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 Another tuning question.... why not 5ths in the melody side? 
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Post Another tuning question.... why not 5ths in the melody side?
I don't know if I should be starting a new thread with each question, but I figure if anyone comes along later and has the same question they'll be able to find it easier in the subject line than buried in the thread.

Anyhow, I've been watching the Free-hands Friday #43 on tunings. Greg explains the rational behind the inverted 5ths tuning (THANKS!!!!! I think I finally get it now.) One of the things he emphasizes is that you have a wider range of notes under one hand - a 2 1/2 octave range under one hand. So why not do the same thing on the melody side? Wouldn't that help with cord shapes on that side? Or does that make them too cramped because you typically are playing further down the neck where the frets are closer together?

Sorry for all the questions... but at least I'm learning a lot!

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Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:41 pm
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Post Re: Another tuning question.... why not 5ths in the melody s
I've known a couple of players who use this, and it's an interesting choice.

But there are two big sacrifices in exchange of what you get for expanded range (the only advantage in this case)

1. No cluster chord voicings (this is less of an issue in the bass, but still an issue for people who want those voicings in a single hand). Since we don't have open strings like other instruments, everything has to be fretted. Open strings allow a certain amount of clustered voicings, provided you are using the pitches the open strings allow.

2. You give up the simple three-notes-per-string of diatonic melody. For those of us who love three-fingered melody, and all the speed and fluid lines it gives us, that magic would just vanish...

5ths in the bass has one advantage for chords over 4ths: almost all of the common chord shapes can be played on three frets or less, and they all fit the natural shape of the hand quite nicely. This is a huge plus when the frets are really far apart as on the bass scale end or The Stick, but it's much less important when the frets are close together.

The common major chord shape

Code:
R | - | -
5 | - | -
- | - | 3


is not very fun to play inverted in the right hand as it would be in the 5ths you are suggesting:

Code:
- | - | 3
5 | - | -
R | - | -


For those of you who have Sticks, try playing this as a sustained arpeggio at he higher frets :o

Whereas, all of the common chord shapes in 4ths fit the hand very nicely as they reach back toward the nut.

I'm a huge fan of the ergonomics of the tunings, and how they interface with the fretboard as Emmett developed his tuning. It doesn't do "everything", (no tuning would) but it exploits the optimum sonic regions of the board very nicely, and offers an expansive orchestral pallet like no other.

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Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:02 pm
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Post Re: Another tuning question.... why not 5ths in the melody s
I study with Trey from time to time... he has 5ths across... I had my STICK tuned that way a few years ago. It was fun and it was creative, in that you had to "think" outside the box and it took you away from that standard "guitar" or "blues" way of thinking about playing and composing. After a I got some facility on the instrument, I saw that the 5h's across the board was not going to allow me to play the music I heard in my head. I have gone from Classic to MR. I like both of those tunings , and have been in Classic for a while now.


Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:41 pm
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Post Re: Another tuning question.... why not 5ths in the melody s
funny you say that about the blues, rclere. i swear i never played blues until i got a Stick and it's because of THE BASS 5TH'S. not talkin jazz blues, talkin blues blues, swamp blues, down to the crossroads deal-with-the-devil blues. it's been an education. back to the Mad Monk thread, the Stick has taught me more theory/harmony than any other instrument

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Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:41 am
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