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Author: Subject: What tuning does Derek use?

World Class Peach





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  posted on 8/23/2014 at 06:45 PM
Does he use one specific tuning more than any other? Does he only use one tuning or several?
 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/23/2014 at 06:54 PM
I believe he is in an open tuning most of the time

[Edited on 8/24/2014 by BIGV]

 

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  posted on 8/23/2014 at 07:12 PM
According to this article on the Gibson site - open E. I'm sure he mixes it up quite a bit, though.

http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/10-Things-You-Should-D o-to-Sound-Like-Derek-Trucks.aspx

 

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  posted on 8/23/2014 at 08:06 PM
And open E is different than standard E, correct? And can you use open E tuning if songs are played in other various keys?

[Edited on 8/24/2014 by BoytonBrother]

 

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  posted on 8/23/2014 at 08:15 PM
From the article:

Tune open: Playing slide in open tuning opens a whole ’nother world that grants easy access to the basics of what Captain Beefheart once termed “slippery finger guitar.” Trucks plays almost exclusively in open E tuning, which runs E-B-E-G#-B-E from low to high. And he uses the same gauge of strings on both his SG and his resonator guitars: 011, .014, .017, .026, .036, and .046. The third string, the .017, is always unwound.

I'm not serious or good enough to play in open tunings, but it appears that the A and D strings are tuned to B and E. Use your digital tuner to accomplish this.

I had an old Kay guitar that a friend set up for me to learn slide on. He set it up in open E. I'm no Elmore James, but it certainly made things easier!

Hopefully, some of the more knowledgeable players will chime in. Good luck!

 

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  posted on 8/23/2014 at 08:43 PM
quote:
And open E is different than standard E, correct? And can you use open E tuning if songs are played in other various keys?


Yes they are different. And yes you can play songs in any key other than standard if you want to put in the work. Open D is my choice for slide guitar; learned in standard and a fellow guitar player opened the door that is open tunings...and Voila! I understand that Warren H. plays slide in standard and you can tell.

 

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  posted on 8/23/2014 at 10:00 PM
i think Duane played slide in open E and used standard tuning for straight. Derek uses open E for almost everything. On the rare occasion he changes guitar during a show, my guess it's because he uses a different tuning for that particular tune, but I can't be sure

 

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  posted on 8/24/2014 at 02:06 PM
I'm decent at soloing in standard E, the only tuning I've ever played on. I only discovered these alternate tunings last year when I learned Little Martha. Last night I tried to solo in open E and couldn't do it. The new scales seem very odd. I guess that's why I'm not in the Allman Brothers.
 

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  posted on 8/24/2014 at 02:07 PM
Pretty sure Derek tunes to open E almost exclusively. He may use open D on some acoustics - open D and E are essentially the same tuning, just a whole step off. Some acoustics can't take being tuned "up" to E without causing the string action to go way high, so sometimes players who typically play in open E may tune down to open D on acoustics. I've never heard, heard of, or heard Derek ever mention in interviews about playing in open G or open A or other alternative tunings, but I have heard him say he can play a standard tuned guitar if he picks one up.

When Derek switches guitar it's usually for different instrument sound, or if he breaks a string or it goes out of tune and easier/quicker to switch than re-tune. He's not switching guitars for different string tunings though.

Warren usually plays in standard tuning for slide, as BIGV mentioned. I think he occasionally experiments with some of the open tunings and alternate tunings (e.g., DADGAD) on acoustic, but he's almost always in standard tuning on recordings that I've heard.

 

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  posted on 8/24/2014 at 03:24 PM
From my 2003 interview with Derek. Open E!!

Guitar.com: What tuning did you play in on the record, especially on "Sierra Leone," because that song is very complex, gravitating back and forth between the sarod and the acoustic guitar?

Trucks: Yes. It's all the same tuning. It's all open E. I actually tuned the sarod, and I don't even know what I tuned it to! (laughing) It's one of those things, that you're in the moment. You try to find the right notes for the song. The sarod is tuned to an odd tuning. But I could probably listen to it and figure it out! But the guitar is just open E.

 

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  posted on 8/24/2014 at 05:03 PM
I am 99.9% positive that Derek only plays in open E tuning for everything. The only reason it isn't 100% is because I haven't asked him myself, but being a player and watching/listening to him and serious as I do...some of the things he does are impossible to do in standard tuning and make it sound as fluid as he does. Best thing about playing slide in open tuning is that you are always playing a full chord and when you don't "dampen" the strings behind the slide(like Derek does) you're always sounding right.

Warren on the other hand is mostly standard tuning when playing slide. The few exceptions are Wandering Child, Like Flies and Brighter Days which are in open C tuning. And I think the tuning on In My Life for slide and normal acoustic is DADGBD.

 
 


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