Cross Tuning

FiddleCross tuning is a different way of tuning the fiddle.  It gives you a break from the standard tuning GDAE.  There are many different cross tunings which include…
FCGD – Cajun tuning
GDGB – open G tuning
GDGD – saw mill tuning
GDAD – gee dad tuning
ADAE – high bass tuning
DDAD – dead man’s tuning
AEAC# – devil’s tuning
If you want to cross tune your fiddle I would suggest using a different fiddle from your regular fiddle, because if you tune your fiddle back and forth, you will have to change the strings a lot more and they will go out of tune a lot easier.  Cross tuning is a good way of getting a big sound out of your fiddle.  For example, when the strings are all tuned in a chord they will all drone together to make a big organ type sound.
There is a word you may or may not have heard and it is fiddlesticks.  Fiddlesticks is actually when someone is playing a cross tuning tune and another person uses thin drumsticks on the neck of the fiddle (on the strings) to make a cool bouncy sound.
After the fiddle was invented people would mess around with it and try new things.  They would tune it differently to play in new and intriguing ways.  The classical players settled on the standard tuning GDAE, so they could play in all keys.  Some people would tune their fiddle every time they wanted to play in a different key.  Sometimes banjos would cross tune to the same notes as the fiddle, because the banjo’s tuning wasn’t settled on at the time either.
Cross tuning is great for barn dances because of its great big sound.  When you’re up on stage the dancers are mostly relying on you, so you have to keep the beat going.
I cross tuned my fiddle because I thought it would give me a cooler sound and more options.  I really like to experiment with my music.  I choose the tuning AEAC# as there are lots of tunes to choose from in that tuning.  The first tune I learned was called Drunken Hiccups.  I am now trying to decide on a second tune so that I can experiment with fiddlesticks.

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