We talk of Mixolydian, Aeolian, Dorian and Ionian scale, but music theory has its hold on us! When setting scale we are actually adjusting the note placements for a string drawn to a specific tension. The Greek scale system has to do with the seven notes and what the string is adjusted to makes no difference. What I’m saying is; we can play all the modes on one string! So long as the note placement is correct for the tension of the string it doesn’t matter what mode we play. When we add another string is when it starts to change as the additional string gives us a reference point.

When we play Diatonic, we can experience a multitude of possibilities in tunings. The same tune played in a reversed mode has a new dynamic to it. When we say a scale is Ionian, what we really mean is the string has been noted at or about an A 220 hertz and the Mixolydian at or about D 293.7 hertz. If we stray from the contemporary tunings and just let the strings ring, we can find additional sweet spots. By adjusting the tunings around what the melody string is noted for, we have all the possible scales at our fingertips. By raising the melody string by one note or lowering it by one note we can seriously change the dynamics of a tune. (For the better) Not being slave to the electronic tuner, but listening to the way the strings harmonize with one another is key. When experimenting with tunings, a string may actually be sharp or flat by the electronic tuner, but ring nicely by ear! Adjusting a string sharp or flat may work in one tune and not another, being slave to the tuner will exacerbate the effect where as listening to the way the strings are working together will minimize it. Changing the tunings of the strings will change the tension on the fret board ever so slightly and this in turn will change the tuning ever so slightly. Again we can find new sweet spots!



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