In order from bottom up, I'm considering moving my A, B, G, and E strings to the left one string, while tuning the B up to C.

Then I discard the low E and replace the high e with another G string which I tune up to A.

This gives me ADGCEA tuning. Since I only play arpeggios and strums, the pitch order is largely inconsequential. However, I can now use regular fingerings in different keys, allowing me to never have to move the capo more than a few frets to match my voice.

I did this with a Uke, and it works great. Has anyone tried this with a guitar? Any comments?

  • Very interesting idea! Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 21:38

2 Answers 2


Another possible problem of shifting the strings is with intonation. If you have a compensated bridge, which has slightly different string lengths for the different strings, your intonation will suffer, because the compensation will be wrong.

  • 1
    Yes. Intonation on ukes is notoriously difficult. None of my guitars has a compensating bridge, but I do anticipate having to address both string gauge and bridge. I probably will not work with the nut. OBTW, a Spanish guitarist I met says that tuning a half step down, putting a capo in #1 position, then retuning with the capo on mitigates intonation problems in some guitars. That takes the nut out of the picture. Based on your comments, I'll get a spare G string and try it on one of my guitars. It may be a long time, but I'll respond when I've tried it.
    – Autodidact
    Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 23:05
  • I agree- the best thing to do is simply try it out. Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 20:41

I've never tried this with a guitar and I imagine that you would be able to get it to work. However, you may run into issues with the action (string height) if you're not careful, because by moving the strings down they will be sitting in larger pockets in the nut. You may also have some issues with intonation and that may need to be adjusted as well.

I think using a capo is going to be cheaper and easier to do than a guitar setup. I’m interested to see how your new setup works for you.

  • 2
    using a capo may affect the resonance the guitar would have compared to the longer string "open" tuning, so actually tuning the longer string scale to the notes you want could have a better sound than the shortened string sound that a capo gives. Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 3:59
  • 2
    Also, to quote the question: " However, I can now use regular fingerings in different keys, allowing me to never have to move the capo more than a few frets to match my voice." . I think the questioner already considered using a capo. Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 4:03
  • Alphonso- yep. About the slots in the nut: yes, this could be a problem. But depending on the profile of the slots, it might not be. It won't hurt to try and see. Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 10:18
  • Whoops! You right the OP did mention using a capo. I should have read the question more carefully.
    – drg
    Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 10:38

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