We're going to look at alternate guitar
tuning, so called because these
tunings are not like the regular E A D G B estandard
tuning we're all familiar
Alternate tunings are
interesting to mess around with because you'll
find chord shapes used in standard tuning will produce an entirely
different chord. You may find that you can create chords with alternate
tuning you never could with standard tuning.
The best thing is,
those vibrant sounding open chords down at the first
few frets will provide different, fresh sounding voicings and will be
sure to turn
heads when you pick or strum them.
Below are a few alternate
guitar tuning aids for you to try out. Click on each
of the strings to hear the tuned string...
E A D G A D alternate tuning
My personal favourite! It's also common to drop the E string down to a
D, as with drop D tuning.
Remember the word - eadgad
If you don't have a tuner
simply tune down the high E string until it matches the D string, and
the B string until it matches the A string. They'll be an octave
higher, but you should still be able to hear when they've reached their
C G C G A E alternate tuning
This is an alternate drop C tuning also known as "C6 tuning"...
E A D G C F alternate tuning
Also known as "tuning in perfect fourths" because of the fourth
intervals between the strings.
Try your own alternate tunings
Experiment with your own
alternate guitar tuning. The best way to do
this is to start in standard tuning and move strings around from there
in strict half or whole steps. Don't, however, tune
your strings higher than one whole step (2 tones, see below) or they
will probably break.
Here's the order of notes, known as
the "musical alphabet",
starting with A...
| A# / Bb | B | C | C# / Db | D | D# / Eb | E |
F | F# / Gb | G |
G# / Ab
So tuning B down
a whole step
would in fact be two tones down to A. Tuning D down a
would make it C.
Tuning D up a half step
known as a semitone or 1 letter in the musical alphabet) would make it
D# (D sharp). We choose D# over Eb because we've tuned the D string up,