Wednesday, February 4, 2015

CGDA and CGDG tunings - Humours of Tullycrine

My wife ordered one of those Ibanez Artwood tenor guitars with the goal of playing it in the more Irish-friendly "bouzouki" tuning of GDAD.  Previously she had been playing a Blueridge BR-40T tenor guitar in DGBE tuning.

The Ibanez arrived today and came out of the box tuned CGDA. It will need some new strings and a professional setup for the GDAD tuning, but as an experiment she dropped the CGDA down to CGDG to mimic the intervals of GDAD in the same way a mandola mimics the intervals of a mandolin.  Since I have a Sawchyn Beavertail mandola in CGDA we decided to try playing the Irish hornpipe/march Humours of Tullycrine together.

Normally this tune requires the chords Aminor, G and Eminor.  It took Laura only a few minutes to learn what those chord shapes would be if she were tuned GDAD.  Of course, in CGDG those same chord shapes instead came out as Dminor, C and Aminor.

I played the melody on mandola with the fingerings I know from mandolin/tenor banjo, so what you hear is in Ddorian instead of Adorian. (I suppose she could have capo'd at 7th fret and I could have played mandolin but this was more fun!).  It all synced up. I think it sounds pretty good for a semi-cheap Made in China guitar that just came out of the box, in a strange open tuning, moments after I said, "Got those chords? I'm hitting the record button".  This is the first and only take!  There may be some slight speeding up on my part. :(


I'll give a follow up on the Ibanez tenor guitar after it's been setup by John at Fan Guitar and Ukulele.  Our initial impression is that it's a pretty OK sounding guitar, definitely a good travel guitar, but not quite as nice as the Bluerdige BR-40T.  Hopefully this tuning lends a bit of authenticity to our Celtic sound. If only I would start playing more triplets!


3 comments:

  1. Lanny -- Although not as adventurous as you with different set-ups, I also have this same Tenor Guitar. Paid $260 and my wife bought me a case from Gryphon Strings in Palo Alto, CA that fits like a glove. They said it was a Martin size 0 case (If I remember correctly.) Jeff

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    1. Thanks Jeff. I was wondering what case might fit it.

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  2. Lanny -- Although not as adventurous as you with different set-ups, I also have this same Tenor Guitar. Paid $260 and my wife bought me a case from Gryphon Strings in Palo Alto, CA that fits like a glove. They said it was a Martin size 0 case (If I remember correctly.) Jeff

    ReplyDelete