Alternate tunings

Guides to alternate tunings. Drop tunings and open tunings plus an overview on the bottom of the page.

Drop tunings

guitar with drop D tuning

Drop D tuning

Learn chords to play in Drop D tuning on the guitar.

guitar with drop C tuningDrop C tuning

Learn chords to play in Drop C tuning on the guitar.

guitar with drop B tuningDrop B tuning

Learn chords to play in Drop B tuning on the guitar.

guitar with Double Drop D tuningDouble Drop D tuning

Learn chords to play in Double Drop D tuning on the guitar.

Did you know that there are capos the can simulate drop tunings by only affecting some of the strings. Check, for example, out NS Artist Drop Tune Capo by D'Addario (#CommissionsEarned).

Open tunings

guitar with open D tuningOpen D tuning

Learn chords to play in open D tuning on the guitar.

guitar with open E tuningOpen E tuning

Learn chords to play in open E tuning on the guitar.

guitar with open G tuningOpen G tuning

Learn chords to play in open G tuning on the guitar.

guitar with DADGAD tuningDADGAD tuning

Learn chords to play in the DADGAD tuning on the guitar.

guitar with EADGBD tuningEADGBD tuning

Learn chords to play in the EADGBD tuning on the guitar.

guitar with CGDGCD tuningCGDGCD tuning

Learn chords to play in the CGDGCD (a.k.a. Csus2) tuning on the guitar.

guitar with open C tuningOpen C tuning

Learn chords to play in open C tuning on the guitar.

guitar with open Dm tuningOpen Dm tuning

Learn chords to play in open D minor tuning on the guitar.

guitar with open Gm tuningOpen Gm tuning

Learn chords to play in open G minor tuning on the guitar.

guitar with open Cmaj7 tuningOpen Cmaj7 tuning

Learn chords to play in open Cmaj7 tuning on the guitar.


"Tuning to a chord" is the theme of open tunings. Concerning the "drop tunings", these are tunings in which one or more strings are tuned down one or more steps.

As a side note: in classical music, altered tunings are sometimes referred to as scordaturas.

Using a capo

By using a capo you can sometimes easily switch between open tunings. It can also be an advantage to use a capo in some cases and avoid the extra tension that is involved for some open tunings.

Open D tuning Capo 2 = Open E tuning
Open G tuning Capo 2 = Open A tuning
Open Dm tuning Capo 2 = Open Em tuning
Open Gm tuning Capo 2 = Open Am tuning

Notice that all open tunings aren't symmetrical. You can't for example capo your Open D tuned guitar on the fifth fret and get an Open g tuning.

Open A tuning

Less common is the Open A tuning, which you can play in by putting a capo on the second fret when your guitar is tuned to Open G. Otherwise, the tuning for Open A is this: EAEAC#E. It can also be an advantage to use a capo compared to tuning in this case since two of the strings will increase the tension, which can result in breakage of the strings.

List of alternate tunings

Major open tunings

Open C  C - G - C - G - C - E
Open D  D - A - D - F# - A - D
Open E  E - B - E - G# - B - E
Open F  F - A - C - F - C - F
Open G  D - G - D - G - B - D
Open A  E - A - E - A - C# - E
Open B  n/A

Minor open tunings

Open Cm C - G - C - G - C - Eb
Open Dm D - A - D - F - A - D
Open Em E - B - E - G - B - E
Open Fm n/a
Open Gm D - G - D - G - Bb - D
Open Am E - A - E - A - C - E
Open Bm n/a

Misc alternate tunings

"Robert Fripp" C - G - D - A - E - G
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