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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Cross tune for Amazing Grace, help

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deering - Posted - 04/05/2020:  07:40:03

What is a good video here, or on You Tube that I can get amazing grace down,,,,,sawmill, or whatever. Many thanks

DougD - Posted - 04/05/2020:  08:14:48

Why cross tuning? Don't you play in standard tuning?
Bluegrass Daddy has a lesson where he plays it in C and then G, and this felliw plays it prettty nicely in G:
I think both are in standard tuning.

deering - Posted - 04/05/2020:  08:26:04

You are right, frankly. Stay with what we know! But there is nothing more pretty than a drone running un under the melody. Too old to keep learning, anyway. Thanks

DougD - Posted - 04/05/2020:  08:35:07

Never too old to learn, IMHO. Stop learning, stop living.
If you play it in G you have two nice low drone strings.
BTW the Bluegrass Daddy lesson looks like its three parts.
Also, this tune uses a major pentatonic scale, so there are really only five notes to find.

DougD - Posted - 04/05/2020:  08:57:03

And if you like drones and harmonies, these local sisters play a pretty version (you'll need a partner though):

DougD - Posted - 04/05/2020:  09:17:17

The young ladies are also playing in G.

Astrang - Posted - 04/06/2020:  07:34:39

For such a powerful little tune, it sure sounds tiny when you’re just playing the melody notes with no accompaniment. Sometimes I play it with these double stops. Upper Case represents notes on the G and D strings, Lower Case are notes on the a and e strings.
Db Gb Gb bg Ad Gc Ec Db
Db Ec Gb Gb bg ag bg df#
bg dg eg dg bg Gb
Ec Db Ec Gc Gc Ec Db
Db Ec Gb Gb Gb a bg bg Ad Gb
Or something like that. I don’t have a way to make a video and hope I’m not dragging you off course. Maybe this is something to work with.

Ebowalker - Posted - 05/04/2020:  18:16:59

Hope you don’t mind me asking...but what is cross tuning? From the replies I’m thinking it’s when you play a Celtic tune to mimic the bagpipes by bowing double strings? Or not?

alaskafiddler - Posted - 05/04/2020:  18:54:29

Cross tuning is usually referring to alternative tuning; something other than just perfect fifths , as in GDAE.

Not necessarily simply about bowing double strings, or drones. Though can be part; but it also facilitates a different bowing, string crossing, unisons and slurs... thus can have an impact on phrasing and rhythmic feel.


Fiddler - Posted - 05/04/2020:  19:47:48

I usually play Amazing Grace in G which gives me the opportunities for drones even in standard tuning. I was asked to play it along with a choir who did it Eb. Ummm, yes, I retuned so that I could get the drones.

Flat_the_3rd_n7th - Posted - 05/04/2020:  20:28:03


Originally posted by Fiddler

I usually play Amazing Grace in G which gives me the opportunities for drones even in standard tuning. I was asked to play it along with a choir who did it Eb. Ummm, yes, I retuned so that I could get the drones.

Why not just keep standard?  For Eb, finger capo D/A at half position.  Most of your doublestops will be 1/3, 1/5 or 3/5 instead of octave, but you don't have much octave drone even in G.  Harmonies close to the melody are easiest on the ear, just like in voice.

Fiddler - Posted - 05/04/2020:  20:36:43

The reason that I retuned was for me and good intonation. Yes. I can play it out of standard in Eb, but I needed closer intonation for a performance. It actually worked quite well.

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 05/09/2020:  09:28:17

But if you really want cross-tuning, you can always tune your two highest strings, A and E, down one step each to G and D. That's pretty much "Sawmill," "Mule-gear," or whatever name you like, cross-tuned to the key of G. That means whatever you play there you are pretty much stuck in G. But it also means you have easy access to both octaves of the tune you're playing, whether it's Amazing Grace or other stuff you might try there, and you also have easy access to drones both high and low.

I do play Amazing Grace in GDGD. You could do it the same and tune the low two strings up one step each, to A and E, instead of tuning the higher strings down...then you'd be stuck playing only in the key of A, A Sawmill...but playing stuff exactly the same as you would in GDGD in the key of G. Same finger positions, same drones, etc., except it would sound a step higher, for the key of A. However, I like G better because, to my ear, AEAE is just more shrill sounding than GDGD...I prefer a mellower sound most of the time.

But you might actually find it easier to find the notes and the drones for Amazing Grace while cross-tuned in Sawmill. Just sayin'.

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