Monday, November 05, 2007
Image obtained from Folk of the Wood
At the moment, Lucia is strumming a lovely G chord on her guitar. "How can this be?" you ask. "Lucia is only 4 1/2 years old, and there is no way that her left hand can span the fretboard to play a G chord." You are right. With the standard guitar string tuning of E-B-G-D-A-E (going from thinnest to thickest strings), a simple strum sounds like noise if you're not pressing down any strings. However, if you retune your guitar strings to what is called an "open tuning," you can strum all of the strings without pressing down on the fretboard at all, and the chord sounds good. Lucia is currently strumming "G-B-D-G-B-G" and singing a song of her own composition: "There's a rainbow pie! In a rainbow sky!" Rather coincidentally, the sun has just emerged.
In the event that it's of use to you, here is an Online MIDI guitar tuner. However, I'm a fan of the electronic chromatic tuners that you can clip onto the headstock of your guitar:
You can tune other things with a chromatic tuner, too. I periodically open-tune my door harp (bought years ago, after I read Davita's Harp by Chiam Potok):