Registered: 1423990713 Posts: 18
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At this point, I'm mostly playing an 8-string guitar, tuned in what is often referred to as Standard E, from low to high EADGCFAD. It's the equivalent of a combined electric bass and a whole-step-detuned guitar.
I've tried the strict full fourths and full fifths routes. Full fifths was extremely vertical for melodic work, and both full fourths and full fifths eliminated the huge amount of barre chords available to guitarists in standard tuning.
(If you're interested in seeing what the various chords and scales look like in terms of barre chords, you can always plug a tuning into the scale/chord generator at http://www.studybass.com/tools/chord-scale-note-printer/ , and look for where notes line up.)
I did full fifths for a few years, and full fourths for one year. The thing which really nailed it down for me was the excellent 2 DVD set from Leo Nocentelli, The Secrets of Funk: Using It and Fusing It. Leo Nocentelli is the guitarist for and the musical originator of the syncopated funk style of The Meters. The DVDs cover a lot of ground, including how Nocentelli interlocks melody and basslines. Extending that to 8-strings, and using touchstyle, opened quite a few things up for me.
I've been moving towards getting a 9- or 10-string extended range guitar for a while, and I wanted to see if there were any good tunings I haven't considered. I like having all of my guitar repertoire available to me, all my normal bass playing (including slapping/popping), and touchstyle besides.
I'm curious as to what people use, what the advantages are, and what options are made more difficult as well. If a tuning makes one thing much easier, but shuts the door on a lot of other things, that's a worthwhile consideration. It's like how the banjo is tuned to open G with a G drone: Yes, you can play a lot of tunes in G and its related keys, but they're all going to have a sameness to the uneducated ear. The same thing goes for being locked into a specific technique.
What are *your* favorite tunings for touchstyle guitar, and what do you play and *not* play with them?