If you want your guitar to sound like blues legend Skip James, you need to tune your guitar to E-minor. When your guitar is in E-minor tuning, it sounds out an E-minor chord without pressing down on any of the strings. You can tune your guitar to E-minor just like Skip James by making a couple adjustments to standard tuning.
Tune your guitar to standard E-A-D-G-B-E tuning from the thickest string to the thinnest string.
Tune the fifth string, the A string, to B. Play the A string and the fifth string, the B string, in quick succession. Turn the tuning peg on the A string until the note of the A string matches the note made by the B string. Your fifth string is now tuned to B.
Tune the third string, the D string, to E. Play the D string and the first string, the E string, in quick succession. Turn the tuning peg up on the D string until the note of the D string matches the note made by the E string. Your third string is now tuned to E and your guitar is in E-minor tuning.
Use a slide while playing to emphasize the blues style.
- Don't turn the tuning pegs too fast, because you don't want to risk breaking the strings.
James Gilmore has written professionally since 2005. Since then, he has written and proofread obituaries for "The Press & Sun-Bulletin" in Binghamton, N.Y., press releases for "Goals, Seminars and Consultants" and articles for Made Man and various other websites. He writes a good deal of music-related content and holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Ithaca College.