Category: Open tunings


Essential 3-note maj, min, and sus4 open tunings: the classic open, slide, folk, & blues configurations [14 tunings]

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Open D (‘Vestapol’)

• D-A-D-F#-A-D •

An all-time great slide configuration, matching our familiar Emaj shape…


Open Dm (‘Bentonia’)

• D-A-D-F-A-D •

Haunting minor blues, named for Skip James’ Mississippi hometown…


Open Dsus (‘DADGAD’)

• D-A-D-G-A-D •

Davy Graham’s Arabic adventures spark an A-list altered tuning…


Open G (‘Taro Patch’)

• D-G-D-G-B-D •

Hyper-versatile global imaginings, mirroring a Standard-tuned Amaj shape…


Open Gm (‘Banjo Minor’)

• D-G-D-G-Bb-D•

Cross-note resonances, descended from a 5-string tradition…


Open Gsus (‘Sawmill’)

• D-G-D-G-C-D •

Martin Simpson’s modal geometries, drawn from old-time banjo…


Open C (‘Wide Major’)

• C-G-C-G-C-E •

Grow your guitar’s range with some uber-flexible drone-symmetry…


Open Cm (‘Wide Minor’)

• C-G-C-G-C-Eb

An expansive canvas for low-wound improv, used by few…


Open Csus (‘Wide Modal’)

• C-G-C-G-C-F •

A broad stack of 5ths and 4ths, suitable for many styles…


Open E (‘Vestapol’)

• E-B-E-G#-B-E •

Electric sliding horizons, nicknamed for an old Crimean folk song…


Open Em (‘Cross-note’)

• E-B-E-G-B-E •

Matching the contours of an Emin chord, making for Hellhoundish blues…


Open F (‘Low Taro’)

• C-F-C-F-A-C •

A super-slack transposition of Open G, put to use in Hawaii and beyond…


Open Fm (‘Low Banjo’)

• C-F-C-F-Ab-C •

A rare, deep-wavering minor species, ideal for haunting inversions…


Open A (‘Spanish’)

• E-A-E-A-C#-E •

The electric counterpart of Open G, used for countless axe classics…


George Howlett is a London-based musician, writer, and teacher (guitars, sitar, tabla, & santoor). Above all I seek to enthuse fellow sonic searchers, interconnecting fresh vibrations with the voices, cultures, and passions behind them. See Home & Writings, and hit me up for Online Lessons!

“An intrepid guitar researcher…”

(Guitar World interview)

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