Johnny Rzeznik and the Goo Goo Doll’s “Name” is an absolutely beautiful song to play on your guitar; the only problem is that the group uses a really funky tuning that is known to snap people’s guitar strings. In this article I’m going to give you two tips to learn how to tune your guitar for this song without breaking any of your guitar strings.
Tuning Method One
The first method is the original tuning of EAEAEE. In order to get this odd tuning you’re going to need a second High E string for your guitar. The second thing you will need is a fairly light and flexible gauge of strings. If the string gauge is too heavy the tension will be too much and the strings will most likely snap before you get them in tune. I used Martin’s M130 Silk and Steel Strings and I also used D’Addario EJ16 light phosphor bronze strings, most of the time they get this tuning without snapping.
Alright, now that you know what you need let’s get started.
Step One: Take your 2B string off of the guitar and replace it with a high 1E string and tune it up to its proper pitch. If you try to tune your B string all the way up to E it will probably snap on you so this is the best way to get the same double E droning sound.
Step Two: Tune your 3G string up to A by two semitones. If your string gauge is light enough the G string shouldn’t snap. I used Martin’s Silk and steel strings which were .011s.
Step Three: Tune your 4D string up to E by two semitones. Don’t worry your D string should be durable enough to withstand the tension.
Step Four: Your low 6E and 5A strings stay the same and don’t need any tuning adjustments.
If you use this method of tuning the song will sound more like the original, but it takes a long time getting the B string off and replacing it with a second high E string. If you need to play several songs you will more than likely need two guitars because changing strings takes too long. So I found a second method that requires you to tune down without the need to replace any strings.
Tuning Method Two
For the second method we will instead be tuning down to CGDGDD. I say tuning down, but some of the strings actually need to be adjusted and go higher a bit. With this method none of the strings need to be replaced. The song still sounds similar to the original version of Name, but you will notice the tone is a bit lower than the above Method of tuning.
Step One: Tune your 1E string down by two semitones to D.
Step Two: Tune your 2B string up by three semitones to D. This will give you that same droning sound from the original. My B string has never snapped from tuning up this high.
Step Three: Your 3G and 4D strings remain the same, but you will need to turn your 5A string down two semitones to G.
Step Four: And the last is to tune your 6E string down to C.
With this method of tuning you don’t need to worry about any of the strings breaking, and if you have an electronic tuner on hand you can get this tuning done fairly fast. If you use Method Two you can also try putting a capo on your guitar to raise the pitch of the strings so that it will sound a bit more like the original Name.