Meantone Blues

Put pure thirds in your chords!

This neck may look like something out of the Twilight Zone, but you don’t know how sweet - or how mean! - guitar chords can sound until you’ve heard this temperament.

For the truly adventurous guitarist in search of pure third intervals, we offer Meantone Blues, an adaptation for the guitar of the Meantone Intonation which was in general use from the 14th to the 17th centuries. (W.A. Mozart, for example, wrote his music in Extended Meantone Intonation.)

In Meantone the major thirds are Just, and the minor thirds are almost Just. A general rule is that the closer to Just you tune certain key signatures, the fewer the number of other playable keys which remain, if you stick to the standard 12 intervals in the octave.Due to the very close Just tuning of the thirds, it was necessary to add two extra frets to the Meantone Blues neck, to give for example Just F# major and G# major thirds .

The extreme appearance of the frets is a result of providing the maximum number of available intervals on the minimum number of frets. Some old church organs tuned in Meantone, with up to 15 intervals in the octave, have been preserved. The "black keys" are split into two in three places in the octave, to increase the number of playable key signatures. "Power chords" with Just thirds sound really heavy on these instruments, just like the Meantone Blues neck.

Try this through your Marshall on 11!
This temperament will change your definition of the term “Power Chord” forever - adding the pure third to the root and 5th adds real power to the sound! Open chords, barre chords, chords way up above the twelfth fret - it’s like a choir singing, or a big string section. Of course there is a hitch. The price you pay for all this beautiful harmony is having to get used to using those two extra frets.

Meantone Blues is not intended for use together with instruments in other temperaments.

How is this temperament tuned?

Patent Pending