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Author: Subject: Duane and Open E tuning

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  posted on 10/27/2011 at 09:13 PM
I understand that Duane played in open E tuning except for a few songs. Why would he want to be in E tuning if he wasn't playing in the Key of E? He would have to reconceptualize the fretboard.

I notice that there are Duane music books for sale. Do they have the tab in open E even when the songs are in other keys?

 
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  posted on 2/11/2015 at 10:28 PM
I think I got my answer, at the end of this it looks like hes tuning back to standard from open E

http://www.musicvault.com/the-allman-brothers-band/video/dont-keep-me-wonde rin_66096625.html

 

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  posted on 2/11/2015 at 08:31 PM
Does anyone know for sure which tuning Duane used on Dont keep me wonderin? Ive heard/read both open E and G
 

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  posted on 11/5/2011 at 07:33 PM
quote:
FWIW....I read an interview with Duane...don't remember which one and the guy kept talking about slide and Duane said something to the effect that he didn't think of himself as a slide guitarist it was just something he did as part of playing the guitar. Just a part of the show i think he said...


I can believe that. I think that's why Duane was so innovative in his technique and sound.

 

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  posted on 11/5/2011 at 07:28 PM
quote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joafeJQ890A

Actually, there is some footage of Duane hitting some lower notes while playing slide in the Love Valley video I just posted above. It's from Mountain Jam and this is the first time (or maybe not... my memory is a bit hazy) I've seen a full 33 minute video of it on YouTube. I usually just see 10 minute clips all over the place. Looks like it was just posted the other day. Not able to listen to it since I'm at work but it looks damn cool. I remembered religiously watching a 2 minute clip of the slide solo back in the day and remembering Duane hitting those low notes, so I hope this helps.

EDIT: Go to around 17:30 to see it.

[Edited on 11/5/2011 by tornadothrasher]


I see what you're talking about but a good example of what I'm trying to convey would be Clapton's cover of Motherless Children in open D. Does it a lot in that tune.

 

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  posted on 11/5/2011 at 07:21 PM
FWIW....I read an interview with Duane...don't remember which one and the guy kept talking about slide and Duane said something to the effect that he didn't think of himself as a slide guitarist it was just something he did as part of playing the guitar. Just a part of the show i think he said...

 

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  posted on 11/5/2011 at 03:25 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joafeJQ890A

Actually, there is some footage of Duane hitting some lower notes while playing slide in the Love Valley video I just posted above. It's from Mountain Jam and this is the first time (or maybe not... my memory is a bit hazy) I've seen a full 33 minute video of it on YouTube. I usually just see 10 minute clips all over the place. Looks like it was just posted the other day. Not able to listen to it since I'm at work but it looks damn cool. I remembered religiously watching a 2 minute clip of the slide solo back in the day and remembering Duane hitting those low notes, so I hope this helps.

EDIT: Go to around 17:30 to see it.

[Edited on 11/5/2011 by tornadothrasher]

 

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  posted on 11/2/2011 at 12:31 PM
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My vote would be for open D...seems to be a better fit, especially for "Statesboro"...



"Those" tones we all know and love coming from a cranked Les Paul reside in about the middle of the guitar's register, or D position in E tuning...
I can't even recall seeing Duane work out of first position for slide...


That is an interesting point. Unless I'm forgetting something I can't recall hearing Duane ever doing slide-pull offs and hammer-ons down low on the neck in standard or open tuning.

 

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  posted on 11/2/2011 at 04:08 AM
That's another reason not to use tabs, sometimes they are incorrect. The record is always correct.

 

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  posted on 11/1/2011 at 08:55 PM
Thanks for all the info. I always thought that Duane played almost everything in open E. So I tuned my old Harmony to open E and started checking things out in a blues bag in the Key of A ala One Way Out or Trouble No More. Of course, all the licks on the top two strings work the same ( 3rd & 5th frets). The 3rd string is a little funky (only one note) ( 4th fret) but there is a pattern that resembles a barred E chord on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th string. The 4th & 5th string licks are 3rd & 5th frets again with one more note on the 1st fret/5th string. And then tonic on 5th fret 6th string.
I dug up one of those Hal Leonard ABB books ( I only have vol. 3) and yes the tab is in open E where appropriate. I was surprised by some of the key signatures. Trouble No More in G and Whipping Post in G ( I would say A minor is the Key of C ). Also Stand Back in Key of D. Sure looks like E to me. I think that, because the Gs are all flattened for the blues it is interpreted as D. Or maybe they wanted to save ink by not putting in accidentals. That's weird.

 

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  posted on 11/1/2011 at 12:27 PM
quote:
My vote would be for open D...seems to be a better fit, especially for "Statesboro"...



"Those" tones we all know and love coming from a cranked Les Paul reside in about the middle of the guitar's register, or D position in E tuning...
I can't even recall seeing Duane work out of first position for slide...

 

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  posted on 11/1/2011 at 10:44 AM
quote:
My vote would be for open D...seems to be a better fit, especially for "Statesboro"...



open D is also useful if you are concerned about string tension particularly older acoustics.

same intervals as E just every string is a step down. If you want a true open E just capo up 2 frets

 

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  posted on 11/1/2011 at 10:31 AM
I feel like I've hijacked this thread and I'm sorry for that. Northernbrother, your original question was about tab for Duane's music where he uses open E. I don't have any books but I'm sure they would specify that tuning and then tab it to match that tuning.....if that's what you were asking.

Standard tuning is generally suited better to most music, although there are acoustic players who like to alter tunings to get open notes ringing that wouldn't be available in standard. I think maybe Derek uses open E for everything because he got started playing that way and that's how he rolls (I'm not that familiar with his background and am sure many here would be better suited to give the definitve answer about him). Open E has its advantages and disadvantages, like any tuning will. Thinking outside the box can be very rewarding-- Derek certaily has his own style and rocks it!

 

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  posted on 11/1/2011 at 08:57 AM
Chuck Berry is notorious for playing his songs in horn keys. Guitar players in his pickup bands have complained about that but I'm sure the keyboard guys appreciated it.

 

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  posted on 10/31/2011 at 06:45 AM
quote:
It's harder for a piano player to get comfortable in E than it is for a guitar player to handle F or Eb.

And even more difficult for a horn player. All your great jazz guitar players are comfortable in flat keys - F, Bb, Eb, etc.

 

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  posted on 10/30/2011 at 10:50 AM
quote:
I understand that Duane played in open E tuning except for a few songs. Why would he want to be in E tuning if he wasn't playing in the Key of E? He would have to reconceptualize the fretboard.

I notice that there are Duane music books for sale. Do they have the tab in open E even when the songs are in other keys?


Duane only used open E tuning for the blues based tunes the band did at the top of the set. The rest of the time he was tuned standard. When he played slide in Dreams or Mtn jam he used standard tuning

Open E Tunes: Statesboro Blues, Trouble No More, Please don't keep me wondering, Done somebody wrong, One way out, on EAP he used open E on Standback but I don't believe that tune was ever played live with Duane

 

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  posted on 10/30/2011 at 08:29 AM
Well said, homeboy. You can use tab to play other people's stuff but you'll never get to the place where you can create / express without learning to use your ear. Slide is so feel-oriented anyway. You just need to pick a tuning and get in your practice time.

As far as bad keys for certain tunings go, a lot of guitarists hate playing (their standard-tuned guitars) in Eb Bb and F. We have a piano player for a leader in our group. I had to make a decision when I started playing with them---drop my guitar a half-step or just deal with it. I decided not to retune. Glad I didn't -- it didn't take that long to get into those keys. Just practice, like anything else. It's harder for a piano player to get comfortable in E than it is for a guitar player to handle F or Eb.

[Edited on 11/1/2011 by chucknc]

[Edited on 11/1/2011 by chucknc]

 

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  posted on 10/30/2011 at 04:41 AM
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Your ear, IMHO and my experience, is much the easier way to learn as opposed to buying tab.

True dat. Musicians use their ears as much as their fingers to play music with.

 

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  posted on 10/30/2011 at 02:46 AM
Just from personal experience....if you want to play in open E for slide northern bro, just tune an axe to open E, raise the action just a touch, and start practicing. Your ear, IMHO and my experience, is much the easier way to learn as opposed to buying tab. Again, just my experience and opinion. (thats how I learned). But when I started experimenting in open E there was very little tabbing in open chords. I think Cream magazine had a couple songs a month, but your ear/hand coordination will in and AGAIN MY OPINION ONLY take you farther and probably quicker. It will also familarize you with the "blue notes" and the entire keyboard notes and positions as well. Good luck and start practicing. And picks are not allowed when playing slide.

 

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  posted on 10/30/2011 at 01:45 AM
The chord Derek was playing is quicker and fuller sounding then moving up to the 10th fret to make a D chord. Slide sounds better in open tunings because the strings all make up a chord and the slide makes you bar stuff. Standard tuning is more limiting for slide, you typically would only be able to use groupings of 2 or 3 strings at a time, and the overtones are different.

People don't change tunings to play in different keys so I don't know if you are just missing fundamental information about music or what but you can play in any key in any tuning you want. There is no bad key for any tuning. Some stuff might be slightly easier or harder but it all works out on guitar.

Duane only played slide songs and Little Martha in Open-E. Most of his stuff was in standard. Don't change the open tuning for the key you are in, that doesn't make any sense. Also there is no point in playing in Open-G as you can do everything in E (or D) that you can in G and you get an extra high string. The highest string in G tuning is like the 2nd highest string in E tuning, just 1 and 1/2 steps higher. If you want open notes in the key of G use a capo.



[Edited on 10/30/2011 by Mt_Magnolia_Man]

 

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  posted on 10/29/2011 at 11:12 AM
Thanks for the input. I should clarify my question. I saw Derek playing the other day and they were doing a tune that went from a G chord to a D or D7 chord. Because he is in E tuning ( like Duane ) the G chord was flat across the 3rd fret while the D or D7 chord was very complicated with fingers reaching over several strings and several frets somewhere around the 5th and 7th frets, I think. Of course I came home and started to try and replicate these moves and got a major headache when it came to the D chord because I had to rethink all the notes on each string at each fret because I am used to playing in standard tuning or in open tuning for the key that I am playing in.
So why would someone play a song ( G to D ) in open E when they could play in standard tuning or even open G ? It seems like learning a whole new instrument. And does anybody have any input on how to do it? Any tricks to help?

 

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  posted on 10/28/2011 at 08:09 PM
My vote would be for open D...seems to be a better fit, especially for "Statesboro"...

 

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  posted on 10/28/2011 at 06:56 PM
The reason why you use different tuning is to change the sound and intervals of the strings. For Open E and Open G, especially for slide you get that blues interval (5th<->flat 7th) 3 frets above the chord fret. to illustrate---

So for the key of E (on the zero fret), you have:

3rd string: the string is tuned up from a G to a G# and you get that blues interval on the 3rd fret B (the 5th in an E chord) and...

on the 2nd string you leave it tuned to B, so on the 3rd fret you get the flat-7th "D" (a.k.a the blues note) and you can pluck both of them without moving the slide. Dickey uses this phrase a lot when he plays slide.

Open G has the 2nd string tuned to its normal B and the 1st string tuned down from E to D. So where is the magical blues interval? Same place three frets above the root chord---

So for the key of G (fret zero or open) the Blues interval should be on the 3rd fret (the interval notes are D<->F), and they are, they just have moved to the first and second strings. Try it you'll hear it.

So yeah you could play those intervals in standard tuning by moving the slide back and forth across the strings, but it doesn't sound the same.

A clearer non Blues example is playing Little Martha.
If you tune to Open E, it's a piece of cake, if you don't it's darn near impossible to have it sound like how Duane played it because three of your fingers are occupied making the chord and you can't easily make the two note intervals (and other root notes) required as easily as you can in Open E.

One more thing to illustrate ---
On Mountain Jam after the bass solo, Duane plays slide in standard tuning, but on his solo you don't hear that blues interaval, instead he plays a more major sounding interval 5th-root or B-E (on strings 1 & 2, 12th fret and also what would be the 24th fret). Sounds cool and melodic, sort of happy, joyful sounding as compared to dark/bluesy 5th-flat7th interval you hear on the more traditional blues songs he plays.

Hope that helps.

 

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  posted on 10/27/2011 at 09:26 PM
quote:
I understand that Duane played in open E tuning except for a few songs. Why would he want to be in E tuning if he wasn't playing in the Key of E? He would have to reconceptualize the fretboard.

I notice that there are Duane music books for sale. Do they have the tab in open E even when the songs are in other keys?


Just because the guitar is tuned to an open E chord doesn't mean you can't play in different keys. Yes guitar "tab" just shows which string and fret number for each note. Duane played by ear, didn't read music. An example is he played Statesboro Blues in open E tuning but in the key of D. Barring all the strings at the 10th fret would be a D chord.

Derek Trucks plays only with his guitar tuned to open E, even when he doesn't use a slide.

 

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