Author Topic: Songsmithery for Dummies™  (Read 7182 times)

michi_p

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Re: Songsmithery for Dummies™
« Reply #15 on: Sun, Jun 16, 2013, 10:08 AM »
has anyone got any experience with open tunings?
i am playing around in d or d flat at the moment (i just cannot remember just now...), and it's loads of fun. but it is also constant trial and error, and discovery of chords on a daily basis. so if anyone has any advice on that ...since it's like learning everything all over again.

oh, and i guess you could probably tune your guitar in an open f, and then just strumm with no fingers at all.

anster-lad

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Re: Songsmithery for Dummies™
« Reply #16 on: Sun, Jun 16, 2013, 22:54 PM »
What kind if advice exactly?

Open tuning is a great way to dance around the strings. Individual chords for your tuning can usually be found on t'internet once you type in what you're tuned to.

Jah

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Re: Songsmithery for Dummies™
« Reply #17 on: Mon, Jun 17, 2013, 08:24 AM »
Some times not playing helps. Take a week off from playing then go back to it. The ideas will leap out crackle and pop. Or something

Dubster

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Re: Songsmithery for Dummies™
« Reply #18 on: Mon, Jun 17, 2013, 09:05 AM »
What kind if advice exactly?

Open tuning is a great way to dance around the strings. Individual chords for your tuning can usually be found on t'internet once you type in what you're tuned to.

um, what is open tuning exactly?  Sorry, but I really am at super basic level... :(

anster-lad

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Dubster

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Re: Songsmithery for Dummies™
« Reply #20 on: Mon, Jun 17, 2013, 13:43 PM »

anster-lad

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Re: Songsmithery for Dummies™
« Reply #21 on: Mon, Jun 17, 2013, 13:46 PM »
http://oestrem.com/thingstwice/2011/07/open-tuning/

um, thanks, but the link wouldn't open.... :(

Oh my! I'll copy and paste the juicy bit.

"Open and Alternate Tunings
Just so that the terms are clear: the “open” in “open tunings” means that all the strings are tuned to tones belonging to one particular chord, so that you’ll get a full chord if you play all the strings open.

“Alternate tunings” would then refer to all the other different ways one can tune the guitar. In principle, the dropped D, double dropped D, and Dropped C would count as alternate tunings, but because they are so relatively common, they have their own names.

General remarks
Before we go into the specific tunings, a few words about alternate and open tunings in general.

First, the reason to play in open tunings in the first place is not (or not only) to get simpler chords. One might think that playing with open tunings would be a huge advantage in general:  there is at least one chord where one doesn’t have to do anything with the left hand.

But  that one chord cannot outweigh all the potential disadvantages:

All the other chords become more troublesome. Of course, all the chords of the same kind as the chord you have tuned to (i.e. all the major chords if you play in open G or D) can be played with a simple barre chord at the appropriate fret. E.g. In open D, you will have the subdominant G major at the fifth fret and the dominant A at the seventh. But that’s just about all you can do with those chords: play them. No fancy bass runs, no hammer-ons and melodic finesse, no use of the open strings.
An open string is like a binary number: it’s either on or off, and beyond that, there is really nothing much you can do with it, whereas a skilled instrumentalist has far greater control of the tone quality once there is a finger on the string. You can bend it, you can apply some vibrato, you can slide up to it or down from it, you can mute it, you can release it — all those wonderful things that make the music breathe and sound natural; all those things that a binary number can’t.
Besides, the major chords may be easy to get at, but what about minor chords, seventh chords, other fancy chords? try to play a Cm6 chord — or a Dm7-5 chord for that matter — in open D tuning, and you’ll know what I mean. It’s not that it can’t be done, but it may just not be worth the effort.
Standard tuning is a quite wonderful invention in that respect: with strings tuned a fourth apart (with a major third thrown in for good measure, between the second and third strings), just about any combination is within reach.
And last but not least, one should not underestimate the value of having somewhere to place one’s fingers. A nice side effect of fingering a chord is that one also holds the guitar still . . .
All in all: in practice, in open tunings you’re limited to play in one main key. If you tune to open D, D is what you’ll be playing.

And that is OK: open tunings are for songs or arrangements where one chord dominates. Modal pieces, bluesy tunes, folk ballads — that’s where the open tunings shine.

“Modal” in this context means more or less a style where the “classical” hierarchy of tonic, subdominant, and dominant does not apply, but where other chord relationships dominate. Examples are “Masters of War” and “It’s Alright Ma” from Dylan’s repertory, and songs like “What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor” or just about any minor key song from the Irish tradition.
"

anster-lad

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Re: Songsmithery for Dummies™
« Reply #22 on: Mon, Jun 17, 2013, 13:46 PM »
Hold on, what was the original question again?

Dubster

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Re: Songsmithery for Dummies™
« Reply #23 on: Mon, Jun 17, 2013, 14:57 PM »
wow, thanks, that's really interesting...will be having a play around tonight!

anster-lad

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Re: Songsmithery for Dummies™
« Reply #24 on: Mon, Jun 17, 2013, 14:58 PM »
What you do in your own time is up to you. I'm not here to judge. x

Dubster

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Re: Songsmithery for Dummies™
« Reply #25 on: Mon, Jun 17, 2013, 15:41 PM »
 
What you do in your own time is up to you. I'm not here to judge. x
:) :)

anster-lad

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Re: Songsmithery for Dummies™
« Reply #26 on: Mon, Jun 17, 2013, 15:52 PM »
What you do in your own time is up to you. I'm not here to judge. x
:) :)
xxx