Chuck Morrisonis creating Guitars, lessons and arrangements for split-Dorian tuning
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Arrangements for Em13 guitars as they become available. The goal is at least one per month
A very limited tier that provides the patron with an Em13 acoustic 8 string guitar built by CF Morrison. This is the flex top, F hole steel string guitar as pictured with sitka spruce top and maple or Oregon myrtle back and sides, a hard shell case and domestic (US) shipping. Waiting time is expected to be about 3 to 6 months with a limit of 4 per year.
I've been playing guitar for over 50 years and building them for over 45. It continues to be a fascinating journey as I am now able to commit more time towards arranging and playing more challenging music.
Long ago I discovered the music of players like Johnny Smith, Joe Pass and Ted Greene. These and other great players approach the guitar much like a piano, mixing chords, melody and improvisation to create wonderful and inspiring music. But playing like that, given the way the guitar is tuned can be quite a challenge. Many of the chords are easy to play on piano but really difficult to play on guitar unless you have huge hands. Having normal sized hands, I've fought with these chords for a long time and they have kept me from being able to play some great arrangements. I expect many of you have run into the same thing.
Last year I tried a tuning that reduced this struggle dramatically for me. This tuning has lots of names, "thirds tuning" or "alternating thirds tuning" are a few. Because It uses all the notes of the E Dorian mode for the open strings, with odd notes (1,3,5,7) in the bass and even notes (2,4,6) in the treble, I call it the split-Dorian tuning. This arrangement of open strings exposes music theory on the guitar much like a piano, only better because it's a guitar and you don't have to learn different forms and patterns for every key.
Since the strings are tuned in thirds, the full range of the guitar is completed with 8 strings. That is a bit of a challenge for most of us, but I provide guitars, lessons and simple arrangements to help you make use of this great tuning. I refer to 8 string guitars I build for split-Dorian tuning "Em13" guitars, since all the strings played open are an E minor 13 chord. It isn't necessary to have an 8 string guitar to use this tuning, but it does help to utilize it's potential.
It is my hope that you will join me in a journey of discovery that promises to be musically rich and stimulating. I think we can all have a lot of fun with this and with the right people, luck and hard work, this could foster new musical styles. This can be a great new musical tool for any guitarist.