Nic Jones


Outside of acoustic folk music circles Nic Jones is not exactly a household name. He was a British musician in the 1980s with a very unique style of singing and playing very traditional British folk material. Unfortunately in the 1980s  he was involved in a horrendous motor vehicle accident that ended his career. However his influence still lives on.

From my perspective I find the tuning he used very interesting. It is  Bb F Bb F Bb C (low to high). This is a very low tuning but it is not as strange as one would think. It is exactly one tone lower than the Csus 9 (or Cadd 9) that I use on my 12 string guitar. My tuning is C G C G C D so if I follow the tutorial I should be able to play a version of this song. The only difference would be is that I would end up in C. So playing this song is another project for the list. Shawn Robertson in Kimberley introduced me to the CGCGCD tuning and he claimed it is a tuning that Leo Kottke uses. I believe the logic of using that tuning on 12 string guitars was to lower the tension on the neck.

As pointed out in the tutorial the tuning has a banjo sound. Martin Simpson uses open C tunings and I believe he got them from playing banjo. There are a couple of other closely related open C tuning on my project list

  • C F C G C D
  • C G D G C D a variant of the Csus9 tuning