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10 advantages to perfect fourths tuning for guitar

I have been transitioning to using this most of the time since the pandemic. It is almost the same as standard tuning but the relationship between all of the strings is the same: you tune at the fifth fret all the way across. So you can either raise the b and e to c and f or lower the EADG to EbAbDbGb which is what I do.


    1. All patterns are the same across the entire neck

    2. You only need to learn a single chord shape to play across the neck

    3. Symmetrical voicings are easier

    Chords based on fourths, fifths, seconds, tritones, etc. are all easier to figure out.

    4. Because the “easy shapes” Give you different notes than a regular guitar you will sound a little different than most guitarists

    Many guitarists want to find their own voice: this is a shortcut that many people take including Keith Richards (tunes in open G).

    5. Learning the fretboard is way easier

    This is why I did this. I have been playing guitar for almost 40 years and I used to make money playing bass. I decided to level up my lead guitar playing but I decided that the fretboard was too confusing for me.

    6. It is closer to bass and you can play the same thing on both

    By tuning most of my instruments in fourths it feels like a continuum of the same instrument. This makes playing everything easier because the scales and relationships are all the same.

    7. You can take the same approaches to multi string guitars and basses

    I have 4 and 5 string basses and 6 string guitars. If I decide to get into 8 string guitars I don't have to learn everything all over again, I can apply the same moveable patterns to all instruments 

    8. Scale patterns, especially symmetrical ones, don’t change as you move across the neck

    The diminished runs that I always struggled with in standard tuning are way easier because you can repeat the same shape anywhere on the neck.

    9. Some things that would be difficult in standard tuning can be played with one finger

    The converse is also true: things that can be played with one finger in standard tuning are harder in perfect fourths 

    10. I find I get a more “modern” sound to a lot of my riffs

    I am a huge fan of VoiVod and they use fourths a lot: you can get this sound with one finger and slide it around.

    11. Transitioning back and fourth to standard tuning is not hard

    This is not a radical tuning so most riffs can be easily played and you can pick up a standard guitar and play it without a problem. The one thing that is really hard to play is barre chords across all 6 strings. I did not play these much anyway.

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