Watch the Use Open Tunings online guitar lesson by Vicki Genfan from Acoustic Rhythm Survival Guide

We'll use an 'Open G' Tuning:


E down a whole step to D
A down a whole step to G
D stays the same
G stays the same
B stays the same
E down a whole step to D

I have used open tunings for most of my playing life, which started at 5 yrs.old. Initially, I learned how to play in standard tuning, but for many reasons, fell into the mysterious and seductive web of 'open tunings' very early on.

I've laid out everything I know about open tunings and the techniques I've developed based on them in my DVD, '3D Acoustic Guitar', so if this interests you I'm sure you'll have fun with that course. For this course, I've given you a jump-start in getting used to the new sounds and possibilities you'll find with an open tuning. Pedal steel players, slide players and slack key guitarists also use open tunings as part of their regular arsenal.

Notice that the G chord or I chord, has its ROOT on the 5th string. So when you strum, try to 'miss' that low E string.

Take your time and get comfortable with the chords. You've only got TWO different chord forms to learn here, as the G chord is OPEN and the IV and V chord are the very same fingerings, just in different frets.

When you're comfortable, try playing the progression in different ways, finger picking, strumming, plucking... notice the two 'drone' tones, the 3rd and 1st strings and how they stay the same throughout.

NOTE: If you take the minor chord form that I've shown you for the Eminor chord and play it with your first finger in the 1st fret, you'll get a beautiful voicing of a IIminor chord, or Aminor. Move it up another two frets and you'll get a very nice IIIminor chord or Bminor.