Re-posting this to my blog – here’s my new baritone guitar tuning:
B-flat : tonic
E-flat : 4th
G : 6th
C : 2nd (minor mode starts here)
F : 5th (dorian blues starts here)
B-flat : octave
Low to high.
All the notes are harmonics of B-flat, which I consider to be the universal, foundational frequency.
This is a baritone guitar – so two inches longer than regular, and the bass string is like a 0.68″ or something ridiculous.
Meanwhile, on a non-baritone guitar – like my acoustic, I tune the same intervals, but starting here. Thats:
Eb : 4th of B-flat (76.8 Hz)
Ab : 7th of B-flat (100.8 Hz)
C : 2nd of B-flat (129.6 Hz)
F : 5th of B-flat (yer blues, dorian) (172.8 Hz)
Bb : tonic (230.4 Hz)
Eb : 4th if B-flat again (307.2 Hz)
And using a capo, these intervals move to other parts of the mode. e.g. the above tuning on a regular guitar, with the capo on the second fret makes your harmonic tuning be:
5th harmonic (F)
3rd harmonic (D )
6th harmonic (G)
2nd harmonic (C – minor mode)
5th harmonic – octave (F – for dorian mode)
So, having the open notes all being harmonics of the fundamental tonic of B-flat – you’re always ringing out something harmonic and beautiful, but, unlike my old open tuning, everything is essentially a 4th apart – except the interval from the 5th string to the 4th string – which is a major third. So, it’s easy to play, like regular “concert” tuning, but it’s all harmonically related.
That big 5th interval gap between the 6th string and 5th string in my old “open” tuning really became quite limiting – as well as the fact that everything was either the tonic, the 5th or the 3rd. So, great for knocking out power chords, but a bit limiting musically.
With this new tuning, I find jazzy 40s songs, Beatles, classical and interesting modal stuff just rings out.