Section IVa: Chart of Recorded Tunings

Section IVa: Chart of Recorded Tunings

50 of the 62 tunings listed here have been recorded on Hawaiian songs. The 12 tunings with two asterisks after them have not been recorded on any songs, but they are reputed to have been played by someone in Hawai'i, or are closely related to the one just above/before it on the chart, and they would be very feasible to play slack key in. For other possible slack key tunings, see the Section VI: Summary of Non-Recorded Tunings.

**Tuning has not been recorded.

KEY
MAJOR TUNING
(Tunings that are a Major chord or contain a Major chord on the top pitched strings)
WAHINE TUNING
(Tunings that are a Major 7th chord or contain the Major 7th note)
MAUNA LOA TUNING
(Tunings with the 2 top-pitched strings tuned a 5th interval apart)
NI'IHAU/OLD MAUNA LOA TUNING
(Tunings with 2 successive strings tuned a 4th interval apart, the lower pitch string being the 6th note of the scale and the higher pitch the 2nd note)
MISCELLANEOUS TUNINGS

G

1. D-G-D-G-B-D
Often called Taro Patch Tuning,Open G Tuning, Mokihana Tuning or Low Bass G Tuning. Sometimes called Spanish Tuning in Mainland America. Can also be played solo effectively in the keys of C and D.

2. D-G-C-G-B-D **

3. G-B-D-G-B-D
Called High Bass G Tuning. Used in the early days of the acoustic steel guitar, the early 1900s, and a common acoustic steel dobro tuning in Mainland America.
4. D-G-D-F#-B-D
Sometimes called Double Slack Tuning, G Slack Tuning, Auntie Alice Namakelua's G Tuning, Auntie Alice Namakelua's Tuning, Flatted G Tuning or F# Tuning.

5. D-G-D-F#-B-E **
Sometimes called Wai'anae Tuning.
6. D-G-D-D-G-D
Sometimes tuned up as high as the key of A (see #A6).

7. D-G-D-E-G-D
Called Maori Brown Eyes Tuning.

8. D-G-D-G-G-D **

9. C-G-D-G-G-D
Called Mahoe Tuning.

10. D-G-D-D-F#-C#
Called Alika's Mauna Loa Tuning.
11. D-G-D-E-A-D
Sometimes called Old Mauna Loa Tuning.

12. C-G-D-E-A-D
Sometimes called Ni'ihau Tuning.
13. D-G-D-G-B-E
Called G6th Tuning. Sometimes called Dropped G Tuning in Mainland America.

14. D-G-C-G-B-E
Called Kilauea Tuning. Can also be played solo effectively in the key of C.

15. D-G-D-E-B-D

MAJOR TUNING
WAHINE TUNING
MAUNA LOA TUNING
NI'IHAU/OLD MAUNA LOA TUNING
MISCELLANEOUS TUNINGS

C

1. C-G-E-G-C-E
Sometimes called Atta's C Tuning. Can also be played solo effectively in the keys of F and G.

2. G-C-E-G-C-E **
Similar to #C1, except the two lowest bass strings are tuned up and reversed in pitch. Often tuned down to the key of Bb (see #Bb2).

3. C-G-C-G-C-E
Called Mainland Open C Tuning, as well as Open C Tuning in Mainland America.

4. F-G-C-G-C-E
Called Samoan C Major Tuning. Can also be played solo effectively in the key of F.
5. C-G-D-G-B-D
Sometimes called Dropped C Tuning, Leonard's C Tuning, C Wahine Tuning or Taro Patch C Tuning.

6. G-C-D-G-B-D **
Similar to #C5, except the two lowest bass strings are tuned up and reversed in pitch.

7. C-G-D-G-B-E
Sometimes called Keola's C Tuning, as well as Dropped C Tuning in Mainland America. Can also be played solo effectively in the key of G.

8. G-C-D-G-B-E
Similar to #C7, except the two lowest bass strings are tuned up and reversed in pitch. Can also be played solo effectively in the key of G. Sometimes tuned down as low as the key of Bb (see #Bb8).

20. C-G-E-G-A-E
Sometimes called Gabby's C Tuning, as well as Ki Melia Tuning on the island of Ni'ihau.

21. G-C-E-G-A-E
Called B Flat Mauna Loa Tuning. Similar to #C20, except. the two lowest bass strings are tuned up and reversed in pitch. Sometimes tuned down as low as the key of Bb (see #Bb21).

22. C-G-C-G-A-E
Sometimes called Ni'ihau C Mauna Loa Tuning. Can also be played solo effectively in the key of G.

23. F-G-C-G-A-E
Called Samoan C Mauna Loa Tuning. Can also be played solo effectively in the key of F (see #F5).
24. C-G-D-G-A-D
Can also be played solo effectively in the key of G.

25. C-G-C-G-A-D
26. C-G-C-G-D-E
Called Ka Honu (Turtle) Tuning.

27. C-G-E-G-D-E **

28. G-C-E-G-D-E **
Similar to #C27, except the two lowest bass strings are tuned up and reversed in pitch. Can be tuned down to the key of Bb (see #Bb28).

29. C-G-D-F-B-E

30. E-A-D-G-B-E
Called Standard Tuning, Standard Spanish Tuning or, often, Double Bass Tuning. Can also be played in the keys of D,G, A, E and F.
9. C-F-D-G-B-E

10. F-C-D-G-B-E **
Similar to #C9, except the two lowest bass strings are tuned up and reversed in pitch. Sometimes tuned down as low as the key of Bb (see #Bb10).

11. C-G-E-G-B-E
Sometimes called Hi'ilawe Tuning, Gabby's Hi'ilawe C Tuning or Gabby's Hi'ilawe Tuning.

12. G-C-E-G-B-E
Similar to #C11, except the two lowest bass strings are tuned up and reversed in pitch. Sometimes tuned down as low as the key of Bb (see #Bb12).

13. C-G-E-G-B-D
Sometimes called Hanalei C Tuning.

14. G-C-E-G-B-D
Called Led's New C Wahine Tuning. Similar to #C13, except the two lowest bass strings are tuned up and reversed in pitch. Sometimes tuned down as low as the key of Bb (see #B14).

15. C-G-C-G-B-D
Called Ni'ihau C Wahine Tuning.

16. F-G-C-G-B-D **
Called Samoan C Wahine Tuning.

17. D-G-C-G-B-D **
Can also be played solo effectively in the key of G.

18. G-C-C-G-B-E
Called Wela Kahau Tuning.

19. C-G-C-G-B-E **

MAJOR TUNING
WAHINE TUNING
MAUNA LOA TUNING
NI'IHAU/OLD MAUNA LOA TUNING
MISCELLANEOUS TUNINGS

D

1. D-A-D-F#-A-D
Called Open D Tuning or Open E Tuning, as well as Vestapol Tuning in Mainland America.

2. C-A-D-F#-A-D
Could be called D7 Tuning.

3. D-A-E-F#-A-D
Called Anuenue Tuning. Has the 9th in it.
4. D-A-D-F#-A-C#
Called D Wahine Tuning.

5. D-A-C#-F#-A-C#
Called Ken Emerson's D Wahine Tuning.

6. D-A-D-F#-B-E
Called Cyril's D Tuning. A slight variation of Tuning #D7.
7. D-A-D-G-B-E
Sometimes called Dropped D Tuning in Mainland America. A slight variation of Standard Tuning.

8. D-A-D-F#-B-D
Called D6th Tuning.

9. D-A-D-G-B-D
Sometimes called Open D Tuning (even though it is not an open D Major chord), as well as Double Dropped D Tuning in Mainland America. Can also be played effectively in the key of G.

MAJOR TUNING
WAHINE TUNING
MAUNA LOA TUNING
NI'IHAU/OLD MAUNA LOA TUNING
MISCELLANEOUS TUNINGS

F

1. C-F-C-G-A-F 2. F-C-E-G-C-E
Sometimes called Gabby's F Wahine Tuning or Gabby's F Tuning.

3. C-F-C-G-C-E
Sometimes called Leonard's F Tuning or F Tuning.

4. C-F-C-A-C-E




5. F-Bb-C-F-A-E
This is both a Wahine and Moana Loa Tuning.

6. Bb-F-C-F-A-E **
This is both a Wahine and Moana Loa Tuning.

7. F-G-C-G-A-E
Called Samoan C Mauna Loa Tuning (see #C23). This is both a Wahine and Mauna Loa Tuning.


MAJOR TUNING
WAHINE TUNING
MAUNA LOA TUNING
NI'IHAU/OLD MAUNA LOA TUNING
MISCELLANEOUS TUNINGS

Bb

(Bb2) F-Bb-D-F-Bb-D **
Same tuning as #C2 with the whole guitar tuned down to the key of Bb.

(Bb8) F-Bb-C-F-A-D
Same as #C8 with the whole guitar tuned down to the key of Bb. Can also be played solo effectively in the key of F.

(Bb10) Eb-Bb-C-F-A-D **
Same as #C10 with the whole guitar tuned down to the key of Bb.

(Bb12) F-Bb-D-F-A-D
Same as #C12 with the whole guitar tuned down to the key of Bb.

(Bb14) F-Bb-D-F-A-C
Called Led's New C Wahine Tuning. Same as #C14 with the whole guitar tuned down to the key of Bb.
(Bb21) F-Bb-D-F-G-D
Same as #C21 with the whole guitar tuned down to the key of Bb.

(Bb28) F-Bb-D-F-C-D **
Same as #C-28 with the whole guitar tuned down to the key of Bb.

MAJOR TUNING
WAHINE TUNING
MAUNA LOA TUNING
NI'IHAU/OLD MAUNA LOA TUNING
MISCELLANEOUS TUNINGS

A



1. E-A-E-E-F#-C#

(A6) E-A-E-E-A-E
Same as #G6 with the whole guitar tuned up to the key of A.


'UKULELE

(most common tunings)

G-C-E-G
Taro Patch Tuning. Has the same relationship as the four top-pitched strings of the G Major "Taro Patch" Tuning on guitar (#G1, D-G-D-G-B-D), except it is generally pitched a fourth interval higher on the 'ukulele.
G-C-E-A
Standard 'Ukelele Tuning. Sometimes called "My Dog Has Fleas" Tuning. Has the same relationship as the four top-pitched strings of Standard Tuning on guitar (#C30, E-A-D-G-B-E), except it is generally pitched a fourth interval higher on the 'ukulele.

STEEL GUITAR

(The three most common electric steel guitar tunings are listed first.)

The Three Most Common Electric Steel Guitar Tunings:

1. C-E-G-A-C-E
Called A Minor 7th Tuning; a standard steel guitar tuning. Used prominently by the late Barney Isaacs. (Slightly similar to C Mauna Loa Tuning in that both have C6th chords, which have the same notes as an A minor 7th chord. It is doublful, however, that it came from the C Mauna Loa Tuning.) Sometimes the lowest pitched 6th string is tuned to Bb, yielding the tuning Bb-E-G-A-C-E.

2. B-D#-F#-A-C-E
Called B11th Tuning. Used prominently by the late Gabby Pahinui when he played steel guitar. Developed by Dick McIntyre in the 1930s.

3. B-D-E-G#-C#-E
Called E9th Tuning. May have evolved out of the great acoustic steel guitarist Sol Ho'opi`i's C# Minor Tuning (E-B-E-G#-C#-E), that he played and first recorded on the acoustic steel guitar in 1929. The Western Swing and country steel guitarists were subsequently influenced to play in Sol's C# Minor Tuning.

Some Other Steel Guitar Tunings:

4. D-G-E-G-B-D
Called G6th Tuning.

5. G-B-D-G-B-D
Called High Bass G Tuning. Possibly first recorded by Bennie Nawahi in 1929 and Jim Holstein (of Jim & Bob, the Geniel Hawaiians) in 1934, it became the most common acoustic steel dobro tuning in Mainland America. It evolved out of the G Major "Taro Patch" Tuning (#G1, D-G-D-G-B-D). Often tuned up two half steps up to the key of A.

6. E-B-E-G#-C#-E
Called C# Minor Tuning. Invented by the great acoustic steel guitarist Sol Ho'opi'i, who first recorded in it on the acoustic steel guitar in 1929. The Western Swing and country steel guitarists were subsequently influenced to play in Sol's C# Minor Tuning.

The Following Tunings Are Played by Slack Key Guitarists as well as by Steel Guitarists:

7. D-G-D-G-B-D
See #G1. The first tuning used on the acoustic steel guitar. Usually tuned up two half steps to the key of A. Can be played solo on steel guitar effectively in the keys of G, C, D and F.

8. D-G-D-F#-B-D
See #G4.

9. D-A-D-F#-A-D
See #D1. Used in Mainland America by Bluegrass Dobro players. Invented by the great acoustic steel guitarist Sol Ho'opi'i, he first played and recorded in this tuning on acoustic steel guitar in 1929. The Western Swing guitarists were then influenced to play in this tuning. It was developed from the G Major Taro Patch Tuning.

There are other steel guitar tunings occasionally used.


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