Open Tuning Basics

Learn how to get to Drop D, Double Drop D, Open G, and Open D tunings, and get creative with your guitar!


View the full lesson at Open Tuning Basics | JustinGuitar

I’ve felt a bit clueless lately as to what to practice, so I checked out this lesson and ended up returning my Epiphone LP to open G and doing the Brown Sugar lesson. It’s indeed a lot of fun! :slight_smile:

But I was wondering if open minor tunings are a thing and if anyone uses them. What I had in mind was open E at first (E, G#, B, G#, B, E) but I’ve got a feeling that tuning down more than a tone makes the strings a bit wonky and more prone to detuning. So I thought that an open G# minor tuning (D#, G#, D#, G#, B, D#) would be easier on the strings.

What do you think? Is this something already done by someone?

I think D minor open tuning is a thing: DADFAD. I know the old bluesman Skip James was noted for using this tuning, but I’m not sure how common it is/was. Adrian Woodward did a lesson on a Skip James song and talks a little about the tuning: Devil Got My Woman by Skip James | Solo Acoustic Blues - YouTube

(Rewatching the beginning, he mentions Robert Johnson’s Hellhound on my Trail as being in the same tuning; a tab I found of that song specifies E minor tuning: EBEGBE).

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Thanks, I’ll check it out. With open tunings, I think it’s often a matter of slapping a capo on to raise the key.

I spent some time with open D as it just sounded great, but so far I found the use of open tunings a bit limited. I’ve had a hard time figuring out grips that were comfortable and useful (like minor chords or 7ths). I think I’ll stay with standard tuning for the time being and revisit open tunings when a song calls for them.

What a great lesson this one is. Super enjoyable.

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Ive played other peoples songs in alternate tunings before like Rolling Stones but as far as noodling around , nothing . My feeling at the time was I should try my best to to stick to one tuning (open E) and attempt to “master” that first . As I thought it would be less confusing . Slide guitar in G seems like it’s worth a go in the future

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