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Post new topic C6 tuning...slow to assimilate!
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Author Topic:  C6 tuning...slow to assimilate!
Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 3 Nov 2017 7:07 am     Reply with quote

My Lapsteelin' blog was originally started as kind of a chronicle of my battle with and subsequent surrender to C6 tuning.

I really had a difficult time with C6 initially, and rejected it, opting instead for Sol Hoopii's tuning, open E, and high bass A. I think that was really good to get me going.

As I moved more into electric playing (I was mostly playing acoustic music at the time as part of an old-timey group), I saw the need to give C6 another look.

The best method for me to get to know the tuning was to examine the playing of the best players, so I transcribed a bunch of tunes that interested me or that I felt had elements that would make C6 more clear, such as Four Wheel Drive and various other tunes.

I feel like I've gained a lot, but I am still not 100% there yet. I know that I have developed my own way of visualizing the fretboard and created my own 'pockets' as Buddy Emmons liked to call it. Most of these are based on the types of lines that I like to play, with certain connecting chords and alterations.

It's really a matter of rolling up your sleeves. C6 is a great melody tuning, and it also affords a great amount of options for harmonizing those melodies.

What I once saw as an improbablility (me playing C6) has turned into a reality--C6th based tunings are the only ones I'm using to create my music at this time. Still much to discover. If you can hear it, you can figure out a way to play it.
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Mike A Holland


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 3 Nov 2017 8:27 am     Reply with quote

Keith Glendinning....Thanks for your kind comments. A little bit of praise goes a long way in my world!
Doug Beaumier....A lot of your suggestions I had started to implement. Great idea to just play the chords along with your backing tracks. I had decided to just play chords with little passing tones to tunes that I knew. Indeed that is when I fell flat on my face staring at a blank fretboard! I have just worked up an old blues tune that I liked from years ago and have been playing over that. I have always felt comfortable playing blues music but even that proved a challenge. I have uploaded it to youtube so I might list it on this site as a separate topic!
I was really interested in your explanation re your preference for C6 tuning because of the higher voicing for the minor chord. I have been drawn to C6/A7 tuning because of the easier 7th chord. I would be interested in your thoughts on that one?
One of the fascinating features for me on the 6 string lap steel is the use of slants.....they are terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Great comment by the way on us mortals compared to JB!!!!!!
Mike Neer...."subsequent surrender to C6 tuning"! Another great quote. I think I will steal that and have it engraved on my gravestone. Really interesting to note that I am not the only musician who has struggled with getting to grips with C6. Your comments are very much appreciated as is your work on the Steel Guitar!
Once again thanks to everyone for your interesting and helpful replies.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 3 Nov 2017 9:34 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
I have been drawn to C6/A7 tuning because of the easier 7th chord. I would be interested in your thoughts on that one?


I like C6/A7 tuning, although I seldom use it because I don't like giving up that low C on 6-string lap steel. It's a very easy retune from C6, as you know. It's good for funky blues stuff on the wound strings.

I played C6/A7 on my tune "Valco Swing". Audio and tablature here ----> http://playsteelguitar.com/valco-swing-lap-steel-guitar-c6a7-tuning/
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 3 Nov 2017 10:04 am     Reply with quote

Same for me, I use C6th/A7 but I too like that low C so I don't use it often. I use A6th and B11th for certain songs but I think in C6th when it comes to improvising.

For acoustic, I've arranged specific tunes in EGBGBD but don't really know the neck that well for improvising on the fly. My go-to acoustic tuning is Open D because with a quick one-string tweak, you can get: Dmaj7, DADGAD, El McMeen low C, D minor, D7th, and D6th. All you need to remember is the string that changes - all the other strings will be the same as open D.
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Mike A Holland


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 3 Nov 2017 11:30 am     Reply with quote

Doug.....I just had some fun playing "Valco Swing" Excellent!
Andy.....I will have to buy some of your books. Will probably have to do a job lot because of the shipping cost to the UK!
One of the reasons I liked the Emin7 EBDGBD tuning for acoustic instruments is that it is very similar to conventional guitar tuning. There are only 2 strings tuned differently and the bottom E makes me think the fretboard layout as a guitar when I go up the neck. You can also think as Dobro tuning for the top 5 strings plus you have 7th minors and majors all under the bar. It's a tuning I can think in and that suits me!
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Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 3 Nov 2017 1:18 pm     Reply with quote

Like many here my journey started with Guitar.

After trying to get comfortable with many tunings my journey changed as I wanted something that laid out nicely like Guitar but felt familiar. Tom Morrell and many others when they would get in trouble it was there comfort at the logical layout of E13. Same fret position markers as guitar align with the same chord centres.

I then combined it with Bill Leavitt (Jazz Master) his Tuning and then added a #9 to offer Drop 2 voicings.

I took it a bit more in depth writing my own book with Every Jazz chord and inversion with the key tones involved in each chord. As I wanted to focus more on Triad voicings to suggest chords.

I finally settled on E13#9/F and have been studying it slowly as it reveals itself over time.

At the heart of E13 is a 6th tuning with the 9th on top and in the middle. This 9th creates the space necessary for single note runs and reverse and forward slants and chord inversions. But as I am slowly discovering Tom Morrell Lived fro grabbing the 9th and their surrounding strings to make #9 chords, 7sus4 and plenty more.

Just my 2cents is that a E13th will feel a lot more intuitive to a guitar player.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 3 Nov 2017 2:54 pm     Reply with quote

Mike, I'm glad you're enjoying playing "Valco Swing"!
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Mick Hearn


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 4 Nov 2017 8:13 am     Reply with quote

I have been playing lap steel for a little while now and I must say that my favourite above all is C6 with high G. I have been reluctant to retune a string for one number as the guitar is old and still original and dont want to put too much strain on the tuners. Having said that I do have E13 on the front neck with a high G#. I am sticking to these two tunings as I find that with slants I can get most of what I want whether it be traditional tunes or impersonating pedal steel. There is a lot of material out there and I will end up playing it my way. As for chords - well don't mention one as I will not understand. What I will do is find the root note and then slant about in different positions until I find the chord I want. I will plod on milking the two tunings to get what I want. I wouldn't recognise the sound of a C#m7b5 if you played one.
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 4 Nov 2017 8:37 am     Reply with quote

Mick Hearn wrote:
I wouldn't recognise the sound of a C#m7b5 if you played one.


Maybe you would hear it as an Em6?
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 6 Nov 2017 5:10 am     Reply with quote

Perhaps this will help you hear the m7b5 sound in context? Technically, it's a four-note chord but we can get the flavor of the minor 7th b5 sound with three notes in 6-string C6th tuning.


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