My son, Shane Jr. (pictured above on drums) is a budding musician who is exploring as many instruments as possible.
Yesterday, he came downstairs holding his acoustic guitar with an excitement in his face that is indescribable. If he was a dog, his tail would be wagging off his butt! "I just invented a new tuning on my guitar," he said and proceeded to show me a variation of an E7th open tuning.
He told me that new song ideas were coming forth on this tuning and he showed me a few riffs. As a guitarist who has been exploring open tunings for decades, I knew the power of new tunings on an old guitar. It's a great way to spur new ideas.
My Biggest Tips When You Discover New Guitar Tunings:
If you somehow invent (or unconsciously reinvent) a cool tuning, grab a guitar tuner and a piece of paper.
Document the tuning on paper, carefully double checking teach open note on the tuner and writing them down.
NAME THAT TUNING!!! If the tuning reminds you of some emotion or sound, give that tuning a special name. I've named my invented tunings "Church Worship Idea," "The Cool Jazz Tuning," "Hawaiian Tuning" and "Dirty Low E Tuning." You get the idea. Give the tuning a name!
Sometimes, I take that piece of paper and tape it to the guitar so I never lose the tuning idea. Other times, I keep the tuning documentation on my music stand.
If you don't document the new tuning, you're going to forget it. Trust me!
If you've ever bought a guitar slide from StubbySlide.com, you know that I include a postcard some of my favorite cigar box guitar tunings. I think I need to update that list with some other cool, non-cigar box tunings as well.
Speaking of StubbySlide.com, I just revamped the store so it's easier to navigate. I'll be adding some new gift packs in the next day or so. Check it out and let me know if it looks ok.