Unusual Open G tuning?

toddfan

Country Gent
Mar 12, 2012
1,130
Kansas
I use Variax guitars to do "the Keith Richards thing".

With a Variax, you can set the low string to *mute* which is effectively like removing it. The other strings remain at standard tension, but the firmware in the Variax guitar allows you to set them to Open G. And since it's a modeling guitar, you can select one of the Tele models and you're good to go.

All of this can be set up beforehand in the computer and you can simply switch to it on the guitar *or* you can set it up as one of the user presets on a Helix or HD500X and use a single stomp.

So then do you use standard chord shapes, or do you use the chord shapes normally associated with the open G tuning?

I find this very interesting...I'd love the opportunity to try one of those guitars!
 

dspellman

Gretschie
Jul 4, 2020
397
Los Angeles
So then do you use standard chord shapes, or do you use the chord shapes normally associated with the open G tuning?

I find this very interesting...I'd love the opportunity to try one of those guitars!
You play it exactly as you would an open G tuning.
What's weird is that because the guitar itself remains tuned to E standard, what you hear acoustically is discordant. What comes out of the amp, however, is bang on. You really can't play low volume, because you hear both, so I either play with the amp up or with a set of headphones.
 

Papa Dafoe

Electromatic
Mar 23, 2022
91
British Columbia
There is nothing unusual about this tuning. GBDGBD is the standard tuning for Dobro, or any square neck resonator. Very common lap steel tuning too.

it will work fine on a round neck guitar too, BUT you will need to use a lighter string gauge for the bottom string.
 

Seamus

Country Gent
Feb 25, 2011
1,031
New England
I think it would be awesome if you could tune down to G on the low E. At least with the 10-46 I use, I don't think you could make that work. I recorded a song with it tuned down to A on my Black Phoenix, and it barely sounded the note for all the rattling.
 

Runamok

Country Gent
GBDGBD. Not one I’ve tried.
On an electric I suppose its not a big deal.

If no one already makes a custom capo for this tuning, it seems to it should not be hard to custom cut one, or double capo cut two. Doesn’t that take some strain off the neck?

I’ve always been Spyder-Capo Curious, but don’t want to test clamp my guitar necks from the bindings to test it out.
 

jimifeed

Newbie
Oct 31, 2016
1
Kenya
Today I heard a song by singer/dobro player Abbie Gardner ('Cold Black Water'). She said the tuning was Open G, but it is like no other that I have found online. Her tuning is G B D G B D rather than what I found - D G D G B D. Since I am new to the resonator and open tunings I have a couple of questions:
- With standard tuning having the low string as an 'E,' do I tune the 6th string up or down to the G
- Is there any concern with over tensioning (if that is the correct direction) the low string (other than the string breaking) - like causing damage to the tuner, neck, etc.?

Thanks for any help!
This is the standard dobro tuning, I have no problems with the string tension.
There is also the E B D G B D, which gives you the possibility to have minor chords if you play with the tone bar. Check out Greg Booth, he uses it in a great way.
 

JungleJim99

Electromatic
Jun 20, 2022
7
Phoenix, AZ
I use this tuning when I play open G. You are just tuning it to the same notes which you fret on an open g chord. It is for this reason why I like it.

I tune all the strings up, no down-tuning involved. I have had no issues on any of my acoustic with this and I think it is unlikely you will. I do not suggest this if you use heavier acoustic strings, but medium and lighter won't be a problem .
I do have heavier gauge strings on the Boxcar (13-56). I like the tuning and have been considering going back to 12's like I have on my other acoustics. Thanks for the advise.
 


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