Robert Fripp Discusses New Standard Tuning

Since 1985, Robert Fripp has been one of the figureheads leading Guitar Circles (formerly Guitar Craft), a mysterious monastic-like gathering of guitarists who prescribe to a technique, style, and way of approaching the guitar that is wholly unique. If you ever attend a course, apparently you will walk out of there with a newfound sense of what “discipline” actually means for the physicality of your playing – in particular, in your picking technique.

The group has recorded under the appropriate James Bond-esque name League of Crafty Guitarists, and occasionally puts on some pretty whacked out performances, which from what I understand don’t look or sound that different from the Guitar Circles sessions themselves:

One of the hallmarks of Fripp’s playing, and thus of the Circles’ central philosophy, is tuning to something they call “New Standard Tuning,” an opening tuning that runs, low to high, C2 G2 D3 A3 E4 G4. Now, Fripp wasn’t using this tuning for a sizable chunk of King Crimson’s pre-1985 career, so adopting old songs to the new tuning presents something of a challenge.

Fripp discusses the technical changes, albeit briefly, in the below video. Check it out:

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Max is managing editor of Gear Gods.