At some point in time you will be wanting to explore the possibilities of Alternate Tunings.
This will open up a whole new frontier for you where the possibilities are are almost endless.
Some of the guitar players of yesteryear simply used Open Tunings to work around the Standard Tuning.
And just like then, todays guitarist still use these tunings in all styles of music. Lets see what you could be missing!
It is not my intention of teaching you how to use these tunings here only to show you some of the songs that incorporate those tunings. And to tell you what tuning their in so you can start to learn them accordingly.
As I’ve stated before I’m not a teacher and I wouldn’t want to teach you some bad habits that will be hard to break later on. But I’ll have some recommendations to help you with that.
First Lets Tune Up!
This post isn’t going to take long at all. So get you something to drink and a piece of paper to write on maybe unless you have a good memory. I’m going to give you some songs you might have heard before maybe then again maybe not. But either way most you’ll recognize from the start.
Okay for the reference point lets start with the Standard 440 Tuning of your guitar.
If your not sure what that is and how to do this, I suggest you get back to your teacher and ask.
In any case if your ear is not trained to hear these notes then your going to need an electronic tuner to tune them strings according to the description below.
- 1st string is the high E string, thats what you tune it to. Heres what it looks like for us: 1=E
- 2nd string up is the B string, thats what you tune it to. Heres what it looks like for us: 2=B
- 3rd string up is the G string, thats what you tune it to. Heres what it looks like for us: 3=G
- 4th string up is the D string, thats what you tune it to. Heres what it looks like for us: 4=D
- 5th string up is the A string, thats what you tune it to. Heres what it looks like for us: 5=A
- 6th string up is the Low E string, thats what you tune it to. Heres what it looks like for us: 6=E
Thats Standard Tuning
6=E, 5=A, 4=D, 3=G, 2=B, 1=E
Find Out What Tuning You Need
Before we get started just to let you know that you won’t be able to play the normal chord voicing you’ve been use to playing with most of these tunings.
With a little picking around and trial and error you’ll eventually pick the chords out.
Or you can ask a friend to help if they know how. Or still the best and fastest way is to ask your teacher to help you.
You can also find some added help with these tunings within the community at Acoustic Guitar.
Songs You Might Have Heard
Drop D Tuning
6= Lower one whole step to D, 5=A, 4=D, 3=G, 2=B, 1=E
- Dear Prudence – The Beatles
- Buddys Grove – Buddy Guy
- Loving Cup – The Rolling Stones
Related Tuning to Open D is: D-A-D-G-A-D
6= Lower whole step to D, 5=A, 4=D, 3=G, 2= Lower whole step to A, 1= Lower whole step to D
- Kashmir – Led Zeppelin
- She Moves Through The Fair – Davey Graham (who greatly influenced Jimmy Page)
Another Related Tuning to Open D is: Open E
6= E, 5=Raise one whole step to B, 4= Raise one whole step to E,
3= Raise 1/2 step to G sharp, 2=B, 1=E
- Little Martha – Allman Brothers
- Shattered – The Rolling Stones
Kashmir – Led Zeppelin
This is but a very small sample of some of these tunings that are used. And as you can hear they do add that certain texture to the over all sound of the music. Its always fun trying these different tunings. And if the song your working on calls for it, at least you’ll know a few of them.
There are many styles of music in which Songs With Alternate Tunings are written and performed. So to help speed up your learning curve its always best to Find a Renowned Teacher to Learn From.
Do you have a Favorite Tuning?
Leave me a comment and if you have a question put that in the comments
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