Can You Re-Tune During A Song?

by Frederik Nielsen, Apr 27, 2019 . 2 min read

Can You Re-Tune During A Song?

I came across a video of English guitarist Jon Gomm tuning his guitar in the middle of a song. My band didn’t believe me when I told them about it, so I had to go home and dig up the video again. Legend has it that he once split his finger during a set, quickly super glued it together, and continued to play whilst waiting for it to dry. Hashtag dedication. Check out the video here:

Why even do such a crazy thing?

Now, I know that it’s a lot easier to just have a bunch of guitars with different tuning standing ready on the sidelines at a show. But putting one guitar down and picking up another just doesn’t have the same jaw-dropping factor as tuning mid-tune.

You could of course also just get a multi-neck guitar. But you’re not Steve Vai, and very few people can look credible with this guitar:

It’s more common than you’d think

After doing a bit more research on this guitar trick, I found out that Jon Gomm is not alone. Classical guitarist Christopher Parkening also re-tunes his low E down to C during the last verse of ‘Simple Gifts’.

Japanese classical guitarist Kazuhito Yamashita drops a string during his performance of ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, and American guitarist Roy Clark is known to use this technique as well.

Re-tune mid-tune with the Roadie 2

All this is very good if you’re a classically trained virtuoso guitarist with no social life apart from the 16 cats at home. But what about the rest of us mere mortals who just want to impress the audience every once in a while?

Well, my friend, there is the Roadie 2.

Not only will it save you endless hours of practice (which you can instead spend learning other guitar tricks), but you won’t have to replace any tuning pegs on your beloved instrument.

That’s all for now — I’m off to find out how many strings I can re-tune during a song.

One more thing, if you’re looking for a deeper dive into tuning, have a look at our new & improved Complete Guide to Guitar Tuning.

 



Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!
Submit

Check out some other similar articles

Take advantage of our biggest backer-exclusive discounts and get your hands on this next-generation automatic tuner. Back the Kickstarter campaign today and be the first to receive the Roadie 3.

These 5 popular alternate tunings for guitar can open a universe of possibilities. By using them, you are essentially changing the nature of the instrument but without having to buy a new guitar.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Aug 16, 2021 . 6 min read

To show our appreciation of your love and loyalty to our products, and to give a little something back to you, we created

Abir H. Farha
Jul 29, 2021 . 2 min read

Today we’re going to talk about 5 ways musicians get inspired. The term inspiration refers to being mentally stimulated to do something, especially in the creative realm.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 2, 2021 . 4 min read

We recently covered how different kinds of arthritis can affect your guitar playing. We also provided some tips on how to avoid it.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 21, 2021 . 3 min read

Johnny Cash, one of country music’s most influential singers sadly passed away in 2003; His words and music live on, continuing to have a profound effect on listeners.

Evan Ceretti
Jun 14, 2021 . 5 min read

Everyone loves a bit of bluegrass, and the wonderful sound of a mandolin that always comes with it.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 11, 2021 . 3 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!