First microtonal guitar tuning

2020-08-20

I do not yet own a fretless guitar or a guitar fretted with quarter tones. I do have some fretlets but do not (yet) have a classical guitar to put them on. However, I do own a quarter-tone tuner. In this short post, I’m going to put it to use by experimenting with the most simple quarter-tone tuning I can think of: tune to standard tuning and drop every other string by a quarter tone. Here are the pitches of the six strings:

Where d means “half-flat”.

Here’s one rendering of the Bayati maqam starting on D (D, Ed, F, G, A, Bb, C, D) in this tuning:

Ed|-------------------------
B |-------------------------
Gd|-------------------------
D |-------------------------
Ad|------7------------------
E |--10-----13--15--17--18--

This is not great for speed or ease of playing. Here’s another:

Ed|---------------------
B |---------------------
Gd|---------------------
D |---------3--5--7--8--
Ad|------7--------------
E |--10-----------------

This might be an improvement depending on the specifics of your situation. I will post more when I’ve experimented with other fingerings and tunings.

Update

I’m using Guitar Tab Creator to create the tabs. Fingerings calculated using my program.

Related posts

Behold the fretlets
The Squier Slideocaster
Lap steel conversion
Overdrives: head to head

Tags

Music
Guitar
Microtonal

Content © 2010–2020 Richard Cook. All rights reserved.