Tag Archives: Resources




West Africa Guitar Tunings
Names Nomenclature Tunings
Taara No. 1 C Maj 6th C / A / D / G / B / E
Sinquente Cix Open G Major D / G / D / G / B / D
F / A / D / G / B / E
Taara No. 2 F / A / D / G / C / E
Jarabi F / C / D / G / C / E
Wassalou / Songhai Raised A Major G / A / D / G / B / E
Djeli Madi Tounkara C / Bb / D / G / C / F
Djeli Madi Tounkara Rentrant C# C# / F# / B / E / G# / C#

Citations: Bibliography: Mande Music by Eric Charry pp. 288-290 Guitar Tuning ~ Traditional And Modern Music of the Maninka and Mandinka of Western Africa. The University of Chicago Press ISBN 0-226-101062-2 © 2000 ;

Guitar Tunings / Central & East Africa
Names Nomenclature Tunings
Standard E Min 11 E / A / D / G / B / E
E Min7+11 E / A / D / G / B / D
Mi Composé E / A / [d] / G / B / E
Jean Bosco Mwenda F / A / D / G / C / E
Botswana F / X / A / C / F / X
Daniel Kachamba Full C
Daniel Kachamba Half C
Daniel Kachamba LG
Daniel Kachamba KG High Six
Daniel Kachamba CG
Daniel Kachamba Spanish E / C# / A / E / A / E
Zambia D Maj 7 D / A / D / F# / A / C#
Hauyani G / E / C / G / E / C
Hauyani G / E / C / G / C / C

Note: The “X” denotes removed strings. Mi Composé tuning as used for Rumba and Soukous in Congo DRC, differs from the standard tuning. In which only the D string has been replaced with the bottom E string to raise the D to an entire octave.

The “Lazy D Tuning” E A D G B D as we know it in North America; is used in the genre of Maskandi music.

The tuning mentioned in the table under Botswana comes from a youtube channel Bokete7 featuring guitarists who perform a unique way in playing guitar example Ronnie performing Ba Koba Bana Where it is tuned to an open chord tuning although it not the same F X A C F X. The X denotes a missing string and the guitar is often flipped so the strings are facing from the bottom up like the Hawaiian slide guitar. Although played with strumming and picking. The amount of strings can vary from four stringed guitars, five stringed guitars to six stringed guitars.

Citations: Bibliography: Theory of African Music Volume II by Gerhard Kubik – Chapter IX Genealogy of a Malawian Musician Family pp. 247 ISBN-13: 978-0-226-45694-2 ISBN-10: 0-225-45694-3 ; Garland Encyclopedia Book Africa [book & audio cd] ; Africa & The Blues by Gerhard Kubik ; Some Characteristics Of The Blues Page 83 ; University Press of Mississippi ; ISBN 978-1-57807-146-4 ;


Please note: I am adding these links to as an educational resource further broaden the resources with in world music that are appropriate to my site. Requests to be added to my site will be declined. This is out of a caution to not appear to be promoting something unintentionally.

This site does utilise google books and google patents to provide additional sourcing for documenting the origins of some instruments such as a patent number in file, particularly those considered to be inventions.

~ Graeme, Gibson.

Arabic Musical Instruments @ maqamworld.com

Debashish Bhattacharya @ debashishbhattacharya.com

Duduk @ duduk.com

Excavated Shellac @ excavatedshellac.com

Gregg Miner @ minermuseum.com

Grove Music Online @ oxfordmusiconline.com

Henry De Bruin @ atlasofpluckedinstruments.com

John Pappas @ greekfolkmusicanddance.com

Jaron Lanier @ jaronlanier.com

MIM @ mim.org

MIMO @ international.com

Palmer Keen @ auralarchipelago.com

Randy Raine-Reusch @ asza.com

Ragabase @ swarganga.com

Samoa / Guitar Tunings

The alternate guitar tunings as represented on this page from the Samoan slack key tradition of Igi Le.

1.) Standard Tuning E / A / D / G / B / E called “Ki Sepaniolo” meaning “Spanish Tuning” or “Standard Tuning” and is mainly played in the key of C.

2.) Open G Major tuning D / G / D / G / B / D in Hawaiian slack key it is called the Tarro Patch tuning. In Samoa it is called “Ki Tu Fa” which probably means “Fourth Position Key”.

3.) A variation of the G Major Tuning G / F / D / G / B / D called “Sui Ki A Le Ki Tu Fa” meaning “Slack Key of the Open G” – and “sui” means “change” or “weaken”, which could also be taken to mean “slack”.

4.) D Wahine Tuning D / A / D / F# / A / C# sometimes called “Ki Salamo” and also “Repentance Tuning”.  This tuning was likely introduced originally from Hawaiian Slack Key.

5.) The Sui Ki Maualuga or High Slack Key tuning in Hawaiian Slack Key is C / G / C / G / A / E as used by Leonard Kwan. Also the Hawaiian Slack Key guitarist Sonny Chillingworth used a C Mauna Loa Tuning that he called the Samoan Mauna Loa Tuning F / G / C / G / C / E – on the Samoan song “Let Me Hear You Whisper” on his
recording Sonny Solo. Note the tunings are similar to one another.

6.) There is an undocumented tuning called “Ki Tu Lua” or the “Second Position Key”. It is speculated that this tuning could be the F Wahine tuning C / F / C / G / C / E  for reference the Hawaiian Slack Key guitarist Sonny Chillingworth occasionally played in a C major tuning that he called the “Samoan C major tuning F / G / C / G / C / E.

Tunings / Samoan Guitar
Names Key / Pitch Tunings
Ki Sepaniolo Standard E A D G B E
Ki Ta Lua C F C G C E
Sui Ki Maualuga High Slack Key C G C G A C
Sui Ki Maualuga High Slack Key C G C G A E
Ki Ta Lua Second Position Key C G C G C E
Ki Ta Lua Second Position Key F G C G C E
Sui Ki A Le Ki Tu Fa Slack Key Open G G F D G B D
Ki Salamo Repentance Tuning  D A D F# A C#
Ki Tu Fa Open G D G D G B D

Citations: Bibliography: Websites: georgewinston.com [Slack Key Guitar, Book 1 pdf file] ;