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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey mg.orgers :)

Some of you might recall the Schecter A5-X Cello-blaster that was up on ss.org a while back. (26.5" 5-string tuned A-E-B-F#-C#). Said guitar now resides with me. Admittedly, it was an impulse buy, just seemed like something cool to noodle on. Don't know how long I'll keep it for, but it's interesting.

Anyway - I'm hoping someone here has more experience with fifths tuning than I do, and can throw me a few bones as to how best to approach this thing. I can't even find a chart generator that will let me plug in this tuning and spit out some scales & chords. So I baby-step my way around the fretboard, basically trying to figure out where I am and what note this is. "How the fuck do I play a minor chord?" etc.

It would be nice to do something with this guitar besides play one-finger power chords. MG, please show me the light.

Thank you. :metal:

Max
 

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Dream Crusher
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21,053 Posts
Well, if you end up letting it go, I, as the resident cello player, want dibs :lol:

It might be worth learning some cello pieces actually to get your hands around the tuning. Can you read music?
 

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Premium Member
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I have ZERO experience with 5ths tuning, but I've always wanted to try it because I think it'd rule for lead playing. Try this, this SHOULD be a 7th position Em scale:

Code:
|-------------------------------------4-6-8-10-|
|----------------------------5-6-8-10----------|
|-------------------5-6-8-10-------------------|
|----------5-7-8-10----------------------------|
|-5-7-8-10-------------------------------------|
If that's the case, then this would work as a major and minor triad, respectively:

Code:
|------|
|------|
|-7--6-|
|-5--5-|
|-5--5-|
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, if you end up letting it go, I, as the resident cello player, want dibs :lol:

It might be worth learning some cello pieces actually to get your hands around the tuning. Can you read music?
As the guy who just called dibs, you've got dibs. :metal:

I can't read music. :noway: That sure would come in handy now. :noplease:

I've just been slowly trying to see what intervals are within reach now that may have been unreachable in standard tuning, and how to construct new chords from those intervals. It's just been a drag having to always take a few seconds to do the "guitar math" in my head before I can go, "and the third/seventh/whatever is..... THERE!" I guess I'm just looking for something to work off of. You don't see a lot of tabs or anything out there for songs in this tuning, I'm just looking for something elementary to get a feel of where my old familiar places are on the fretboard.

Drew's post
This is the type of "reference point" I was looking for. I can reverse-engineer other scales & stuff from these. Thanks Drew, I really appreciate it. You probably saved me an embarassing amount of time. :)
 

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Does that sound right, though? It should be fine, up to the 5th string, but I'm not 100% sure. I was going through a 4-note-per-string scale and sort of trying to mentally transpose. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Does that sound right, though? It should be fine, up to the 5th string, but I'm not 100% sure. I was going through a 4-note-per-string scale and sort of trying to mentally transpose. :lol:
Yeah dude, it sounds cool! :D Playing with it now, it's like someone turned on a light in the room. Thank you!

edit: The only thing about this guitar, if you're sitting down, the top horn makes every effort to penetrate your sternum.
 

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I'd suggest looking at some Chapman stick bass chord charts, since the chapman stick has... 5 strings in 5ths tuning on the bass side. That should help out a lot. You can find some on the stick.com website.

I'd approach the scales a bit differently than drew mentioned,
Code:
|-------------------------------------4-6-8-10-|
|----------------------------5-6-8-10----------|
|-------------------5-6-8-10-------------------|
|----------5-7-8-10----------------------------|
|-5-7-8-10-------------------------------------|
to:

Code:
|---------------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------10-12-13s15-----|
|-----------5-7-8s10-12-13-15-------------------|
|-5-7-8-10----------------------------------------|
Etc....

essentially, move the scale so the first finger will slide onto the root note on the octave on the next string up. It makes it really easy to ascend that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks man, this is starting to make sense. :yesway: The way you shaped it out really clicks with what Drew said about it being ideal for lead playing.

Fifths tuning & Open C are two things I've been meaning to try forever. It's great to finally make some headway on one. I'll check out the Chapman site, sounds like what I've been looking for.
 

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Here's the chord chart i was speaking of. It's in 5ths starting at C: CGDAE, however, the shapes remain the same, as the only difference is that you're tuned a 3rd away from it (C to A... + an octave. :lol:). Also, the stick is mirrored, so the low string is on the opposite. Other than that, same tuning.
 

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Where?!
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To expand on what Drew said about triads, you could always keep voicing 'em across three strings in open voicings, as he suggested. Here're the F major triads to show you what I mean...

1st inversion (root, fifth, third)

e---5----
A---3----
D---3----
G--------
C--------

2nd inversion (third, root, fifth)

e----8----
A----8----
D----7----
G---------
C----------

3rd inversion (fifth, third, root)

e----13---
A----12---
D----10----
G-----------
C-----------

For seventh chords, you could use the standard jazz approach of leaving out the third, and voice them Root, third, seventh, like in this Fmaj7...

e-----------
A-----7------
D-----7------
G-----------
C-----5------


Oh, and damn you for getting that thing! I've wanted a Celloblaster for years!:lol:

I'm going to go fool around on my mandolin and see what else I can come up with...
 
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Thankfully, some of you guys actually play in 5ths tunings. :lol: Listen to them, dude, they actually know what they're talking about. :D

Ken - with that slide thing, would you fret that something like 1st, 3rd, 4th, slide up with 1st, 2nd, etc?
 

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I had a guitar tuned in fifths before. I had a few tricks that made it easy to find and figure stuff out on it. Look up mandolin and 4 string banjo tabs. They are tuned in fifths too, my sister plays trad Irish music so she had a load of songs tabbed out already for fifths and my friend had a mandolin book filled with chord shapes.
Also you can kind of pick up some scale forms from guitar by reversing the string order. If you look at you EADG strings, that just GDAE upside down which is fifths. You can base your scales on stuff you probably already know. I didn't explain that very well so I hope you understand what I'm talking about there.
 

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Thankfully, some of you guys actually play in 5ths tunings. :lol: Listen to them, dude, they actually know what they're talking about. :D

Ken - with that slide thing, would you fret that something like 1st, 3rd, 4th, slide up with 1st, 2nd, etc?
I'd slide so my first finger would land on (In the case of the previous example) the D note every time. Its kinda weird at first but considering how the scale links itself across theboard in 5ths tuning, it always made sense to me.
 

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Party Röcker
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A nice transition step is similar to what a few (like Bob) have been doing on sevens - FCGCFAD gives fifths on the lowest two pairs of bottom strings and leaves the top intervals unchanged, and AEBEAD on a six-string gives two fifths and three fourths. The advantage of starting with something like AEBEAD - or something higher like GDAEBF# - is working gradually into the odd tuning and not finding a few quick cliches and sticking to them forever.

Jeff
 

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A nice transition step is similar to what a few (like Bob) have been doing on sevens - FCGCFAD gives fifths on the lowest two pairs of bottom strings and leaves the top intervals unchanged, and AEBEAD on a six-string gives two fifths and three fourths. The advantage of starting with something like AEBEAD - or something higher like GDAEBF# - is working gradually into the odd tuning and not finding a few quick cliches and sticking to them forever.

Jeff
That's actually a pretty good idea. I used to rock CGDGBE and CGDGAD a lot and got a lot of mileage out of them for the exact reason you describe, as the first kind of a fifths/standard hybrid, and the second's a fifths/DADGAD hybrid. I've actually been revisting the idea recently on sevens and messing around of TDW's old approach of going GDADGBE.

Another cool thing to try in fifths would be to play scales in one position in the same way Devin Townsend plays them in Open C tuning; stay on one position and play three-notes-per-string, skipping over notes when necessary. Here's a D Major scale played this way to show you what I mean.

e--------------------------2-3-5-----
A--------------------2-4-5-----------
D--------------2-4-5-----------------
G--------2-4-6-----------------------
C--2-4-6-----------------------------

You could come up with some really interesting legato licks this way...

Oh, and pentatonic scales are tailor-made for this tuning if you play 'em three-notes-per-string. Here's D Minor pentatonic...

e--------------------------3-5-8-------
A--------------------3-5-8-------------
D--------------3-5-7-------------------
G--------2-5-7-------------------------
C--2-5-7--------------------------------
 

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I'd slide so my first finger would land on (In the case of the previous example) the D note every time. Its kinda weird at first but considering how the scale links itself across theboard in 5ths tuning, it always made sense to me.
That's a really cool approach for any tuning that's never occured to me.

I must go practice. :lol:
 

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That's a really cool approach for any tuning that's never occured to me.

I must go practice. :lol:
It occurred to me playing stick since all the scale patterns stay the same across all the strings on each side (straight 4ths, straight 5ths). I was like "Hey!Just start on the octave and use the exact same pattern!" All of a sudden, it got really easy to memorise large scale passages. :lol:

I also started doing it in 4ths tunings, too..

Code:
G----------------------------------7s9-
D-------------------------7-9-10------
A--------------5s7-9-10---------------
E--------5-7-8-------------------------
B--5-7-8-------------------------------
 

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Dream Crusher
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:bump: for great justice.

I have this guitar now and it is weird :lol: I'll start playing some Bach like I do on the cello and halfway through my "guitar instincts" kick in and suddenly I'll hit a wrong note.

On the plus side, the Six Suites are great alternate picking/string skipping practice.

The only problem with a lot of those three-notes-per-string patterns posted above is that my hands are too fucking small for those stretches, at least the pentatonic ones :(

Chord voicings on this are fantastic though. Really pretty sounds to be had just by dicking around.
 
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