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Thread: GDGD tuning

  1. #1
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    Default GDGD tuning

    Has anyone tried GDGD tuning? Is there an advantage to it?

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    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    A common tuning among some old-time fiddlers.
    It creates a series of drones that many people find attractive.

    Look up "old-time fiddle tunings" and "sawmill tuning," and you can find many tunes that exploit the possibilities of alternate tunings.

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    Some Cape Breton fiddlers use "high bass" tuning, AEAE. Many Scottish tunes can be played on the A and E strings. The purpose of high bass tuning is that two fiddlers can play together, one an octave below the other, for more volume at pre-amplification dances. I've tried high bass tuning by myself, and found it difficult, less intuitive than I would have expected, though I suspect it comes easily to some others. I play some fiddle tunes in standard tuning, repeating the same pattern an octave apart. With a little practice, that's not hard to do if your ear playing is developed. I haven't tried it with mandolin.
    Last edited by Ranald; Jul-25-2021 at 7:52pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    GDGD is sometimes called sawmill tuning. Or Cross G.

    I have tried it, and for some tunes it is great.

    I have a mandolin I keep in what ever cross tuning I am working with. Right now it is in Dead Mans tuning or DDAD.
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    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    I’ve tried GDGD a few times, and the droning effect is quite impressive for awhile, and good for accompanying singing, but I found that I would begin to treat the mandolin like a guitar and not work on the instrument’s strengths, melody etc.

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    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    Bottle neck style likes open chord tuning that's 1V1V , no 3rd .
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    Registered User Ky Slim's Avatar
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    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    I think this is AEAE. I'd say the big advantage is droning



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    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    Thanks everyone for the input, will I have to change out my upper strings, or can I just use the ones already there( A and E)

  11. #10
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Claj123 View Post
    Thanks everyone for the input, will I have to change out my upper strings, or can I just use the ones already there( A and E)
    Tune down the A and E strings.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  12. #11

    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    GDGD is sometimes called sawmill tuning. Or Cross G.

    I have tried it, and for some tunes it is great.

    I have a mandolin I keep in what ever cross tuning I am working with. Right now it is in Dead Mans tuning or DDAD.
    Another reason for another mandolin!

  13. #12
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by LRDave View Post
    Another reason for another mandolin!
    You got that right.
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

    The entire staff
    funny....

  14. #13

    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    I posted some videos of tunes in crosstuning in that thread.
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    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    Tuning down is easier on your instrument, but if you are going to play with a fiddle player you might want to change the strings to lighter strings if you go to AEAE.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  17. #15
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Tuning down is easier on your instrument, but if you are going to play with a fiddle player you might want to change the strings to lighter strings if you go to AEAE.
    Why?
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    Why?
    Tuning both G's up a full step, and both D's up a full step would add a lot more tension to the mandolin that already has a lot of tension, especially if you are using 11-40 strings. I wouldn't do it to mine.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  20. #17

    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Tuning both G's up a full step, and both D's up a full step would add a lot more tension to the mandolin that already has a lot of tension, especially if you are using 11-40 strings. I wouldn't do it to mine.
    pops1 (or anyone else following this thread): Did Mike Compton on the video posted above (courtesy of Ky Slim)actually tune up G & D to A & E (pretty sure no capo)? Can you tell by your very educated ears? So perhaps lighter strings or just cranked it anyway?

    (As a total newb, I really like this song. Something to aspire toward in the future.)
    Last edited by LRDave; Jul-27-2021 at 8:51pm.

  21. #18
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    Its Mike Compton, not "Cowen".
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  22. #19

    Default Re: GDGD tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    Its Mike Compton, not "Cowen".
    Auto-correct (scapegoat) or fat-fingered (most likely suspect) -noted and edited in the original post. Thanks for pointing out....

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