Alternate tunings


Hey Steve-
We e talked about this before, but we’re always interrupted by work. Can you tell what tunings you use and why? Why use the “Stella blue” tuning bringing string 3 up to A. Why not just use that all the time instead of A all the time?
Why did you write so much on F?
What do you think of the Kieth Richards G tuning (I leave strong 6, if it gets in the way I just don’t play it)
And when you hind with Debasheesh, what did you use on the regal?

ChrisP, Norwood oh 45212

One Thought on Alternate tunings
    28 Oct 2021

    nice questions. .

    All the tunings I use onstage are E type tunings, so the basic scheme is: E B E G# B E

    Normally I’d be keeping track of intervals rather than note names, so “E” winds up being any tuning analogous to E with the same 1 5 1 3 5 1 scheme.
    Anyway, it doesn’t matter if the root is C# or F or D, I still think of any tuning with the root on top as some kind of E tuning and worry about the note names later.

    I wrote, arranged, and generally pushed toward the flat keys whenever possible because I liked the way Marteen sounded and played better in keys more natural to the Tenor Saxophone.
    No skin off my ass to use a capo or tune up or down a half step if I felt protective about my guitaristic open string stuff for a particular tune, so lots of F on the steel.
    No coincidence that F was Dave Lindley’s primary onstage electric steel tuning in El Rayo-X, and he was my biggest influence at the time, but I still would have leaned to the flat side for the horn.

    Here’s the list:
    E B E G# B E

    E B E A B E (DADGAD up a whole step)

    B D E G# B E (occasional G# up to A, but rare)

    The “E” and DADGAD type tunings show up as C, C#, D, Eb, F, and F# for root notes but it’s all the same 1 5 1 3 5 1 or 1 5 1 4 5 1 interval relationships.

    I do teach and practice 1 5 1 2 5 1, and I do play quite a bit of bottleneck in standard E A D G B E, but with few exceptions the onstage stuff stays pretty close to the E tuning variations listed above.

    I love Keith Richards playing regardless of tuning, with a nod to Ry Cooder of course without whom Keith would probably have not gotten to the 5-string G routine.

    Regal with Debashish was probably E B E A B E.
    I’ll confess to not paying the slightest bit of attention to myself in his presence.

    I didn’t understand the Stella/A question. .

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