Song to a Hawk
© 2009 by Geoff Bartley
Published by Joshua Omar's Music BMI
All Rights Reserved
Instrumental with high-string guitar (in Dropped D tuning no capo), trumpet, electric guitar, electric bass guitar and percussion This is the same guitar and the same tuning I used to record Up Here with the Moon and Let Falling Stars. It also enters on the first hook in Muscle for the Wing. Dropped D is a simple and widely used tuning in which the low E string is tuned down a whole step to D.
High String Tuning (aka Nashville Tuning) is technically not an alternate tuning; it's another way to string your guitar. Imagine taking off all the low strings in every pair of wound strings on a 12-string guitar and one of the unison strings in each pair of the single filament high E and B strings. There are no standard gauges for high string tuning that I know of, but some string manufacturers make high string sets. Whatever string gauges you use, I recommend that the low E string and the A string be wound... all the others will be single-filament strings.
The only drawback, which is minor, to using a normal guitar for high string tuning is that the saddle on a normal guitar is compensated for normal gauge strings. "Compensated" means that the saddle is set at a slight angle and/or carved in such a way so that every string can be tuned accurately. To fix this problem you'd hafta reset the saddle so the different gauge strings used in high string tuning will play in tune up the fingerboard. However, I've never had the saddle reset on the 1970 Martin D-35 that I keep in high string tuning because the intonation problem is so minor. The most trouble I've had is with the .009 G string intonating slightly flat up beyond the 7th fret. Suggested gauges below are in thousandths of an inch. ~ Geoff Bartley, January 2010
"Light Gauge" string recommendations for High String Tuning (aka Nashville Tuning)
High E string is the same (.012 single filament) and is tuned the same as on a regular guitar
B string is the same (.016 single filament) and is tuned the same as on a regular guitar
G string is replaced by a .009 (single filament) and tuned an octave higher than normal (buy an extra .009 or two... it's the first one to break)
D string is replaced by a .013 (single filament) and tuned an octave higher than normal
A string is replaced by a .020 (wound) and tuned an octave higher than normal
Low E string is replaced by a .024 (wound) and tuned an octave higher than normal.