This is the article (more or less) as it first appeared in Experimental Musical Instruments, Vol. VI, No. 6, April 1991.
|There are two ways to acquire a 19 tone equal tempered (19-tet) guitar: refret your old strat, or mortgage your mother to buy a MIDI guitar controller and suitable sound module. In either case, it is an instrument for which no “how to” books are available. How to best tune the strings? How to play a major scale? How to play a minor seventh chord? Guitars tend to be chordal instruments. Yet a 19-tet beast is unhappy with standard chord fingerings and is soured by tried and true scale runs. This article reports some explorations with a 19-tet guitar and proposes three “alternate” tunings, along with scale and chord charts. Some general strategies emerge for finding useful tunings for the strings when confronted with a new temperment.|