Alt Tuning for Cello Transcriptions: Fripp, Tibbetts or Vai?

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by ElRay, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    Not sure if this should really go here, or in the Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle Forum.

    Anyway, I'm looking at doing a number of Flute (or Violin) & Cello Duets with one of the kids. So I'm looking at a tuning that has a Low C. Right now, the only option is to re-string my 25-1/2", 6-String, Steel String Acoustic. The first three alternate tunings that come to mind:
    • CGDAEG: Robert Fripp's NST/C-Pentatonic
    • CGDGBE: Steve Tibbett's
    • CGDGAD: "Steve Vai's" Low-C
    Fripp's has an obvious appeal because the bottom four strings are tuned like a cello, is mostly regular and gives more range on both ends.

    Tibbett's is nicer for still playing pieces in standard tuning and many of the various 7-Chords line-up nicely.

    "Via's" Low-C gets the bottom three 5ths, and has some nice R-5-8 combos.

    Not having gone down this route, I'd like to learn from anybody who's tried this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
  2. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire Contributor

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    I think it really depends on the piece. I've experimented with both Fripp's and Tibbett's tunnings. Fripp's changes the way you think about things dramatically, it's really more like playing a horizontal Cello than anything else. Tibbett's feels more natural but you run into issues playing some Cello pieces that make use of frequent and fast double stops on the 3rd and 4th strings.

    Unless it's a bonkers complex song that really demands a full 5ths tuning (looking at you Hall Of The Mountain King), I'll just use Drop C (CGCFAd) or C Standard (CFBbEbGc). Also means all of your existing playing can be carried over as well.
     
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  3. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    Didn’t think about this. Got completely focused on 5ths.
     
  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire pickupwhoricus americanus

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    I've only tried NST but I think it would work well if you're trying to play cello pieces. I haven't tried to play many cello pieces other than bach's cello suite 1 in G (which was arranged for standard) so I'm probably not going to be much help :lol:
     
  5. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    I'm at the point, even "I tried ... and didn't like it." is helpful and more real-world experience than I have now.
     
  6. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    I just went the NST route on the 25-1/2" Steel-String Acoustic. The strings I used and their tensions:
    Code:
    G4 0.009" DAPL == 18.57#
    E4 0.011" DAPL == 19.62#
    A3 0.020" DAPB == 26.43#
    D3 0.030" DAPB == 27.1#
    G2 0.045" DAPB == 27.01#
    C2 0.070" DAPB == 27.91#
    total == 146.65#
    
    Best way to describe the change is that the guitar sounds "huge". Sympathetic resonances are up, fortunate they only seem to add to the sound and don't (yet) seem to require additional damping.

    First thing on my plate is the Guitar 2 part for one Offspring #2's pieces. I realized that the lowest note is a C3, so I can just drop the whole part down an octave.

    I think the second piece will be a Flute/Cello duet, so I can play something with Offspring #1

    Any recommendations of cello, violin, mandolin, mandella, or mandocello pieces to tackle?
     
  7. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire pickupwhoricus americanus

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    Vivaldi's mandolin concerto
    Por una cabeza by carlos gardel
    Mendelssohn's violin concerto in e minor (op.64?)
     
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  8. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Interesting thread! I've never tried to play existing material but I thought I'd just share a tuning I came up with for 7 string guitar:
    E A D/C G D A E
    If executed on a 27" scale length similar to a cello, the CGDA string set gives you an exact cello fretboard. The upper octave starting at the 12th fret GDAE gives you almost an exact violin fretboard (though you are short on the top end unless you have 30 frets etc). Then the 12th fret on the CGDA strings or shifting them up to the 7th fret of the GDAE strings gives you a slightly short and slightly long viola fretboard. I came up with this for composing realistic string lines and testing fingerings bearing in mind scale length/stretches.
    Having the E A on the bottom gives you access to some bass, and if you tune the C string up to D, you can swap your 'cello' for a short scale bass with an EADG string set. I was pretty happy how this tuning came together haha.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

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    Oooo. I'm going to have to look at this one. I have "Tango Suite" by Astor Piazzolla that's in my "someday" stack.
     

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