Alternate tunings are a great way to explore the guitar. Check out these 3 tips to play guitar in any alternate tuning!
I remember being frustrated with alternate tunings. It was like having to learn the guitar all over again. Each tuning had different chord shapes, scale shapes, and unique sounds.
But then I made a discovery, a breakthrough, a realization:
Alternate Tunings don’t have to be intimidating, frustrating, or discouraging. Instead, I started focusing on how much they changed the sound of my guitar.
I want to pass along some helpful tips for playing in ANY tuning…yes, any alternate tuning.
In addition, I want to tell you about an online guitar lesson program that has helped thousands of guitar geeks. It’s called Tony’s Acoustic Challenge — but let’s get to those helpful tips first.
3 Tips to Play Alternate Tunings
I’m showing you a 3-step method to get you into any alternate tuning, figure out the chords in any alternate tuning, and figure out the scales in that alternate tuning.
1. Find the Critical Notes for the Alternate Tuning Scale
Once you find these notes in the scale, you’ll be able to find the other scale degrees. It’s crucial that you feel comfortable finding these notes in any tuning.
After you find them, you’ll be more comfortable playing scales and figuring out a scale pattern that works for you.
2. Identify your Chords
You might feel lost or confused trying to find chords to play in an alternate tuning.
To remedy this feeling, just remember that most tunings are tuned to an open chord.
For example, in open G tuning (DGDGBD), you’re creating a G chord.
Now…what happens when you fret all six strings at once?
You create a new chord!
There are two important things to keep in mind with this concept.
If you are in a major open tuning — and you want to play a major chord — barre all six strings. For minor chord, find out which string is the third scale degree, and play one fret below where you’re barring.
For a minor open tuning and you want to play a major chord, find the third scale degree string and fret one fret above your barre.
3. Identify the Scales
Do you remember identifying the scale degrees for your open tuning? It’s time to put that to good use.
In an alternate tuning, you need to identify the open string that the tuning is based on. So for open D tuning, that would be the D string.
From there, try to figure out the difference between that D string and the string up. This will help you make the necessary adjustments to your scale patterns.
Learn More Alternate Tunings while Having Fun
What if I told you there was a way you could (1) practice every day, (2) learn alternate tunings, and (3) have tons of fun learning the guitar?
Once your request is received, we’ll reach out to you to let you know when there’s space. So, don’t wait — request your invite and start learning today!