Open tunings are a type of guitar tuning that uses different intervals between the strings to create a unique sound. Forms of open tuning are often used in folk, blues, and jazz music, but they can also be used in other genres.
Types of Open Tunings
There are many different open tunings, but some of the most popular ones include:
Open D: This tuning is created by tuning the low E string down to a D. This gives the guitar a darker, more resonant sound.
Open G: This tuning is created by tuning the low E string down to a D and the high E string down to a G. This gives the guitar a brighter, more open sound.
Dropped D: This tuning is created by tuning the low E string down to a D. This gives the guitar a darker, more powerful sound.
CGCGCD: This tuning is created by tuning the low E string down to a C and the high E string down to a C. This gives the guitar a very dark, rich sound.
Benefits of Using Open Tuning
There are many benefits to using open tuning on the guitar. Here are a few:
It can create a unique sound. Open tunings can create a wide range of sounds, from dark and resonant to bright and open. This makes them a great choice for guitarists who are looking for a different sound.
It can make it easier to play certain chords and arpeggios. Open tunings can make it easier to play certain chords and arpeggios, such as minor chords and suspended chords. This is because the intervals between the strings are already in the correct position to play the chord.
It can help you to learn new scales and patterns. Open tunings can help you to learn new scales and patterns that you may not have been able to play before. This is because the intervals between the strings are different from standard tuning.
Tips for Playing in Open Tuning
Here are a few tips for playing in open tuning:
Use different voicings. A voicing is the arrangement of the notes of a chord. There are many different voicings for each chord, so experiment to find voicings that sound good in open tuning.
Use effects pedals. Effects pedals can be used to create a variety of different sounds, including a darker, more resonant sound or a brighter, more open sound. Experiment with different effects pedals to find ones that you like.
Listen to other guitarists who use open tuning. There are many great guitarists who use open tuning, such as Keith Richards, Ry Cooder, and Davey Graham. Listen to their music to get ideas on how to use open tuning in your own playing.
Open tuning is a great way to expand your guitar playing horizons. It can help you to create new sounds, learn new scales and patterns, and find new sources of inspiration. If you have never tried open tuning before, I encourage you to give it a try. You may be surprised at how much you enjoy it.
Try Expert, Personalized Guitar Lessons at Hodis Learning & Music
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.