Watch the Open A & G Tuning & Box Shapes online guitar lesson by Lee Roy Parnell from Slide Guitar Slinger

Now let's take a look at the open A tuning, which is also open G when tuned down a whole step.

I found that after many years of playing in open E, and only open E, I needed to find a new voice. There had already been one Duane Allman, we really didn't need another one. That's what we do as musicians — we pattern ourselves after our heroes, and then struggle to find our own sound or something that's signature to us.

To do so for me, I had to change up my guitar, amp, and my tuning as well. I started listening to the west coast players: David Lindley, Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt, etc. who tended to play more in the open A or G tuning. Within that, I was able to find my voice, and many of the songs that I've had big records with were in this tuning.