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Post new topic Tuning advice needed for 8-string C6/A7
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Author Topic:  Tuning advice needed for 8-string C6/A7
Einar Baldursson


From:
Stockholm, Sweden
Post Posted 2 Sep 2017 2:51 am     Reply with quote

Is anyone using the 8-string version of this tuning?

E,C,A,G,E,C#,C,A(low)

I have mainly been using C13 (Jules Ah See) which is fairly easy to get in tune using John Ely's Adjusted Tuning system.
http://www.hawaiiansteel.com/learning/tuning_up.php

Combination tunings like B11 or the C6/A7 above seem to a bit harder to fine tune though. Maybe because one has to tune the guitar so that both chords sound acceptable in themselves and at the same time be able to work together if that makes any sense. Perhaps it's simply a matter of tuning to C6 and lower the C# slightly until it sounds right against the A root note?
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 2 Sep 2017 4:22 am     Re: Tuning advice needed for 8-string C6/A7 Reply with quote

Einar Baldursson wrote:

Combination tunings like B11 or the C6/A7 above seem to a bit harder to fine tune though. Maybe because one has to tune the guitar so that both chords sound acceptable in themselves and at the same time be able to work together if that makes any sense. Perhaps it's simply a matter of tuning to C6 and lower the C# slightly until it sounds right against the A root note?


I think it's a matter of ignoring the "sweetened" tunings and stick with good-old 12 tone equal temperament.

12 tone ET was designed to make all these chords sound reasonably in tune. That was the reason to average out the intervals using the 12th root of 2.

I have never been one to tune guitars to sweetened tunings, since the instruments are fretted in 12 tone ET. Of course the unfretted steel guitar CAN be tuned to some sort of mean-tone tuning that makes the 3rds "sweeter", but if you plan to modulate keys and use complex chords, stick with the tuning designed for that.
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Einar Baldursson


From:
Stockholm, Sweden
Post Posted 3 Sep 2017 12:42 am     Reply with quote

Thanks David. That makes sense and I remember thinking along similar lines when fooling with the Leavitt tuning. The thing about sweetened tunings, which I really like, is that it can make steel guitar sound more like a choir or a string quartet and less like a piano when it comes to intervals. Of course lap steel is an instrument of choices and compromises - for every gain there comes a loss, at least when it comes to tunings. Big part of the fun if you ask me.
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 3 Sep 2017 5:05 am     Reply with quote

Einar Baldursson wrote:
Thanks David. That makes sense and I remember thinking along similar lines when fooling with the Leavitt tuning. The thing about sweetened tunings, which I really like, is that it can make steel guitar sound more like a choir or a string quartet and less like a piano when it comes to intervals. Of course lap steel is an instrument of choices and compromises - for every gain there comes a loss, at least when it comes to tunings. Big part of the fun if you ask me.


I have no problem with folks using sweetened tunings, but I stick to 12 tone ET for everything except certain instruments like the 'oud and guqin, which do benefit from pure intonation.

Sweetening works best with simple chords - when you have a complex chord sweetened tuning can get a bit iffy.
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