List of guitar tunings

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A FuniChar D-616 guitar with a Drop D tuning. It has an unusual additional fretboard that extends onto the headstock. Most guitarists obtain a Drop D tuning by detuning the low E string a tone down. ESP FuniChar D-616 headstock, with Drop D fretboard.jpg
A FuniChar D-616 guitar with a Drop D tuning. It has an unusual additional fretboard that extends onto the headstock. Most guitarists obtain a Drop D tuning by detuning the low E string a tone down.

This article contains a list of guitar tunings that supplements the article guitar tunings. In particular, this list contains more examples of open and regular tunings, which are discussed in the article on guitar tunings. In addition, this list also notes dropped tunings.


Standard Tuning


Throughout, this list references standard tuning, i.e. E2A2D3G3B3E4 . for comparison.



Initial eight harmonics on C, namely (C,C,G,C,E,G,B,C)
(played simultaneously) First eight harmonics vertical.png
Initial eight harmonics on C, namely (C,C,G,C,E,G,B,C)
(played simultaneously)

Major open-tunings give a major chord with the open strings.

Open A


Open B

  • Alternatively: F-B-D-F-B-D

Used by Nickelback on "Should've Listened", Devin Townsend in recent years, and Big Wreck on "Albatross".

Open C


This open C tuning is used by William Ackerman for his "Townsend Shuffle" and by John Fahey for his tribute to Mississippi John Hurt. This tuning is also commonly used by John Butler on his 12-string guitar. [1] This tuning is used on most work by Devin Townsend in his solo work as well as his work with Strapping Young Lad. When playing on a 7-string guitar, he would have a low G as the lowest string to complete the fifth. David Wilcox also recorded his most famous songs, "Eye of the Hurricane" and "Rusty Old American Dream", both from How Did You Find Me Here, in this tuning, as well as "New World", "Show the Way", "Hold It Up to the Light", and his cover of "It's the Same Old Song" from Big Horizon, and "Mango" from East Asheville Hardware.


The English guitar used a repetitive open-C tuning that approximated a major-thirds tuning. [2]

C-C-G-C-E-G [3]

This open-C tuning gives the initial harmonic series when a C-string is struck. [4] The C-C-G-C-E-G tuning uses the harmonic sequence (overtones) of the note C. When an open-note C-string is struck, its harmonic sequence begins with the notes (C,C,G,C,E,G,B♭,C). [3] [4] This overtone-series tuning was modified by Mick Ralphs, who used a high C rather than the high G for "Can't Get Enough" on Bad Company . Ralphs said, "It needs the open C to have that ring," and "it never really sounds right in standard tuning". [5]

Open D

Open D tuning. Open D tuning.png
Open D tuning.
Open D tuning (listen)

Open-D tuning is used by Joni Mitchell for her "Big Yellow Taxi", [6] Nick Drake for "Place To Be", Alt-J for "Interlude 2", Boys Like Girls for "Thunder", David Wilcox for "Wildberry Pie", "Mighty Ocean", "Kindness", and "Never Enough", and by Soko for "No More Home, No More Love". Open-D tuning has been called Vestapol tuning. [7]

Richie Havens used Open D tuning to be able to play chords using only his thumb and one or two fingers. Wilco have several songs in Open D.

Kevin Cronin used Open D in "Time for Me to Fly", the 1978 REO Speedwagon hit song, with four top-string variations for G and A.

  • Alternatively: D-A-D'-A'-D-D

This alternative Open D tuning (and its downtuned variations) is frequently used by Mark Tremonti guitarist for the bands Creed, Alter Bridge, and Tremonti. It was also used by Keith Richards on "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and the Stone Roses in "Love Spreads".[ citation needed ]


This tuning is the same as Open D but tuned a half-step down. It is used by Alice In Chains on the songs "Over Now", "Nothin' Song", and "Shame in You"; by Guns N' Roses on the song "Bad Obsession"; and by Switchfoot on the song "Daisy".

Open E

E-B-E-G#-B-E (use light-gauge strings because three strings must be raised) Open E is used by: Brian Jones on "No Expectations", "I Wanna Be Your Man"; Keith Richards on "Salt of the Earth", "Prodigal Son", "Gimme Shelter", "Jigsaw Puzzle", "Jumpin' Jack Flash", "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and by Bob Dylan on his 1975 album Blood on the Tracks . The tuning is also used by Hoobastank on their first and second albums, and by Junior Campbell on The Marmalade recordings "Reflections of My Life" and "I See the Rain". Lastly, the Open E tuning is used by Johnny Marr of the Smiths on "The Headmaster Ritual".

Open F

F-A-C-F-C-F (requires light-gauge strings)
  • Alternatively (without light-gauge strings): C-F-C-F-A-C

C-F-C-F-A-C is the more common of the two. Used by

Elizabeth Cotten on her song "When I Get Home"
Led Zeppelin on "When the Levee Breaks" and "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp" (studio)
  • F-Sharp Tuning: F-B-C-F-C-F
  • Alternative: C-F-C-F-A-C

F-F-C-F-A-C is also used by Dave Mason on "Only You Know and I Know"

F-A-C-G-C-E is also sometimes used, most notably by the band American Football. The guitarist Yvette Young is also known to use this tuning.

Open G

Open G tuning (listen)
The Russian guitar's tuning approximates a major-thirds tuning. RussianSevenStringTuning.jpg
The Russian guitar's tuning approximates a major-thirds tuning.
D-G-D-G-B-D (also known as Spanish Tuning or Chicago Tuning)

Open G was used in rock by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin in the songs "Dancing Days", "That's The Way" and "Black Country Woman", Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones as well as in Mississippi blues by Son House, Charley Patton, and Robert Johnson, some songs by Alter Bridge (including down-tuned and minor variations on "In Loving Memory", "Watch Over You", "Wonderful Life", "Words Darker Than Their Wings", "Cradle to the Grave", and "Dying Light"), and in "Fearless" by Pink Floyd. [8] David Wilcox used this tuning on "The Nightshift Watchman".


Listing the initial six harmonics of the G note, this open-G tuning was used by Joni Mitchell for "Electricity", "For the Roses", and "Hunter (The Good Samaritan)". [9] It was also used by Mick Ralphs for "Hey Hey" on Bad Company's debut album. [5] and on the Meowtain song "Alleyway" Stone Gossard also used this tuning in the song "Daughter" by Pearl Jam.

  • Alternatively: G-B-D-G-B-D (slack-key guitar [10] )
  • Alternatively: C-G-D-G-B-D (used by Big Wreck on multiple songs, most notably "Inhale" and "Mistake"--They downtune it a half step [11] --and by David Wilcox on "It's Almost Time", "Just a Vehicle", "Distant Water", "Golden Day", and his covers of "The Kid" and "Missing You .” Also used by Andrew Peterson on his song “Faith to be Strong” and by Macseal on multiple songs.)
  • Dobro Open G: G-B-D-G-B-D (occasionally adopted for ordinary guitar, but requires lighter fifth and sixth strings).
  • Russian-guitar Open G: The tuning of the Russian guitar
is an open G tuning, approximately in major thirds. [12] [13]

Minor: Cross-note

The following open-tunings use a minor third, and give a minor chord with open strings. To avoid the relatively cumbersome designation "open D minor", "open C minor", such tunings are sometimes called "cross-note tunings". The term also expresses the fact that, compared to Major chord open tunings, by fretting the lowered string at the first fret, it is possible to produce a major chord very easily. [14]

Cross-note or open E-minor was used by Bukka White and Skip James. [15]

Cross-note tunings include (low to high):

Sitar A tuning (listen)
D modal tuning. D modal tuning.png
D modal tuning.

In modal tunings, the strings are tuned to form a chord which is not definitively minor or major. These tunings may facilitate very easy chords and unique sounds when the open strings are used as drones. Often these tunings form a suspended chord on the open strings. A well known user of modal tunings is Sonic Youth.

Extended chord

In extended chord tunings, the open strings form a seventh, ninth, or eleventh chord.

Regular tunings

For every major-thirds tuning, the consecutive open-notes are separated by four semitones, and so three strings cover the twelve notes of the octave. Augmented chord in the chromatic circle.png
For every major-thirds tuning, the consecutive open-notes are separated by four semitones, and so three strings cover the twelve notes of the octave.

Major seconds

C-D-E-F-G-A or C-D-F-G-A-B

A compact tuning that fits within one octave and covers the chromatic scale between open strings and the first fret.

Minor thirds


In the minor-thirds tuning, every interval between successive strings is a minor third. In the minor-thirds tuning beginning with C, the open strings contain the notes (C, D, F) of the diminished C chord. [28]

Major thirds

Major-thirds tuning is a regular tuning in which the musical intervals between successive strings are each major thirds. [29] [30] [31] Unlike all-fourths and all-fifths tuning, major-thirds tuning repeats its octave after three strings, which again simplifies the learning of chords and improvisation. [32]

Neighboring the standard tuning is the major-thirds tuning that has the open strings

E-G-C-e-g-c'. [29] [33]

A lower major-thirds tuning has the open strings


which "contains two octaves of a C augmented chord". [30]

All fourths

Stanley Jordan plays guitar using all-fourths tuning. Stanley Jordan.jpg
Stanley Jordan plays guitar using all-fourths tuning.

This tuning is like that of the lowest four strings in standard tuning. [34] [35] Jazz musician Stanley Jordan plays guitar in all-fourths tuning; he has stated that all-fourths tuning "simplifies the fingerboard, making it logical". [36]

Augmented fourths

C-F-c-f-c'-f' or B-F-b-f-b'-f'

Between the all-fifths and all-fourths tunings are augmented-fourth tunings, which are also called "diminished-fifths" or "tritone" tunings. [37]

All fifths: "Mandoguitar"

New standard tuning. New standard tuning.png
New standard tuning.
New Standard Tuning's open strings.
C-G-D-A-E'-B' or G'-D-A-E'-B-F'

All-fifths tuning is a tuning in intervals of perfect fifths like that of a mandolin, cello or violin; other names include "perfect fifths" and "fifths". [38] It has a wide range, thus it requires an appropriate range of string gauges. A high b' string has been recently developed by Octave4Plus gauged at .006 which is pretty thin, but under really low tension to prevent breakage.

New standard tuning


All-fifths tuning has been approximated by the New Standard Tuning (NST) of King Crimson's Robert Fripp. It has a wider range than standard tuning, and its perfect-fifth intervals facilitate quartal and quintal harmony.

Ostrich tuning

E-E-e-e-e'-e' or C-C-c-c-c'-c'

Ostrich tuning is a tuning where all strings are tuned to the same note over two or three octaves, [39] creating an intense, chorused drone and interesting fingering potential.

Used by Soundgarden (E-E-e-e-e'-e') on the song "Mind Riot", and by Lou Reed in the Velvet Underground.


Drop D tuning. Drop D tuning.png
Drop D tuning.

Drop tunings lower the sixth string, dropping the lowest E string of the standard tuning. Some drop tunings also lower the fifth string (the A-note in standard-tuning). A drop one tuning lowers the pitch by one full step.

Some lower tunings may call for a baritone guitar to more easily maintain high string tension and a rich tone. Others can be achieved using a capo and/or a partial capo.



These tunings are derived by systematic increases or decreases to standard tuning.

Lowered (Standard)

D tuning. D tuning.png
D tuning.

Derived from standard EADGBE, all the strings are tuned lower by the same interval, thus providing the same chord positions transposed to a lower key. Lower tunings are popular among rock and heavy metal bands. The reason for tuning down below standard pitch is usually either to accommodate a singer's vocal range or to get a deeper/heavier sound. [41]


Terz tuning. Terz tuning for guitar.png
Terz tuning.

From standard EADGBE, all the strings are tuned up by the same interval. String tension will be higher. Typically requires thinner gauge strings, particularly the first string which could be as thin as six thousandths of an inch (about the thickness of a single human hair). A capo is typically preferred over these tunings, as they do not increase neck strain, etc. The advantage of these tunings is that they allow an extended upper note range versus a capo used with standard tuning which limits the number of notes that can be played; in some cases, instruo B or E (such as saxophones, which were frequently encountered in early rock and roll music) are more easily played when the accompanying guitar plays chords in the higher tuning. If standard gauge strings are used, the result is often a "brighter" or "tighter" sound; this was a common practice for some bluegrass bands in the 1950s, notably Flatt & Scruggs.


Double drop D tuning. Double drop D tuning.png
Double drop D tuning.
Double drop D tuning (listen)

Similar to the dropped tunings, except that both the 1st and 6th strings are dropped one full step.



DADGAD tuning (listen)

DADGAD was developed by Davey Graham in the early 1960s when he was travelling in Morocco, to more easily play along with Oud music. Among the first to use this tuning were the folk-blues guitarists of the '60s like Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Martin Carthy, and John Martyn. It was many years later in the 1970s that it became established for accompanists of traditional music, predominantly Scottish and Irish. Due to this popularity it is sometimes referred to as "Celtic" tuning, although this is misleading given its origin and its primary early use in a quite different field of music. Often vocalized as "Dad-Gad", DADGAD it is now common in Celtic music. In rock music, has been used in Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir". [8] Pierre Bensusan is another noted exponent of this tuning. The post-metal group Russian Circles also employ this tuning, and also plays it tuned a half-step down: D-A-d-g-a-d'. Three down-tuned variations are used by the band Sevendust: A Drop C variation, or C-G-c-f-g-c'. (used on the song "Unraveling". Also uses a variation where the lowest string is dropped to G, used on some songs from Kill the Flaw and the song "Life Deceives You"), a Drop B variation, or B'-F-B-e-f-b, and a Drop A# variation, or A'-F-A-d-f-a. Neighboring tunings D-A-d-e-a-e' and C-G-c-d-g-a have been used by Martin Carthy. Also D-A-d-a-a-d', was used by Dave Wakeling on the English Beat's 1983 "Save It For Later".


DADDAD tuning (listen)

Nicknamed - "Papa-Papa". DADDAD is common in folk music (Irish, Scottish), and for the execution of a rhythm guitar in "heavy" (alternative music) on 6th on the third string at the same time. To reach the tuning from DADGAD, Open D or Open D Minor, the G string is dropped to D so that the 3rd and 4th strings are tuned to the same pitch. DADDAD tuning is sometimes used on Dobro guitars for rock and blues. Notable users of this tuning include Billy McLaughlin and John Butler.

Cello/Standard guitar


Essentially a cello tuning with the deeper four strings in fifths and the two highest strings in standard guitar tuning. Used on numerous Pavement songs (including Cut Your Hair and by Foo Fighters on the song "Weenie Beenie"

"Karnivool" tuning


Hybrid tuning between drop B-tuning and E-standard. Used by the band Karnivool for many of their songs.



Mi-composé is a tuning commonly used for rhythm guitar in African popular music forms such as soukous and makossa. [42] It is similar to the standard guitar tuning, except that the d string is raised an entire octave. This is accomplished by replacing the d string with an e' string and tuning it to d'.

"Iris" Tuning


Tuning used by Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls on the song "Iris".

E-A-C#-F#-A-C# ("Sleeping Ute")

Tuning used by Grizzly Bear guitarist Daniel Rossen in "Sleeping Ute", the opening song of their album Shields . Creates an F#m7/E chord when strummed open.

José González tuning

D-A-D-G-B-E This is a tuning favored by the Swedish singer-songwriter José González. He uses this on such songs as "Crosses", "Heartbeats" and "Cycling Trivialities" (capo on second fret). It is similar to the standard guitar tuning, but the low E string is dropped to D and the G string is dropped a half step to F/G. Also used by artists such as M. Ward, Stephen Malkmus, and Day Wave.

Dadd9 tuning

D-A-D-F#-A-E. This tuning is used by Tonic in their song Soldier's Daughter with a capo on the 4th fret.

Mr.Tom tuning

D-F#-A-E-F#-A This tuning was made by songwriter/composer Mr.Tom (Rawding) during the creation of an original indie folk instrumental "When You Stand By Me" . The tuning is based on the Open D tuning.

Liberty tuning

E-A-D-g-c'-e' Promoted by Harvey Reid for use in combination with a partial capo, as a system which is easier for children to learn.

Microtonal tuning

The open strings of a guitar can be tuned to microtonal intervals, however microtonal scales cannot easily be played on a conventional guitar because the frets only allow for a chromatic scale of twelve equally spaced pitches, each a semitone apart. (Certain microtonal scales, particularly quarter tones, can be played on a standard guitar solely by adjusting tunings, but the distance between notes on the scale makes it somewhat impractical.) It is possible to play microtonal scales on a fretless guitar, to convert a fretted guitar into a fretless, or to make a custom neck with a specific microtonal fret spacing.

Guitars can also be refretted to a microtonal scale. [43] On many refretted microtonal guitars, the frets are split, so that the tuning of each string is independent from the others. To enable an adjustable microtonal tuning, there exist guitars with frets that can be moved across the fingerboard. [44] [45]

Extended techniques such as the 3rd bridge technique, slide guitar and prepared guitar techniques can be used to produce microtonality without severe modification to the instrument.

Guitar tunings inspired by other Instruments

In his on-line guide to alternative tunings for six-string guitars, William Sethares mentions several that are inspired by instruments other than guitars, for example, balalaika (E-A-D-E-E-A), cittern C-G-C-G-C-G, and Dobro G-B-D-G-B-D.

Extended range and other guitar tunings


Five-string guitars are common in Brazil, where they are known as guitarra baiana and are typically tuned in 5ths. Schecter Guitar Research produced a production model five-string guitar called the Celloblaster in 1998. [46] A five-string tuning may be necessary in a pinch when a string breaks on a standard six-string (usually the high E) and no replacement is immediately available.

Some basic five-string tunings include:


Similar to five-string bass guitar tuning, seven-string tuning allows for the extra string a fourth lower than the original sixth string. This allows for the note range of B standard tuning without transposing E standard guitar chords down two and a half steps down. Baritone 7-string guitars are available which features a longer scale-length allowing it to be tuned to a lower range.


The open C tuning for 7-string guitar was Devin Townsend's preferred tuning for the extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad (GCGCGCE, used on their last two albums. Also used on Ziltoid the Omniscient, "Planet of the Apes" from Deconstruction, and "Failure" from Transcendence).


  • High A - E-A-d-g-b-e'-a' - Standard tuning with a high 'A' instead of a low 'B'. Because of the high pitch of the 'A' string, it usually requires a multi-scale fingerboard (fanned frets) to provide enough tension.
  • C tuning - C-F-A-d-g-c'-f' / C-F-B-e-g-c'-f'
    Half a step up from standard, used by Eddie Rendini during his time in Cold.
  • C tuning - C-F-B-e-a-c-f
    The whole step up from standard. This tuning was used by Wes Borland with high E-string being lowered to C (C-F-B-e-a-c-c) on the first two Limp Bizkit records.


These tunings have the lowest string (or other strings tuned one full step lower allowing for chord structures similar to six-string drop tunings.


A continuation of the 7-string, adding another string a perfect fourth lower than the low B of the seven-string guitar. The eight string guitars additional low F string is just a whole step up from a bass guitars low E string.


  • F tuning - F'-B'-E-A-d-g-b-e'
    Half a step down from standard tuning. Used famously by Meshuggah, as well as After The Burial, Butcher Babies, and Carnifex on some songs.
  • E tuning - E'-A'-D-G-c-f-a-d'
    One full step down from standard tuning. Used by Meshuggah and Korn on their "Untitled" album and on songs "Illuminati" and "Way Too Far" from their The Path of Totality album.
  • E tuning- E'-A'-D-G-B-e-a-d'
    One and a half steps down from standard tuning. Used by Meshuggah on "Nebulous" and Dissipate on their Tectonics EP.
  • D tuning - D'-G'-C-F-a-d-g-c'
    Two full steps down from standard tuning.
  • D tuning - D'-G'-B-R-a-d-g-c'
    Two and a half steps down from standard tuning
  • A tuning - A"-D'-G'-C-F-A-d-g
    Three and one half steps down from standard tuning.


  • High A tuning - B'-E-A-d-g-b-e'-a'
    Standard seven string tuning with a 'high a' Used by Rusty Cooley.
  • All fourths tuning - F'-B'-E-A-d-g-c'-f'
    Regular tuning which extends range a half step higher.


  • Drop E 8-string tuning - E-B-E-A-D-G-B-E
    A combination of standard 7-string tuning and the 8th string dropped one full step from F to E. Allows to play in the range of a standard electric bass, as well as one-finger power chords. Used by Animals as Leaders on most songs. [49] and Whitechapel (on the songs "Devolver" and "Breeding Violence" from A New Era of Corruption ) Also used by Deftones on Koi No Yokan and Gore, Allegaeon, and Emmure on the song "N.I.A. (News in Arizona)". An open variation of this tuning is used by Hacktivist with 3rd and 4th strings tuned a whole step up to A and E respectively. Also used by Born of Osiris on the song "Silence the Echo" and Chelsea Grin on more recent material.
  • Drop A + E 8-string tuning - E-A-E-A-D-G-B-E
    A combination of 7-string drop A tuning and an 8th string dropped one full step from F to E, allowing both power chords rooted on A, and easy fingering with the E a fourth below. This is the tuning of the lowest two strings of a bass, along with all strings of a standard 6-string guitar in standard tuning. It is used by Rings Of Saturn on the album Lugal Ki En.
    • Drop A + E (variation) - E-A-E-A-D-F-B-E
      A variation on Drop E, A with the G flattened one half step to F; this tuning is identical to 6-string Drop A, with two E strings added: one above, and one below. Like Drop E + A; this tuning allows easy fingering on the E since it is a standard fourth interval below the A. It also provides three high strings a fourth apart instead of the usual two. The tuning is used by Infant Annihilator on their album The Elysian Grandeval Galèriarch .
  • Drop E/D 8-string tuning - E-B-E-A-D-G-B-E
    Half a step down from drop E tuning. Used by Meshuggah in the album Catch Thirty-Three, in the song Shed, "Perpetual Black Second" (Nothing) and used by Emmure in the album Speaker of the Dead in the song "Word of Intulo". Also used by After the Burial in the song "To Carry You Away" off of the album In Dreams and songs The Great Repeat and To challenge existence .
  • Drop D 8-string tuning - D-A-D-G-C-F-A-D
    One full step down from drop E. Used by Meshuggah in the song "Obsidian". Also used by Issues in the song "Tapping Out and Mick Gordon - The only thing they fear is you."
  • Drop D + G (variation) D-G-D-G-C-E-A-D Combination of 6-string Drop G, with two D strings added: one above, and one below. Used by industrial and djent composer E.M.M.P.
  • Drop C 8-string tuning - C-G-C-F-B-E-G-C
    One and a half steps down from drop E. Used by After The Burial with the 7 strings tuned 1 whole step higher to A Standard & Enox
  • Drop C 8-string tuning - C-G-C-F-A-D-G-C
    Two full step down from Drop E, Used by bands like Humanity's Last Breath, Bound In Fear, Distant (some songs on the Aeons of Oblivion album), False Images, Black Tongue (On their album Nadir), Skyburial, Vyletongue, Terror District, Lowlife, Instill Terror,
  • Drop C + A 8-string tuning - C-A-E-A-D-G-B-E Standard 8-string tuning with the 8th string dropped 5 half steps from F to C and the 7th string dropped one full step from B to A. this tuning is used by Animals as Leaders on the song "Physical Education" using a guitar with two extra frets on the 8th and the 7th string. Also used by Kevin Sherwood (On his songs Pareidolia & Coming Home from the Call of Duty: Nazi Zombie mode) & Vildhjarta (On their song Mist Forstandet and some songs on their upcoming album Kaos 2)
  • Drop E/Open Tuning - E-B-E-B-E-F#-B-E
    3rd string half a step down. 4th & 5th strings a whole step up. Used by The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza in Danza III and IV


A continuation of the eight-string guitar, adding a string lower or higher.


  • B tuning - B-E-A-D-G-c-f-a-d
    One full step from standard tuning. Gives the range of a five-string electric bass as well as a 6-string guitar in D tuning.


  • High A - F-B-E-A-d-g-b-e'-a'


  • Drop E + B 9-string tuning - B-E-B-E-A-d-g-b-e
    Gives the range of a five-string electric bass as well as a seven-string electric guitar in standard tuning. Used by Rings of Saturn for their song The Husk.
  • Drop B 9-string tuning - B-F-B-E-A-d-g-b-e
    9-string guitar in standard tuning with the lowest string dropped two half steps down to B0, the same note as on the lowest string of a 5-string electric bass. Used by Rob Scallon for his song Rogue.
  • Double Drop A - A-E-A-E-A-d-g-b-e
    This is the 7-string drop A tuning with another E and A string added one octave lower. Used by Rings of Saturn.
  • Drop A 9-string tuning - A-E-A-D-G-c-f-a-d
    Standard 9-string tuning tuned one whole step down, and the lowest string dropped another whole step.
  • Drop G - G-D-G-C-F-a-d -g-c.
  • Drop F 9-string tuning - F-C-F-A#-D#-g#-c#-f-a#
    Used by American deathcore band Anzu. [50]


A continuation of the nine string, adding another lower string to the standard or high A tuning.

Steel guitar

On pedal steel guitar, the most common tunings on double-neck istruments are the extended-chord C6 tuning and E9 tuning, sometimes known as the Texas and Nashville tunings respectively. [51] On a double-neck instrument, the neck nearest the player will normally be some form of C6, and the furthest neck E9. [51]

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 six double courses as on the 12-string guitar.

On a lap steel guitar there may be up to four necks, each tuned differently. The C6 tuning was a common tuning for a six-string lap steel in the 1920s and 1930s. [52] :131 Tunings with a sixth interval are popular in Western swing and jazz, while tunings containing sevenths are often chosen for blues and rock music. [53]

Renaissance lute

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, such as, for instance, "La Canción Del Emperador" and "Diferencias Sobre Guardame Las Vacas" by Renaissance composer Luis de Narváez.

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A power chordPlay  is a colloquial name for a chord in guitar music, especially electric guitar, that consists of the root note and the fifth, as well as possibly octaves of those notes. Power chords are commonly played on amplified guitars, especially on electric guitar with intentionally added distortion or overdrive effects. Power chords are a key element of many styles of rock, especially heavy metal and punk rock.

Capo Common tool for players of guitars and other stringed instruments

A capo is a device a musician uses on the neck of a stringed instrument to transpose and shorten the playable length of the strings—hence raising the pitch. It is a common tool for players of guitars, mandolins, mandolas, banjos, ukuleles and bouzoukis. The word derives from the Italian capotasto, which means the nut of a stringed instrument. The earliest known use of capotasto is by Giovanni Battista Doni who, in his Annotazioni of 1640, uses it to describe the nut of a viola da gamba. The first patented capo was designed by James Ashborn of Wolcottville, Connecticut year 1850.

Scordatura is a tuning of a string instrument that is different from the normal, standard tuning. It typically attempts to allow special effects or unusual chords or timbre, or to make certain passages easier to play. It is common to notate the finger position as if played in regular tuning, while the actual pitch resulting is altered. When all the strings are tuned by the same interval up or down, as in the case of the viola in Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra, the part is transposed as a whole.

Drop D tuning

Drop D tuning is an alternative form of guitar tuning in which the lowest (sixth) string is tuned down from the usual E of standard tuning by one whole step to D. So where standard tuning is EADGBe, drop D is DADGBe. Drop D tuning, as well as other lowered altered tunings, are often used with the electric guitar in heavy metal music. It is also used in blues, country, folk, and classical guitar.

Seven-string guitar

The seven-string guitar adds one additional string to the more common six-string guitar, commonly used to extend the bass range or also to extend the treble range.

Barre chord Guitar performance technique

In music, a barre chord is a type of chord on a guitar or other stringed instrument played by using one or more fingers to press down multiple strings across a single fret of the fingerboard.

Guitar chord

In music, a guitar chord is a set of notes played on a guitar. A chord's notes are often played simultaneously, but they can be played sequentially in an arpeggio. The implementation of guitar chords depends on the guitar tuning. Most guitars used in popular music have six strings with the "standard" tuning of the Spanish classical guitar, namely E–A–D–G–B–E' ; in standard tuning, the intervals present among adjacent strings are perfect fourths except for the major third (G,B). Standard tuning requires four chord-shapes for the major triads.

Guitar tunings Adjusting pitches of guitar strings

Guitar tunings are the assignment of pitches to the open strings of guitars, including acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and classical guitars. Tunings are described by the particular pitches that are made by notes in Western music. By convention, the notes are ordered and arranged from the lowest-pitched string to the highest-pitched string, or the thickest string to thinnest, or the lowest frequency to the highest. This sometimes confuses beginner guitarists, since the highest-pitched string is referred to as the 1st string, and the lowest-pitched is the 6th string.

Russian guitar

The Russian guitar (sometimes referred to as a "Gypsy guitar") is an acoustic seven-string guitar that was developed in Russia toward the end of the 18th century: it shares most of its organological features with the Spanish guitar, although some historians insist on English guitar descent. It is known in Russian as the semistrunnaya gitara (семиструнная гитара), or affectionately as the semistrunka (семиструнка), which translates to "seven-stringer". These guitars are most commonly tuned to an open G chord as follows: D2 G2 B2 D3 G3 B3 D4. In classical literature, the lowest string (D) occasionally is tuned down to the C.

C tuning (guitar)

C tuning is a type of guitar tuning. The strings of the guitar are tuned two whole steps lower than standard tuning. The resulting notes can be described most commonly as C-F-A♯-D♯-G-C or C-F-B♭-E♭-G-C. This is not to be confused with C tuning, which is one and one half steps lower than standard tuning.

Open D tuning

Open D tuning is an open tuning for the acoustic or electric guitar. The open string notes in this tuning are : D A D F A D. It uses the three notes that form the triad of a D major chord: D, the root note; A, the perfect fifth; and F, the major third.

Open G tuning

Among alternative tunings for the guitar, an open G tuning is an open tuning that features the G-major chord; its open notes are selected from the notes of a G-major chord, such as the G-major triad (G,B,D). For example, a popular open-G tuning is

Drop C tuning

Drop C tuning is an alternative guitar tuning where at least one string has been lowered to a C, but most commonly refers to CGCFAD, which can be described as D tuning with a 6th string dropped to C, or drop D tuning transposed down a whole step. Because of its heavier tone, it is most commonly used in rock and heavy metal music.

B tuning

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 achieved on a six-string guitar, when the strings are tuned B-E-A-D-F♯-B, known then as Baritone Tuning. This tuning is popular among several different types of metal bands.

Bass guitar tuning

Each bass guitar tuning assigns pitches to the strings of an electric bass. Because pitches are associated with notes, bass-guitar tunings assign open notes to open strings. There are several techniques for accurately tuning the strings of an electric bass. Bass method or lesson books or videos introduce one or more tuning techniques, such as:

B♭ tuning

B tuning, or A tuning, is a method of guitar tuning in which all strings on a six-stringed instrument, most often guitar, are tuned down by 3 steps. For example, standard guitar tuning is E A D G B E. B♭ tuning starts by tuning the lowest string on a guitar E, to B♭ and then tuning all strings down in the same interval of 3 steps down.

D♭ tuning

D tuning, also called C tuning, is an alternative guitar tuning. Each string is one and one half steps lower than in standard tuning, or one half step lower than D tuning. The resulting notes can be described as D♭-G♭-B-E-A♭-D♭ or as C♯-F♯-B-E-G♯-C♯. "Extremely slack," it is very popular amongst alternative and heavy rock bands because it has a darker and lower-pitched sound compared to E standard.

Major thirds tuning Regular tuning among guitars

Among alternative tunings for guitar, a major-thirds tuning is a regular tuning in which each interval between successive open strings is a major third. Other names for major-thirds tuning include major-third tuning, M3 tuning, all-thirds tuning, and augmented tuning. By definition, a major-third interval separates two notes that differ by exactly four semitones.

Overtones tuning

Among alternative tunings for the guitar, an overtones tuning selects its open-string notes from the overtone sequence of a fundamental note. An example is the open tuning constituted by the first six overtones of the fundamental note C, namely C2-C3-G3-C4-E4-G4.

Drop B tuning is a heavy metal guitar tuning for a six-string guitar where the strings are tuned to B-F-B-E-G-C. This is a "drop 1" tuning in the key of C. As a result, it uses the same fingering as all other "drop" tunings. This tuning and other drop tunings are popular with a variety of genres of metal music, including Nu-Metal bands. The tuning's use was popularized by Slipknot on their self-titled album.


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Further reading