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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:55 am 
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Anyone tried this tuning out? It was created by Robert Fripp of King Crimson to approximate 5ths tuning as much as possible. The tuning is CDGAEG, so really it’s only the highest string that doesn’t use the correct interval (likely because the string would break well before reaching that high B).

I have my eyes on a few future purchase potentials, either:
1) a 5-string electric mandolin in CDGAE
2) and electric octave mandolin in GDAEB
3) a 10-string bouzouki/cittern tuned DGDAD.
4) possibly even getting a bass guitar and converting it to 5ths (I suspect a 5-string bass could pull off CDGAE easily enough). But realistically any of those would be a couple of years away, since I have funds to accumulate.

But in the meantime I’m wondering if I should give Fripp’s tuning a try to see how I actually like it. There could very well be some major cons to this I haven’t considered.

Anyone have any experience using this tuning? If so, do you have any recommendations on string sizes work well for this?

By the way, I’m already familiar with playing in GDAE, GDAD, CGDG, and CGDA due to years of playing mandolin/tenor banjo, bouzouki, and a tenor ukulele I’ve retuned to CGDA/CGDG thanks to special Aquila strings.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:40 pm 
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Hi, Thomaston!

Over at the Mandolin Café, there are a few topics on the subject, including information on using a specialized alloy string to tune the highest string/course to B4 at a 25.5" scale length. Here's a couple of them.

https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/threads/50620-Converting-6-string-to-full-fifth-tuning-my-experiment

https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/threads/52587-12-String-Conversion-to-Mandophone-Mandocello-Plus!

One easy way to see if it makes sense is to retune a guitar to CGDDAE low to high, which can be done with the strings already on there.

You can use those online fretboard diagram builders to create a chord dictionary for full fifths across six strings/courses. There are a couple which are easier and which span all six strings/courses.

I've had discussions with several curious Fripp acolytes who noticed I was using full fifths instead of crippled fifths, wherein they tried to explain why the minor third at the top was philosophically preferable to a fifth. However none of them actually leveraged that string in usage. I eventually concluded they were desperately trying to justify that last interval as the result of deep thought, instead of just being the compromise required by the technology of the day when it originated.... *laugh*


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:52 pm 
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Thanks for the input! I really want to give this a go since I’m much more familiar with 5ths tuning. EADGBE just won’t click with me, despite almost 30 years experience with it.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:04 pm 
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I'm just going to note, all these years on from my first adopting full fifths tuning, that I really appreciate both standard and FF tunings for their strengths.

Full fifths is a very vertical tuning, very consistent when playing melodically, and very compact in terms of getting the most range out of a given number of courses. I have instruments ranging from four to eight courses/strings in full fifths.

For maximum chord flexibility and density, as well as compact chord melody, I do appreciate standard tuning. At this point, my most used eight-course tuning is (low to high) EADGCFAD, which gives me a combination of standard bass at the botom, and a whole-step-detuned six-string at the top.

I wish you luck on your journey!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:13 am 
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Interesting, never seen an 8-stringed instrument that’s not in courses.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:50 pm 
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Thomaston wrote:
Interesting, never seen an 8-stringed instrument that’s not in courses.

Same here. Did a search, and they run from classical:

Image

to Jetsons-style fretless:

Image

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