How hard is Open G to learn?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by b2187101, May 7, 2019.

  1. Bellacaster

    Bellacaster Tele-Holic

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    It's super easy. The blues guys back in the day would start out on it as it was easier than standard tuning to learn. Keith Richards says it just takes five strings, two fingers and an a$$hole. Get a Stones tab book and you'll be off to the races.
     
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  2. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Okay.so challenge yourself. Sonically it sounds great and you can use a glass or metal slide.
     
  3. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Holic

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    The assertion was that open tunings are easier than standard tuning. I agree with you that they are all equally challenging in their own right.
     
  4. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

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    Open G is for selected riffage IMO.

    Don’t think they teach it at Berklee

    Maybe I’m missing something about open tuning virtuosity?

    Please share!
     
  5. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Holic

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    I reckon the number of virtuoso open-tuning players is proportional to the number of open-tuning players in general.

    Derek Trucks would be my example of a virtuoso who plays exclusively in an open tuning.

    Without getting into an argument about the term "virtuoso" I don't think there are a lot of other players that could be cited here.
     
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  6. Jim622

    Jim622 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Listen to Sonny Landreth, Johnny Winter, Ry Cooder, a few others for the virtuosity part.
     
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  7. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

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    Yep for sure. My impression is that SDS1 is correct, there’s not a lot of “learning” to be had which makes it hard to master? I’m probably wrong, I’ve never looked for William Leavitt like materials on open tuning. I just keep a 5 string tele around for when somebody call “stones” - agree I should dig deeper into what are very cool tones....and probably mandatory for high level slide guitar which sadly is not my forte

    Links to more details would be much appreciated. I certainly can use some enlightenment Curious if @Noah360 could chime in if there is any course work at modern day Berklee on open tuning and slide guitar....probably shouldn’t throw that out as fact without confirmation/ research but yard work is going to cut down my TDPRI time today....

    I did have time to find these little snippets tho

    https://www.roadietuner.com/blog/keith-richards-master-of-the-open-g-alternate-tuning/


    Ry Cooder / Joni Mitchell content
    https://www.cleveland.com/music/2015/05/rolling_stones_secret_weapon_k.html

    Good thread
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
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  8. Tom in Georgia

    Tom in Georgia TDPRI Member

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    OK, a question from an idiot here. I tend to like open G for a few reasons - mildly arthritic hands and somewhat limited flexibility from a couple of wrist surgeries. It obviously allows me to nail major chord changes quickly and easily, minor chords also line up down the fret board if I play them as triads (based on my limited understanding of theory) and I can mix slide and finger fretting in the same song. My question is, why remove the top E string. I realize that it can sound a bit low or rattly tuned down to D, but why not just tune it up to G? In other words, go from D-B-G-D-G-D to D-B-G-D-G-G.
    Tom
     
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  9. joealso

    joealso Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I would also add Joni Mitchell and Stephen Stills. One day I'll learn how to play Treetop Flyer. Then there's also some guy named Robert Johnson. For that matter, Muddy Waters, Elmore James ...
     
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  10. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

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    On a tele w 10’s I’ve thought about trying maybe like a 38/40 gauge tuned up to G. An experiment on my list.

    I remove the chubby 46 to make it easier and faster. Pressing down that big iron wears my first finger out so I ditch it.

    Anybody experimenting with bottom 2 strings slightly different gauge tuned both to G?
     
  11. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Tele-Afflicted

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    thats all gonna depend on your ability to learn, we are all different.
    also how much you practice, cause unless you play for a living, you can never practice too much....
     
  12. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    The coolest thing about alternate tunings is to play the same chords as you would in standard tuning, and you'll be amazed at the new chord patterns you hear. And you didn't even have to learn anything.
     
  13. Random1643

    Random1643 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Referring back to earlier discussion in this thread about dropping just the A string to G and leaving other strings in standard tuning. Folks are right that this is not an open G tuning per se, but I learned as Drop or Dropped A tuning and, as guitarteach describes, it has some benefits as a tuning in its own right. Once I get to my laptop I'll post a sound sample of Drop A tuning.
     
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  14. Jim622

    Jim622 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I agree with SDSD1 also. Like I said in my first post, "Its very easy to sound good fairly quickly" (I, IV, V), but you can dig deeper and there are artist that I would say are pretty impressive with it. Sonny Landreth has a pretty amazing take on it, fretting behind the slide, and an amazing right hand.

    Another thing I found useful is Open D. Its sounds more bluesy where as Open G is more of country and of course a Stones sound to it. I find it hard not to sound like the Stones in G. In addition any lick in Open G can be used in Open D just by moving up a string. I have a song I like playing in each. According to my mood.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
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  15. Jim622

    Jim622 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    How did I forget R.J.? Big brain fart! Of course the others you mentioned. J.M. had numerous tunings she'd use.
     
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  16. Random1643

    Random1643 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Here's a Drop A sound sample. Sorry for a bit o' drift from main focus of the thread; just addressing something that came up. As noted, Drop A = Standard Tuning w/ the A string dropped to G. What I think Drop A does well is give you a bit of Open G with the G in the bass, but some of the chordish benefits of standard tuning on the higher-pitched strings, and IMO some cool open string benefits on those same higher strings.

    So, anyway, this below was a demo I did for the JJB Premier-220 pickup which to my ears did wonders for a beater Wechter travel guitar that unplugged brings the musical dynamism of, um, cardboard. (JJB Electronics posted the Soundcloud file on their FB page, which was kinda neat.) Skip to 1:15 if you don't want to hear me yacking about the sound setup, the guitar, etc; the first song in the file, Jackson's Brown's Something Fine, is the only one in Drop A tuning. All recorded live via the MP3 recorder on my Android phone:



    Meanwhile, back at the thread.....as others say about Open G, it's a great tuning that's easy to get started with.
     
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  17. Jim622

    Jim622 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Don't forget Robert Johnson had and advantage. Going to crossroads and all.
     
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  18. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    that's the problem, IME.

    I found it easy to forget all my regular tuning muscle memory
     
  19. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's stupid easy. On-finger bar chords, fer heaven's sake!

    There are two commonopen-G forms: roundneck and squareneck. For finger-style delta blues and Keith Richards' bar-chord riffs, you'll want to use roundneck tuning: low-D G D G B high-D. Just roll the first, fifth, and sixth strings down a step, and you're there.

    Slide is optional but too much fun to be missed. And it'll allow you to jump into the age-old which-finger debate.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  20. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    PS - But you don't need another guitar to play open G! Just drop the E's and the A a step. I do it all the time.

    Of course, if you're just looking for an excuse so your significant other doesn't giv you the why-do-you-need-all-those-guitars treatment, go ahead and use the I-need-open-G gambit. If she doesnt play guitar, she won't know you're selling woof tickets.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
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