Magical rainbow ponies

Eb, Ab Db Gb Bb Eb tunning

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  1. david6strings

    the heavier 011 string gauge are killing me. im thinking about low the guitar tunning a half step each string. first of all for health purpouses. and i going to check the sound quality changes. i think it could be better for developing a louis armstrong new orleans phrasing. blues string long bends in the beat 2 and that king of stuff. i have heard some beautiful phrasing in hands of scofields when he wants.
    do you know people who play jazz with this alternative tunning? and that style, i mean new orleans king oliver style?

  2. Matt

    whatever works will work. i think you could be the first to play n'awlins jazz in an alt tuning:)

  3. Sandemose

    You will get adjusted to it, if you just give it a little time. I use 12s on my Hofner, and 11s on my thinline tele, and Im changing to 12s on that one too. I cant play 11s anymore, and I used to be a 010 shredder (slim Gambale Ibanez) back in the days.

    Best, Sandemose

  4. silverwater

    These may be irrelevant, but I thought I'd mention them just in case:.

    Your problem may be related to the setup of the guitar. If you change to a heavier set of strings it's going to cause more curvature in the neck, so you're going to have to adjust your setup. Besides adjusting the truss rod, obviously, check the height of the nut. I have mine set so the strings are as low as possible to the first fret without buzzing when playing open strings. I'm a totally self-taught hack when it comes to the setup of a guitar, so don't take my word as gospel on this, but a high nut is usually the first thing I notice when I pick up a guitar that seems hard to play. Here's what I do: I take it off, sand it down until the strings are buzzing off the first fret, then cut little pieces of paper and slide them under there until I get the perfect height. I don't even glue down the nut because I'm so anal about the height that I don't want the glue to mess with it, and I want to have the option to change it quickly if the humidity has tweaked the relief at all (damn NE US weather!!) Now, I'm not recommending that you do this too, because like I said before I'm a total hack when it comes to setups, so officially I'm recommending that you take it to a professional.

    Another problem may be related to technique. No matter how big your strings or how high your action, it does not take much strength to move a string a fraction of an inch, and very few guitarists are aware of how much energy they waste by pressing too hard and/or choking the neck of the guitar like it owes you money. I thought I had great left hand technique for years because everyone told me what great hand position and my playing looked effortless, so I never thought to work on any of the mechanics of it. But the reality was that I had way too much tension in my left hand, and it caused a lot of problems. I recommend "The Natural Classical Guitar" (available for free viewing on Google Books), and Scott Tenant's video Pumping Nylon. I don't play classical guitar myself, but it seems that the classical guitarists are the only ones who have really gone deeply into the subject of technique.

  5. jimjazz

    I totally agree with Silverwater about getting a pro set up and examining your technique, Goodrick also talks a little about relaxing your left hand in 'The Advancing Guitarist' but not deeply. Scofield gets those bends using gauge 13's so there must be something in both setup and relaxation there.

    The tuning down a half step thing would be too confusing for me personally as you'd be transposing constantly whilst reading and/or improvising, but then again I was always rubbish at playing in alt tunings, I'm still amazed every time I hear Kurt on 'Zhivago'.

  6. david6strings

    yes i'm agree 100 per cent with jimjazz about it can become tricky to transpose. im scared of that thing. the setup is fine, im living in the same apartment that a guy who do guitar setups and he usually setup my guitar for free. i have the sensation of an electric guitar player who has long time playing and catch an acoustic guitar for the first time.


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