All fourths tuning
|Other instruments||Bass guitar|
|Advantages||Closely approximates standard tuning|
|Disadvantages||Difficult to play conventional music|
|Left-handed tuning||All-fifths tuning|
|Jazz-musician Stanley Jordan stated that all-fourths tuning "simplifies the fingerboard, making it logical".|
|Regular tunings (semitones)|
|Minor thirds (3)|
|Major thirds (4)|
|All fourths (5)|
|Augmented fourths (6)|
|New standard (7, 3)|
|All fifths (7)|
|Minor sixths (8)|
Among alternative tunings for the guitar, all-fourths tuning is a regular tuning. In contrast, the standard tuning has one irregularity—a major third between the third and second strings—while having perfect fourths between the other successive strings. The standard tuning's irregular major-third is replaced by a perfect fourth in all-fourths tuning, which has the open notes
Among regular tunings, this all-fourths tuning best approximates the standard tuning.
In all guitar tunings, the higher-octave version of a chord can be found by translating a chord by twelve frets higher along the fretboard. In every regular tuning, for example in all-fourths tuning, chords and intervals can be moved also diagonally. For all-fourths tuning, all twelve major chords (in the first or open positions) are generated by two chords, the open F major chord and the D major chord. The regularity of chord-patterns reduces the number of finger positions that need to be memorized. Jazz musician Stanley Jordan plays guitar in all-fourths tuning; he has stated that all-fourths tuning "simplifies the fingerboard, making it logical".
However, seventh chords require severe hand-stretching in not only standard tuning, but also all-fourths tuning. For example, the C7 chord has notes on frets 3-8 in standard tuning (and all-fourths tuning). Consequently, seventh chords are rarely played in standard tuning. In their stead, standard-tuning and all-fourths tuning use "alternatively voiced" chords, which have the same notes but in different order (and perhaps in a different octave). An illustration shows a C7 chord (in standard tuning), which would be extremely difficult to play, and an "alternatively voiced" C7. In comparison, all seventh-chords can be played on three consecutive frets in major-thirds tuning.
Among all regular tunings, all-fourths tuning E-A-D-G-C-F is the best approximation of standard tuning, which is more popular. An advantage of standard tuning is that it has many six-string chords, unlike all-fourths tuning. All-fourths tuning is traditionally used for the bass guitar; it is also used for the bajo sexto.
Relation with all-fifths tuning
All-fourths tuning is closely related to all-fifths tuning. All-fourths tuning is based on the perfect fourth (five semitones), and all-fifths tuning is based on the perfect fifth (seven semitones). These perfect-fourth and perfect-fifth intervals are termed "inverse" intervals in music theory, and the chords of all-fourth and all-fifths are paired as inverted chords. Consequently, chord charts for all-fifths tunings may be used for left-handed all-fourths tuning.
- Scordatura, alternative tunings of stringed instruments
- commons:Category:Perfect fourths tuning charts and diagrams for P4 tuning
- Sethares (2001, p. 52):
Sethares, Bill (2001). "Regular tunings" (pdf). Alternate tuning guide. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin; Department of Electrical Engineering. pp. 52–67. 2010 Alternate tuning guide, including a revised chapter on regular tunings. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
- Nash (1997)
- Denyer (, pp. 158–159)
- Weissman (2006, p. 68)
- Sethares (2001, p. 58)
- Sethares (2001, p. 9)
- Ferguson (1986, p. 76):
Ferguson, Jim (1986). "Stanley Jordan". In Casabona, Helen; Belew, Adrian. New directions in modern guitar. Guitar Player basic library. Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation. pp. 68–76. ISBN 0881884235; ISBN 9780881884234.
- Kolb (2005, Chapter 6: Harmonizing the major scale: Diatonic seventh chords, p. 37):
- The alternative voicing of the C7 chord follows the first seventh-chord diagram of Denyer (1992, "The harmonic guitarist: Seventh chords: The dominant seventh chords", p. 127)
- Griewank (2010, p. 2)
- Sethares (2001, p. 53)
- Denyer, Ralph (1992). "Playing the guitar". The guitar handbook. Special contributors Isaac Guillory and Alastair M. Crawford (Fully revised and updated ed.). London and Sydney: Pan Books. pp. 65–160. ISBN 0-330-32750-X.
- Griewank, Andreas (1 January 2010), Tuning guitars and reading music in major thirds, Matheon preprints 695, Rosestr. 3a, 12524 Berlin, Germany: DFG research center "MATHEON, Mathematics for key technologies" Berlin, Postscript file and Pdf file
- Nash, Paul (1 July 1 1997). "Guitar in fourths: Guitar tuning with all strings in perfect fourth intervals apart". Guitar Player (NewBay Media LLC). (subscription required). Retrieved 14 October 2012 – via HighBeam Research.
- Sethares, William A. (2011). "Alternate tuning guide". Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin; Department of Electrical Engineering. 2010 PDF version by Bill Sethares. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
- Weissman, Dick (2006). "Other tunings: Fourths tuning". Guitar tunings: A comprehensive guide. Routledge. pp. 68–70. ISBN 9780415974417. LCCN 0415974410.
- Bianco, Bob (1987) . Guitar in fourths: A manual for playing (republication of A manual for playing the guitar in fourths (Catalona Enterprises, pp. 1–64) ed.). New York City: Calliope Music. pp. 1–64. ISBN 0-9605912-2-2. OCLC 16526869.
- Bromley, Keith (May 2013). Sixty guitar chords for all-fourths tuning: An introductory tutorial about chords on a guitar tuned to all fourths (pdf). Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- Zhille's guitar blog: Perfect fourths (P4) tuning–Basics and examples
- Yahoo group for all-fourths tuning