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!!

Bill

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Funny you should ask...

I never cared much for strumming GBD tuning because of the "parallel fifths" sound getting monotonous. Like the others here, I preferred Gdg or dgb or f#ad'. Then I stumbled across Bill Evans's book "Banjo for Dummies" on sale at the used book store.

Bought 2 finger picks and a thumb pick and tried playing 3-finger style as if GBD were the first 3 strings on a 5-string banjo. I'm using a slide on a fretless instrument and picking 3-finger "rolls" in steady 8th notes. You have to adapt his roll patterns to 3 strings--but see examples on his page 166 and following (or see and hear typical rolls in any banjo instruction book or video).

This may make sense to you from lap steel days. I know I've seen Dobro players mimic the banjo rolls on AC#E.

Major chord open tuning does in fact give you easy access to all 4 chord shapes

Thanks, JL

For GBD open tuning, here are the 1, 4, 5, relative minor and seventh:

This particular form for the G7 is kinda awkward for me, and there are two or three other ways to get it, but this is to show how they all can be accessed within a few frets of each other.

C maj
  5
| x | - | - | - | - |
| x | - | - | - | - |
| x | - | - | - | - |

F maj
  5  6  7
| - | - | x | - | - |
| - | x | - | - | - |
| x | - | - | - | - |

G maj
  5      7  8  9
| - | - | - | - | x |
| - | - | - | x | - |
| - | - | x | - | - |

G7
  5  6  7
| x | - | - | - | - |
| - | x | - | - | - |
| - | - | x | - | - |

A min
  5
| - | - | x | - | - |
| x | - | - | - | - |
| x | - | - | - | - |

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