On 1/20/18, I recorded and released BONES, instrumental music for fretless 3 string guitar in 72et. What’s 72et? It stands for 72 equal temperament, meaning 72 notes to the octave, 6 notes to a half step. The 12 standard notes are still present. Why do this? Because it gives me the ability to tune my notes very closely with nature aka just intonation. I do this all the time when I play slide but since I’m playing a fretless on this recording, I can finger the adjusted notes as well.
Just because I’m using microtones, that doesn’t mean the music sounds like the greatest hits from some alien planet. Let me explain. Take the 12 notes and divide them into a 100c (cents) each. A just major third, one that sounds beautiful is 386c. An equal tempered third is 400c, 14c sharper than nature. This is usually the big problem on all guitars, the major 3rd is out of tune. The smallest interval in 72et is 16c. So, when I play a major 3rd with my slide, I flat it from ET by 16c as a guide and use my ear to tune it properly. So, most of the times, I’m probably 14c flat, but why be so specific? I just need a guide to get me there and 72et does the job.
A just minor third is 316c and an ET 3rd is 300c, 16c flat. This is why every blues guitarist bends that minor 3rd up. The so called sweet spot. Well, that sweet spot has a name, meaning a just minor 3rd, the right note. So, with my slide, I play 16c sharper than ET and I get the just minor 3rd. If you’re playing slide guitar, you can do this on a fretted guitar as well as a fretless.
So, as a guide this is how you can adjust your notes to sound sweeter. Minor 3,6 & 7 up 16c. Major 3,6 & 7 down 16c. Augmented 4 down 16c. Diminished 5 up 33c. Depending on the melody note or chord prior and following, minor 2 up 16c. Major 2 down 16c.
I do this to all scales, including the blues scale.
Here’s the link to the EP on bandcamp. Stream it with the app, or buy it for $3. That’s right a whopping $3 for 72 notes to the octave. Sounds like a deal to me.