I have built two 3 string guitars so far. Gathering parts and working on my third currently. I know that these CBG's can be tuned many different ways. When building my first two I remember reading that "open G" was a good place to start so I ordered the recommended strings from C.B. Gitty and tuned them to "open G" which is....G,D,G.  or so I thought.

Looking at Gitty's listing to buy more strings I see the same strings that I bought previously. They say they are for "open G" tuning but it has them listed as G,B,D or G,B,E tuning. In fact I don't even see a string set that has G,D,G listed as open G tuning.

So....what is Open G tuning? What strings are what? What is a good string set for 3 string tuning?

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Hey Tom, I'm sure you'll get a lot of opinions......and they're ALL right! It's whatever works for you. What works for me is string gauges .042, .032, .024 . All wound strings of course. I use electric guitar strings with a magnetic pickup and acoustic guitar strings with a piezo. My CBG's are fretless. I tune G D G .

Any tuning that allows you to strum across the three strings and play notes that are in the G-major chord are "Open G tunings".  So, without listing every possibility, any tuning that gives you some selection of G's, B's, and D's.  Your G-D-g tuning is very versatile one because it gives a larger range than any of the triad tunings, and also is a "power-chord", i.e. it has no third in it, so it can be either major or minor.  You could stretch a point ans say the G,B,E is an open-G tuning, even though the E isn't in the G chord.  It's really an open G6 tuning, if you want to be really obsessive about accuracy.

As far as a good string set for a 3-string tuning is concerned, it really depends on a lot of things, mostly scale length and what notes you want the open strings to play.  Could you be a little more specific?

To simplify an answer to the "strings for GDG tuning", use the ADG strings (5, 4, 3) from a standard 6 string set. Tune the A string down to a G, and tune the other two normally (D & G).

Open G tuning refers to either a three note chord, in the key of G, ould be GDB or GBD, or DGB. As a 2 note power chord, it would be GDg.

I use .012, .016, and .024 on all my cbg. With those I either tune gdg or dad. I fret all the sticks. No slide for me. 

An open G chord comprises G, B, D, so you can use any combination of those notes (tones) comprise a G chord.
Now in plain language use what sounds good to you from those tones. You can do GBD, GBG, GDG, or even invert it and do BDG! Or even DGB. The E is the seventh of the chord and makes the chord a G7. Use those notes and make it sound like you want it to sound.

"The E is the seventh of the chord and makes the chord a G7"  Not to be a total PITA about it, but it's the 6th, not the 7th.  (Where are those smileys when you need one...)

Roger on the smileys - and on the comment.  F natural, the flatted 7th tone, would be the note that makes a regular "G7" chord.  The 7th tone of the G major scale is F sharp but that makes a Gmaj7 chord that doesn't show up that often in songs.

But that's kind of off the subject of the original thread.  To answer the OP:  most guys, and most video lessons you can buy or find on YouTube, are assuming GDg and I don't have a clue why Gitty prints what they do on their string sets.

I see the use of a lowercase character to specify a pitch (GDg).  Visualizing a piano keyboard, where do the uppercase and lowercase pitches fall? Is G and octave lower than g?

Yep, with GDg tuning, "g" is an octave higher than "G".

Tom, C B Gitty part # 34-010-01 Uncle Enos Blues Blasters work very well for me. They tune to G D g . They are medium weight bronze wound #44 #34 and #26.  

What rotten roger said. I've used those on all my builds. Tuned GDg, they hold tune well and have a great sound.


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