The Wonders Of Alternate Guitar Tunings

Sep 16


Nat Stringer

Nat Stringer

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Favourite Guitar Tunings And Their Application


One of the most exciting things you can do as an intermediate guitar player is try out a new tuning. Typically,The Wonders Of Alternate Guitar Tunings Articles a six-string guitar is tuned in EADGBE, which works fine. However, tuning your guitar to something else opens up a realm of chord voicings and playing styles previously unimaginable. The satisfaction of hearing an alternate tuning ring out is similar to learning how to tie a tie for the first time. 

For example, take Open C (Bon Iver - Skinny Love). Through this tuning, Bon Iver is able to play a chord structure while performing melodies over the top. This is due to the flexibility of the tuning. When strummed, it plays a beautiful, rich, open C, allowing guitarists to add embellishments as they see fit, without breaking their hand or stretching their fingers to unreasonable lengths. Be sure to check out Sally Saltman's wondrous cover of Hey Ma! by Bon Iver here. 

If you're into rock and metal, definitely try out Drop D Tuning. Drop D produces a deep, powerful sound that you can easily bar and turn into power chords of your choosing. Dear Prudence (The Beatles) and All Apologies (Nirvana) both quip this technique to great effect. Like the best covers of all time, an alternate tuning will present new ideas, bringing new elements to an existing chord structure and melody. 

The downside of alternate tunings? They take a while to tune perfectly, and you risk breaking a string in the process. You have to be slow and patient like you're waiting for The Sims 5 to get released. However, it's still very much worth exploring the new sounds of an alternate tuning, even though it's not what your guitar is typically used to resting on. At the very least, you'll sound fresher than a local Soundcloud to mp3 trap beat.

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