The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-12-2022, 08:42 AM
Andyrondack Andyrondack is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Albion
Posts: 564
Default which tuning to choose?

I have a passing familiarity now with CGDGAD tuning and to a lesser extent CGDGCD. I would like to grow my familiarity with one of these by arranging celtic type and Carolan melodies but I can only focus on one .
Lots of fingerstyle guitarists whose style I like use CGDGCD but El McMeen seems to be the only one taken with CGDGAD, so I am wondering if there is some draw back to this tuning that the proffesionals who play celtic etc have discovered?
I am not too bothered about playing in lots of keys, C and G are fine and D would be a nice to have bonus but not a requirement as I find Drop D ok for what I do.
My experience with both of these is not enough to make a meaningfull comparison between the two but my early impressions are that CGDGCD produces the more impressive tone but I strugle more with fingering harmonies under the melody but with CGDGAD my fingers seem to find it easier to locate the small chords bellow a melody line but the overall tone is not so impressive somehow.
I would be interested if anyone is familiar with both of these tunings and what would make you choose one over the other if you had to choose only one tuning?
Many thanks for any comments.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-12-2022, 11:00 AM
phydaux phydaux is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 539
Default

It's all I can do to struggle with & make sense of EADGBE.
__________________
Eastman AC422CE - sitka & rosewood
'86 Guild D-25 - spruce & mahogany
Taylor GS Mini - spruce & rosewood
Kentucky KM-250 Mandolin - spruce & maple
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-12-2022, 11:15 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 8,832
Default

Of those two, I'd pick CGDGAD. There, only the two lower strings are dropped from DADGAD, which is a very versatile tuning. But I'm always looking for what would allow me to play the most types of music.

That's why I stick with good 'ol standard.
__________________
Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-12-2022, 11:23 AM
ljguitar's Avatar
ljguitar ljguitar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: wyoming
Posts: 40,833
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyrondack View Post
My experience with both of these is not enough to make a meaningfull comparison between the two but my early impressions are that CGDGCD produces the more impressive tone but I strugle more with fingering harmonies under the melody but with CGDGAD my fingers seem to find it easier to locate the small chords bellow a melody line but the overall tone is not so impressive somehow.
I would be interested if anyone is familiar with both of these tunings and what would make you choose one over the other if you had to choose only one tuning?
Many thanks for any comments.
Andy-etc

I suggest getting the digital download of David Wilcox's "Secrets of Open Tunings and Song Accompaniment" CliCk from Homespun.com

It DOES NOT directly answer your question, but he spends 80 minutes wandering though alternate tunings. He promises 3 open tunings, and delivers so much more. It's an old recording (from the 1990s) ported over to digital, and well worth the time invested if you are going to be using alternate tunings on a regular basis.

He, Al Petteway, and others have had a strong influence on my alternate tuning playing. I seldom used DADGAD or CGCGCD these days, but a three string cut capo lives in all my cases.

I've adapted many songs I learned, arranged or wrote in alternate tunings to standard tuning using the cut capo.

And I'll still retune to Open G or Open D for the beauty of the tunings.

I'm not even sure he'd answer your questions on this recording, but he raised as many possibilities as he answered my questions in it. I've also attended a live workshop by him on the same topic.

Hope this adds to the discussion…




__________________


Baby #01
Baby #02
Baby #03
Baby #04
Baby #05

Larry's songs...

…Just because you've argued someone into silence doesn't mean you have convinced them…
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-13-2022, 12:07 AM
Doug Young's Avatar
Doug Young Doug Young is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Mountain View, CA
Posts: 8,649
Default

I don't think there's any particular drawback to either of these. CGDGCD is essentially DADGAD moved over a string, which gives you some nice cross string effects. But CGDGAD has the 2nd G,A string combination as well, which assists in cross-string DADGAD effects, since the top 3 strings are the same as DADGAD, while giving you G,C, and D as open bass strings. (both do) I think the sus4 sound maybe lends itself more to the celtic guitar sound, which may be what you're detecting as the "tone".

But El does just fine with the other. He picked that tuning up from Dave Evans, and there are some really nice chord voicings available in that tuning. Laurence Juber also uses it now and then (tho not for anything Celtic-sounding)
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-13-2022, 09:46 AM
TBman's Avatar
TBman TBman is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 31,117
Default

I seldom play/noodle in standard. I have had my guitars in Orkney tuning,(CGDGCD) and CGDGAD often as I have enjoyed playing arrangements by Stephen Wake and El McMeen over the years. My guitars always seem to gravitate back to DADGAD though.
__________________
Barry


Avalon Ard Ri L2-320C
Furch Yellow
Gibson J-45
Guild D-120C
Larrivee OM-05
Martin D-16GT

And others....


Ciuil Amoigh:

Last edited by TBman; 01-13-2022 at 12:28 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-13-2022, 02:13 PM
Andyrondack Andyrondack is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Albion
Posts: 564
Default

Thanks for the comments, it's usefull to learn from those much further down this road than I . The three and four string moveable chords available in CGDGAD for me do seem to make it a simpler and more intuitive tuning to arrange melodies in. Surprises me that it's not more popular so I was starting to think what's the catch here?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-14-2022, 10:38 AM
AndreF AndreF is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,461
Default

I don't think there's any catch there necessarily. I think you're wise in trying to find the best one for you. Playing in alternate tunings does offer a lot of variety, but making a commitment to one in particular, like CGDGAD, which is a nice one, will breed familiarity with it and the potential for getting more enjoyment and reward from your time investment.
It's a plus too if you can dedicate one guitar to it to minimize constant re-tuning hassles.
The other side of the coin is someone like Michael Hedges, who first heard the music in his head and then picked the tuning that would match it best.
So I would say, take your time in choosing, and keep an open mind about tweaking things too if it happens to help you better achieve whatever it is that you've tapped into.
As Hedges said: "The secret of discovery....is extremely sweet."
__________________
Best regards,
Andre
Golf is pretty simple. It's just not that easy.
- Paul Azinger

http://www.youtube.com/user/Gitfiddlemann
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-14-2022, 03:55 PM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Central Connecticut, USA
Posts: 4,605
Default

Andy--El and Sandy Shalk wrote a book on CGDGAD, discussed here:

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=548018
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Thread Tools





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=