General Musical Tuning (GMT)

In General Musical Tuning (GMT) the guitar is tuned as follows:
  1. F4
  2. C4
  3. G3
  4. D3
  5. A2
  6. E2
It is the same as Standard Tuning except for the top two stings, which follow the same pattern as the rest of the guitar - and the rest of highly developed stringed insruments - tuned in a consistent interval.

In other words, GMT puts adjacent strings of the guitar in a consistent relationship of a Perfect Fourth. This is the way basses are tuned.

I don't remember where or when I first heard of the idea of tuning a regular, six-stringed, electric guitar in consistent intervals, but I have thought it would make more sense for single note improvisation for as long as I have been casually interested in Jazz (about 15 years). Here is the compromise in a nutshell:
  • GMT
    • Pro
      • Consistent fingerboard shapes
      • Far fewer shapes/fingerings (a small fraction)
      • Requires far less cognitive bandwidth while playing
      • Promotes much more direct relationship of ear to instrument
      • [Facilitates a fresh approach to the guitar]
    • Con
      • Nonstandard
      • Puts more tension on already overtaxed first string
      • harder to perform some common 4- to 6-note chords
      • [Lose much of your existing repertoire]
  • Standard Tuning
    • Pro
      • Standard
      • Good for solo music (classical, jazz chord melodies a la Joe Pass)
    • Con
      • Requires many many times more shapes per musical item
      • More thinking is required while playing
      • Clutters musician's mind with lots of para-musical memorization
      • Encourages position playing and other non-musical tendencies
      • Generally obscures the connection between a musician's ear and instrument
Here is a video in which I struggle to demonstrate/articulate this tradeoff.