Nashville tuning (high strung)

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Nashville or high-strung tuning refers to the practice of replacing the wound E, A, D and G strings on a six-string guitar with lighter gauge strings to allow tuning an octave higher than standard.[1] This is usually achieved by using one string from each of the six courses of a twelve-string set, using the higher string for those courses tuned in octaves.

The Pink Floyd song "Hey You" from the album The Wall and the Kansas song "Dust in the Wind" [2] from their Point of Know Return album are notable for using this form of guitar tuning. In "Hey You", David Gilmour replaced the low E string with a second high E (not a 12-string set, low E's octave string) such that it was two octaves up. The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" features both a 12-string guitar played by Keith Richards and a guitar with Nashville tuning played by Mick Taylor. Jumpin' Jack Flash features two acoustic guitars, one Nashville strung, overdriven through a cassette recorder.[3] James Williamson used Nashville tuning on "Gimme Danger"[4] on Raw Power by the Stooges. Elliott Smith used a variant of Nashville tuning with a twelve-string guitar on XO for the song "Tomorrow Tomorrow."[5] Pat Metheny is known for using Nashville tuning on several occasions, notably his song "Phase Dance" from his group's debut album.[6][7] Similarly, Andy Fairweather Low used a high-strung guitar on his 1975 UK hit single "Wide Eyed and Legless", taken from his La Booga Rooga album.[8][9]

Other songs featuring the tuning include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "High-strung/ Nashville tuning" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  2. ^ "Kansas' Kerry Livgren Shares The Story Behind "Dust In The Wind"". Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  3. ^ "Jumping Jack Flash". July 2, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-07-02.
  4. ^ "The Stooges' James Williamson - Guitar Moves - Episode 1". YouTube. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  5. ^ ""Heaven Adores You" Elliott Smith Documentary". Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  6. ^ "Pat Metheny: Question & Answer". Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  7. ^ a b "What is Nashville Tuning? - Strings Direct". Strings Direct -. March 14, 2019.
  8. ^ La Booga Rooga (record sleeve). UK: A&M Records. 1975.
  9. ^ William Ruhlmann. "La Booga Rooga - Andy Fairweather Low | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  10. ^ "The Smiths' 20 greatest guitar moments, ranked". August 17, 2021.
  11. ^ Songs That Saved Your Life - the Art of the Smiths 1982-87 (Revised ed.). Titan Books. February 2013. ISBN 9781781162590.

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