Non-Standard Tuning

What difference does it make anyway?

Non-diatonic tuning….

The diatonic scales were established in Greece before the Greek Tribes were united… and well before the Year of Our Lord….

The different “Church Scales” or Modes that are most common in Western Music are named after the different Greek Tribes, but other peoples used other patterns of notes. The dominant sequence of notes in Western Music is the Major Scale or Ionian Mode. Any other pattern of notes sounds a bit “off” to Western ears. Though the Pentatonic or Five-Tone Scale is rife in Blues and Rock and Country and Jazz… too much… and it starts to sound… Asian….

But… it weren’t always like that….

Standard Guitar Tuning is: EADGBe, and does not constitute a chord when all of the strings are struck open. Standard Tuning makes playing scales simpler because the stretch is restricted for the most part and one finger plays one note for the most part, which is unlike the mandolin or the fiddle (in Standard Tuning: GDAE (same as lower four strings of a guitar, but flipped, which increases the interval when ascending in scale).

“Standard” Banjo Tuning is Open G: gDGBd. When you strum the banjo, you get a G chord. When you try to PLAY the banjo, the intervals are non-uniform…. So… banjo players tune differently for different songs… like some guitar players… especially slide players….

Mountain Modal tuning has several names including G Modal, Sawmill or Mountain Minor tuning. The tuning is: gDGCd. So… you no longer get a G Major chord when you strum the stings…. You get a G sus 4 chord… which is neither Major… nor Minor… so… it tends to be a little disquieting to the Western ear…. Thus… the characteristic “modal” sound…. For songs like Little Sadie…. And… Shady Grove….

And… it seems to be making a comeback in some modern Country songs….

 

 

Modern Conveniences….

Opened up the guitar case….

Wasn’t sure which one was in there….

It was the Strat….
Haven’t really played it in a while. Changed the strings not too long ago, but we’ve been on the road. A lot of adverse weather conditions….

A lot of adverse TUNING conditions….

So… it was SERIOUSLY out of tune….

The wood of the neck… and the neck of the strings… have different coefficients of expansion….

So… going from mid-80’s in Mississippi on Saturday… and upper-70’s in Tennessee on Sunday… to below freezing in Connecticut on Sunday night and lower 40s in Massachusetts during the day Monday… probably adversely effected the tuning….

But… I must’ve put my Chromatic Tuner away somewhere safe… where I wouldn’t LOSE it….

Too bad I’m working on a “cleaner” sound… because a good bit of distortion really helps to make accurate tuning more of an option than a necessity….

I wonder how the pioneers and other ancestors did it….

How did they SURVIVE without modern conveniences… like electronic tuners…? How did they ever get tuned into something like Mountain Modal without a Chromatic Tuner? Guess that’s why harmonicas were so popular….

Possessive Predicate

Learned something today….

 

Something BIG!!!

 

Possessive Predicate.

 

I don’t mean to suggest that I am opposed to learning. Or even suggest that I am not always encountering things I don’t know… and learning… but usually… it’s small things…. Just filling in gaps….

 

But Possessive Predicate is a whole new classification of concepts in a field of knowledge that I thought had a pretty good fund of knowledge… at least about the basics….

 

A Possessive Predicate is similar to the concept of the possessive adjective… only different….

Possessive Adjective: That is her Bible.

Possessive Predicate: That Bible is hers.

 

I learned about it while studying Writing Better Lyrics: The Essential Guide to Powerful Songwriting by Pat Pattison. Great book! Lot’s of great ideas. Lot’s of great exercises. Like Object Writing. Creating better metaphor….

 

Well… guess I’ll get back to work….