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Lesson 61: Tuning Systems

Common Guitar Tunings

The most common tunings are, low - high:

  • standard tuning: E A D G B E
  • Eb tuning - standard tuning a half step down: Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb
  • Dropped D: D A D G B E
  • all fourths tuning: E A D G C F
  • major third tuning: E Ab C E Ab C
  • open tuning 1 - Open D: D A D F# A D
  • open tuning 2 - Dsus: D A D G A D
  • open tuning 3 - Open G: D G D G B D
  • open tuning 4 - Open C: C G C G C E
  • open tuning 5 - Zen Guitar Tuning: D A D A A D
  • other open tunings are Open E = Open D a whole step up and Open A = Open G a whole step up

Looking Into Different Tunings

Should you learn to use different tunings? Not necessarily, but you should at least be aware of these common different tunings. The tuning affects the sound of a guitarist in a big way. Many things are hard or even impossible to play if you use the wrong tuning.

Some examples of things that don't work very well are:

  • slide playing in standard tuning
  • playing scales in open tunings

2006 Tomas Karlsson. All rights reserved.