I have been exploring this tuning (bass-to-treble, and ceiling-to-floor):

Gb--B--D, also expressed as b1--3--5 .

Is this a known/established tuning?  If not, I will share the rationale and examples of chord types below .

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For the record, there is no such thing as a flat root. It's a major 7th, and you would be in a major 7th tuning.

Regan

I understand that to speak of a b1 is technically odd/incorrect.  That being said, is this tuning (or any transposition of it) a KNOWN tuning?  If so, could anyone direct me to a resource where it has already been described?

Are you looking to find tunes played in that specific tuning? I don't think I know of any, but it would work for jazzier style tunes. It would be easy to finger the different relative minor and majors from it. Basically what you have it tuned to is a g major 7th without playing the root.

I'd call that Bm tuning... 5, 1, flat 3.

i agree its a F# and an open Bm chord.  could have some fun with that. might try. here is a chord sheet. 

http://chordgen.rattree.co.uk/?instrument=banjo&tuning=F#,B,D&a...

Ha! You beat me to it Tim, I was just posting this...

http://chordgen.rattree.co.uk/?instrument=guitar&tuning=Gb,B,D&...

Today I will present the rationale behind this (new?) tuning.  I hope thereby to convey why I find it exciting.  I will also explain why I have referred to the so-called “flat root”.  I do ask, however, that this seeming violation of the conventions of music theory NOT become a subject of further corrections.   

Elsewhere in this forum I presented a (new?) tuning which I called “Third Thumb”.  That tuning was inspired by three design criteria:

  1. Intended for three- or four-stringed guitars of short scale and narrow neck.
  2. Able to create—at a minimum—all major and minor chords utilizing only two movable fretting shapes.
  3. The fretting shapes would be such that most people—even those with small/weak/clumsy hands, or even people with some missing digits—could manage them even as a beginner.

I believe that my Third Thumb tuning met all three criteria, and then some.  However, I found that the tiered sound of ascending chords did not suit some kinds of musical expression.  So I went back to the drawing board and came up with a different set of design criteria:

  1. Intended for three-stringed guitars of short scale and narrow neck.
  2. Able to create—at a minimum—the ubiquitous I, IV, V and vi chords.
  3. Rather than being distinctly tiered in pitch, the four ubiquitous chords would be fretted as little as possible, and as close to the nut as possible, so that they collectively sound more “blended” than tiered.
  4. The fretting shapes would be such that most people—even those with small/weak/clumsy hands, or even people with some missing digits—could manage them even as a beginner.

 As for how I have initially named this tuning … Yes, I already understood that employing the term “flat root” is, to a music theorist, akin to saying “ain’t” or “irregardless” in formal writing.  It was tongue-in-cheek.  But it also implies some meaning.

In fact, this tuning is most properly described as being the second inversion of a B minor chord.  However, this tuning was built from ground up to function as a modified open G major tuning.  The F#/Gb note in the third string is intended to be fretted by the thumb at the first fret when playing the "home chord" of G major.  Dropping by one semitone the third string of an otherwise open-G tuning is the “secret ingredient” that makes this tuning operate ergonomically in the ways that it does.

Also note about this tuning that it makes liberal use of the “thumb-over” technique. 

I plan to share more about this tuning later.  But for now, I offer these diagrams to illustrate some of its strengths. 

==============================================================

T = Thumb-over

I = Index finger

M = Middle Finger (Index and Middle are often interchangeable)

==============================================================

THE UBIQUITOUS I-IV-V-vi CHORDS, IN KEY OF G MAJOR:

 D |   |   |   |   | = D

 B |   |   |   |   | = B → Gmaj (the I chord)

F#| T |   |   |   | = G

 

 D |   | M |   |   | = E

 B | T |   |   |   | = C → Cmaj  (the IV chord)

F#| T |   |   |   | = G

 

 D |   |   |   | M | = F#

 B |   |   | T |   | = D → Dmaj  (the V chord)

F#|   |   | T |   | = A

 

 D |   | M |   |   | = E

 B |   |   |   |   | = B → Emin  (the vi chord)

F#| T |   |   |   | = G

==============================================================

MAJOR CHORDS:

 D |   |   |   | M | = F#

 B |   |   | T |   | = D → Dmaj  (movable shape, same as below)

F#|   |   | T |   | = A

 

 D |   |   | M |   | = F

 B |   | T |   |   | = C# → C#maj (movable shape, same as above)

F#|   | T |   |   | = G#

==============================================================

BARRE-TYPE MINOR CHORDS:

 D |   |   | M |   | = F

 B |   |   | M |   | = D → Dmin  (movable shape, same as below)

F#|   |   | M |   | = A

 

 D |   |   |   | M | = F#

 B |   |   |   | M | = D# → D#min (movable shape, same as above)

F#|   |   |   | M | = A#

==============================================================

SUS4 CHORDS:

 D |   |   |   |   | = D

 B | T |   |   |   | = C → Gsus4  (compare with Gmaj above—note how the thumb rocks forward)

F#| T |   |   |   | = G

 

 D |   | I |   |   | = E

 B |   |   | T |   | = D → Asus4  (movable shape, same as below)

F#|   |   | T |   | = A

 

 D |   |   | I |   | = F

 B |   |   |   | T | = D# → A#sus4  (movable shape, same as below)

F#|   |   |   | T | = A#

==============================================================

DIMINISHED CHORDS:

 D |   |   | I |   | = F

 B |   |   | I |   | = D → Ddim  (compare with Dmin above)  (movable shape, same as below)

F#|   | T |   |   | = Ab

 

 D |   |   |   | I | = F#

 B |   |   |   | I | = D# → D#dim (movable shape, same as above)

F#|   |   | T |   | = A

==============================================================

Ahhkk, I didn't even see that inversion, lol, cool and makes sense.

Thank you!

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