The Encyclopedia Of Alternate Guitar Tunings

Joni Mitchell, Kei­th Richards, Robert John­son, Ani DiFran­co, and Bob Dylan. What do they have in com­mon? For one, they’ve exper­i­ment­ed with alter­nate gui­tar tun­ings, going beyond the stan­dard EADGBE tun­ing most com­mon­ly used by musi­cians. Kei­th Richards used the Open G tun­ing (GDGBD) to write some of the Stones’ clas­sic tracks–“Honky Tonk Woman,” “Brown Sug­ar,” “Beast of Bur­den,” “Gimme Shel­ter,” “Hap­py,” and “Start Me Up.” Try play­ing them in a stan­dard tun­ing and they’ll nev­er sound quite right.

If you’re a gui­tarist look­ing for a dif­fer­ent sound, spend some time with War­ren Allen’s Ency­clo­pe­dia of Alter­nate Gui­tar Tun­ings. It’s a handy resource. First cre­at­ed in 1997, this vin­tage web page presents a library of uncon­ven­tion­al tun­ings, com­plete with a list of songs where they were artis­ti­cal­ly put to use. Enter the Ency­clo­pe­dia here.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon. If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

via @dark_shark

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Ste­vie Ray Vaugh­an Plays the Acoustic Gui­tar in Rare Footage, Let­ting Us See His Gui­tar Vir­tu­os­i­ty in Its Purest Form

Jimi Hen­drix Plays the Delta Blues on a 12-String Acoustic Gui­tar in 1968, and Jams with His Blues Idols, Bud­dy Guy & B.B. King

B.B. King Changes Bro­ken Gui­tar String Mid-Song at Farm Aid, 1985 and Doesn’t Miss a Beat


by | Permalink | Comments (1) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!


Comments (1)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Kelly MacKinnon says:

    What? no men­tion of CGCGCE tuning.…no men­tion of Jon Pousette-Dart. A num­ber of his songs are writ­ten in that tun­ing. Freez­ing Hot and Yaicha writ­ten in that tun­ing and a num­ber more. Yaicha is one of the most beau­ti­ful songs he ever wrote. I wish he would pub­lish some of his sheet music.

Leave a Reply

Quantcast
Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.