Learn How To Tune The Guitar * Open Guitar Tunings
Drop D Guitar Tuning

Open Guitar Tunings Video Lesson

Alternative Guitar Tunings
Part 1 * Open Tunings
When the guitar is re-tuned so that you can play a chord on the open strings, this is known as an "open" tuning. Among the most common are open G (which is also referred to as "slack key") or "Spanish" or "Hawaiian", open D, open E and open C. These open tunings produce open-string chords of G major, D major, E major and C major. One major advantage of open tunings is that other chords may be played simply by using the first finger (index finger-frethand) to barre all 6 strings, at any fret. For example, when playing in an open G tuning, to play an A major chord, simply barre all 6 strings on the 2nd fret, as shown below. When using alternate tunings, it's best if you choose "lower-tunings" as often when tuning higher you can easily accidentially break your guitar strings.
Tuning Diagram For Open G Tuning
Large E (6th string)= D A string (5th string)=G D string (4th string)=D G string (3rd string)=G B string (2nd string)=B Small E (1st string)= d
Example 1 Example 2 Example 3 A major chord B major chord C major chord e :--2--------------|--4--------------|----5------------| B :--2--------------|--4--------------|----5------------| G :--2--------------|--4--------------|----5------------| D :--2--------------|--4--------------|----5------------| A :--2--------------|--4--------------|----5------------| E :--2--------------|--4--------------|----5------------|
Open Tunings * Part 2

The "open D tuning" is also among the most commonly used open guitar tunings.This tuning will also allow you to play major chords by barring the index finger across all 6 strings as shown tabluated below.
Tuning Diagram For Open D Tuning Large E (6th string)= D A string (5th string)=A D string (4th string)=D G string (3rd string)=F# B string (2nd string)=A Small E (1st string)= d
E major F major G major A major B major e :--2-------3------|---5--------7----|---9-------------| B :--2-------3------|---5--------7----|---9-------------| G :--2-------3------|---5--------7----|---9-------------| D :--2-------3------|---5--------7----|---9-------------| A :--2-------3------|---5--------7----|---9-------------| E :--2-------3------|---5--------7----|---9-------------|
Alternate open tunings would also include 1)Open E tuning and 2) Open C tuning.
Tuning Diagram For Open E Tuning Large E (6th string)= E A string (5th string)=B D string (4th string)=E G string (3rd string)=G# B string (2nd string)=B Small E (1st string)= e
Tuning Diagram For Open C Tuning Large E (6th string)= C A string (5th string)=G D string (4th string)=C G string (3rd string)=G B string (2nd string)=C Small E (1st string)= E
Dropped Tunings * Drop D Tuning
A "dropped tuning" is among the simplest as well as the most commonly used of alternate tunings. All strings are tuned normally to standard pitch, with the exception of the large E string, which is lowered in pitch by a whole step to the sound of D. A good method of tuning by ear, is to first play the open D string. Then play the open large E string, as you "lower" the large E string to match the sound of the open D string, one octave lower. This tuning became popular among blues players, and is now found common among alternative, heavy metal and country players as well. Shown below is how alternative players would adapt the drop D tuning to powerchords, for a heavy bottom end rhythm sound.
Tuning Diagram For Drop D Tuning Large E (6th string)= D A string (5th string)=A D string (4th string)=D G string (3rd string)=G B string (2nd string)=B Small E (1st string)= e
For example, as a normal D 5th chord, also reffered to as "D powerchord" would consist of the notes D and A, this may be adapted in a drop D tuning simply by playing the large E string (dropped to D) and the A string.
D powerchord Drop D powerchord D A D A e :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| B :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| G :-------------(7--|-----------------|-----------------| D :-7---------------|-----------------|-----------------| A :-5------(5-------|---0----------(0-|-----------------| E :-----------------|---0------(0-----|-----------------|
This makes it easy for beginning guitarist to play 5th chords (powerchords) by simply using the index finger to barre (push down) the largest 2 strings to play other powerchords as shown below. The standard powerchord is shown left, and the drop D version shown right.
E E F F G G e :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| B :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| G :-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| D :-9---------------|-10--------------|--12-------------| A :-7-------2-------|-8---------3-----|--10------5------| E :---------2-------|-----------3-----|----------5------|
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