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Apr 14, 2021 - 4:53 PM
4 posts since 12/27/2008

I have been playing squareneck with the Em/Open G tuning (E B D G B D) that Greg Booth and Mike Auldridge used because I play a lot solo while singing. The ability to play major and minor chords easily is important to make my singing sound acceptable. I’ve actually modified it slightly to E G D G B D - similar to Keith Richards tuning with an E on the bottom. I like it because I get a low bass root note with the major and minor chords by switching between strings 5-1 for major and 6-2 for minor. The issue I have is that the low E gets really muddy and is hard to hear when I bar an Am at the 5th fret. I’m using a standard GHS resonator string set on a freshly set up 82 OMI dobro. Has anyone tried this and/or run into this problem? Could a thicker 6th string help? I realize the 5th at G drops the tension a lot but I like the sound of that string as a G more than at the regular B because of the root note issue. Any ideas would be helpful and thank you.

Edited by - resoslide on 04/14/2021 18:54:09

Apr 14, 2021 - 8:39:35 PM

wlgiii

USA

1217 posts since 9/28/2010

I too play solo & sing; here's what I've done and do:

I tried 6th tuning (C6 for singing range) for the minors , but it didn't really have a full enough sound by itself. I also toyed with A11; that has 6ths, 7ths & minors but again, it's tough on its own. Now I use 2 instruments, in E and low bass A*. I get minors with slants and just playing the 1 & 5, but also am discovering other minors. Example- for an Em in E tuning, bar string 1 @ 3rd fret & play a combo of strings 2,4,5,6 open.

*suits my singing range better than D & G

Apr 15, 2021 - 7:29:59 AM

Hunter

USA

101 posts since 4/20/2012

I also have spent a lot of time with the E G D G B D tuning. I used it on my weissenborns and also on the dobro from time to time.

My experience is the exact same as yours, were the low E tends to be muddy or worse it is easy to play it out of tune, due to the string bending if there is too much downward force applied from the bar. I played with string gauges and never found a good solution.

The best I found was that I had to have a lighter touch on the low E from both the right and left hand. The capabilities of the tuning are great, but the tone sacrifice/struggle has been a barrier at least for me.

Apr 18, 2021 - 2:23:08 PM

136 posts since 8/6/2008

I used to use a tuning like that on my 6 string. I settled for GDEgbd. When I got my 8 string the normal {Mike Aldridge} tuning is EGBDegbd- but I play mostly bluegrass so I tuned the low E down to D [DGBDegbd] , The string was 'floppy' so I got a bigger [.62] for the low D. Check out an 8 string set at Just Strings and check out the gauges they use. DON'T buy the whole set you only need the ONE string.
Single strings are easy to find. Your local music store may have what you want for a few bucks. AND it will tune back to G if you need it.

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