7 Open Guitar Tunings Every Guitarists Should Know

Without a doubt, the standard tuning (E-A-D-G-B-E) is the most used tuning among guitarists but do you know a small tweak in your guitar tuning can open a whole new world musical possibility? You heard it right!

If you are tired of playing the same things over and over again and tired of being in the rut then these 7 open tunings mentioned below will certainly transform your guitar to a new instrument and give your playing a new dimension.

What is an Open Tuning?

It is a type of alternate tuning in which strumming all the open ( unfingered ) strings produces a major or a minor chord. The most popular open tunings among guitarists are: Open A, Open D, Open E and Open G. These tunings are used in a wide variety of musical styles such as rock, folk, blues and country.

So, let’s take a in-depth look at each of these open tunings.

1. Open G Tuning – 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 is 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 an open G major chord.

2. Open D Tuning – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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.