for posting all your tunings, gang!

Now I know why it's often hard to sit in on another guy's steel.

All these tunings!
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