TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings – p8 – The Beautiful E Tuning

From the Beautiful E Sansula Music Book

Beautiful E Sansula Book

While the standard-tuned sansula is lovely, many of the things it plays sound similar.  The Beautiful E Tuning for the Sansula not only has a totally different palette of colors and emotions, it can also play a much wider swathe of music than the standard tuning can.

This tip shares the tablature and sound recording of one of the songs from the Beautiful E Sansula book to give you an idea of what the Beautiful E can do.

The tablature here is from page 32 of the Beautiful E Sansula Music Book.  While this book does have several songs that you will recognize, most of the music in this book was custom-made for this sansula tuning, and “Alternating Bass Line” is such a piece.

The alternating bass line is a techique used in country, folk, pop, and rock and roll – where the lowest note of a chord goes back and forth between the root note and the 5 note – or E and B in this song.  (You can see the note that each tine is tuned to at the bottom  of the tablature.)   And if you don’t know what I am talking about, click on the media player at the bottom of the text to hear it.

Look at measures 1-2, first at just the right side notes, and then at the left side notes.  Both right and left are doing very simple and repetitive patterns, and yet this interesting alternating bass line part magically emerges from the confluence of these two simple right and left thumb patterns.

In measures 3-4, the general shape of the right and left patterns remains the same, but some of the notes have changed.  So the second section of music has a similar quality to the first section, but the chords and the detailed melody in the second section will be different from that of the first.

Note that each two-measure section is bracketed with repeat signs, and in the recording each section is played twice.  This song has another page of tablature that is not shown here, but can be heard in the recording.  The music in this recording is generated by the KTabS program, which I used to write this music and the tablature.


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