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  1. #1

    P4 Players Only Thread!

    If You Are Not A P4 Player Close This Thread Immediately!

  2. #2
    OK, fellow P4 players, question: Are traditional tuning players insane? I have been using P4 for around a year and am continually blown away by the number of symmetries. Today I was miles from my axe, but was making breakthroughs while bouncing around town. I played traditional tuning for almost 30 years. I think P4 is 5 to 10 times easier. It feels so good--like it should be illegal or something. Should we consider a mass intervention? A full page ad in the New York Times?

  3. #3
    Just switched to perfect 4th tuning and i love it. I think playing any other way is ridiculous, too many restrictions and too many pointless shapes to waste your time learning

  4. #4
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    Sorry I'm not a P4 player. Didn't know what it meant until I just googled it. Never heard about it before. I always thought that the it was very weird that the H string is tuned differently than the others. It makes the overview of the fretboard SO much harder. Realized recently that I can now put my finger on any string/fret on the guitar and almost always tell what note it is immediately. That is.. all the strings EXCEPT the H-string. With that one I still have to think about it to get it right. Anyway I would like to hear about pros and cons? Is it really that much easier? How hard was it to learn the fretboard AGAIN and forget what you allready knew?

  5. #5
    I left guitar 10 years ago and I switched to double bass and electric bass (including 6 string bass).

    I'm coming back to guitar and I'm using P4 tuning. I think that standard tuning is too much time consuming. I love simmetry and the easyness of this tuning. I think I'll never come back to standard tuning.

    IMMO, perfect fourths is more logical and simplifies the learning of scales, arpeggios and chords.

  6. #6
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    My interest is definitely piqued!
    "Thanks, but you should have heard what I was trying to play!" - T. Monk
    http://network.online.berklee.edu/profile/1200078

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by aniss1001 View Post
    Sorry I'm not a P4 player. Didn't know what it meant until I just googled it. Never heard about it before. I always thought that the it was very weird that the H string is tuned differently than the others. It makes the overview of the fretboard SO much harder. Realized recently that I can now put my finger on any string/fret on the guitar and almost always tell what note it is immediately. That is.. all the strings EXCEPT the H-string. With that one I still have to think about it to get it right. Anyway I would like to hear about pros and cons? Is it really that much easier? How hard was it to learn the fretboard AGAIN and forget what you allready knew?
    Well, every player would have to decide for themselves whether the switch is feasible. I could imagine that for a guy like Joe Pass, it wouldn't work, since he would have a repertoire of chord solos that he wouldn't want to rework. .

    I'm no pro. Just a guy who has been playing at an intermediate level for a long time. And I am not committed to playing anything.

    But, you don't have to forget what you already know. I use standard tuning when I want to play a tune that I know well in standard tuning.

    Here's the thing that blew me away yesterday. I had previously set up my scales to my satisfaction. There are seven forms and all have three notes per string. Very nice. Blistering legato. And the 7 forms are all just parts of one infinite master form. (On a seven or eight string guitar, the 7 forms would really look like just 1 form.) So anyway, I had been working on doing arpeggios from within these forms. And that was going fine. Lots of symmetry. But not as much as a P4 player like me has come to expect! Hehe. After all, some strings had two notes while others had one. What good is that?! So I realized the existence of four forms (since four notes in a 7 chord) that have two notes per string start on each of the four chord tones and are all three ocatves and easy to remember and pretty similar (min 7 and maj 7 and dom7 aren't that different!). I had messed around with the root versions of these a few months ago, but yesterday, I realized how easy the other three forms were. In fact, there are really just two forms since you can think of just starting a string up. That's right. You can cover the whole neck with just two beautiful arpeggios for, for example, D-7 But wait, it gets even better. Since the pattern repeats after two strings, I was able to IN MY HEAD, imagine playing up the neck using two strings. And I'd never even run most of the patterns across the neck!



    Here is a min 7 arpeggio starting from the 5:

    ----x--x------
    ----x--x------
    --x--x--------
    --x--x--------
    x--x----------
    x--x----------

    Here is a min 7 arpeggio starting from the 7:

    ----x---x------
    ----x-x--------
    --x---x--------
    --x-x----------
    x---x----------
    x-x------------

    Those two forms obviously kiss each other.

    And all the other forms are nice like that.

    And then it is easy to imagine playing up the neck. I don't have time, but you can do it in your head. Maybe some standard tuning players already have done this with arpeggios on the lower strings.

    If the heart of jazz is improvisation, then I can't imagine why somebody wouldn't want to avail themselves of all this symmetry. And I'm just an intermediate cat.

    Really, it is not at all hard to try. Do it for a week.

    Now I mentioned Joe Pass. If you are guy who plays a lot of cowboy chords, then I could imagine you can't do it. I wouldn't recommend it to country players. But if you tend to play mostly single notes and three note chords, then I think you would be insane not to switch immediately. Four note chords I am still working through. Some things are easier, but others harder, but this is not a strength of mine. I have an advantage over a lot of other guys in that although I've played a long time, I was not committed to standard tuning for any reason. My repetoire was a hodge podge. And, I have limited time and am old and very wise and wanted to take every possible short cut in this current push to develop as a player.

    The symmetry is like that between a mirror and a cracked mirror. You can use the cracked mirror to comb your hair. But I wouldn't use it for science. Nor would I use it for art. And, it is a principle of aesthetics that symmetry is beautiful. P4 is far more beautiful than standard tuning. As far as single notes go, it is not even close.

    Thinking about what note you want to land on is a piece of cake.

    If the metal guys ever discover P4, it will be game over for the standard tuning. There will be a flood of books and super legato shredders. Hell, if they discover the arpeggios, then they may start playing changes. Get ready for metal jazz. Hehe.

    Maybe we should set up the P4 challenge. Get folks to try it for a week. If they dont like it, they get a free case of beer. If they do, we get a free case of beer.
    Last edited by jster; 01-16-2012 at 12:19 AM.

  8. #8
    jster, could you explain your diagram please, maybe use regular tab, it doesn't make sense to me.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Unburst View Post
    jster, could you explain your diagram please, maybe use regular tab, it doesn't make sense to me.

    Sure, each line is a string. Low E is at the bottom. High F is at the top. Remember we go EADGCF. x represents a finger at a fret. - represents an unused fret. So, suppose we wanted to run Dmin7 starting from the 5. OK, A is the 5. So we would start on the fifth fret of the bottom string. Next note--ie next x--would be three half steps up to C at the eighth fret of the bottom string. Next note would be one string up at the fifth fret, ie D. And so on.


    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|
    ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|
    ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]






    --------------------------------------9--12-
    ------------------------------9--12-------
    ----------------------7---10--------------
    --------------7--10--------------------------
    -------5--8-----------------------------------
    -5--8---------------------------------------





    Hope that's right. All Dmin7 from the 5th (A).
    Last edited by jster; 01-16-2012 at 12:14 AM.

  10. #10
    This has been done on bass which is primarily a single string instrument. I prefer 5 string over 6, but I know the symmetries involved. I've messed with other guitar tunings to include my own. For chord work I still prefer standard.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jster View Post
    Sure, each line is a string. Low E is at the bottom. High F is at the top. Remember we go EADGCF. x represents a finger at a fret. - represents an unused fret. So, suppose we wanted to run Dmin7 starting from the 5. OK, A is the 5. So we would start on the fifth fret of the bottom string. Next note--ie next x--would be three half steps up to C at the eighth fret of the bottom string. Next note would be one string up at the fifth fret, ie D. And so on.


    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|
    ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|
    ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]






    --------------------------------------9--12-
    ------------------------------9--12-------
    ----------------------7---10--------------
    --------------7--10--------------------------
    -------5--8-----------------------------------
    -5--8---------------------------------------





    Hope that's right. All Dmin7 from the 5th (A).
    ok, I get it now, thanks

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    305
    How about Robert Fripp's tuning in 5ths? For this you'll have to get a customized set of strings.

  13. #13
    OK, I wrote out these forms for the four kinds of 7th chords.
    -I don't indicate the b3s, b5s and b7s in the diagrams and although they all look like they begin on low F because of the nut in the template, of course you can start them anwhere.
    -There are four forms for each 7th chord, but really only two since a string shift takes you to the sister form.
    -Notice how the easiest forms start on the guide tones.
    -Notice how easy it is to tell which note you are on.
    -Notice how easy it is to tell how to end a run since each pattern runs the full three octaves with attendant triple symmetry.
    -If anybody wants to try out P4 quickly, I recommend recording a simple A-7 vamp, or A-7 to G-7 vamp and try running the diagrams for Min 7 below. Notice how easy playing up the neck is with so little to remember.
    -Because there is so much symmetry, beautiful phrasing becomes a no brainer.
    -Because everything is so simple, higher order ideas can be easily developed.
    -Your knuckles will never want to go back.



    Maj7
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||-r-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-x-|-x-|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-3-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-5-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-7-|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    Dom7
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-r-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|-x-|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|-x-|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|-x-|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-3-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-5-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-7-|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    Min7
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-r-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-3-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-5-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-7-|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    Min 7 b5
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-r-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-3-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-5-|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    [chord]

    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-x-|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-x-|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-x-|---|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||-7-|---|-x-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]
    Last edited by jster; 01-16-2012 at 09:23 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    I have considered tuning my strings to Perfect 4th's but I sight read and play Classical as well.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Arpeggio View Post
    I have considered tuning my strings to Perfect 4th's but I sight read and play Classical as well.
    Probably be impossible for a classical player given the number of open strings used in the repetoire.

    But, you could use P4 for jazz and standard for classical. There are French people who speak Italian. Doesn't seem to screw up their ability to speak French. It is a myth that you can't do both. P4 is vastly superior for single line improvisation which plays little role in classical. So your situation is more adaptable.

    Imagine a piano that 2/3 of the way has all the keys shifted by a half step. That is the standard guitar tuning. A priori it is insane. Now, what about a posteriori? Well, there are trade-offs for everything. Trade in your partner for a super-model and you'll have to make adjustments. (S)he won't know what kind of beer you like at first! Sure, it is nice to go from E back to E on the open strings. Big cowboy chords work better. And if your goal was to sound like George Van Eps, then P4 is not for you. Of course, Van Eps didn't like standard tuning either because it didn't go far enough. If you really care about chords, you'll get another string or two and still have to give up standard tuning. So what exactly is behind standard tuning about? Answer: blind acceptance of tradition.

    Do the world a favor, try it for a week! I have been to the mountain top. And I have seen the light!

    Not sure which word folks don't grasp: Ninety percent less work.

    P.S. can only use four images in a post!! What's up with that mods? I was up to seven!
    Last edited by jster; 01-29-2012 at 11:34 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by jster View Post
    Probably be impossible for a classical player given the number of open strings used in the repetoire.

    But, you could use P4 for jazz and standard for classical. There are French people who speak Italian. Doesn't seem to screw up their ability to speak French. It is a myth that you can't do both. P4 is vastly superior for single line improvisation which plays little role in classical. So your situation is more adaptable.

    Imagine a piano that 2/3 of the way has all the keys shifted by a half step. That is the standard guitar tuning. A priori it is insane. Now, what about a posteriori? Well, there are trade-offs for everything. Trade in your partner for a super-model and you'll have to make adjustments. (S)he won't know what kind of beer you like at first! Sure, it is nice to go from E back to E on the open strings. Big cowboy chords work better. And if your goal was to sound like George Van Eps, then P4 is not for you. Of course, Van Eps didn't like standard tuning either because it didn't go far enough. If you really care about chords, you'll get another string or two and still have to give up standard tuning. So what exactly is behind standard tuning about? Answer: blind acceptance of tradition.

    Do the world a favor, try it for a week! I have been to the mountain top. And I have seen the light!

    Not sure which word folks don't grasp: Ninety percent less work.

    P.S. can only use four images in a post!! What's up with that mods? I was up to seven!

    Thanks for the insight, a good debate on P4 you've made me think about it more but I have mostly come to more conclusions as to why I should'nt at least not at the moment with my resources for learning new things at full capacity.

    I see learning guitar as multi-facted approach with several angles being greater than their sum, mostly: theory, technique and aural perception / linked to the fretboard. I'm learning to play guitar with my ears so that my fingers are (eventually) programmed to move in relation to sound rather than frets and strings, those just being the mechanical workings of it. I can sing all notes on the fretboard perfect pitch before playing them, that doesn't make me a great player it takes some thinking and the speed at which I can do it is not fast enough for improv but the idea is that eventually it gradually integrates into my playing until it is. I've brought the whole kaboodle on the B string journey.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Delhi, India
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    P4 players - does P4 tuning really not work for chordal/bass+chords+melody playing? o.O

    I used P4 when I played tapguitar. I've been a classical guitar player for around 3 years, and didn't want to change the experience I had in that tuning, so didn't go for P4 when I quit tapguitar and shifted to full-time fingerstyle.

    I'm considering taking it up again - learning chord inversions in standard is a lot of work because of standard. -.-' However, I'm a strictly multiple voice player, so again - would it work?
    Last edited by CGKnight; 02-13-2012 at 02:16 AM.

  18. #18
    I don't see the reason for bashing standard tuning so hard. You have to respect the fact that standard tuning is the end product of hundreds of years of fretted instruments, and was considered along with many other tunings (of course including P4 tuning.) It affords the player to play lush, big, voicings, as well as multiple voice parts.

    There are many famous jazz players who are perfectly aware of P4 tuning but prefer standard tuning. I am assuming because the lion share of being a working guitar player is accompaniment (including comping over your own lines), and not single line solos. I've dabbled in P4 a bit, and I don't care for it. I love my chord voicings, and my standard tuning, it has nothing to do with blind acceptance of tradition.

    -Bryan

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by CGKnight View Post
    P4 players - does P4 tuning really not work for chordal/bass+chords+melody playing? o.O

    I used P4 when I played tapguitar. I've been a classical guitar player for around 3 years, and didn't want to change the experience I had in that tuning, so didn't go for P4 when I quit tapguitar and shifted to full-time fingerstyle.

    I'm considering taking it up again - learning chord inversions in standard is a lot of work because of standard. -.-' However, I'm a strictly multiple voice player, so again - would it work?
    Yes.

    I don't understand why people think chords, bass lines, etc. won't work. Bassists have been doing this for some time ....but it won't work on a P4 guitar??

    Perhaps because so many of the new converts marvel at how much it simplifies single line and only use it for soloing it seems that chords and such don't work, but they do. It boils down to learning a slightly different fretboard map, redefining what one thinks chords are (I'll elaborate on this some other time), and then just doing it.

  20. #20
    Yes, finally- the P4 thread !!!!! Thanks for starting that!

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by B Corbin View Post
    I don't see the reason for bashing standard tuning so hard. You have to respect the fact that standard tuning is the end product of hundreds of years of fretted instruments, and was considered along with many other tunings (of course including P4 tuning.) It affords the player to play lush, big, voicings, as well as multiple voice parts.

    There are many famous jazz players who are perfectly aware of P4 tuning but prefer standard tuning. I am assuming because the lion share of being a working guitar player is accompaniment (including comping over your own lines), and not single line solos. I've dabbled in P4 a bit, and I don't care for it. I love my chord voicings, and my standard tuning, it has nothing to do with blind acceptance of tradition.

    -Bryan
    The vast majority of players have never tried P4. I have never seen any detailed discussion of pros and cons of various tunings. So, I think it simply false to say the "standard tuning is the end product of hundreds of years...and was considered..." The fact is that the standard tuning is ugly stuff and most people accept it because when they are beginners they do what they are told. Then later they feel it is too late to change. But so few try. But do people really think that if Metheny switched he wouldn't still be tearing it up after a few months, or weeks, or days, or truth be told, probably hours? Standard tuning is 5% max of what Metheny knows about music.

    And why wouldn't tunings change as music has changed? Jazz guitar is more improvised single note lines than any other thing. The symmetry of P4 is extremely extremely extremely conducive to single note phrasing, especially for arpeggios, especially for improvising (ie on the fly!). If you play standard tuning, can you move three octaves with perfectly repeated phrasing while changing chord qualities? P4 means three octaves are ALWAYS available immediately. Can you play arpeggios up the neck with ease? Do you have two notes per string always? Or is your phrasing pukie because sometimes it is two notes sometimes one per string? Can you visualize your arpeggios up and down the fretboard in an instant? Really, the arpeggios alone are reason enough to change. Symmetry is no joke, in science or art. Lack of symmetry is the enemy of the beautiful. Standard tuning is disgusting. If it is to be saved, a 30 page defense is in order. Prima facie it is absurd, so the defense of it needs to be extremely strong.
    Last edited by jster; 02-22-2012 at 07:04 PM.

  22. #22
    I wonder if Pat Martino has tried P4 tuning
    (He likes his shapes)
    also he no slouch with extended arps ........

    I can dig the advantages you cite and for ripping
    long arps I can see it would be fab

    However there are disadvantages too

    with std tuning you can play double stop barres in maj 3rds
    (and fourths of course)

    Also I like close voicings sometimes eg Minor 9 voicing
    with the 2 in the bass
    Eg Gmin9
    3
    3
    3
    7
    x
    x

    Standard is still very symetrical compared to Piano say

    But hey go for it
    it's really good that people do they're own thing
    Its JAZZ man
    Vive la differance I say
    otherwise we'd all sound the same which would be horrible
    hmmm ..... where's my bagpipes

  23. #23
    Lack of symmetry is the enemy of the beautiful. .
    I thought that once but I've changed my view now
    There are many forms of beauty

    Standard tuning is disgusting
    thats strong man ........
    what do you think to open D or DADGAD ?

    I wonder if piano players feel this way about the black notes ?

  24. #24
    Having switched to tuning in perfect fourths just recently (it's been a few months now), I can say with confidence that I won't go back to standard tuning. I'm also shocked it isn't already on its way to becoming a new standard.

    I'm a complete beginner when it comes to guitar, although I have been playing the piano for most of my life. When I first made the switch, I remember being put off by all the different shapes needed to play the same inversion of the same chord, the same scales, etc.

    I really love the fact that the scales I've been playing so far seem to have only 3 different fingerings. The whole CAGED thing goes right out the window. This helps me focus on the notes I'm playing.

    Also, diagonal playing becomes a whole lot simpler, as you only have to shift up 2 frets each octave, then repeat the same pattern.

    I truly believe it would have taken me a LOT longer to grasp these concepts had I stuck with the standard. That one semi-tone makes a whole lot of difference.

  25. #25
    The issue is that P4 is almost exclusively a jazz tuning. Most other genres of music, including classical, utilize a lot of open or barre chords that use all six strings, and it's next to impossible to play those voicings and chord forms in P4. Now, in jazz, where chord forms are usually a lot more minimal, that's not a problem, but in rock and blues, it's like cutting off your arm. I'll accept that P4 is in its way a lot more logical due to the universal nature of it. But standard is just as logical, because it allows players to fit the role they're looking for musically. So, if I was playing jazz exclusively, I'd probably play P4, but because I also play rock and folk and blues and everything else, standard is the way to go, because P4 can't be played in the same way as standard is.

    Quote Originally Posted by jster View Post
    Symmetry is no joke, in science or art. Lack of symmetry is the enemy of the beautiful. Standard tuning is disgusting.
    No, lack of symmetry is not the enemy of the beautiful. An example is looking at pictures that have been edited so that the people in them have perfectly symmetrical faces. They look horrible, because the human mind is not used too it.

    Sometimes, a lack of symmetry can add beauty to something by extending what is possible. Standard tuning is one of those things.
    Last edited by Shadow of the Sun; 02-23-2012 at 03:57 AM.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun View Post
    The issue is that P4 is almost exclusively a jazz tuning. Most other genres of music, including classical, utilize a lot of open or barre chords that use all six strings, and it's next to impossible to play those voicings and chord forms in P4. Now, in jazz, where chord forms are usually a lot more minimal, that's not a problem, but in rock and blues, it's like cutting off your arm. ...snip
    There are certainly benefits to Std tuning. If one's goal is to play like another Std player, then Std is the way to go because the idioms it facilitates are sometimes difficult or even impossible to reproduce in P4. However if one is aspiring to have their own voice, P4 has the advantage of simplifying the learning curve. P4 also has its own idioms that are potentially new to the guitar lexicon.

    The classical guitar library has been arranged for Std tuning for centuries. Since classical is recitation, not improvisation, P4 has no benefit for this genre. That said, there's no reason whatsoever a classical piece can't be arranged for P4 or DADGAD (sp?) or whatever - it's just a matter of effort. Pieces are arranged for completely different instruments all the time so why not P4?

    The folk guitar idiom is based on Std tuning. It's certainly doable in P4 but as P4 is not optimized for this music, it would require more skill from the P4 player than required from the equivalent level Std player.

    As for the implication that rock and blues are somehow difficult in P4 tuning, I refer you to YouTube videos of Alex Hutchins and Tom Quayle, both P4 players, who wail in those genres. Other P4 players to watch on YouTube are Passanova who is fluent in rock and jazz and Tomsmusiclessons who is a rock and blues player and has just converted to P4. Tomsmusiclessons has a series of nice videos out discussing his conversion to P4 and his perceptions of the deficits and benefits.

    P4 allows for a very rich chord library. It makes one approach chords in a slightly different way and I believe it the better way. Needless to say, the symmetry of P4 means that chord solos are EASILY switched to different keys and string sets.

    I wrote this not to knock Std tuning, but to sing the praises of P4. Everyone gets to choose their path and this is what makes the world a better place.

    To each his own.

  27. #27
    4thstuning: hey, don't worry, that's cool. I have no issues with you supporting your tuning of choice- there are a fair few players who use an unconventional tuning for their music. Stanley Jordan, for one, and perhaps Pierre Bensusan.

    The main reason I was posting was that I wanted to refute jster's comment that standard tuning was disgusting; while it's a subjective comment, I do think it's overstating things, and I thought he was slightly overplaying his hand by focussing on the symmetry of P4.

  28. #28
    For me it was like "inventing America", when I came home from a gig with a bass player, who played a 6 string bass. I decided to retune my guitar the same. Thanks to the internet i saw that that wasn't who invented such a thing. This reminds me the sutiation with 10 hole harmonica tunings where there's a lot of options besides Richter tuning( the most used). It has a great blues tradition but it's hard to play in different keys. So there are some modification to richter tuning or even a differrent layouts of notes. But unfortunatelly there are only small amount of players who use that tunings. Even if alternative tuning, such as diminished or augmented( wholetone) tuning allows to play chromatically on a 10 hole harp. You can not play Little Walter line on a diminished tuning exactly as he did, but you can play in any key on one harp.
    Back to guitar, I think it's a matter of try and see if you like it. I did and like what i got, even i still have to relearn some chord grips and have mistakes on gigs.But it's getting much better now. I also have an experience of a strange attitude from players around me when they see i'm playing a "wrong" chord( actually only a grip looks strange e.g. major triad looks like minor in std tuning). May be there's another thing that i like with P4. I do not like to be usual. So I'm not in mainstream : I use linux instead of windows, i play diminished tuned harp and P4.

  29. #29
    I'm learning to play P4. Feels great.

  30. #30
    After just a couple days of using P4, I'm really won over, and I can't imagine ever wanting to switch back to standard. The switch over is disorienting for a time, but it actually helped purge some of my rote vocabulary and gave me access to some much needed new material. It's not totally without flaws; some things become trickier with this tuning, but the advantage of being able to treat every set of strings the same way is incredibly liberating. It feels like playing a new instrument. If the fretboard in standard tuning is a landscape, the fretboard in P4 is an ocean, expansive and unobstructed. Very refreshing.

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