Nashville tuning applied to ITM

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Thomaston
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Nashville tuning applied to ITM

Post by Thomaston »

Hi, I recently discovered this video about Nashville tuning, which I’d never heard of before. Basically it’s when a person uses a set of octave guitar strings for a 12-string and then strings up a 6-string with the higher-pitched strings. You still get EADGBE but it puts the guitar in something like a re-entrant tuning, like ukulele or 5-string banjo.
Here’s a good video showing how this was used for a Tom Petty song:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR ... e=youtu.be

So I naturally started wondering if this has ever been done with DADGAD guitar, or if anyone has transferred the concept to a tenor guitar with GDAD (or a similar variation) bouzouki tuning.
I guess it would work better for those rare sessions that already has someone that covers lower frequencies, like a cello/bass player, or a 10-string zouk/cittern in unison tuning.
I’m not really considering trying it out, but am curious if anyone else has, or been around someone that has.
Last edited by Thomaston on Fri Sep 10, 2021 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nashville tuning applied to ITM

Post by Nanohedron »

This is the first I ever heard of it, too, and I like it. I always liked 12-string guitar, but that Nashville tuning for six-string has more ... "shimmer". I do believe I'm a convert, not that I'm about to go and buy a guitar just yet.

I've never known that kind of setup with DADGAD. I like to imagine that it would work very well, but my imagination has been known to get me into trouble over making assumptions; DADGAD's a whole different effect to begin with. Still, it would be worth a shot. Using a 12-string string suite, if you don't like NashGAD (DADville? The first sounds like Orkish, and the second a place to probably not be in), the normal gauges are still at hand to fall back on.
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Re: Nashville tuning applied to ITM

Post by Thomaston »

Thinking about it some more, it could be interesting to reverse this and, say with GDAD tuning, lower the A and D an octave rather than raise the G and D an octave. This could add some bass to a session that’s heavy on fiddles, mandolins, and whistles.

I also just remembered that I have a baritone ukulele, and now I’m thinking of tuning it to GDAD with the G and D an octave up, just to see how it sounds (I already have a tenor uke I keep in CGDA, CDGD, DAEB, or DGDA depending on my mood, so it’s not completely unfamiliar territory). I can see it filling a similar role as the mandola that Dervish uses. Of course, I’ll be getting a 10-string zouk from Phil Crump in another month or so and will likely forget all about this idea. :lol:
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Re: Nashville tuning applied to ITM

Post by Nanohedron »

I tried to accommodate standard and DADGAD guitar tunings to my 5-course (unisons) cittern, and they just didn't work for me at all; part of the issue, I suspect, was the timbre of the instrument itself. I promptly returned to DGDAD and never looked back.
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Re: Nashville tuning applied to ITM

Post by Thomaston »

I considered using CGDAD briefly, and even worked out the chord shapes, but ultimately decided to stick with DGDAD once my instrument comes in. My thought was that with CGDAD I could capo at 7 and play melody without having to also cart a mandolin or banjo to every session. I may still capo at 7 and play melody, but will just have to adjust a little since I’ll have a low A instead of G. It shouldn’t be too much of an adjustment.
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Re: Nashville tuning applied to ITM

Post by PB+J »

Why is ITM so hostile to bass notes? :D

As a regularly gigging bass player for decades I found the relative absence of bass in Irish traditional music was odd.
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Re: Nashville tuning applied to ITM

Post by Peter Duggan »

Thomaston wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:03 pm Here’s a good video showing how this was used for a Tom Petty song:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR ... e=youtu.be
Sorry I can't help with your questions, but thanks for drawing my attention to the concept and interesting video! :)
PB+J wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 4:48 am Why is ITM so hostile to bass notes? :D

As a regularly gigging bass player for decades I found the relative absence of bass in Irish traditional music was odd.
Not sure I'd say 'hostile', but perhaps a nod to likely rhythmic function and the 'bodhrán with strings' concept?
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Re: Nashville tuning applied to ITM

Post by PB+J »

I'm joking but it does strike me as interesting. Lots of folk traditions develop a bass instrument of some sort. The Bodhran can be that, but it's never been clear how much the bodhran was in general use "traditionally."

I've gotten used to the lack of bass and now it seems normal
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Re: Nashville tuning applied to ITM

Post by Peter Duggan »

PB+J wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 7:17 am Lots of folk traditions develop a bass instrument of some sort. The Bodhran can be that
I was thinking the opposite, really... accompaniment as rhythmic, so not suggesting bodhrán as any kind of surrogate bass.
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Re: Nashville tuning applied to ITM

Post by Mr.Gumby »

As a regularly gigging bass player for decades I found the relative absence of bass in Irish traditional music was odd
It's not fully absent though. Some of the ceili bands used the bass. the Laichtin Naofa had a 'bass fiddle' player: Angela Merry and some other bands of that time had them too. They also crop up ocasionally on some of the 78RPMs, there's one I loved by a quartet using a bowed cello for the low end to back pipes, fiddle and flute l and there was a rehash of classic McKenna records accompanied by bass and drums as well, but as you say they are indeed relatively rare but not unheard of, in a band context anyway.

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As it happens: Only a few hours ago I spent a lovely time in the street listening to Andrew MacNamara, Eoin ONeill and a few others playing away:

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and people like Paul O'Driscoll have a presence around here(anyone remember the Bowhouse Quintet? They were brilliant.).
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Re: Nashville tuning applied to ITM

Post by jimhanks »

Haven't tried DADGAD but I have tried a few reentrant tunings for guitalele similar to Nashville guitar tuning. I like the different voicings and picking patterns this produces compared to standard tuning. I don't think this would work as well for DADGAD. Standard pitches would be
D2 A2 D3 G3 A3 D4
If you put the bottom three up octave, you get
D3 A3 D4 G3 A3 D4
Notice that you have doubled up the D4 and A3 pitches

I guess you could still get some interesting close voicings but that's the opposite of what DADGAD is typically good for right?
Last edited by jimhanks on Sun Sep 12, 2021 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nashville tuning applied to ITM

Post by Thomaston »

PB+J wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 4:48 am Why is ITM so hostile to bass notes? :D

As a regularly gigging bass player for decades I found the relative absence of bass in Irish traditional music was odd.
I personally like it and wish it was more common, but it does seem that that’s a minority view. I especially like cello accompaniment.
I do think that John Doyle actually uses a bass string for the low D on his guitar, but I’m not sure if it’s actually an octave lower than the typical low D used in DADGAD or Drop D tuning.
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Re: Nashville tuning applied to ITM

Post by Kypfer »

I use Nashville tuning on a small-bodied Washburn Rover "travel" guitar.
The small body has virtually no bass response anyway, so no loss, and the resultant sound is both "fuller" as well as "different" to what it was with a set of standard strings.
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