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Thread: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

  1. #1
    Mano-a-Mando John McGann's Avatar
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    Default CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    1977 Zeidler, his first electric solid body.

    Tuning CGDAEG, so extended OM/ extended mandocello/ Robert Fripp's "New Standard Tuning". I had this as a 5 string for awhile, but read about adding the high G (.008), tried it and liked it.

    I asked for the mandolin scroll (years before i started playing mando) for the coolness factor. Walnut body. Humbuckers w/ coil splitters. Great fun exploring this and trying to forget guitar tuning!
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    Registered User Ken Olmstead's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    Cool! Love to see a video of what you create with that tuning!!

    John, if you don't mind, what is the scale length and string guages you are using?
    http://www.youtube.com/user/tenorbanjoguy

    "Gettin' by" with the imports!

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    Mano-a-Mando John McGann's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    Scale is long (Fender), I don't have the precise measurement but around 25.5 ish; .008/.010/.017/.026/.042/.052. Next restringing I may up the C to .054 as it's a wee bit floppy and you have to be very careful not to bend it sharp. It's quite a sound and anyone who plays the CBOM family would have a blast with it- the single strings help the fact that it is "stretchy", and a Gibson scale might help on that front- but I like the more sparkly tone from the longer scale.

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    Registered User clem's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    John:

    What a remarkably cool and beautiful instrument by a supremely talented (and missed) luthier. You made my Turkey-day with this one. Can only imagine what a joy it is to play.

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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    So John, what do you do in your spare time?
    Steve

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    tension loading more or less than a medium guitar set? It's got 11/14/22w/30w/38w/50w, on it now.

    Thinking about the flat top that spends a lot of time in the case under the bed..
    writing about music
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    Cambridge Mandolinist Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    Nice looking instrument John.

    Daniel

  8. #8

    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    Groovy. Reminds me a bit of some of the Ibanez models in the 1970s, John.

    I've always been a little critical of Fripp's rather self-inflated use of the term "new standard" tuning. To concoct an alternate guitar tuning and immediately refer to it as "standard" seems a little pretentious to me. Also, it essentially is the old Neapolitan liuto cantabile (i.e., 5-course mandoloncello/mando-cello) tuning (C-G-d-a-e') with an added high g'.

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    Mano-a-Mando John McGann's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    Fripp seems like a very funny guy in both senses of the word. I've enjoyed King Crimson since the 70's and I like a lot of what he's done with his various projects. I agree "New Standard Tuning" is silly, but he had to call it something, and he's never been afraid of looking pompous. Besides, everyone knows DADGAD is the New Standard Tuning

    As he's very well read (as his promo material as a public speaker indicates), I'd imagine he's well aware of the tuning's roots as well. I bet many of us mandoheads have messed with the "old Neapolitan liuto cantabile" tuning as I have, without knowing we were being historic or Craftie (self-applied term for those attending Fripp's Guitar Craft seminars which use only CGDAEG tuning and extend into the realms of proper posture and housecleaning). The California Guitar Trio are probably the best known Crafties/practioners of this tuning; they have some concert footage on YouTube that is very interesting.

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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    Somewhere I read about a tuning John Doyle has used occasionally for ITM backing on guitar, when he's not doing his regular Drop-D thing. It's a bit similar to the one posted here. He tunes the guitar B-E-B-F#-B-F#, then capos up three frets, and you end up in D-G-D-A-D-A.

    So it's basically the alternative (E lowered to D on top) octave/zouk tuning in the middle, with D and A for drones on the outside. I think maybe the idea of tuning low and capo'ing up might be to reduce the scale length, so the 5th's tuning stretches are a little easier on the hand.

    I've been fooling around with this on an old Guild dreadnaught beater guitar. You need big strings on the bottom for that low B and A. I'm using D'Addario singles -- .011, .016, .024, .038, .056, .066, which works out roughly like a light gauge set, according to a string tension calculator. Even with a .66 the tension is a little floppy on that low B string.

    Has anyone else tried this tuning? I'm still trying to figure out if it's useful, or just a gimmick.

  11. #11

    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    I think all tunings are both potentially useful and a gimmick depending upon what you intend to do with them.

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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    Gimmick probably wasn't the best choice of words. I think what I'm getting at, is that some tunings are very versatile and can be used outside of a narrow range of musical styles. Others seem to have more narrow applications, and I haven't figured out yet which category this one is in, for me.

    There's also the old question of whether one wants to be reasonably fluent in just one, or a few tunings, or explore a wide variety. The older I get, the harder it is to rewire the old gray cells. Still, these guitar tunings with a 5ths group in the middle like the mandolin family are interesting. And as I long as I have a spare guitar hanging around anyway....

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    Registurd User pjlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    I'm pulling out my strat right now!
    PJ
    Stanley V5

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    Cambridge Mandolinist Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    Quote Originally Posted by pjlama View Post
    I'm pulling out my strat right now!
    Don't forget to get a small screwdriver out too. That low C will need to be intonated properly or you may get discouraged quickly.

    FWIW, I love Fripp's work with King Crimson. Red is one of my favorite albums of the 80s and Discipline introduced me to Adrian Belew. Fripp is always at his best playing against a good vocalist like Belew, Wetton, or Lake.

    Thus, I'm not a huge fan of the Crafty stuff. My sense is that music tends to wander around its own navel a bit too much.

    My sense of Fripp as an individual is that he takes guitar playing and the role of guitar hero seriously, but he doesn't take himself too seriously. It's an interesting combination because most guitar heros are more tied up in their identity as guitar hero than Fripp is. But I could be completely off the mark.

    Daniel

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    Mano-a-Mando John McGann's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    Quote Originally Posted by DNestler View Post
    Don't forget to get a small screwdriver out too. That low C will need to be intonated properly or you may get discouraged quickly.
    Daniel
    I had to adjust every saddle to get it to play in tune, so set aside some time for that with a tuner once you string it up. Expect to re-intonate whenever a string gauge is changed. The only one left untouched is the 4th string D.

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    Registered User groveland's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    Wow. I wonder how I missed this thread.

    I have been doing NST for some time now - I use it on my 335 and, as you can see from my avatar, on the Teleberger.

    It is not a gimmick by any stretch of the imagination - Rather a logical improvement in my opinion. It is generally harder to play, than old standard tuning, so it's not a cheat (like some metalhead threads might indicate because the fifths can be leveraged so easily) but worth the effort for playing changes and 'seeing' theory.

    The only other reasonable tuning for guitar that I can imagine is in 4ths. (No G/B bump.)

    I started a thread back in 2006 on this topic: Here. I tried going FCGDAE at first, but settled on CGDAEG. There are some (poor audio quality) clips of the FCGDAE tuning through some Mesas on the Teleberger. Also, this Here.

  18. #18
    flyfishermandolinist Tim F Thornton's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    Fascinating. I'd love to see some video too. John M, thanks for the wealth of information.
    Weber original Bitterroot mandolin
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    Hmm ,something like a Tacoma Papoose Electric comes to mind,

    that 7th fret a little more accessible,

    for someone used to shorter scaled mandolins, for so long..
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    Mano-a-Mando John McGann's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    I'm scheming to design a fanned fret instrument for this tuning with my pal Jim Mouradian, known for his basses designed for Chris Squire and Extreme...rough designs being kicked around...an instrument with this much range is a natural for the fanned fret concept.

  21. #21
    Mano-a-Mando John McGann's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    Quote Originally Posted by groveland View Post
    I have been doing NST for some time now - I use it on my 335 and, as you can see from my avatar, on the Teleberger.

    I started a thread back in 2006 on this topic: Here. I tried going FCGDAE at first, but settled on CGDAEG. There are some (poor audio quality) clips of the FCGDAE tuning through some Mesas on the Teleberger. Also, this Here.
    Rippin' clips! Sorry I missed that thread 1st time around, great stuff!

  22. #22
    Handle Of Science UnityGain's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    I just started fooling around with some 5ths based guitar stuff and I started using an interesting low tuned/capoed guitar tuning that gives me capoed on the 5th fret, GDAEEB. I guess its DAEBBF# open or something, but its much of a strech and I'm used to GDAE, Its easy to do and you dont need to change your strings to get there. But anyway, you really need to experience having two Unison E strings. They are really really fun after you get used to them, trust me.
    Gotta start sometime, might as well be now...

  23. #23
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    The bass string sounds sloppy or dull no matter which gauge I use. I'm experimenting with a 12-string Yamaha (my original guitar from 1972). Tuning the bass string up to a D and using it as a drone seems to help.
    DdGgCcDdAADD.

  24. #24

    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    I had been experimenting with re-stringing my Seagull acoustic in fifths, but got stuck at the low end because I started at the top "E" and worked down, and the guitar scale and string gauges just couldn't handle the low end. I was glad I came across this thread, and I have now restrung as CGDAEE, .053 on the C and two .010 on the top. It sounds great, is amazingly in tune, and means that I can keep my left hand thinking in fifths! Having the doubled E on the top also creates some interesting sonorities with some close voicings possible at the top of chords. I have now dubbed it my "Guit-olin"
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  25. #25
    Registered User groveland's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGDAEG "New Standard Tuning"

    Here's NST applied to good ol' Um A Zero. I pretty much duplicated John Pearse 150 New Standard and just get as big a C string as I can. This clip is done with .011, .013, .022w, .032w, .046w, .056w because that's the best they could do at the local GC.

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