Hi! I'm Bill, a 68 year old geezer, who always wanted to play guitar, but my fingers were too fat to make a chord!
I saw a cigar box guitar online, and saw the generous string spacing, and said Eureka!!
Bought one from a local guy, and watched a few videos, and strted strumming along the first day. I ain't saying it sounded good, but I was playing!
I have messed with lap steel some, because using a steel, I don't have to fret chords, but I am not as interested in playing melodies or solos as I am in just being able to sit in with some friends and strum along.
Well, After I got a little used to playing the CGB using one finger chords, I started looking for other places to find the chords.
It struck me that I could tune the guitar to a major triad, as with the A, C#, E strings of my lap steel.
I decided to give it a try (only using G, B, D), and it seems like the chords lay out real nicely, with major, minor, and 7ths real handy, and with the 1, 4, 5 changes available within a couple of frets of each other using "slants".
All that to ask this newbie question...
What are the downsides to tuning to a major triad?
I don't want to start down this road, to find out the hard way it is a dead end.
Oh, yeah, 99% country!
Many thanks, and I love my CBG and CBN!!
It's not a dead end at all!
Though I prefer 513 tuning (open G would be DGB for example). The chord fingering is easier in my opinion.
I'd venture a guess that most CBGs are tuned to some sort of open tuning. There are countless variations that approximate a chord, such as GDG, AEA, DAD, EBE. Makes it very easy if you want to just strum along and play basic slide.
But, such tunings don't limit you to slide playing in the least. I'm almost strictly a finger picker (hardly ever use a slide) and most of my 3-string instruments are GDG or DAD. For four stringers I like DGBD. Oddly, for six string, I like standard tuning more than open.
But, it's all pretty objective. Your mileage may vary
Not trying to talk you out of more guitars but...
If you are in open G (151, GDG) it's really easy to tune to open D major (513, ADF#).
Basically these are usually tuned 1-5-1(old Rock power chords) for the simplicity, but you can tune to what you want. I prefer 4 strings that I tune 1-5-1-3. That way I can add a 3rd when I want and makes playing with 4rths and 7ths easier.
I use the 1"x 2" boards for my necks(actual 3/4"x 1&1/2") and I have the short fat fingers too. Which is why I played Rhythm guitar using power chords. LOL Remember that 6 string guitars are usually 1&11/16" or 1&3/4" at the nut, so 4 strings with 1&1/2" all the up the board is very good spacing. I found myself getting use to all the space.
Not many can sing and play at the same time and some can do both very well at the same time. Practice, practice, practice and practice some more.
You sound like you have more music theory than I do. There are a great many tunings used and I think yours makes an open G. I think if you are just sliding it might be great, but like Korigan said, if you want to do some finger chords and picking, DGB is easiest to do that and good old GDG is as close to a standard as there is in CBGs.
I use GDGB on a four string tuning (among others) and like it.
I suggest you take a look at this lesson: knotlenny's CBG 101 at page top or google it.
Thanks, John. Will do.
I don't foresee much sliding, hopefully some fingerpicking and strumming.
The 1, 5, 8 tuning is a starting point. With every different open tuning there's different music to be had. Even tuning three or four stings in standard tuning works.