Open G tuning – open up a whole new world of possibilities for guitarists!
Slide guitar is tricky! If you want to be good at it, practice practice practice!!!
It can be used to create melodies that aren’t physically possible in standard tuning.
It can be used to create interesting chords that leave other guitarists confused about how to play them.
But, there is one thing in particular that open tunings are renowned for.
A student of mine was asking me about playing slide guitar earlier this week.
I have dabbled with it in the past but have never kept up with it enough to become competent at it.
I told him that if you want to be good at it you really need to knuckle down and practice it until you have completely mastered it.
I was being a little hypocritical I guess!
But there is so many technical aspects to playing slide and it needs to be committed to.
So we had a jam and he set about playing some slide in open tuning.
It then occurred to me that he didn’t know anything about open tunings.
I thought to myself “he is doing all the hard work trying to play slide in standard tuning.
He is going to love open tunings.
At the time I couldn’t remember exactly what the notes were for open G tuning.
I had a good idea of what the might be but decided it was best that I looked it up just to make sure I had it right.
So here is what notes you need for an open g tuning.
D G D G B D
Open Tunings are easy! Just stick to the chord tones
Not rocket science really.
To get any open tuning for any chord you need chord tones.
If we look at a G major triad;
G is the root note
B is the third
D is the fifth
As you can see the open G tuning is just made of chord tones.
It is easy with an electronic tuner. Just turn it on and tune your strings to the appropriate notes.
Manually isn’t to hard if you have a good ear.
We drop the top string down to D. Use the D string as a reference. When they sound the same they are in tune.
Drop the A string down to G. Use the G string as a reference.
The D, G and B string are fine as they are.
Now just change the high E string to a D. To do this put you finger on the 3rd fret of the B string and play both strings together. Loosen of the E string until it sounds exactly the same as the 3rd fret of the B string.
So there you have it.
Get playing some slide guitar and have fun.