Common Open Guitar Tunings You Should Know

When the guitar is re-tuned to play the chords in open strings, this is known as open guitar tuning. The most common ones are open G (also referred to as slack key), open D, open C, and open E.

One of the major advantages of these open tunings is that you can play the basic major guitar chords by simply barring all the strings using your index finger at any fret.

For example, to play an A major chord in open G tuning, simply barre all 6 strings on the 2nd fret. You can see all the example mentioned below.

Here are the most common open guitar tunings that you can experiment with.

Open Tuning NameTune to (6th to 1st)
Open AE-A-E-A-C#-E
Open BB-F#-B-F#-B-D#

Open CC-G-C-G -C-E

Open DD-A-D-F#-A-D
Open EE-B-E-G#-B-E
Open FF-A-C-F-C-F
Open GD-G-D-G-B-D

1. Open G Tuning โ€“ D-G-D-G-B-D

StringsTune to
Low E (6th string) D
A string (5th string)G
D string (4th string)D
G string (3rd string)G ( same )
B string (2nd string)B ( Same )
High E (1st string)D

This tuning is also referred to as the slack key or Spanish tuning and used mostly to play slide music. This tuning was used by popular bands like Led Zeppelin, Alter Bridge, Pink Floyd, and many more.

To tune your guitar from the standard tuning to open G major tuning you need to tune your low E string to D, A string to G, D string stays the same, G string stays the same, B string stays the same, and high E string to D.

Now, when you strum all the strings without holding any note on the fretboard you will get a open G major chord.

2. Open D Tuning โ€“ D-A-D-F#-A-D

Strings Tune to
Low E (6th string)D
A string (5th string)A
D string (4th string)
D (same)
G string (3rd string)F#
B string (2nd string)
A
Small E (1st string)
D

Open D tuning is also referred to as Vestapol Tuning. To shift from standard to open D tuning, put your low E string to D, A string will remain same, D string will remain same, G string to F#, B string to A, and high E string to D. Now when you open strum all the strings you will get a D chord.

Musicians like Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Richie Havens, Kevin Cronin and many more used this tuning.

3. Open C Tuning โ€“ C-G-C-G -C-E

StringsTune to
Low E (6th string)C
A string (5th string)G
D string (4th string)C
G string (3rd string)G (same)
B string (2nd string)C
Small E (1st string)E (same)

To shift from standard to open C tuning, tune your low E string to C, A string to G, D string to C, G string will remain the same, B string to C, and the high E string will remain the same.

4. Open E Tuning โ€“ E-B-E-G#-B-E

StringsTune to
Large E (6th string)
E
A string (5th string)
B
D string (4th string)
E
G string (3rd string)
G#
B string (2nd string)
B
Small E (1st string)
E

As you can see the open E guitar tuning looks like E-B-E-G#-B-E. Here the low E string will remain the same, A string will be tuned to B, D string to E, G string to G#, B and E string will remain the same.

5. Open A Tuning โ€“ E-A-E-A-C#-E

StringsTune to
Low E (6th string) E (same)
A string (5th string)A (same)
D string (4th string) E
G string (3rd string) A
B string (2nd string) C#
High E (1st string) E (same)

As you can see in open A tuning, the low E and A string will remain the same, D string will be tuned to E, G string will be tuned to A, B string will be tuned to C# and the high E string will remain the same.

6. Open B Tuning โ€“ B-F#-B-F#-B-D#

StringsTune to
Low E (6th string) B
A string (5th string) F#
D string (4th string) B
G string (3rd string) F#
B string (2nd string) B (same)
High E (1st string) D#

In open B tuning, you have to tune your low E string to B, A string to F#, D string to B, G string to F#, B string will remain the same and high E string to D#.

7. Open F Tuning โ€“ F-A-C-F-C-F

StringsTune to
Low E (6th string) F
A string (5th string) A
D string (4th string) C
G string (3rd string) F
B string (2nd string) C
High E (1st string) F

To tune to open F tuning, tune your low E string to F, A will remain the same, D string to C, G string to F, B string to C and high E string

Summing Up

I hope you liked this list of open guitar tunings. As I have mentioned above, the main advantage of these tunings is that you can play the 11 basic major chords using only your index finger. Start experimenting and most importantly have fun.