Open G Tuning

open g guitar tuning

One of the coolest guitar tunings is the Open G Tuning. You've probably heard it in songs like Rolling Stones "Brown Sugar" as well as the Black Crowes material. The notes that comprise this tuning are D G D G B D, in that order. Once you've try Guitar Tuner Open G, you'll want to strum the strings to hear it's signature sound. Whether it's played on a six string guitar or electric, this tuning has a character like no other. As with any open tuning, it's important to learn some guitar chords first and get a feel for the overall placement. Since the strings have been changed from standard tuning, you'll notice that all those chords now sound totally different.

This is natural and opens the guitar up for more musical freedom. The Open G tuning allows for you to create your own chords and songs out of thin air. This is the outer limits of guitar playing and can be a great way to break out of ruts. When plaing standard tuning and learning all your favorite songs, it can help to shift the sound and spark some of your own songs. Try to play these chords, which will introduce the sound of this tuning. After you have learned them and can easily switch back and forth, try and add or remove strings to create your own sound. This tuning works well with blues music as well as rock.

C chord in Open G D chord in Open G D7 chord in Open G
G7 chord in Open G Gm chord in Open G F chord in Open G
E chord in Open G E7 chord in Open G Em chord in Open G

Notice the deeper tone of your guitar? Playing these chords in Open G Tuning can add some nice bass tone. It's important to note that Open G tuning is also referred to as "Spanish Tuning" and lends itself well to South American guitar styles. If you are using light or extra light gauge strings on acoustic guitar, then tuning down can introduce unwanted string buzz. If you experience this, it may be useful to switch to medium gauge strings for a more robust sound. Of course, every guitar is different, so results may vary from one to the next. Always go for a good balance between action (comfort) and a solid sound (minmal string buzz).

The best way to approach the Open G Tuning, is to have a second, dedicated guitar just for low tunings. It takes time for the guitar to settle into the string tension and sound of the tuning. As a quality guitar ages, it improves over time. Many great musicians are particularly fond of this tuning and used it to make some of the most memorable guitar riffs. Spend some quality time in this tuning and explore the entire fretboard. Chances are, you'll stumble across some amazing sounds of your own. Tuning in Open G is certainly one of the secrets of destroying guitar boredom. Try and keep your guitar in one tuning for a month before changing. It's the best way to stumble upon playing new music and sticking with playing the guitar. The possibilities are endless and this is what it takes to reach that next great musical idea.

by Ben Long

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