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Thread: Gdgd

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    Default Gdgd

    Can anyone help with advice on GDGD Octave Mandola/Mandolin tuning. It does not look very chord friendly. Is it generally used to play melody with drones, changing key by moving a capo up the neck? What is its best use for self accompaniment for singing? I am new to this so any help appreciated.

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    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gdgd

    Well I don't use it either, but it's basically an open G tuning, there are some ADAD chords here: http://www.banjolin.co.uk/banjolin12...section=chords which you should be able to adapt?

    HTH, John.

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    Default Re: Gdgd

    What made you choose this tuning if you're finding it so difficult?
    Steve

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    Default Re: Gdgd

    Thanks Tavy, very useful.
    Steve L, I am new to this and had read a recommendation for Gdgd. Having a limited musical ability wondered if it (or any other tuning) made accompaniment to my attempts at singing any easier. Before I embark trying to learn another set of chord shapes and note positions outside, of GDEA, I thought I would ask for advice from anyone who had used Gdgd in anger.

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    Default Re: Gdgd

    Quote Originally Posted by Howardh View Post
    Before I embark trying to learn another set of chord shapes and note positions outside, of GDEA, I thought I would ask for advice from anyone who had used Gdgd in anger.
    I have a few comments... but I can't comment specifically on using a tuning in anger. I'm not even sure how that is done...

    Quote Originally Posted by Howardh View Post
    I am new to this and had read a recommendation for Gdgd. Having a limited musical ability wondered if it (or any other tuning) made accompaniment to my attempts at singing any easier.
    Howard, my apologies for possibly opening this up a little further than your specific question(s).

    As with any instrument, including guitar, every tuning is a compromise. When contemplating an open tuning (GDGD in this case) with a more regular intervallic tuning (GDAE in this case), there are advantages which arise from each.

    One of the main reasons for using an open tuning is the open string notes. If one is playing or singing in a style which makes great use of those particular notes, then it is easier to incorporate an open-note drone. One can play melodic notes above those open notes and the open chord.

    A great advantage to a regular or semiregular intervallic tuning is that it is normally just a little distance away from all the chords and scales. The tuning compromises between a lot of possible directions. All melodic forms are equally easy, and equally hard.

    The first question I'd have is, what specifically are you hoping to play? If it's a specific repertoire which is associated with a specific tuning, then by all means, why not use that specific tuning? If you're planning on playing more than a narrow specific type of music, though, learn the more general purpose tuning.

    On guitar, I use four main tunings, two of them open for the drones (DADGAD and Drop D), and two for general use (standard tuning and full fifths tuning). I can noodle aimlessly in DADGAD and it sound like Irish traditional music, because I have the drone notes as a constant. However, I can't play the wide range of repertoire I can get to in standard and full fifths.

    At this point, ALL my fretted instruments except 3 (a fretless bass and two guitars) are in fifths tuning; I can go from mandolin to mandola to six-course mandophone to eight-string electric guitar without having to switch gears.

    My own recommendation to you, given that you appear to be just starting out, is to find some kind of instructional material which can give you a start on the instrument. If you can't find anything which helps with an open tuning, I'd recommend you go with GDAE, as this will give you grounding until you can get some confidence.

    GDGD might not be the most common tuning for OM, incidentally. If there is a particular kind of music you like, I recommend you harness the power of the internet to your advantage, as there are websites where the particular tunings for different recordings are available. (No, I don't know of an specifically, but I generally find them on a case-by-case basis, searching for a particular album; it will build character if you experiment with searching through Google, so I will leave you to your own path of discovery.) Those recordings would be a resource for learning by ear, an equally valid way to learn to play.

    There are also groups which discuss various forms of music in specific, and the people in those groups, both here in the specific music areas (like Irish traditional) will have more specific information about them than in the more instrument-specific areas and sites.

    In parting, let me also recommend you read a nearby thread...

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=51752

    ...which touches upon many of the questions you have.

    Good luck!
    Playing a hexed Eastman 614 oval-hole with scroll (hoodooed with MandoVoodoo!), a Flatiron 1SH mandola (original owner), and rocking my six-string Rainsong and Joshua mandophones and six-course, unison-tuned 12-string Ovation mandophone, with all of them in CGDAEB Full Fifths Tuning!

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    Registered User zoukboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gdgd

    Quote Originally Posted by Howardh View Post
    Can anyone help with advice on GDGD Octave Mandola/Mandolin tuning. It does not look very chord friendly. Is it generally used to play melody with drones, changing key by moving a capo up the neck? What is its best use for self accompaniment for singing? I am new to this so any help appreciated.
    Hello Howard,

    I have a bit of experience in GDGD. Most of the bouzouki parts on "The Janissary Stomp" (my duo CD with Chipper Thompson) are in that tuning. Chipper uses it a lot for bottleneck playing on the zouk and it's great for that, but I use it for a lot of other things. It doesn't seem great to me for Irish music - I have years of experience playing Irtrad in GDAD and GDAE - but it's really fun to compose in GDGD. And you'll probably notice that it makes the instrument sound HUGE!

    Unless you have a specific style/repertoire in mind (that is better served by GDAE or GDAD) I say go for it and give GDGD a try for a few months and see where it takes you.

    Also, the intervals in GDGD are the same as "cross tuned" or "high bass" fiddle tuning (sometimes AEAE). I spent many years playing a 5 course zouk in DAEAE (my CD "Dragon Reels" was recorded on that instrument) and it is a great tuning. I did use a capo a lot, though.

    Good Luck!
    Roger Landes
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    Default Re: Gdgd

    I tuned my tenor mandola GDGD for a while and used it mainly for playing melody with drones. It was really nice for old-time tunes - playing in GDGD or AEAE with a lot of pull-offs, hammer-ons and slides, you can approximate the rhythm/feel of clawhammer banjo quite well (IMO at least - perhaps the OT purists would disagree!).

    Patrick

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    Default Re: Gdgd

    Thanks to all for replies and useful information. I think I will stick with GDAE for the time being as I am becoming comfortable the logic of the intervals and fretboard layout. Many drones are also possible, if I look for them, which sound good with the British traditional style I sing.

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