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Encyclopedia > Guitar tunings
Wikibooks Guitar has a page on the topic of
Tuning the Guitar

Guitar tunings are any of several techniques of pitch adjustment on the individual strings of a guitar in order to achieve a prescribed arrangement of notes from the open (unfretted) strings. Many such arrangements are used, of which the most popular are detailed below. Image File history File links Wikibooks-logo-en. ... Wikibooks logo Wikibooks, previously called Wikimedia Free Textbook Project and Wikimedia-Textbooks, is a wiki for the creation of books. ... Pitch is the perceived fundamental frequency of a sound. ... For other uses, see Guitar (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Standard tuning

Helmholtz notation
Note: This article uses Helmholtz pitch notation to define guitar tunings.
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As its name implies, standard tuning is by far the most popular tuning on a 6-string guitar. It comprises the following note arrangement. The naming of individual Cs using the Helmholtz system Helmholtz pitch notation is a musical system for naming notes of the Western chromatic scale. ... For other uses, see Guitar (disambiguation). ...

String Note Frequency
1 (Highest) e' 329.6 Hz
2 b 246.9 Hz
3 g 196.0 Hz
4 d 146.8 Hz
5 A 110.0 Hz
6 (Lowest) E 82.4 Hz

Notes: For other uses, see Frequency (disambiguation). ...

  • The guitar, as conventionally fretted, is an equal tempered instrument.
  • The guitar is a transposing instrument. Its pitches sound one octave lower than they are notated. The pitches referred to above are referenced standard pitch (a' = 440.0 Hz.).
  • Letter names in table reflect pitch in Helmholtz pitch notation.
  • In parts of Europe, including Germany, the B natural is instead spelled as the letter H: in German music notation, H is B (B natural) and B is B (B flat).

This pattern can also be denoted as E-A-d-g-b-e'. (See note for an explanation of the various symbols used in the above table and elsewhere in this article.) An equal temperament is a musical temperament — that is, a system of tuning intended to approximate some form of just intonation — in which an interval, usually the octave, is divided into a series of equal steps (equal frequency ratios). ... A transposing instrument is a musical instrument whose music is written at a pitch different from concert pitch. ... This article is about the SI unit of frequency. ... The naming of individual Cs using the Helmholtz system Helmholtz pitch notation is a musical system for naming notes of the Western chromatic scale. ...


Standard tuning has evolved to provide a good compromise between simple fingering for many chords and the ability to play common scales with minimal left hand movement. Fingering for an open-position C Major chord (with the 5th, a G note, in the bass) played on a six-string acoustic guitar. ... In music, a scale is a set of musical notes that provides material for part or all of a musical work. ...


The separation of the first (e') and second (b) string, as well as the separation between the third (g), fourth (d), fifth (A), and sixth (E) strings by a five-semitone interval (a perfect fourth) allows notes of the chromatic scale to be played with each of the four fingers of the left hand controlling one of the first four frets (index finger on fret 1, little finger on fret 4, etc.). It also yields a symmetry and intelligibility to fingering patterns. The perfect fourth or diatessaron, abbreviated P4, is one of two musical intervals that span four diatonic scale degrees; the other being the augmented fourth, which is one semitone larger. ... The chromatic scale is a scale with twelve pitches, each a semitone or half step apart. ... The neck of a guitar showing the first four frets. ...

Trent Wagler and Chris Howdyshell tune their guitars at the Our Community Place Lawn Jam on June 28, 2008 in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

The separation of the second (b), and third (g) string is by a four-semitone interval (a major third). Though this breaks the fingering pattern of the chromatic scale and thus the symmetry, it eases the playing of some often-used chords and scales, and it provides more diversity in fingering possibilities. A semitone (also known in the USA as a half step) is a musical interval. ... A major third is the larger of two commonly occuring musical intervals that span three diatonic scale degrees. ... Typical fingering for a second inversion C major chord on a guitar. ... In music, a scale is a set of musical notes that provides material for part or all of a musical work. ...


Tuning with a tuning fork and harmonics: Tune the A string to the fork. Then make a harmonic at the 7th fret producing a 329.6 Hz E. Tune the 1st string open to that, and then make a harmonic on the 5th fret of the 6th string, and tune the 6th string until the 5th fret's harmonic is also at 329.6 Hz E. Then on the 1st string play the 7th fret's harmonic and tune the b string so the 5th fret's harmonic matches the e string's 7th fret harmonic. Next play the 5th fret harmonic on the a string, and tune the d string so its 7th fret harmonic matches the 5th fret harmonic on the a string. Finally, play the 5th fret harmonic on the d string and match the g string's 7th fret harmonic to that.


The chromatic (equal tempered) musical scale and the natural musical scale have note pitches that are very similar. The natural musical scale uses natural harmonic pitches. For example, the A note has harmonics pitches for the D and E notes. The guitar fretboard can approximately accommodate to tuning to the chromatic or natural musical scale by adjusting the intonation by a little. Intonation is tuning of the fret notes to other fret notes so that most of the fretboard pitches are tuned to the pitches of the musical scale of a particular guitar string. Intonation tuning is done by adjusting the string lengths at the bridge. The open sting note of a particular string is kept constant so that when adjusting the string length, most of the fretboard pitches are closely matched to the pitches of the musical scale for this string.


Alternative tunings

Alternative tuning refers to any open string note arrangement other than that of standard tuning detailed above. Despite the usefulness and almost universal acceptance of standard tuning, many guitarists employ such alternative tuning arrangements in order to exploit the unique chord voicing and sonorities that result from them. Most alternative tunings necessarily change the chord shapes associated with standard tuning, which results in certain chords becoming much easier to play while others may become impossible to play. A scordatura (literally Italian for mistuning) is an alternate tuning used for the open strings of a string instrument. ...


As a standard set of guitar strings is designed to be tuned to the standard notes, alternative tunings may require not just a different tuning, but re-stringing of the guitar with strings better suited to the open string note. In turn, further adjustments to cope with the different tensions placed on the guitar may be required, and in extreme tunings, fitting different components to cope with the different gauges used.


Rock music tunings

Guitar tunings in rock music and metal are employed in order to make power chords easier to play and/or to make the sound "heavier". This article is about the genre. ... Heavy metal redirects here. ... In music, a power chord is an interval which serves the diatonic function of a major or minor chord. ...


Drop D tuning: D-A-d-g-b-e'

This tuning is not only used by metal and rock bands, but also folk musicians. It allows power chords (also known as bare fifth chords) to be played with a single finger on the lowest three strings. It is also used extensively in classical guitar music and transcriptions since it allows open strings to sound the tonic and dominant as part of the bassline in the keys of D and D minor. Some guitarists choose to use a capo on the second fret with this tuning so that they can retain the ease of playing power chords without the darker sound created by the D tuning. Dropped D tuning: DADGBe, also known as simply as Drop D, is a guitar tuning style in which the lowest (sixth) string is tuned down a whole tone (dropped) to D rather than E as in standard tuning (EADGBe). ... Folk song redirects here. ... In music, a power chord is a bare fifth usually played on electric guitar. ... Spanish guitar redirects here. ... The tonic is the first note of a musical scale, and in the tonal method of music composition it is extremely important. ... In music, the dominant is the fifth degree of the scale. ... In popular music a bassline, also bass line, is an instrumental part, or line, which is in the bass or lowest range and thus lower than the other parts and part of the rhythm section. ... For other uses, see Capo (disambiguation). ... In music, a power chord is an interval which serves the diatonic function of a major or minor chord. ...


Dropped C: C-G-c-f-a-d'

This tuning is the same as dropped D, but each string is lowered an additional whole step, or two semitones. Technically a "drop C" tuning would be C-A-d-g-b-e'. However, the tuning technically known as "Dropped D tuned down one whole step" is commonly referred to as "Dropped C" tuning, as very few people drop only the sixth string. This gives the guitar a very low and heavy sound, and usually requires extra-thick strings to maintain tension. This tuning is frequently used by hardcore bands as well to achieve a lower sound. Tuning a standard, non-baritone guitar any lower than this is difficult. Dropped C tuning: CGCFAD, also known as simply as drop C, is a guitar tuning style in which the lowest (sixth) string is tuned down two tone (dropped) to C rather than E as in standard tuning (EADGBE). ... Clifton Hyde with Mustapick Acoustic Baritone Guitar; Brooklyn, NY 2007 The baritone guitar is a variation on the standard guitar, with a longer scale length that allows it to be tuned to a lower range. ...


Dropped B: B-F-B-e-g-c'

This tuning is the same as dropped D and C, but lowered from dropped C an additional semitone, or half step. This tuning is very popular with alternative metal/post-grunge bands. It has also become popular with doom metal/post-metal bands[citation needed]. Heavier gauge strings are required for this tuning, which may also require widening the string grooves in the nut of the guitar as well as re-adjusting the tension in the neck. Dropped B is an alternate tuning for a guitar. ... Doom metal is a form of heavy metal music that emerged as a recognized sub-genre during the first half of the 1980s. ... Post-metal is a music genre, a mixture between the genres of post-rock and heavy metal, with roots in progressive rock and industrial music. ...


Dropped A: A-E-A-d-f-b or A1-A-d-g-b-e'

A very low drop tuning used in metal and death metal bands. As with the Dropped B tuning, heavy gauge strings are required, and even minor modifications to some guitars. The second version (A A D G B E) has been used by Thrice in songs such as "The Earth Will Shake" and "Firebreather", and bands like Neurosis, Giant Squid, & Nile as their main tuning[citation needed]. Drop A Tuning is an alternate tuning for an electric guitar. ... Neurosis is a highly influential experimental rock band, based out of Oakland, California. ... Giant Squid is a doom metal band from Sacramento, California, currently signed to The End Records. ... Nile is a brutal / technical death metal band from Greenville, South Carolina, USA assembled in 1993. ...


A Tuning: A1-D-G-c-e-a

A very low tuning also used in Death metal and mostly in Grindcore. Heavy gauge strings are required for this and modifiactions to the most guitars. The tuning is being used by some Grind bands like The Berzerker. In a new clip on Youtube from the recording of The Berzerker's newest album, the guitarist notes he uses this 3 bass strings gauges: 66-56-46, which are very thick strings and need modifications to the guitars. The heavy gauge strings are required for fast picking.


E tuning: E-A-d-g-b-e'

This tuning is achieved when all the strings are flattened by a half step. This can be combined with other tuning techniques such as dropped D tuning and makes no difference to fingering. Often the key will be considered by the players as if played in standard tuning. This tuning can be used for a number of reasons: to make larger strings bend more easily, to make the tone heavier, to better suit the vocalist's range, to play with saxophone family more easily, or to play in E pentatonic minor formed by the black keys of a keyboard. Eâ™­ Tuning is a kind of guitar tuning where all of the strings are lowered by a half-step. ...


Jimi Hendrix used the E flat tuning on the entirety of the album "Axis: Bold as Love"[citation needed]. Guns N' Roses favoured E flat tuning[citation needed] because it allowed Axl Rose's voice to be accentuated on the high notes. It is also used by Metallica to compliment James Hetfield's voice[citation needed] on the Load and Reload albums. Jimi Hendrix (November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American guitar virtuoso, singer and songwriter. ... Axis: Bold as Love is the second album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, released in 1967 (see 1967 in music). ... Guns N Roses is an American hard rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1985. ... Metallica is a Grammy Award-winning American heavy metal/thrash metal band formed in 1981[1] and has become one of the most commercially successful musical acts of recent decades. ...


D tuning D-G-c-f-a-d'

Also known as "One Step Lower" and "Whole Step Down", this tuning is basically E Standard with all six strings tuned one whole step down. Although mostly utilized in heavy metal, one sometimes find this tuning in Blues, where guitarists use it to accommodate string bending. D Tuning, also called One Step Lower or Whole Step Down, is an alternate tuning to a guitar. ... Blues music redirects here. ...


D tuning D-G-B-e-a-d'

Black Sabbath used this tuning on many of their earlier albums.[citation needed] For other uses, see Black Sabbath (disambiguation). ...


Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi used D♭ tuning, or 1 1/2 step down because of his accident in a factory when he lost 2 of his fingertips. Playing guitar with prosthetic fingers is hard with a standard tuned guitar, so Tony down tuned to D♭.[citation needed] Other users of this tuning include Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit and Pantera guitarst Dimebag Darrell, who used this tuning on The Great Southern Trendkill.[citation needed]. Frank Anthony Tony Iommi (born February 19, 1948, in Aston, Birmingham, England) is a guitarist best known for his tenure in the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. ... Wes Borland Wes Borland (born Wesley Louden Borland February 7, 1975 in Richmond, Virginia) is a musician, best known as the former guitarist in the band Limp Bizkit. ... Limp Bizkit is an American nu metal band from Jacksonville, Florida. ... For other uses, see Pantera (disambiguation). ... Dimebag redirects here. ... The Great Southern Trendkill is a groove metal album by Pantera. ...


C tuning: C-F-B-e-g-c'

C standard tunes the strings of the guitar to produce a low tone. This tuning is commonly used by metal and hard rock artists as it is two whole steps below standard tuning. This tuning can also be written as C-F-A♯-d♯-g-c'. It allows for a low, heavy sound, while still maintaining the intervals present in standard tuning. Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and Kyuss fame is known for using this tuning almost exclusively.[citation needed] Joshua Michael Homme (born May 17, 1973[1] in Joshua Tree, California) is an American Rock musician. ... This article is about the American rock band. ... This article is about the band. ...


B tuning:

Also known as "B Standard" or "Baritone" tuning, this tuning is a common tuning of seven-string guitars, which are tuned B,E,A,d,g,b,e' (however this is just an extended version of E standard tuning). On a six string guitar, the tuning is modified to B,E,A,d,f,b. B Tuning or B Standard Tuning is the standard tuning for a seven string guitar, where the strings are tuned B-E-A-D-G-B-E. B tuning can also be acheived on a six string guitar, when the strings are tuned B-E-A-D-F♯-B. This... Seven-string acoustic guitar as it is used in Brazilian choro music. ...


B tuning

Takes B Standard on either a six or seven string guitar down a semitone (or half step). For example, guitarists such as Trey Azagthoth of Morbid Angel fame has utilized this on seven string guitars.[citation needed] The tuning result is (from low to high) B, E, A, d, g, b, e. Morbid Angel is a Florida-based death metal band assembled in 1983. ...


However, on a six string guitar (from low to high) it would be B, E, A, d, f, b.


Classical guitar tunings

The classical guitar developed over a period of 500 years and a number of guitar tunings are commonly used this genre, some based upon historical practice. Unlike other musical styles, in which alternative tunings are used by artists largely as a matter of individual preference, in classical guitar styles, the decision to employ alternative tunings largely resides with composers or arrangers of musical transcriptions. Thus, classical guitarists performing known transcriptions are assumed to be using defined tunings. Spanish guitar redirects here. ...

  • Renaissance lute tuning: E-A-d-f-b-e'

This tuning may also be used with a capo at the third fret to match the common lute pitch: G-c-f-a-d'-g'. This tuning also matches standard vihuela tuning and is often employed in classical guitar transcriptions of music written for those instruments. A renaissance-era lute. ... For other uses, see Capo (disambiguation). ... Orpheus playing a vihuela. ...

  • "Pseudo Russian" or "g" tuning: D-G-d-g-b-e'

A versatile tuning examples of which can be heard in Choro de Saudade by Agustín Barrios and also in well known transcriptions of La Maja de Goya by Enrique Granados and Sevilla by Isaac Albéniz. Augstin Barrios Agustín Pío Barrios (also known as Agustín Barrios Mangoré) (born May 5, 1885 in San Juan Bautista de las Missiones, Paraguay; died August 7, 1944) was a Paraguayan guitarist and composer. ... Enrique Granados Enrique Costanzo Granados y Campiña (July 27, 1867 – March 24, 1916) was a Spanish pianist and composer of classical music; he is commonly considered to be a representative of musical Nationalism, and as such his music is in a uniquely Spanish style. ... Isaac Albéniz Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz (IPA: ) (May 29, 1860 – May 18, 1909) was a Spanish pianist and composer best known for his piano works based on Spanish folk music. ...


Open tunings

In guitar playing, an open tuning is one where the strings are tuned so that a chord is achieved without fretting, or pressing any of the strings. With such a tuning, other chords may be played by simply barring a fret or through the use of a slide. For other uses, see Guitar (disambiguation). ... Typical fingering for a second inversion C major chord on a guitar. ... Barre chords (sometimes shortened to Bar chords) are a type of guitar chord where one or more fingers are used to press down multiple strings across the guitar fingerboard (like a bar pressing down the strings). ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ...


Open tunings are common in blues music and some rock and folk music. They are particularly used in steel guitar and bottleneck guitar playing. The names of some tunings vary between genres, for example in Hawaiian Music, for slack-key guitar, an example would be the taro patch, or open G tuning, with strings low-high D-G-D-G-B-D. But in bluegrass music, open G can mean G B D G B D. Blues is a vocal and instrumental musical form which evolved from African American spirituals, shouts, work songs and chants and has its earliest stylistic roots in West Africa. ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... Folk song redirects here. ... A Dobro style resonator guitar Steel guitar, strictly speaking, refers to a method of playing using a metal slide (or steel) on a guitar played horizontally, with the strings uppermost. ... Bottleneck guitar is a variation or relation of slide guitar; instead of a cupping a metal slide in the fretting hand, the strings are fretted with a smooth, hard cylinder worn around a finger of the fretting hand, usually the fourth finger for a compromise between strength and freedom to... Hawaiian music refers to the musical style native to the Hawaiian Islands of the United States. ... Slack key guitar is a style of guitar fingerpicking that originated in Hawaii. ... Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music. ...


Notable players who have made extensive or exclusive use of open tunings include

Howard Duane Allman (November 20, 1946 – October 29, 1971) was an American lead guitarist and noted session musician. ... Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys Live DVD Daniel Q. Auerbach (b. ... For the calypso performer, see Blake Alphonso Higgs. ... Jonatha Brooke is an American folk-rock singer-songwriter. ... People named John Butler include: John Butler (pioneer) (1728-1796), a United States pioneer involved in the American Revolutionary War. ... Martin Carthy (born May 21, 1941) is an English folk singer and guitarist who has remained one of the most influential figures in British traditional music, inspiring later artists such as Bob Dylan and Richard Thompson since he emerged as a young musician in the early days of the folk... This article is about the blues musician. ... Ryland Ry Peter Cooder (born 15 March 1947, in Los Angeles, California) is an American guitarist, singer and composer, known for his slide guitar work, his interest in the American roots music and, more recently, for his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries. ... Ani DiFranco (IPA: ) (born Angela Maria Difranco on September 23, 1970) is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter. ... Nicholas Rodney Drake (June 19, 1948 – November 25, 1974) was an English singer-songwriter and musician best known for his acoustic, autumnal songs. ... Doyle Dykes is an American country acoustic guitarist. ... John Fahey (February 28, 1939 – February 22, 2001) was an American fingerstyle guitarist and composer who pioneered the steel-string guitar as a solo instrument. ... Lowell George (born April 13, 1945 in Hollywood, CA - June 29, 1979) was an American musician, singer and guitarist, with the rock group Little Feat and as a solo artist. ... Barry Alan Crompton Gibb CBE (born on 1 September 1946) is a singer, songwriter and producer. ... Richie Havens (born January 21, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York) is an African American folk singer and guitarist. ... Ted Hawkins (d. ... Michael Hedges 1953-1997 Michael Hedges (December 31, 1953 – December 2, 1997) was an American acoustic guitarist born in Enid, Oklahoma. ... Nehemiah Curtis Skip James (June 21, 1902 – October 3, 1969) was an American blues singer, guitarist, pianist and songwriter. ... John 5 (real name John Lowery, born July 31, 1971) is an ex-member of rock & roll bands Marilyn Manson, David Lee Roth Band and Two, and country music band K.D. Lang. ... Robert Johnson, born Robert Leroy Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938) is among the most famous of Delta blues musicians. ... Nic Jones (full name Nicholas Paul Jones) was born in 1947 in the English town of Orpington, Kent. ... Albert King (April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992) was an influential American blues guitarist and singer. ... Kaki King (born August 24, 1979 as Katherine Elizabeth King) is a American guitar player and singer-songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia. ... Leo Kottke (born on 11 September 1945 in Athens, Georgia, USA, North America) is an acoustic guitarist. ... Rock n roll Singer redirects here, for the AC/DC song see Rock n Roll Singer (song) Mark Kozelek (born January 24, 1967 in Massillon, Ohio) is an American singer/songwriter and frontman of Sun Kil Moon and Red House Painters. ... Johnny Marr (born John Martin Maher on 31 October 1963 in Ardwick, Manchester) is an English guitarist, keyboardist, harmonica player and singer. ... Joni Mitchell, CC (born Roberta Joan Anderson on November 7, 1943) is a Canadian musician, songwriter, and painter. ... Thurston Joseph Moore (born July 25, 1958 in Coral Gables, Florida) is an American musician best known as a singer, songwriter, guitarist and tallest member of the band Sonic Youth. ... Robert Lee McCollum (30 November 1909–5 November 1967) was an American bluesman who played and recorded under the names Robert Lee McCoy and Robert Nighthawk. ... For the Scottish football (soccer) player, see Jimmy Page (footballer). ... Rod Price (Born: 1947 in London, United Kingdom-March 22, 2005 in Wilton, New Hampshire, United States) was an English guitarist who played for Foghat. ... Bonnie Raitt, (born November 8, 1949) is an American Blues-R&B singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was born in Burbank, California, the daughter of Broadway musical star John Raitt. ... Lee Ranaldo at Ilosaarirock 2003 Lee Ranaldo (b. ... Keith Richards (born 18 December 1943) is an English guitarist, songwriter, singer, producer and founding member of The Rolling Stones. ... Rich Robinson (born May 24, 1969) is a musician and a founding member of the rock group The Black Crowes. ... Alexander Rosenbaum Alexander Rosenbaum (Александр Розенбаум) (September 15, 1951–) is a Russian-Jewish bard from Saint Petersburg. ... Don Ross (born Montreal November 19, 1960 of Scottish-Micmac parents) is a Canadian fingerstyle guitarist noted for the emotion and intensity of his playing. ... John Rzeznik (born John Joseph Theodore Rzeznik on December 5, 1965 in Buffalo, New York and also known as Johnny Rzeznik) is a songwriter and the vocalist/guitarist of rock band the Goo Goo Dolls. ... Kevin Shields (born Queens, New York City, USA on May 21, 1963) is a singer, guitarist, and producer who fronted the London-based band My Bloody Valentine in the late 1980s and early 1990s. ... Alan Sparhawk is the guitarist and vocalist for American band Low. ... Jimmie Spheeris (November 5, 1949 - July 4, 1984) was an American singer, songwriter and musician who released several albums in the 1970s. ... Biography Keith Strickland (born October 26, 1953) is the guitarist and one of the founding members of the new wave band The B-52s. ... Michael Mick Kevin Taylor (born 17 January 1948 in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire) is an English musician best known as a former guitarist for The Rolling Stones. ... Kim Thayil (born September 4, 1960 in Seattle, Washington) is best known as the guitarist for Seattle-based grunge band Soundgarden, which he founded with Chris Cornell and Hiro Yamamoto in 1984. ... Devin Garrett Townsend (born May 5, 1972 in Vancouver, Canada) is a Canadian musician currently residing in British Columbia. ... Mark Thomas Tremonti (born April 18, 1974) is a Grammy Award winning guitarist, lead guitarist for the American rock band Alter Bridge, and former lead guitarist for American rock band Creed. ... Derek Trucks (born June 8, 1979) is an American guitarist, bandleader (The Derek Trucks Band), and member of The Allman Brothers Band. ... For other persons named Joe Walsh, see Joe Walsh (disambiguation). ... Bukka White album cover Booker T. Washington Bukka White (November 12, 1906– February 26, 1977) was a delta blues guitarist and singer born near Houston, Mississippi. ... For other persons named Jack White, see Jack White (disambiguation). ... Singer Ricky Wilson wasa member of the rock band The B-52s. ... James J.Y. Young (born 14 November 1949, on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois) is a guitarist and member of the rock band, Styx. ...

Examples

Major tunings

Major open tunings (giving a major chord with the open strings) include: Generally speaking, a major chord is any chord which has a major third above its root, as opposed to a minor chord which has a minor third. ...

  • Open A: low-high; E-A-C-E-A-E
    • Alternatively: low-high; E-A-C-E-A-C
    • "Slide" Open A: low-high; E-A-E-A-C-E (note that this tuning is identical to Open G tuning but with every string raised one step or two frets)
  • Open C: low-high; C-G-C-G-C-E
  • Open D: low-high; D-A-D-F-A-D
    • Alternatively: low-high; D-A-D'-A'-D-D
  • Open Dm: low-high; D-A-D-F-A-D (Used on Opeth's [[Ghost Reveries]][citation needed])
  • Open E: low-high; E-B-E-G-B-E (use light gauge strings because three strings must be raised)
  • Open F: low-high; F-A-C-F-C-F (rare)
  • F-Sharp Tuning low-high; F-A-C-F-C-F(Used only by Curtis Mayfield)
  • Open G: low-high; D-G-D-G-B-D
    • dobro Open G: low-high; G-B-D-G-B-D (occasionally adopted for ordinary guitar, but requires lighter fifth and sixth strings.
    • Russian Open G: low-high; D-G-B-D-G-B-D (the standard tuning for the Russian seven string guitar).

For the technique, see Slide (guitar technique). ... Open C Tuning is an open tuning for guitar. ... Open D tuning is an open tuning for the acoustic or electric guitar. ... Opeth is a Swedish heavy metal band that formed in 1990 in Stockholm. ... Curtis Mayfield (June 3, 1942 – December 26, 1999) was an American soul, funk and R&B singer, songwriter and guitarist best known for his anthemic music with The Impressions and composing the soundtrack to the blaxploitation film Superfly. ... A modern Gibson Dobro Dobro is a trade name now owned by Gibson Guitar Corporation and used for a particular design of resonator guitar. ... The Russian guitar, a seven-string acoustic guitar tuned to the Open G tuning, arrived in the beginning of the 19th century in Russia, most probably as a development of the cittern, kobza and torban. ...

Open tunings versus altered tunings

Generally, Open Tunings refer to the changing of string pitches to reproduce common Major and Minor chords. One might consider broadening this definition to include more obscure or less used tonalities / chords such as the ones listed below. But these are in kind of a "middle ground" between standard Open Tunings and Altered Tunings. Altered tunings are tunings that don't really reflect any specific chord name. An example would be the tuning Jimmy Page uses on Led Zeppelin's Rain Song (D,G,C,G,C,D). Even though some tunings could be named by "theory" they might lack the gravity or musical cohesion to really represent that chord.


Crossnote tunings

The above open tunings all give a major chord with open strings. Since it is highly likely guitarists will need to play minor chords as well, open tunings must be adapted to allow this by lowering the pitch of one of the strings forming the open chord by half a step. To avoid the relatively cumbersome designation "open D minor", "open C minor", such tunings are sometimes called "crossnote tunings". The term also expresses the fact that, by fretting the lowered string at the first fret, it is possible to produce a major chord very easily. Generally speaking, a major chord is any chord which has a major third above its root, as opposed to a minor chord which has a minor third. ... Generally speaking, a minor chord is any chord which has a minor third above its root, as opposed to a major chord which has a major third. ...


Crossnote tunings include

  • Crossnote A: low-high; E-A-E-A-C-E
    • Alternative: E-A-C-E-A-E (rare)
  • Crossnote C: low-high; C-G-C-G-C-E
  • Crossnote D: low-high; D-A-D-F-A-D
  • Crossnote E: low-high; E-B-E-G-B-E
  • Crossnote F: low-high; F-A-C-F-C-F (extremely rare)
    • Alternative: low-high; F-C-F-A-C-F (used by Albert Collins; requires extremely light gauges
  • Crossnote G: low-high; D-G-D-G-Bb-D

Modal tunings

Sometimes a guitarist will want a tuning that will permit very easy chords but not be definitively minor or major. In this case, modal tunings can be used. They can be especially effective with droning open strings, and give "suspended" second or fourth chords:


Modal tunings include:

  • Asus2: low-high; E-A-B-E-A-E (very rare)
  • Asus4: low-high; E-A-D-E-A-E
  • C6: low-high; C-A-C-G-C-E (used in " Bron-Yr-Aur" and " Friends" by Led Zeppelin[citation needed])
  • Csus2: low-high; C-G-C-G-C-D (used in "The Rain Song" by Led Zeppelin)
  • Csus4: low-high; C-G-C-G-C-F
  • Dsus2: low-high; D-A-D-E-A-D
  • Dsus4: low-high; D-A-D-G-A-D (very popular in Celtic music and also used in "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin. Referred to as "Dad Gad")
  • Esus2: low-high; E-A-E-F-B-E
  • Esus4: low-high; E-A-E-A-B-E
  • G6: low-high; D-G-D-G-B-E (used by Billy Gibbons in "Tush")
  • Gsus2: low-high; D-G-D-G-A-D
  • Gsus4: low-high; D-G-D-G-C-D
  • E modal: low-high; E-B-E-E-B-E (used in Suite Judy Blue Eyes by CSN)[citation needed]
  • G modal: low-high; G-G-D-G-B-D (used in Daughter by Pearl Jam)[citation needed]

Bron-Yr-Aur is a two minute acoustic guitar instrumental song by English rock band Led Zeppelin. ... Friends is the second track from Led Zeppelin III, the third studio album of English rock band Led Zeppelin. ... For the bands 1969 eponymous debut album, see Led Zeppelin (album). ... The Rain Song is a song from English rock band Led Zeppelins fifth album Houses of the Holy, released in 1973. ... DADGAD, or D modal tuning gets its name from the tuning of the guitar strings. ... Celtic music is a term utilized by artists, record companies, music stores and music magazines to describe a broad grouping of musical genres that evolved out of the folk musical traditions of the Celtic peoples of Northern Europe. ... Kashmir is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin from their 1975 album Physical Graffiti. ... For the bands 1969 eponymous debut album, see Led Zeppelin (album). ...

"Extended chord" tunings

These tunings allow a guitarist to play an open seventh, ninth, eleventh or thirteenth chord. One or more of the strings is retuned to the appropriate note of the required scale. Such tunings may be either minor or major. In music, a scale is a set of musical notes that provides material for part or all of a musical work. ...


Examples are:

  • Open Dmaj7: low-high; D-A-D-F-A-C
  • Open Dmin7: low-high; D-A-D-F-A-C
  • Open Emin7: low-high; E-B-D-G-B-E (same as standard except raised 5th string which needs lighter gauge)
  • Open G6: low-high; D-G-D-G-B-E
  • Dobro open G6: low-high; G-B-D-G-B-E (two lowest strings tuned up and require lighter gauges)
  • Open Gmaj7: low-high;
    • D-G-D-G-B-F
    • D-G-D-F-B-D (both very rare presumably because of tritone between adjacent strings)
    • F-G-D-G-B-D
  • Open Gmaj7: low-high D-G-D-F-B-D (see slack key)
  • "Modal" G7: low-high; F-G-D-G-C-D
  • "Open G6min7": low-high; F-G-D-G-B-E
  • Open Cmin7: low-high; C-G-C-G-B-E
  • Open Cmaj7: low-high; C-G-C-G-B-E

Nearly infinite. For other uses, see Tritone (disambiguation). ... Slack-key guitar is a style of music originating in Hawaii using an acoustic guitar fingerpicking style. ...


These open tunings offer much room for experiment, but can only be used in a few keys.


Steel guitar

On table steel guitar and pedal steel guitar, the most common tunings are the extended-chord C6 tuning and E9 tuning, sometimes known as the Texas and Nashville tunings respectively. On a multiple-neck instrument, the near neck will normally be some form of C6, and the next closest neck E9. Excel XL-800D table steel guitar The table steel guitar is a type of electric steel guitar intermediate between the lap steel guitar and the pedal steel guitar. ... Pedal steel guitar with two 10-string necks The pedal steel guitar is a type of electric guitar that uses a metal slide to stop the strings, rather than fingers on strings as with a conventional guitar. ... C6 tuning is the most common tuning for electric steel guitar, both on single and multiple neck instruments. ... E9 tuning is a common tuning for steel guitar necks of more than six strings. ...


Noted country player Junior Brown plays his trademark Guit-Steel in a C13 tuning, which is a C6 Chord with an added 7th above the high A (the Guit-steel has eight strings instead of a pedal steel's 10) Junior Brown Junior Brown (born 1953) is an American country guitarist and singer from Kirksville, Indiana. ...


Necks with 12 or more strings can be used with universal tunings which combine the features of C6 and E9. On a 12 string pedal steel guitar, all 12 strings are tuned and played individually, not as 6 double courses as on the 12 string guitar. (Redirected from 12 string guitar) The twelve string guitar is an acoustic or electric guitar with twelve strings, which produces a richer, more ringing tone than a standard six string guitar. ...


On lap steel guitar there is often only one six-string neck. C6 tuning is popular for these instruments, as are open G, E6 and E7 tuning. Chandler electric lap steel guitar, a modern solid body with the classic Weissenborn profile. ... E9 tuning is a common tuning for steel guitar necks of more than six strings. ...


Miscellaneous tunings

All fourths: E-A-d-g-c'-f'

This tuning is like that of the lowest four strings in standard tuning. It removes from standard tuning the irregularity of the interval of a third between the second and third strings. With regular tunings like this, chords can simply be moved down or across the fretboard, dramatically reducing the number of different finger positions that need to be memorized. The disadvantage is that not all major and minor chords can be played with all six strings at once. All fourths is an alternate tuning for a guitar. ...


Keven Chambers' Custom Open E: E-B-e-F-b-e

Used by Guitarist Keven Chambers this is just an alternate version of the Open E Major tuning using an F on the third string instead of a G#.


All fifths: C-G-d-a-e'-b'

This is a tuning in intervals of fifths like that of a mandolin or a violin. Has a remarkably wide range, though it is difficult to achieve (the high b" makes the first string very taut such that it will break easily), and may not play well on an acoustic guitar (the low C is too low to resonate properly in a standard guitar's body). Luthier Todd Keehn claims to have been the first guitarist to adopt an all-fifths tuning, his being arranged G-D-a-e-b'-f', and he has made an all fifths tuned guitar. The guitar is able to intonate in this radical tuning by slanting all the frets and the nut, and allowing each string its own bridge; and thus its own scale length. The idea of an all fifths tuning for guitar, while perhaps intellectually satisfying, denies the physics of guitar strings. ... This article is about the musical instrument. ... For the Anne Rice novel, see Violin (novel). ... An engravers impression of Antonio Stradivari examining an instrument. ...


D modal tuning: D-A-d-g-a-d' and D-A-d-a-d'-d'

Popularised by Davey Graham, who had been inspired by Arabic oud tuning while living in Morocco. D modal tuning D-A-d-g-a-d' is now encountered in Celtic music and contemporary music. DADGAD, or D modal tuning gets its name from the tuning of the guitar strings. ... David Michael Gordon Graham, known as Davey Graham (originally Davy Graham), b. ... Front and rear views of an oud. ... Celtic music is a term utilized by artists, record companies, music stores and music magazines to describe a broad grouping of musical genres that evolved out of the folk musical traditions of the Celtic peoples of Northern Europe. ...


Another similar modal tuning is D-A-d-a-d'-d' from low to high respectively. Used by guitarist Stephen Roy, it makes chords simpler to play. Having a "dropped D" effect in the bottom bass strings makes one finger chords easier. The top two treble strings can be slightly out of tune from each other, creating a chorus double guitar kind of effect.


Hardcore tuning: C-G-c-f-a-b

- A rather uncommon tuning, "hardcore" tuning is used by bands of hardcore, grindcore, and even some metalcore. It much resembles dropped C tuning, except for the high strings, which, depending on what is most useful for the guitarist, are tuned one semitone (a minor second) apart. This allows the guitarist to easily create the very harsh dissonance of the minor second. Hardcore tuning is an alternate tuning for an electric guitar. ...


Robert Fripp's "New Standard Tuning": C-G-d-a-e'-g'

This is a tuning devised by Robert Fripp of King Crimson, used by most Guitar Craft students around the world. The tuning is similar to all fifths except the first string is dropped from b' to g'. Some guitarists maintain that the term 'New Standard Tuning' is a misnomer and consider it to be a source of controversy, but the name appears to have stuck due the absence of viable alternative designations. Time will tell whether the tuning is in fact accepted outside of GC as a viable all-purpose tuning. Robert Fripp (born 16 May 1946 in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England) is a guitarist, record producer and a composer, perhaps best known for being the guitarist for, and only constant member of, the progressive rock band King Crimson. ... The New Standard Tuning (or NST) is a special type of guitar tuning, introduced by Robert Fripp of King Crimson. ... Robert Fripp (born 16 May 1946 in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England) is a guitarist, record producer and a composer, perhaps best known for being the guitarist for, and only constant member of, the progressive rock band King Crimson. ... This article is about the musical group. ... Guitar Craft (GC) is a series of guitar and personal development classes, founded and often presented by Robert Fripp, who is best known for his work with King Crimson. ...


Billy Corgan's "Mayonaise" tuning: E, A, A, G, B, D

Corgan utilizes this unique tuning on Mayonaise. The A is raised by a half step, while the D is lowered by 2 whole steps. This allows for Corgan to play the chord formations with all strings being played. William Patrick Corgan, Jr. ... Mayonaise (not to be misspelled Mayonnaise) is a song by The Smashing Pumpkins, first officially released on the 1993 breakthrough album Siamese Dream. ...


John Rzeznik's "Iris" tuning: B-D-d-d-d'-d'

John Rzeznik of the rock band Goo Goo Dolls uses this tuning on the studio recorded version of his song Iris, an international hit featured on the soundtrack of City Of Angels. It creates a very shimmer-like ringing sound similar to a twelve string guitar. To tune to this tuning on a standard six string guitar the low E string is lowered to a B; the A string is lowered to a D, the D string is left the same, the G string is lowered to a D, the B string is raised to a D, and the high E string is lowered to a D. On some guitars this may require obtaining a thicker low E string than is usual to obtain a full sound when tuned down to B, and avoid the string slapping the fret board. John Rzeznik (born John Joseph Theodore Rzeznik on December 5, 1965 in Buffalo, New York and also known as Johnny Rzeznik) is a songwriter and the vocalist/guitarist of rock band the Goo Goo Dolls. ... Iris is an epic song by American alternative rock band the Goo Goo Dolls. ... John Rzeznik (born John Joseph Theodore Rzeznik on December 5, 1965 in Buffalo, New York and also known as Johnny Rzeznik) is a songwriter and the vocalist/guitarist of rock band the Goo Goo Dolls. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Iris is an epic song by American alternative rock band the Goo Goo Dolls. ... Subscript text This article is about the 1998 film. ...


John Rzeznik uses a different tuning for an acoustic version of "Iris", tuned at D-A-d-g-b'-d'. This allows the above song to be played solo with an acoustic guitar and to retain a fuller sound than is achievable with the B-D-d-d-d-d tuning. Yet this tuning also retains a slight ringing sound due to three strings being tuned to D, the piece being in the key of D major.


John Rzeznik's song "Black Balloon" is tuned at D-A-D-A-D-D. The song can also be played as D-A-D-D-D-D, although it won't sound the same.


Jars of Clay's tuning: E-A-B-e-b-e'

Jars of Clay uses this unique tuning, especially on their older material, especially found on their self-titled album. Noted songs are "Worlds Apart," "Flood," "Love Song for a Savior," and "He." The tuning gives a shimmery 12-string sound, while limiting chords to mainly suspended type chords. To achieve this tuning, one should tune the D and G strings down until they are an octave below the B and E strings in standard tuning. Jars of Clay is a rock band from Franklin, Tennessee. ... Jars of Clay is a rock band from Franklin, Tennessee. ...


Complete range of string pitch combinations

Each of the six strings can be alternately tuned as low as a whole step lower and as much as a whole step higher without stressing the neck or the strings. With five possible tunings for each string (+2, +1, 0, -1, and -2), there are as many as 15,625 possible tunings for a six-string guitar.


A standard guitar sounds one octave below pitch as written in standard notation. That is, the first string in standard tuning plays the E note that is a major third above middle C, and is written on the staff as a major tenth above middle C. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


There are also tenor guitars, baritone guitars tuned BEADF♯B (or ADGCEA, GDGCDG, GDGCEA, GCGCEG, etc.) a fourth lower than a standard (prime) guitar, treble guitars tuned a fourth higher than a prime guitar and contrabass guitars, which are tuned one octave lower than prime guitars. Seven-string guitars have an extra low string which is a B in standard tuning. The tenor guitar is a slightly smaller, four-string version of the steel-string acoustic guitar or electric guitar. ... Clifton Hyde with Mustapick Acoustic Baritone Guitar; Brooklyn, NY 2007 The baritone guitar is a variation on the standard guitar, with a longer scale length that allows it to be tuned to a lower range. ... A contrabass guitar is a low-register six-string instrument in the guitar family, tuned B-E-A-D-G-C (B=B0 - the lowest B on the piano), usually with a solid wooden body. ...


To compensate for string stretching when played, intonation or string length tuning can be done by tuning the seventh fret notes to the seventh fret harmonic pitches for each string. The seventh fret harmonics pitch should match the fundamental frequency of the open string notes. The first string (thinnest E string) could approximately have its twelfth fret note also tuned by adjusting string length to the corresponding 12th fret harmonic tone pitch.


See also

A bass guitar Bass guitar tuning refers to the pitch adjustments carried out on the individual strings of a bass guitar in order to achieve a prescribed arrangement of notes from the open (unfretted) strings. ... A scordatura (literally Italian for mistuning) is an alternate tuning used for the open strings of a string instrument. ... This is a list of tunings for stringed musical instruments . ...

External links

  • WA’s Encyclopedia of Alternate Guitar Tunings -- Comprehensive, categorized by key, illustrated with pictures and stories about players who use the tunings.
  • Drop D Tuning - How to use drop D tuning, with examples
  • Guitar Tuning - How To Tune A Guitar: Reference Pitch Player
  • Guitar Tuning
  • Visual Guitar Tuning Diagram
  • Tips to keep Guitar in Tune
  • Simple Guitar Tuning
  • Guitar Intonation Tuning Method
Wikibooks Guitar has a page on the topic of Tuning the Guitar Guitar tuning is any of several techniques of pitch adjustment on the individual strings of a guitar in order to achieve a prescribed arrangement of notes from the open (unfretted) strings. ... Wikibooks Guitar has a page on the topic of Tuning the Guitar Guitar tuning is any of several techniques of pitch adjustment on the individual strings of a guitar in order to achieve a prescribed arrangement of notes from the open (unfretted) strings. ... Dropped D tuning: DADGBe, also known as simply as Drop D, is a guitar tuning style in which the lowest (sixth) string is tuned down a whole tone (dropped) to D rather than E as in standard tuning (EADGBe). ... -1... Wikibooks Guitar has a page on the topic of Tuning the Guitar Guitar tuning is any of several techniques of pitch adjustment on the individual strings of a guitar in order to achieve a prescribed arrangement of notes from the open (unfretted) strings. ... E♭ Tuning is a kind of guitar tuning where all of the strings are lowered by a half-step. ... D Tuning, also called One Step Lower or Whole Step Down, is an alternate tuning to a guitar. ... B Tuning or B Standard Tuning is the standard tuning for a seven string guitar, where the strings are tuned B-E-A-D-G-B-E. B tuning can also be acheived on a six string guitar, when the strings are tuned B-E-A-D-F♯-B. This... In guitar playing, an open tuning is one where the strings are tuned so that a chord is achieved without fretting, or pressing any of the strings. ... Open C Tuning is an open tuning for guitar. ... Open D tuning is an open tuning for the acoustic or electric guitar. ... Wikibooks Guitar has a page on the topic of Tuning the Guitar Guitar tunings are any of several techniques of pitch adjustment on the individual strings of a guitar in order to achieve a prescribed arrangement of notes from the open (unfretted) strings. ... In guitar playing, an open tuning is one where the strings are tuned so that a chord is achieved without fretting, or pressing any of the strings. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Tuning Your Guitar (2129 words)
Tune the open A string (the 5th string) to this A. Tune the open D string (the 4th string) to the D at the 5th fret of the 5th string.
Tune the A string by matching the harmonic at the fifth fret of the 6th string to the harmonic at the 7th fret of the 5th string.
Tune the D string to the A string and the G string to the D string using the same procedure (matching the 7th fret harmonic of the higher string to the 5th fret harmonic of the lower string).
Guitar tuning Information (1593 words)
Guitar tuning refers to the pitch adjustments carried out on the individual strings of a guitar in order to achieve a prescribed arrangement of notes from the open (unfretted) strings.
It is also used extensively in classical guitar music and transcriptions since it allows the lower open strings to sound the root and fifth of the D major scale as part of the bassline.
An open tuning is a type of guitar tuning in which the open strings are tuned to form a common chord (usually major) which can be 'transposed' to any higher pitch simply by placing a finger across all of the strings at any chosen fret.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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