All current models of our Touchboard® line of Stick® fretboard tapping instruments are fully adjustable at the bridge and nut to accommodate any desired tuning, with the only limitation being the snapping point of the highest pitched string. The first group of links in the list of recommended runings includes the original 10-string Classic™ Stick tuning of five melody strings in descending 4ths and five bass strings in ascending 5ths, along with several other popular variations in the Stick family of melody 4ths/reversed bass 5ths tunings. Other options include 12 strings in mirrored 4ths, 8 strings in uniform 4ths, and modified guitar tunings as well.
Tunings are identified at the "octave position," marked by the inlay at fret #12.
The "X Fret"
Our 34"-scale and the newer 36" extended-scale instruments share the same pitch-to-inlay-marker relationships. Because of this, players can easily make transition between the two, and all of our instructional materials apply equally well to either scale length. They are identical, except that the extended scale has one extra low playable "X fret" where the nut would be on a 34"-scale instrument. This means that frets #1-24 have the same pitches on either scale length. We number the playable frets from X to 1 to 24 on the 36" scale, and from 1 to 24 on the 34" scale.
Our guitar-scale instruments are 5 frets shorter than our 36" scale models, with a scale length of 26 1/2" from bridge to nut, or 25" from the first tappable "X-fret" to the bridge (identical to guitar). Two high frets have been added for extra range (a total of 22 frets).
Why Bass 5ths?
In a conventional 4ths tuning, bass chords often sound muddy. The Stick's inverted 5ths bass allows the player to anchor chords with very low roots, spreading the rest of the voicing out over the 2 1/2 octave range accessible within one hand position. This tuning also lends itself to some creative and innovative bass lines, and is another of Emmett's innovations, carried over from his 9-string guitar, on which he made his first tapping discoveries.
The origin of Emmett's Classic tuning
You can read about the origin of the Classic tuning here: Origin of the 10-String Classic™ tuning.