Kathy and I went to hear James Taylor this summer at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Great concert. And his guitars sound so good.
The next day or so I went to his website and watched his instructional videos. How to play his songs. And then…I found this instructional video by James Taylor on Sweetened Tunings or Tempered Tunings.
One video in particular James Taylor’s YouTube channel, he discusses tuning the guitar slightly flat to compensate for fretting notes and better runing across different keys. He has figured out a system of relative tuning, sweetened tuning or tempered tuning to make a guitar “sound” in tune. I am not usually happy with mu guitar sound by tuning my guitar with a digital tuner and end up messing with the B, E and e and then on and on it goes.
James Taylor has figured out how to tune each string slightly flat; each by a particular number of cents. For this to work for those of you playing at home, you’d need a tuner that displays cents. A cent is one one-hundredth of a half step. Each half step being divided into 100 equal parts.
Here is the formula from the video:
E A D G B e
-12 -10 -8 -4 -6 -3
Peterson Tuners have a sweetened tuning setting that compensates for you. Peterson tuners are top of the line. I used a Peterson Strobe tuner as a band director. Go to their website for more information http://www.petersontuners.com
Watch the James Taylor video!