You may have never heard the name Ray Edenton, but you surely heard his rhythm guitar on the Everly Brothers songs “Bye Bye Love” and “Wake Up Little Suzie”. Top Nashville studio guitarist Ray Edenton recorded with Eddy Arnold, Johnny Cash, Little Jimmy Dickens, Pats Cline, Sammy Davis Jr., Elvis Presley, Neil Young, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Roger Miller, Charley Pride, Bob Wills and many more.
Last year I had the pleasure to hear Edenton talk about his career. He was interviewed at the “Country Music Hall Of Fame” in Nashville as part of the Nashville Cats series. This series honors country musicians who played a crucial role in the past. He told many interesting stories from his life as a top Nashville studio musician. What I found noteworthy – besides his incredible amount of work in the Nashville studios from 1953 until 1991 – was the “high third” and “high string” tunings that he often used. These tunings are simple but they sound very good, especially in combination with other guitars. Let’s have a look at these tunings.
“High third” tuning: only the third string (G) is tuned one octave higher. The other strings remain in standard tuning.
“High string” tuning: only the first and second strings (E and B) remain in standard tuning. Strings three to six (G, D, A, E) are tuned one octave higher.