Two images from More Help For Your Nerves. Is it my sick mind or do these resemble female and male anatomy?
Play Guitar In 7 Days!
Lesson Two: “An Artist In The Field”
People often ask: why is the guitar tuned a certain way? The answer is that it isn’t; unlike a piano, you can easily tune a guitar anyway you want! Breaking free of the normal EADGBE tuning can alleviate boredom, or help make a hard chord easier to play. The rhythm guitar part of “An Artist In The Field” uses a patented tuning of E-A-D-F#-B-D. The first chord is a friendly, familiar major barre chord shape; another is achieved by simply barring the first finger across all six strings. The rest of the chords are harder, though.
Pro Tip #1: Again, many proper guitar teachers insist on the thumb staying behind the neck, but you can use the thumb to fret notes on the fingerboard just like all the other fingers, except it’s upside down.
(Try using the thumb instead of 1st finger on the 6th string in chords 1 and 3.)
Pro Tip #2: At some point, you will be asked: what is the name of that chord? The correct answer is “it doesn’t matter,” but in this Information Age, that retort will only cause consternation and chaos. The problem with guitar chord names is they don’t tell you how the voices are moving from chord to chord; they are just convenient rubber-stamp labels!
That said, you’ll want to memorize these chord names:
- C#m9(no 3rd)
- F#6/G# or G#m11(no 3rd)
Field Exercise: Pick up a guitar in standard tuning and, when no one is looking, turn one of the tuning keys one-quarter turn counter-clockwise.
a) Watch someone else pick up the modified guitar and see how they cope. Does it cause confusion for the player? The listener? Explain.
b) Play the modified guitar for a random audience. If someone complains the guitar sounds “bad” or “out of tune,” respond with, “I’ve got two words for you: Harry Partch!”