Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #8928  by amyjared
 Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:27 am
Hey all,
I read that Garcia was the one who gave the Airplane the music to their song "Coming Back to Me" and the song is in Open E. It's a beautiful song and it got me to wondering about Jer using alternative tunings. Anyone know of any songs where he used them? Didn't he even play slide in standard tuning?

 #8933  by phreaker
 Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:16 pm
I dont have the answer to youre question, but I don't THINK he ever used different tunings.

but how do you tune to open e? I've never really bothered with slides, but im interested in starting.

 #8937  by CaptainTrips
 Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:56 pm
phreaker, the open is tuned as follows . . .

E ----- A ----- D ----- G ----- B ----- E

open E

E ----- B ----- E ----- G# ----- B ----- E

 #8941  by phreaker
 Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:34 pm
ah, thank you.

 #8946  by Jimkkc
 Wed Sep 13, 2006 4:43 am
Over the years, I have asked people about Jerry and alt. tunings and without exception folks seemed to oddly enough take great offense at the question. Maybe I was asking the wrong folks, but I always thought the reaction strange. That being said, I would be blown away if Jerry never messed with tunings on his own - I mean come on, this is Jerry we're talking about!

As far as playing the songs in different tunings, dadgad tuning thread from a few weeks back listed several songs that just sound wonderful in dadgad. As far as open E goes, I tune to open d and capo at the second fret (less stress on the guitar's neck) and play Dylan's "Shelter from the Storm" with hints of the Little Martha Riff between verses.

I also keep my twelve string tuned to standard D (just tune all the strings down a step and play standard chord forms). I own a guild 12 string and don't really need to tune down, but the D standard has such a presence that I don't want to get out that tuning. Of course, the tricky part of this tuning is that you gotta keep your chords straight - you may be playing a D in the first position, but because the guitar is tuned down, it is actually a C chord - once you get these things straight, it is a great tuning - Lazy River Road is another great tune to play in D standard.

 #9202  by jackaroe1276
 Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:57 pm
Just a note as Jimk referenced it, you might want to tune to open D and capo it at the 2nd fret. Open E puts alot of stress on the neck and could damage your guitar.

 #9211  by amyjared
 Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:24 am
I also keep my twelve string tuned to standard D
I have a guitar that I do this with as well. Some great songs to play, that were originally played this way include:

Sugar Mountain
Hey Hey My My
Rockin in the Free world -all Neil Young
The Joker - Steve Miller
Sunday Morning - Velvet Underground

And, of course, if you capo at the 2nd fret, you're back in standard E tuning.

See, I'm with you jimcck. Jerry MUST have used alternative tunings as he was such a guitaraholic. He played peddle steel, slide, banjo, etc. I'm just surprised there isn't much out there to back this up.

Oh, and I like open E better than D because it's easier to tune to and while it does create more stress on the neck, a well-made guitar can handle it.

 #9215  by Jimkkc
 Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:55 am
Just a quick note - I have also played with the Leo Kottke C# tuning which is pretty cool; however, tuning all the way down to C allows you to play around with Bflat and EFlat - which are gorgeous keys for a twelve string.

 #9228  by spilly
 Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:27 am
hey amyjarod, how's about a Sunday Mourning post

 #9231  by amyjared
 Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:00 am
hey amyjarod, how's about a Sunday Mourning post
Sounds good to me. I'll put it in the submissions section as soon as I get a chance. Look for it!

 #9771  by docmeister
 Sat Oct 21, 2006 7:33 am
Assurdedly he did use alternate tunings as additional colors on his musical palete. As a banjo player, he knew all about non-standard (EADGBE)guitar tunings. Shooting from the hip on this one, I always thought that Duprees' Diamond Blues had something funky about the acoustic guitar that suggested an alternate tuning. Why doesn't somebody contact Weir or Lesh about this?

 #9777  by tigerstrat
 Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:39 pm
You might be onto something there, doc. Those acoustic Dupree'ses and Mountains of the Moonses from 68 & 69 could very possibly be in non-standard. So could some of the 1970 acoustic stuff I guess. I don't think he ever used them in a live setting after that point though.
 #9778  by docmeister
 Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:02 pm
Shaw enough tigerstrat! Do you have a tiger maple strat?

 #9796  by tigerstrat
 Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:27 am
No it's an alder MIJ strat with a birdseye maple/ebony neck with jumbo frets. I just recently upgraded the neck! Love it.

 #9798  by LazyLightnin
 Mon Oct 23, 2006 1:20 pm
any velvet underground tabs would be grately appreciated :D