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Open D Tuning

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First we'll get into the open D tuning. Even if you have a great chromatic tuner handy it's helpful to know how to get into the tuning using open strings and fretted notes for reference. Otherwise it's easy for both you and the tuner to get lost and confused. So let's start out with the analogue approach and then we'll fine tune it with our gadgets at the end.

The first step is to get into drop D. Hopefully you remember that we used the 12th fret harmonic of the low E-string and matched that to the open D-string.

Then the A- and the D-string stay the same, which is very convenient, but we'll come back to that in a little bit.

Now your G string has to go down by a half step, so we'll use the 4th fret of the D-string for reference. Get it as close as you can. I always tune down a little past the note and then back up to it.

Now our B-string has to go down by a whole step to A, so we'll use the 12th fret harmonic of the open A-string for reference.

Finally our high E-string has to go down by a whole step to D, so we'll use the 12th fret harmonic of the open D-string for reference.

Now you can use your chromatic tuner to fine-tune the open D-tuning. It's supposed to be D A D F# A D.

Now that we're in the open D-tuning, let's start out as always by looking at anything that remains unchanged, so anything we already know can translate into this new tuning without any extra work being involved.

The bottom 3 strings are the same as in drop D, so we can still use our one-finger power chords. As well as our low scale pattern, the major one and the bluesier one up a half step.

Lesson Info
Open D Tuning