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Re: OT: Tuning guitar in fifths/ my rant defending alt. tunings :-)

Whoa, I certainly wasn't claiming I'm more creative or talented than 
anyone else - yikes!! Hell no! No offense taken, but I wasn't putting 
myself above anyone who does use different tunings. That's a nice list. 
(Not that Keith Richards is exactly known for his solo work...). I 
should have placed more effort in indicating that, for ME, for what I'm 
interested in, I don't see a whole lot of possibilities that can't be 
gotten at otherwise. BUT I'm a nylon-string player. I might feel 
different if I had a dreadnaught Taylor, or if I was inspired by the 
English folk/American roots path that the soloists among the people you 
mention generally spring from. (Mitchell's Ellington fixation aside). 
I'm more inspired by jazz, classical and flamenco players, where playing 
in alternate tunings isn't part of a tradition, and moreover, would be a 
real limitation in the case of improvising.

I invoked YouTube not to refer to these people, but the current crop of 
folks who mainly take a few tricks from Michael Hedges (another 
alt-tuner who I have tremendous respect for) and go a-tapping and 
a-slapping all day long. I don't wish to directly put down artists so I 
won't name names, but if you search for Hedges videos, a few links away 
you'll find the people I'm talking about.


Daryl Shawn

> my friend, with all due respect to your post, why in God's holy name 
> would you use youtube as your evidence of boring amateur alt. tuning 
> solo guitarist's?  I assume you are NOT referring to John Fahey, Leo 
> Kottke, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Richard Thompson, Jimmy 
> Page,John Renbourn, John Martyn, Chet Atkins, Sonic Youth, 
> world can THAT be limiting??   Pierre Bensusan, Martin Carthy, Bruce 
> Cockburn, Ry Cooder, David Crosby? Hell even boring ass Eric Clapton 
> and even more boring Peter Frampton use alt. tunings!!!  Are you more 
> creative than all these guitarist's both as a guitarist and more 
> importantly a composer in altered tunings? I DON'T mean to be rude at 
> all or disrespectful to you sir, but I propose there are only limited 
> minds, NOT limited tunings!!   :-)    If you doubt my word on the 
> above using them they are all documented in Mark Hanson's excellent 
> book "The Complete Book of Alterate Tunings"   peace my friend  
> marc
> /Marc Marshall/
> // 
> /"I am human, I am large, I contradict myself"/
> // 
> /.....and then some  /
> --- On *Fri, 2/27/09, Daryl Shawn /<highhorse@mhorse.com>/* wrote:
>     From: Daryl Shawn <highhorse@mhorse.com>
>     Subject: Re: OT: Tuning guitar in fifths for wider orchestration
>     options
>     To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
>     Date: Friday, February 27, 2009, 3:17 PM
>     With a heaping helpful of due respect to all those whose alt-tuned 
>playing I
>     enjoy - and the distinct feeling that I'm a lone fuddy-duddy here - 
>     one of those resisters, though I did play in nothing but altered 
>tuning for a
>     long time. For me, the advantage was the mental breaking of ruts, 
>but I found it
>     was the wrong approach - treating the symptoms, not the cause of the 
>     I'd found myself always playing the same things, but came to see 
>that I was
>     simply limited in the technique and knowledge I had. Altered tuning 
>threw away
>     the experience I'd already gained, so I ended up even quicker in a 
>new rut -
>     I was tuned DADGCF, so suddenly I started writing everything in D 
>minor. After
>     five years, I switched back to standard, and practice as often as I 
>can in it,
>     and haven't found myself in a rut (by my own subjective analysis, of
>     course...) since. The solution was increasing my knowledge of the 
>     getting closer to the goal of making seamless the division between 
>self and
>     instrument, able to play what I heard in mind, not putting fingers 
>down and
>     finding new sounds by chance.
>     I dunno...if a sax player gets in a rut, do they quickly switch to 
>clarinet? Or
>     do they practice different things, seek out new music to listen to, 
>find new
>     playing opportunities to challenge the rut, which is a mental 
>construct anyway?
>     Honestly, I don't see a world of possibilities in switching tunings. 
>     there's a big ringing resonance that one can get with unisons or open
>     octaves, but that already sounds played out to my ears unless the 
>composition is
>     a good one. If you go on YouTube and watch the scores of open-tuned 
>solo guitar
>     players, you'll see the easy temptations they fall into - basing 
>     on a pedal note on the lowest open string, sliding around the same 
>     position on the low strings with the high ones ringing out, hitting 
>the 12th and
>     5th fret harmonics compulsively in every damn tune - because those 
>tricks sound
>     good, at an average and tired level of good.
>     Just my experience...YMMV (and probably already has, I'm gathering!).
>     Daryl Shawn
>     www.swanwelder.com
>     www.chinapaintingmusic.com
>     > I know many guitarists that resist open tunings and I honestly 
>     know why. They really open up another world of possibilities and are 
>a great way
>     to take a break from standard tuning, if for no other reason than to 
>     fresh perspective and break out of playing ruts.
>     > 
>     > Bill
>     >