Vlorbik's Diner

son of owen's cooking show

remarks on 3-string guitar

Posted by vlorbik on June 21, 2016

Photo on 6-21-16 at 1.33 PM

(1) the high three would’ve been easier.

but it’s the “3rd” string—one of
“the high three”—whose tuner (the
gizmo that tightens a given string;
aka, more elaborately, a “tuning
machine”) is actually busted on this
actual guitar (a “rogue”; the logo
didn’t make it into the photo…
SO-069-RA1000-SN, if you must know
[made in china]).

with three strings in the *low* positions—
as shown here—one has good reason to attack
the strings “from above” (also as shown here).
usually if i do that at all… and i do, some-
times… i’ll come at “from above” frettings
with my thumb (as *not* shown here).

usually i use an ordinary “from below” grip
on the guitar, though. in any tuning. (so
only certain low notes get played with my
thumb; more often they get “damped” [so as
*not* to sound when strummed]).

(2) anyhow. message of the day. there are three
“obvious” tunings for three strings (once one
has learned the “standard” EADGBE tuning learned
by every beginner-guitarist): eadGBE, eaDGBe,
and eADGbe, one might call them… or, better,
GBE, DGB, and ADG.

or, still better: 0-4-9, 0-5-9, and 0-5-10.

(the apparently-missing possibility for
“three strings together from a row of six”,
namely EADgbe is accounted for in the “digits”
notation… it’s just *another* 0-5-10).

these number-codes reflect the *process of
tuning* the instrument and so are *very*
easily learned and remembered (once one
has learned a few chords & the “standard”
guitar tuning).

one more revision.
let X=10.
now we have 049, 059, and 05X
(and this last is pronounced
“oh-five-ten”). and typing ’em out
won’t be a problem.

the photo shows a major chord in the
059 tuning (isomorphic to strings 2
through 4 of “standard”): “barre”
all three strings.

anybody that can feel a beat and endure
a moderate amount of pain in their hands
can strum out a song in this tuning:
open strings, fifth fret, seventh fret;
jam around ad lib (these three chords
are, among many other things, the heart
of the blues [for at least one player]:
12-bar “boogie woogie” was the first tune
i ever picked out note-for-note [and, alas,
also one of the last; this’ll change some-
day if the guitar-gods spare me].).

(3) boogie-woogie for absolute beginners.

tune three strings to an open chord.
0 denotes “strum the open strings”
5 is “strum all three, fretted at 5”
7 (exercise)

(for a one-count; how many actual
*strums*—and whether *up* or *down*—
is here left to the player’s imagination
(never let your right hand know what
your left hand is doing).


yep. that’s it. the arrangement that won my heart.
it looks pretty naked all spelled out like that.
this must be what they call “over-analyzing every-
thing”. (even when you actually only ever do it
from time to time.) go and do likewise.

One Response to “remarks on 3-string guitar”

  1. vlorbik said


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