Cross Tunings for Fiddle

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by cricket cricket 4 months ago.

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  • #59213
    fiddliferous1950
    fiddliferous1950
    Participant

    Below are some of the more common cross tunings I have worked on as a composer. Many of them open up beautiful ideas for melodies.

    Give some a try.

    CROSS TUNINGS FOR VIOLIN

    (4th thru 1st)
    F D Bb D (Bb 2nd Inversion) (ok)
    G D Bb D (G minor)
    G D B D (G)
    G D G D (G) (Sawmill Tuning)
    G E B E (E minor 1st Inversion)
    A E A E (A) (Cross Tuning)
    A E A C# (A) (A 2nd Inversion with low A) (Calico)
    F# D A D (D 1st Inversion) (ok)
    A D A D (D similar to 2nd Inversion) (NICE!)
    A D F# D (D root position with low A)
    A F A C ( F) ( root position with low 3rd or 1st inv.)
    G# E B E (E) ( root with low 3rd or 1st inversion)
    F# C# A F# (F# minor similar root position)
    F# E A C# (F# minor 7th/ 2nd inversion A 6th)

    #59217
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Interesting.  I like cross tuning, but I only use a few.  I’m trying to wrap my head around the G minor tuning…since I don’t read notes on the fiddle, I have to go by interval…so…I tune to GDGD quite a bit, so then, I’m thinking…we’ve got an augmented 5th from D to Bb, then?  I wanna try that…sounds like it would be a weird sound.  But, to me, playing anything minor seems awkward, at least at my point of playing the fiddle.  Normally I go to the minor by playing in GDGD or AEAE in second position.  But, it can get hard to find the necessary notes.  I’ve wanted to fiddle my way through Poor Wayfaring Stranger, which I usually pick on guitar in Aminor…but can’t do anything with that on the fiddle, even from AEAE up in second position.  I wouldn’t wanna try that from AEAE, that augmented 5th, because I’d be afraid of breaking a string going up that high on the string, and I need the AMinir guitar chord shapes for that song, but if GDBbD would work out for me I could tune my guitar down one step to get my A minor chord shapes. Anyway, lots of new ones to me there…gonna have to tr6 some of them.  Thanks!

    #59224

    Joe
    Participant

    Great list for trying something different.

    #59226
    fiddliferous1950
    fiddliferous1950
    Participant

    Cricket: If you tune your fiddle GDBbD, instead of tuning your guitar down a whole step and playing in the A Minor shape, how about using your capo at the third fret and playing the tune in G Minor using the E Minor shape and adjusting your chords to play in G Minor using the E Minor, A Minor and B7 shapes?

    #59248
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    I could…but I’m thinking the way I do the progression, which I have to confess, I flatout stole from Dwight Diller…anyway…it’s really a nice little jump from the A minor to a G which jumps quickly t9 the C and back…I’m not sure I could get that sound in E minor.  One day I’ll record the nice guitar progression on that.  I don’t usually copy my music from other people, but once I heard Dwight and his friend, ????, who was playing it that way on the guitar…Dwight on clawhammer banjo…I just thought to myself, “ That guitar is so perfect it just can’t be done any other way…gonna have to snatch that one right up and steal it!”  I don’t usually do “covers,” or copy music ideas from anybody I hear, but I had to with that one.  I’ll put it upas show-n-tell one of these days…it’s realky  a nice guitar part for that song.

    #59251
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    I suppose It would be a good thing to have more than one fiddle to keep one standard and one cross tuned for quick change , any suggestions ?

    #59252

    Joe
    Participant

    Yep Steve your right. At jams I see people with 2 and 3 fiddles with them all tuned differently. I keep an extra one hanging on the wall at home tuned GDGD I play every so often.

    #59258
    fiddliferous1950
    fiddliferous1950
    Participant

    I have a twin fiddle case in which I bring “Julia” and “Francois” to all my gigs. “Francois” is usually tuned to A Calico and “Julia” is left in standard tuning.

    #59259
    fiddliferous1950
    fiddliferous1950
    Participant

    Cricket, you’d be jumping from E Minor to D to a quick G and back. Right?

    #59261
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Yeah, but this is the way I wanted to be able to do it…I didn’t do this very good, but just quickly slapped it on there to show and tell…I don’t think I could get it like that in the Eminor shape on guitar.  I didn’t do it exactly right, or even good,  just sort of a quick gist of how I remember Dwight’s friend praying it on the guitar and Dwight playing banjo.  Something sorta like this.

    #59267
    fiddliferous1950
    fiddliferous1950
    Participant

    Yes, I understand. It’s clearly an A Minor tune.

    #59271
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Lol…yeah I can’t figure another way to get it …that’s not exactly it, but close…anyway…I think I need the A minor chords to even try.

    #59324

    John Cockman
    Keymaster

    “some of the more common cross tunings…” I’d hate to see a list of the obscure ones! 🙂

    Very informative thread. Thank you guys!

    #59341
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    There’s lists like that for clawhammer banjo too…long, long lists of tunings…it’d take 50 years just to try them all!

     

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