Devin Townsend on Open C Tuning and EXL140s

youtube WXud1Ra-Yuw


Video Transcription

[Devin is playing electric guitar fast with open C tuning]

Devin Townsend: Well, everybody loved guitar. We were making whammy bars in metal shop and throwing stars, but everybody wanted to learn how to play eruption. That was kind of the trip. I heard the song Friends on Led Zeppelin three. I liked it seemed like metaphysical or connected to the balls as opposed to the brain. And that song Friends, there was something about... It was acoustic and it was whole tone, and there was this eerie quality to it that really resonated with me as a child.

And so I tried to learn it in standard and I was like, "Jimmy Page is a God." And then someone's like, "No, it's an open C." I'm like, "Wow. Kind of shitty actually." Not that he's shitty. Not that he's shitty. Who would say such a thing? It's that it was easier to play in open tuning. And perhaps that's why I've ended up being in open tuning, to have less to think about while I'm playing and to just riff out was, at least in the interim when I was younger, of utmost importance. And that open tuning thing allowed me to get those voicings. And it's open C, C, G, C, G, C, E. And if not, it's lower. B, F sharp, B, F sharp, B, D sharp.

These are the strings that I use. Then when I start doing more lanky stuff, I realized that the real 11-gauge across the board was too stiff on the top strings. Somewhere along the line, somebody suggested using these, which is essentially like a 10 on the thin strings, and then 11 on the thick strings. In open C tuning, the tension of it is actually really reasonable. So here's my technical explanation. These, open C, right [Devin holds up a pack of D'Addario XL Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings (EXL 140s)? Bam.



Devin Townsend

Canadian Singer, Songwriter, Musician and Record Producer