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25549.  Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:58 am Reply with quote

For those who are interested in a more detailed look at the physics of tuning,

Basic Theory of Ranges of Gut Strings

The Mersenne-Taylor Law is an accurate relationship between string stop (vibrating string length) L, pitch frequency f, string tension force T and mass per unit length m. It can be stated as 4f2L2 = T/m. When the string is made of one uniform material of density d and cross-sectional area A (equal to ¹ times D2/4, where D is the diameter), then m = dA, so 4f2L2d = T/A = S, with S defined as the force per unit cross-sectional area on the string. It is called ‘stress’, and with good reason. The stress on a string has strict limits: with stress too high the string breaks. Since string stress can be calculated from the pitch frequency, the string stop and the density of the string material, one does not need to know the string diameter or tension.

104775.  Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:48 pm Reply with quote

Hmmm, looks like an interesting topic which has got lost in the depths of the history of QI... I will do a little research about the topic - we've got a bookcase full of books on music history downstairs, but I am a little to tired at the moment!

I shall post again soon...

The Luggage
104800.  Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:10 am Reply with quote

I have all my guitars in standard tuning but dropped half a step (EbAbDbF#BbEb), because I have a stronger vocal range at that pitch than in standard.

A good friend of mine tunes his strings randomly and writes like that. He is an amazing instrumentalist.

104852.  Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:09 am Reply with quote

Joni Mitchell is notorious for adopting different tunings for different songs - 51 different tunings in fact. As her voice has become lower over the years, some of the same songs recur with different tunings. For those interested, there's an interview with her on the subject here.

104867.  Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:31 am Reply with quote

The drop D tuning of DADGBE is very common, especially in rock/metal music, as it allows you just to barre across the bottom three strings to play powerchords (chords with just the root, 5th, and octave). However, being a jazz guitarist I would never condone such laziness!

I can usually resolve the issue of pitch for singing by using a capo, since I'm mezzosoprano and I normally need the pitch raised. I glad I don't need to retune every string all the time, its difficult enough getting them to stay in standard tuning!

The Luggage
104873.  Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:47 am Reply with quote

Ani DiFranco if you want some wild tunings. I try to avoid capos because I don't like them. I can't say why, but I don't. I usually go for alternate fingerings rather than capo.

My style is what could only be classed as experimental. My favorite thing to do is to tap the headstock to get a noise going, then I play with effects and create music from the noise using the knobs and dials. Pretty much like you would on an old fashoined synth such as the Synthi:
(which i'm trying to get my hands on. I got to play with one in college, and I fell in love with it).

105149.  Sun Oct 22, 2006 11:22 am Reply with quote

Wow - that certainly looks pretty awesome. I find I can get most sounds I want out of either my guitar with effects pedal (Boss me-50), or my synth (the ever-so-beautiful Korg MS2000BR) or keyboard. Having said that, I still want to buy a Prodigy when I'm older and have money!

I'm about to start writing a physics essays on synths, so if anyone knows of any good sources of information on how they work, I'd greatly appreciate them.

125485.  Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:48 am Reply with quote

I know Jimmy Page used all sorts of weird and wonderful tunings for his compositions. Don't know what they all are mind you! Hence a whole rack of very similar Gibson Les Pauls.

Matt Bellamy has a custom-made 7 string guitar, tuned to EAADGBe, the first 'A' being a bottom 'E' string tuned 5 semitones up.

125489.  Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:56 am Reply with quote

:O i love matt bellamys guitar, i want it soooooooo bad, must start saving now :D

125544.  Sun Dec 10, 2006 2:44 pm Reply with quote

Luna wrote:
:O i love matt bellamys guitar, i want it soooooooo bad, must start saving now :D

One of my gap year projects is to build a guitar with even more gadgets than his, including a built-in synth, LED scrolling marquee, built-in effects, lasers shooting out through a mirror/prism setup (with intensity of lasers being controlled by volume of guitar output), midi output etc. which will be a lot cheaper than a Manson Mattocaster.

I shall then spend the following year attempting to develop a sufficiently strong guitar strap to hold the weight of it!

131132.  Wed Jan 03, 2007 4:49 pm Reply with quote

many people use 7 strigned instruments , not just matt belamy.

Rock band Korn made them EXTREMELY popular during the mid to late nignties as both guitarists used ibanez made 7-strings exclusively, although they were certainly not the first

i believe steve vai and joe satriani have both used them to good effect before this, and i'm sure there were earlier examples

the "grunge" or alternative rock movement of the 90's almost exclusively used a flattened dropped-d tuning as favoured by THE LUGGAGE above,

i THINK black sabbath's toni iommi detuned his guitar when he lost part of his fingers in an accident to make it easier to bend the strings. this resulted in their characteristically dark sound

none of this is probably news to any of you, but its at least on-topic

131185.  Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:49 am Reply with quote

I see your seven string guitars, and raise you an eight string!

They are used to great effect by the Swedish band Meshuggah, whose 'Catch 33' album has to be heard to be believed - 4/4 is for wimps....

Oooh, just for the record, I play a five-string bass with a BEADG tuning.

gerontius grumpus
131372.  Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:52 pm Reply with quote

When Jackson Browne performs live he has at least 15 guitars on stage, with various tunings.

131456.  Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:27 am Reply with quote

John Martyn uses all manner of tunings.

Here's one that was built for Pat Metheny (I think it was him). It's called 'The Pikasso'.

131471.  Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:59 am Reply with quote

strukkanurv wrote:
John Martyn uses all manner of tunings.

Here's one that was built for Pat Metheny (I think it was him). It's called 'The Pikasso'.

That's just being greedy. He's doing 3 other musicians out of a gig with that yoke


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