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C6th top string, D or G?
D
60%
 60%  [ 73 ]
G
30%
 30%  [ 37 ]
both
7%
 7%  [ 9 ]
neither
1%
 1%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 121

Author Topic:  C6th first string, D vs. G
b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 12 Mar 2015 8:47 am    
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C6th players only: what is your first string tuned to?

Many years ago, Buddy Emmons changed his first string from G to D, and added the C# lever to get the 5th-on-top inversion. Many players followed his lead, but others like Jimmy Day and Herbie Wallace kept the G standard.

I'm curious about where we are today. How many of us have the modern D vs. the traditional G?

If you answered "both" or "neither" you might want to add a reply explaining yourself.
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Rick Stratton


From:
Tujunga, California, USA
Post  Posted 12 Mar 2015 9:07 am    
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G-
If my Jackson steel had come with the C# change, I might have kept the D.
Coming from A6 lap steel, changing to the G made learning quicker. I added a G-G# raise on pedal-5 that comes in handy.
I do try to avoid it at times because it can be quite shrill!
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Jim Smith


From:
Midlothian, TX, USA
Post  Posted 12 Mar 2015 9:11 am    
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I have both on my D-12's. From the top, my tuning is F,D,G,E,C,A,G,E,C,A,F,C.
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Earnest Bovine


From:
Los Angeles CA USA
Post  Posted 12 Mar 2015 9:20 am    
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2 D strings, high and middle
not re-entrant
pentatonic scale from high G to low A, plus low F and low C
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Mike Archer


From:
church hill tn
Post  Posted 12 Mar 2015 1:14 pm     D on first
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for me a D on the first is best

I would not have the G for my style on first

I don't sharp 3 a half but I do sharp 4 th string a half
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 12 Mar 2015 4:13 pm    
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I have the equivalent of D on my D10 (it's actually a C# as I tune the rear neck to B6). On my uni I also tune string 2 to C# so it's ready to go in B6 mode and it raises to D on P8. The E9 notes are got with RKL - back to front I know but I haven't been playing long enough for it to bother me!



Off topic maybe, but in case you're wondering, RKR does for P6, so I have an extra pedal.
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Dan Najvar


From:
Fort Worth, TX
Post  Posted 12 Mar 2015 5:06 pm    
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My MSA came to me with the D on top. Since I am new to the tuning I will probably leave it there. Herb teaches with the D as well as a few others. It seems like I have read on here somewhere that the D on top is better for jazz, and that is what I am really in to these days. I guess time will tell.

Dan
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Robbie Daniels

 

From:
Casper, Wyoming, USA
Post  Posted 12 Mar 2015 5:17 pm    
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If C6 players have been playing a D12 since 1965 like I have been they would have both the D 1st and G 2nd constantly. I guess you can see I prefer 12 string steels. Laughing
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Don Drummer

 

From:
West Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 12 Mar 2015 7:51 pm    
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I am a D man.
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David Mason


From:
Cambridge, MD, USA
Post  Posted 13 Mar 2015 1:52 am    
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Both - 11 strings:

D
G
E
C
A
G
E
C
A
F
C

In my current state of affairs, I'm working on other things where the tunings - just aren't that critical. Trying to HEAR harmonies better, and getting ALL I can out of bar movement, I would be mostly happy with most tunings? Absolutely, this is all by myself though - if I had a requirement to "play well with others" I'd have some head scratching to do, because I'd have to boil it down to 10 strings to get onto any workable, PORTABLE steel that I own (do NOT blow out your spinal discs - I command!)

I honestly MIGHT end up with ->

D
G
E
C
A
G
C (D?)
A (B?)... (Bb?!?!)
F (G?)
C (D?)

-> knocking out that middle 6th/7th string "E" instead of de-clawing my top or bottom - if I'm going to play two lines at once MORE separation is a good thing. (Those bottom four strings are all-or-nothing, either/or though.) But, "...going to play two lines at once" is a current semi-OCD thing with me right now. In the long run I have never noticed that "too many tunings" cause problems - in the long run - but there is certainly such a thing as "just enough" tunings. Laughing I am most definitively NOT one of those geniuses who can strum the open strings - once - press each pedal & knee - once - and away-we-go. Unless maybe if the band's name was "Trainwreck" and our job was to bankrupt bars....
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Bill Terry


From:
Bastrop, TX
Post  Posted 13 Mar 2015 6:29 am    
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D, because it came that way when I bought it.. which tells you a lot about how much C6 I play.
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James Ives

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 13 Mar 2015 8:44 am    
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Just changed from G to D. I like the D alot more.
Jim
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Mike Wheeler


From:
Delaware, Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 13 Mar 2015 9:56 am    
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I play U12, but I wanted to see the results, so I'm the one who voted "neither".
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 13 Mar 2015 10:09 am    
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I use a D top string and also have a D string between the lower C and E strings. I took off the low C.

The best steel player I have ever heard at contemporary jazz or any kind of jazz for that matter is Dave Easley. I'm pretty sure he uses a high G string.
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Tom Cooper

 

From:
Orlando, Fl
Post  Posted 13 Mar 2015 11:58 am    
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I really like 5th G on top. Already have E9 for the chromatic/inside-out thing.
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Bob Watson


From:
Champaign, Illinois, U.S.
Post  Posted 13 Mar 2015 9:01 pm    
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Bob, when Dave was playing his P/P Emmons he had the G on top. He's playing a single neck Excel 12 string now and has both. I went to the D when I lived in Nashville because everyone else did and that's what was on most guitars that you would sit in on. After playing a G6 tuning on an 8 string Dobro and then C6 with the G on 8 string lap steels, I went back to the G. Someday I'll get a double neck with the C to C# change and go back to the D on top, but if I have to have one or the other, I prefer the G.
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Jim Robbins

 

From:
Ontario, Canada
Post  Posted 15 Mar 2015 9:23 am    
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Tom Cooper wrote:
I really like 5th G on top. Already have E9 for the chromatic/inside-out thing.

Ditto. Tried D for a little while but went back. To me, the high G is part of the character of the C6 neck & I wouldn't want to give up the changes I have for the 3rd string raise.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 15 Mar 2015 10:01 am    
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My 8-string D6th has "neither". Adding a high E (D if it were C6th) would be my main reason for going back to 10 strings, if I ever do that. I run into a lot of situations where it would be extremely useful.

I voted "D" because the C6th on my Carter D-10 is tuned that way, and it's what I prefer. I get enough of the "5th on top" positions from the C# lever + P5 (A6th) and from P7 (G6th).
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Jim Robbins

 

From:
Ontario, Canada
Post  Posted 15 Mar 2015 11:32 am    
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Good point about 5th on top voicing with P7 but I still like having it open at the same fret -- different tonal qualities. (Never mind old habits dying hard.)
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post  Posted 15 Mar 2015 12:41 pm    
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I'm one of the G string users.

I played Blake Hawkins triple neck Fender at our steel club jam this past Wednesday. I just played his C6th neck which has the E as the 1st string since it is 8 strings. I was able to play a couple of songs but the G string would have made life easier.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 15 Mar 2015 4:38 pm    
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When I'm on an 8 string C6th non-pedal with E as the highest note, I sometimes retune it to A6th for certain songs. Half of the strings are the same pitch.
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George Redmon


Post  Posted 15 Mar 2015 10:28 pm    
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b0b, I have both on my 12 string Whitney, and will have both on my new 12 string Williams Keyless. I find I use the G much more then the D. I think you are hitting on the reason. It's the material you play. If a person could sit down and play Emmons C6th instrumentals all evening, you'd never think twice about the D string. But try playing some old Hawaiian tunes with power chords, I find the D string of very little use at all.

Harbor Lights comes to mind. The kick off to "Your Cheating Heart", gotta have the G. Been my experience. Just about the only thing I use the high D for, are single note riffs. Sure wish our friend Herby Wallace was still with us, he to was a G string user. What is Doug Jernigan using? High G I thought??? It's NOT a fading out "Old Country" change.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 15 Mar 2015 10:40 pm    
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George Redmon wrote:
Harbor Lights comes to mind. The kick off to "Your Cheating Heart", gotta have the G. Been my experience. Just about the only thing I use the high D for, are single note riffs. Sure wish our friend Herby Wallace was still with us, he to was a G string user. What is Doug Jernigan using? High G I thought??? It's NOT a fading out "Old Country" change.

I play "Your Cheating Heart" the same as Don Helms, without a high 5th or bar slants. I also play Harbor Lights. We must have different arrangements.

I have nothing against the high G. I have played with it, and there's a pedal/knee combination I can use on my 8-string D6th to get exactly those notes, if necessary.
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George Redmon


Post  Posted 16 Mar 2015 4:02 am    
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Sorry, just giving you my experience as I have both. Never meant to say you couldn't play either song...That's what I get for thinking I guess.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 16 Mar 2015 7:27 am    
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No offense intended, George. I'm glad that you have both options on your 12 string. I played a D-12 for several years.

It's good to be able to play the same melody in different positions. Often we get a certain arrangement so embedded in our minds that we forget to look for other ways to phrase it.

I'm working on a song right now that I wrote years ago on a non-pedal S-8 C6th with a high G. It's been challenging to convert it to a pedal steel tune without that high G.
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