Country Blues > The Back Porch

Open A tuning


David Kaatz:
After reading John and Eric's posts about Bb/C tuning as used by Peg Leg Howell, I thought I would give it a try. Without listening to Peg Leg first, so I was not trying to get any preconceived sounds, other than the descending line described by John here:
This is what I came up with. Excuse the sloppy editing. I tried to remove my most egregious errors, with very limited editing tools.

Good for you, Dave.  That's a really good way to start familiarizing yourself with such an unfamiliar tuning.  One of the things that I liked about playing in that tuning when I first started fooling around in it was that I felt like it forced me to be more intuitive, since nothing lived where I was accustomed to it being.  I've played quite a lot in that tuning now, and I've found it to be exceptionally good for thumb lead playing.  It also really lends itself to close-voiced harmonically complex, piano-ish sorts of chord voicings, since unlike all other commonly used open tunings, there is no place in the tuning where it is a perfect fifth between consecutive strings, requiring you to go to the seventh fret to get a unison with the next higher open string.  It makes the left hand very compact.  Plus, I just like the sound of the open chord.  I've never tried it, but I think it would work well for slack-key type Hawaiian tunes, too.
All best,


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