Tuning in 4ths (P4)

Special guest Ant Law takes us through how to get going if you Tune In 4ths!

View the full lesson at Tuning in 4ths (P4) | JustinGuitar

I’ve just started learning guitar, but have some music theory background. Wondering if it would make sense to start with P4 instead of std. tuning . I understand it would make things a bit harder initially , but maybe in the long run it could be easier and make more sense. Have any beginners started this way? ( btw, I’m retired, and not a beginner at life :wink:

Hi there,

Given that the course material (chord grips, scale patterns, etc) is in standard tuning, I think all-fourths tuning would be incompatible with that and would be quite cumbersome to “translate” between the two, especially for beginners with no musical background.

Also, when you listen to “real” guitar music, very little of it is in all-fourths tuning, so you would arrive at a different sound with it.

Thanks Jozef, I do have eclectic taste and probably P4 is in my future, but I appreciate hearing from you. Might as well not add to the difficulty right now :wink:

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You’re welcome. What I wanted to highlight is that the majority of written resources like Justin’s course or actual books on guitar playing are prepared with standard tuning in mind unless indicated otherwise, so you would have to do a lot of extra work to convert those to all-fourths tuning. It could be a good mental exercise down the line, but not right at the beginning.

To me, it would be like using the hexadecimal system for everyday purposes instead of the “standard” decimal one. It’s not impossible but can be quite fussy.

I agree with @Jozsef here.
P4 tuning is a place you might visit occasionally for the scenery or terrain or hiking challenge but its remoteness would make living there year-round just that bit too difficult.