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Guitar Tuning Series: Minor Tuning

Guitar Tuning Series: Minor Tuning

Minor tuning is a guitar tuning that uses minor thirds between adjacent strings, rather than the standard major thirds. This creates a darker, more melancholic sound that is well-suited for playing minor chords and arpeggios. Minor tuning is also popular for playing blues and jazz music.


Types of Minor Tuning

There are many different types of minor tuning, but some of the most common include:

  • Open D minor: This tuning is created by tuning the low E string down to a D. This gives the guitar a darker sound and makes it easier to play minor chords.
  • Dropped D minor: This tuning is created by tuning the low E string down to a D and the high E string down to a D. This gives the guitar an even darker sound and makes it even easier to play minor chords.
  • Full minor tuning: This tuning is created by tuning all of the strings down by a minor third. This gives the guitar a very dark and melancholic sound.


Benefits of Minor Tuning

There are several benefits to using minor tuning:

  • It makes it easier to play minor chords and arpeggios. Because minor tuning uses minor thirds between adjacent strings, it is much easier to play minor chords and arpeggios. This is because the strings are already in the correct position to play the minor chord.
  • It creates a darker, more melancholic sound. Minor tuning gives the guitar a darker, more melancholic sound. This is because the minor thirds create a more dissonant sound than the major thirds of standard tuning. This sound is well-suited for playing minor chords and arpeggios.
  • It is popular for playing blues and jazz music. Minor tuning is popular for playing blues and jazz music because it creates a darker, more melancholic sound. This sound is well-suited for the bluesy and jazzy melodies that are often played in these genres.


How to Tune Your Guitar to Minor Tuning

To tune your guitar to minor tuning, you can use a tuner or tune by ear. If you are using a tuner, simply select the minor tuning that you want to use. If you are tuning by ear, you can use the following steps:

  1. Tune the low E string to a D.
  2. Tune the A string to a G.
  3. Tune the D string to a C.
  4. Tune the G string to an F.
  5. Tune the B string to an A.
  6. Tune the high E string to a D.


Tips for Playing in Minor Tuning

Here are a few tips for playing in minor tuning:

  • Use heavier strings. Because minor tuning uses lower tunings, it is important to use heavier strings to avoid the strings from buzzing.
  • Adjust your intonation. When you change tunings, you will need to adjust the intonation of your guitar. This will ensure that your guitar is playing in tune at all frets.
  • Use a capo. A capo can be used to raise the pitch of all of your strings by a certain number of steps. This can be useful for playing in different keys without having to change your tuning.
  • Experiment with different tunings. There are many different types of minor tuning, so experiment with different tunings to find one that you like.


Conclusion

Minor tuning is a great way to add a new dimension to your guitar playing. It can be used to create a darker, more melancholic sound that is well-suited for playing minor chords and arpeggios. Minor tuning is also popular for playing blues and jazz music. If you are looking for a new way to tune your guitar, be sure to try minor tuning.

Have fun and be creative!


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Guitar Tuning Series

Drop Tuning | Modal Tuning

author avatar
Drew M. Hodis
Drew is Hodis Learning & Music's Founder and President. He has been tutoring and teaching music for more than 10 years. Drew earned his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Southern California and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Adelphi University.