collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

The sweet, passionate melody captivated his heart from the first note; it was full of radiance, full of the tender throbbing of inspiration and happiness and beauty, continually growing and melting away; it rumoured of everything on earth that is dear and secret and sacred to mankind; it breathed of immortal sadness and it departed from the earth to die in the heavens - Ivan Turgenev

Author Topic: What is Vestapol tuning?  (Read 6982 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

slim

  • Guest
What is Vestapol tuning?
« on: November 16, 2005, 12:59:40 AM »
What's the difference between open E tuning and
Vestapol E tuning?

Offline GerryC

  • Member
  • Posts: 75
  • Jest settin' here a-pickin' and a grinnin'
    • www.reverbnation.com/gerrycooper
Re: vestapol
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2005, 01:49:14 AM »
Vestapol tuning? uses a particular set of intervals, viz EBEG#BE, bottom to top, each of the notes being one of the constituents of the E major triad. However, it is possible to have an open E which does not use these particular intervals. When I first heard of 'open E tuning', back in my early pickin' time, I worked out for myself that an open E could be (wait for it) EG#BEBE, bottom to top; again, each note is one of those in the E major triad. The 3rd and 4th strings were lowered to be an octave below the 1st and 2nd. It's shorashail an open E and can produce some interesting sounds and positions, but it's pretty useless for playing Blind Willie Johnson or Police Dog Blues, which is probably why 'Cooper tuning' never really caught on.... It tends to be the case, however, that when blues players speak of 'Open E', they mean the Vestapol intervals.

Cheerily,

Gerry C
« Last Edit: November 16, 2005, 01:51:19 AM by GerryC »
I done seen better days, but I'm puttin' up with these...

slim

  • Guest
Re: vestapol
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2005, 11:23:29 AM »
Thanks,Gerry

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: vestapol
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2005, 03:07:40 PM »
Hi Slim,

Te restate what may already be obvious:

Vestapol (or Vastapol) is simply a way of describing the intervals between the strings of a particular tuning, as Gerry described. What makes it convenient as a name for the tuning is the lack of confusion between the key the song might sound in and the relationship of the intervals between strings in the tuning. Charley Patton, for instance, plays "Spoonful" in Vestapol at E, or in other words, open E tuning. Furry Lewis plays "Falling Down Blues" in Vestapol, but pitched at D (if I recall correctly), so open D. The relationship between the strings remains the same, whether you're tuned to play in the key of D, Eb, E etc. Or pitched at C, like Josh White does in songs like Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dyin' Bed. It's all Vestapol.

Same goes for Spanish tuning, or open G (and perhaps less often, open A). So for a Charley Patton song like "Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues" which is played in open A (EAEAC#E), you can say he played it in Spanish tuning at A. For other Spanish-tuned songs where Patton's tuned even higher -- like Banty Rooster where he's pitched at Bb, or Mississippi Boll Weevil where he's pitched at B -- using a term like Spanish starts to make even more sense, rather than saying open B, or open Bb etc.

Easy Rider

  • Guest
Re: vestapol
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2005, 04:39:44 AM »
One reason that Vestapol tuning could be C or D or D# or E is that the old timers tuned to their voices, not to an electronic standard.  Mississippi John Hurt once told me, that he tuned his guitar a whole step high.  He had a high voice, and it was easier for him to sing in a higher key.  I'm sure Josh White tuned Vestapol to C because it was easier for him to bend notes with looser strings.  Just listen to some of those double bends in "Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed".

It could also be related to variations in the recording speed of the equipment they used.  I have heard of the engineers speeding up a recording, of a long song, to get it to fit on a 78 rpm disk.  MJH's original, 1928 recording of "Frankie" changes key in the middle due to variations in the recording speed of the equipment, but he didn't change keys, when I saw him play the song.  There has also been talk of Robert Johnson's recordings having been speeded up, thereby raising the apparent key.  I think they do sound better slowed down, with the resulting lowering of pitch.

Offline mordechai

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
beginner here! what is vestapol?
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2007, 02:36:04 PM »
hey all, i've read this forum a couple times before but just decided to start posting. i noticed in a lot of threads i've read that people mention vestapol tuning. i've never heard this term before. what are the intervals in this tuning? thanks in advance!

-mordechai

Offline banjochris

  • Member
  • Posts: 2008
Re: beginner here! what is vestapol?
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2007, 02:53:57 PM »
It's what is often referred to as open D or open E tuning -- open D would be DADF#AD low to high; open E would be EBEG#BE low to high. There's a tune called Vastopol (a corruption of the title "Siege of Sebastopol" or just "Sebastopol" [which is on the Crimea Peninsula in Russia]) that is a common tune in that tuning. Calling it the name of the tuning makes sure people know what intervals we're talking about as opposed to whatever pitch it may be at.
Chris

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10514
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: beginner here! what is vestapol?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2007, 02:55:16 PM »
Hello Mordechai and welcome to Weenie Campbell!  Vestapol is a tuning most often called open-D or open-E, though it could theoretically be pitched almost anywhere.  The intervals of the strings from sixth to first are:  root-5th-root-3rd-5th-root, which for open-D works out to
D-A-D-F#-A-D.  Weenie John C. or Waxwing has introduced a convention in which a person can be described as playing "in Vestapol at F".  This accommodates tuning variations that are encountered from time to time.
All best,
Johnm

Offline mordechai

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: beginner here! what is vestapol?
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2007, 03:00:44 PM »
ohh, ok. i know that tuning from learning "payday" by mississippi john hurt. thanks for clearing it up.

the other thing i see a lot on here is people talking about the playing position and the actual key of the song. i feel like this shouldnt be confusing for me, but it is! help!

-mordechai

Offline dj

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2615
  • Howdy!
Re: beginner here! what is vestapol?
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2007, 04:10:20 PM »
The playing position of a song is the chord shape you're fingering.  If your guitar is tuned to standard tuning, EADGBE , and you finger a C chord, you're playing in C position, in the key of C.  Now if you put a capo on the second fret and finger a C chord, the actual chord that comes out is a D chord.  So you're playing in C position, but in the key of D.  Now take the capo off and retune the guitar so that you're exactly one whole step below standard tuning, DGCFAD, and finger the C chord again.  The resulting chord is actually Bb (B flat).  So you're still playing in C position but you're in the key of Bb. 

     

Offline Pan

  • Member
  • Posts: 1892
  • Howdy!
Re: beginner here! what is vestapol?
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2007, 04:13:12 PM »
the other thing i see a lot on here is people talking about the playing position and the actual key of the song. i feel like this shouldn't be confusing for me, but it is! help!
-mordechai

Well if you play a song in,  let's say a "C position", you would be playing chords normally associated with the key of C major and mostly the relative guitar chords in the so called "open" position.

But you could be tuned down, for example a whole step, making the actual key a B flat major. As in "Piccolo Rag" by Blind Boy Fuller.

Or you could be tuned up, or,  more commonly, using a capo. Let's say that you have a capo in the 2nd fret and you are playing out of the C position. The actual key would be D Major. As in "If You See My Saviour" by Ari Eisinger (his version, not his composition), for example.

Hope this helps.

Cheers

Pan

Edit: dj beat me to it  :D
« Last Edit: June 22, 2007, 04:23:05 PM by Pan »

Offline waxwing

  • Member
  • Posts: 2518
    • Wax's YouTube Channel
Re: beginner here! what is vestapol?
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2007, 08:40:06 PM »
Is there an echo in here?

Welcome to Weenie Campbell, Mordechai. What they said.

So, John M, I didn't know I had introduced a convention?

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Willie Brown's Liquor at CD Baby

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10514
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: beginner here! what is vestapol?
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2007, 11:39:57 PM »
I don't know that I ever heard anyone use that phrase before hearing you use it, John C., and it makes a lot of sense.  Credit where credit is due.
all best,
Johnm

Offline Parlor Picker

  • Member
  • Posts: 1615
  • Aloha
Re: beginner here! what is vestapol?
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2007, 03:00:04 AM »
ohh, ok. i know that tuning from learning "payday" by mississippi john hurt. thanks for clearing it up.
-mordechai

I don't play it, but I was always under the impression that "Payday" was in open G, or "Spanish" tuning (another complication for Mordechai to get to grips with).  I'll probably be shot down in flames by all the experts now...
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline mordechai

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: beginner here! what is vestapol?
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2007, 08:08:50 AM »
spanish tuning, eh? what can you all tell me about that?

i must say i'm very impressed with the knowledge of everyone on here and especially the level of maturity! generally i'm used to asking a question on a forum somewhere only to receive a resounding chorus of insults.

i understand about the playing position/actual key thing now. i saw somewhere on here a list of positions/keys for blind willie mctell songs and didnt really understand how to put the whole song together with that information. anyone have chord progressions handy for songs off atlantic 12 string?

-mordechai