Best guitar alternate tuning to start with when playing one’s own music?



Asked by: Wayne Iseminger

For blues, open G, (D-G-D-G-B-D) will give you one very useful feel, and open E minor (E-B-E-G-B-E) will give you another. For folk music, you might want to consider D-A-D-G-A-D (Associated with a ‘Celtic’ feel, and allowing the movable fretted chord against open strings technique I mentioned).

Do you need to change tuning on guitar to play songs?





Since most composers stick to the standard formula for tuning, most songs written on or for guitar can be easily played using standard tuning. But if the composer is looking for something different, he/she may choose to use an alternate tuning to achieve whatever particular effect or musical nuance they envision.

Should beginners use alternate tunings?

Here’s the deal: Not all songs are written to be played in standard E-A-D-G-B-E tuning, so if you want to expand your range as a guitarist, you need to learn play some alternate guitar tunings. Alternate guitar tunings, or open tunings, allow you to play new songs and explore new music styles.

What is the best open tuning for guitar?

Different open tunings are prevalent in a wide variety of musical styles such as blues, rock, country and folk. The most commonly used open guitar tunings are open E, D, G and A.

How do I tune my guitar to alternate?

Tuning Tips

  1. Start by tuning your sixth string down to full tones to C.
  2. Then tune your fifth string down a tone to G. Check the tuning with the third (G) string.
  3. Next, tune your fourth string down a tone to C. Check the tuning with the sixth (C) string.
  4. Lastly, tune your second string UP a semitone to C.




Are alternate tunings bad for your guitar?

While alternate tunings can shorten the life of your guitar strings, changing tunings is unlikely to damage your guitar. Most alternate tunings are actually lower in overall tension than standard tuning, so there’s no real risk of applying more tension than the guitar can handle.

What is the point of alternate tuning?

Alternate tunings involve tuning your guitar in different ways than standard tuning, which can make it easier to play certain riffs or power chords in the open position or with just one finger on the fretboard. Alternate tunings can also change how chords sound, often making them sound fuller and more open.

What is the saddest guitar tuning?

Unofficially dubbed “the saddest tuning of all,” open D minor tuning is one of the easiest tunings to learn and also one of the most expressive. It allows you to play a D minor chord when you strum all six of your guitar strings in the open position.

What tunings did Nick Drake use?

E-A-D-G-B-E – Nick Drake uses the standard guitar tuning, E-A-D-G-B-E (from low to high), for: “Time Has Told Me”



What is Nashville tuning on a guitar?

Nashville or high-strung tuning refers to the practice of replacing the wound E, A, D and G strings on a six-string guitar with lighter gauge strings to allow tuning an octave higher than standard.

What is the easiest open tuning?

Open G tuning is easy — all you need to do is detune the sixth, fifth, and first strings by a whole step. This tuning is great for rhythm or slide guitar playing in major keys.

What is the most popular open tuning?

The most common open tunings for slide guitar playing are open E, D, G and A. Allman and Trucks, widely considered to be two of the greatest slide players ever, have mostly preferred to play slide in open E tuning, which is spelled, low to high, E B E G# B E.



How many alternate tunings are there for guitar?

The Alternate Tuning Guide is divided into four main sections, corresponding to the four main types of alternate tunings: open, instrumental, regular, and “special.” Explore these alternate musical universes with the Alternate Tuning Guides friendly chord and scale charts.

What guitar tuning does KoRn use?

They came factory tuned to KoRn signature tuning: A, D, G, C, F, A, D (low to high), and were retailed at USD 1,799. These guitars are characterized by the deep metallic sound, from the body being made of mahogany that is well suited for Korn’s musical style.

What tuning does Barry Gibb use?

Barry Gibb plays the guitar in open D tuning (D, A, D, F#, A, D) Playing in open D allows chords to be played with one or two strings. It is used predominantly by slide guitarists, but it is often used by conventional style guitarists.

Who invented drop-D tuning?

John Dowland was a Renaissance composer (1500-1600’s-ish) From my repertoire, those are the earliest compositions I know of that call for drop-D. (D-A-D-G-B-E) Mind you, he was also composing for lute, so the pieces were arranged later.



Is drop D tuning cheating?

It’s not cheating. It’s a different tuning that has different strengths and weaknesses.

Why do guitarists tune to E flat?

This is because there is more tension running through thicker strings. So you have to use more force to fret notes and to move the strings around. Tuning down to E flat reduces this tension. And this makes thicker gauge guitar strings easier to play, whilst allowing you to enjoy the benefits that they offer.