Watch the Slide Scales in Open A online guitar lesson by Andy Aledort from Slide Guitar Power
Like open E tuning, open A tuning offers very specific shapes for scale patterns and licks, so the tuning has a personality all its own (one that it shares with its sister tuning, open G). Some people refer to it as a happy tuning because it seems to encourage a brighter, major key feeling than other open tunings or standard tuning. Similar to open E tuning, in open A we can alternately move between the 10th and 12th frets across all of the strings for soloing, with the inclusion of the ninth fret of the D string, which will sound a C#, the major third of A, in this tuning. Also akin to open E, we can add notes three frets higher on the top three strings to yield the fifth, flatted seventh and flatted third (E, G and C, respectively).