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Guitar Tuning: Standard and Alternate Tunings

Instructors: Sean Conklin, Richard Lundmark, Chris Feener, Tom Quayle Total lessons in study:
In this study, you'll learn how to tune your guitar to standard tuning as well as explore a wide variety of alternate tunings.

1. How to Tune Your Guitar

1. Tuning - General Overview
Reference
Any Style
Beginner
As you can imagine, tuning is extremely important with the guitar and any other instrument. Every guitarist needs to know how to do it, and how to do it effectively and quickly. There are different ways you can tune your guitar, using many references. You can use an electric tuner, a piano, or other instruments. Most impor...Read More
2. Tuning - How to Tune Your Guitar
Reference
Any Style
Beginner
(Tuning Chart below) In the video, I show you how to tune your guitar using just your ear. Basically, you can tune your whole guitar using just your Low E string as a starting reference point. So that means that we'd need to make sure the Low E string is in tune before we start tuning the other strings to it. The best way...Read More
3. Tuning - Drop D Tuning
Reference
Any Style
Beginner
Drop D tuning is when you make your Low E string go down a whole step to a D note. This tuning is a very popular tuning for 6-string guitarists who want to get a lower end with their guitar. I personally love this tuning and use it often in my songwriting. In order to tune your Low E string to a D note, first play your act...Read More

2. Alternate Tunings

4. Alternate Tunings - Part 1: Open E Major
Chords
Any Style
Beginner
Welcome to this tutorial on Alternate Tunings! The aim of this tutorial is not to provide you with tons of different tunings, nor to show you how to tune your guitars to these tunings. Let's assume that you already know how to tune your guitar. We will approach the concept of altered tunings from the standpoint of using t...Read More
5. Alternate Tunings - Part 2: Open E Major
Chords
Any Style
Beginner
So, in this second example we take a common 'country roll' arpeggio (like the one used in my Bridging the gap to Country tutorial), and see how we can use that in this open E tuning. The challenge when trying to apply more scale based licks in an open tuning (seeing how then you would most likely WANT to stay in t...Read More
6. Alternate Tunings - Part 3: DADGAD
Chords
Any Style
Beginner
Now, the DADGAD-tuning, or open sus4 tuning as it is also called, is a very common tuning in both modern rock, and alternative pop. I guess for the mainstream audience it was brought to light during the grunge-era more than anything else, when bands where trying to find that 'in between' sound, sounding minor with...Read More
7. Alternate Tunings - Part 4: DADAAD
Chords
Any Style
Intermediate
The final tuning is derived from the DADGAD-tuning, and is the same apart from the G being tuned up to A, thus having A on both the second and third string. The use of two identically tuned strings are also a great source of inspiration, and can create many cool riffs and ideas! If used on the lower strings (say t...Read More

3. Tuning in 4ths

8. Tuning in 4ths - Introduction
Reference
Any Style
Intermediate
Hi there guys and welcome to this tutorial on tuning in 4ths. Normally we tune the guitar in what we call standard tuning. In other words out strings are tuned to the following notes, E, A, D, G, B and E This system of tuning is great as it allows us to play a great variety of fantastic material and works exceptionally w...Read More
9. Tuning in 4ths - In Practice
Reference
Any Style
Intermediate
Okay, so as an example we can take a Cmajor Triad. If we play this on the A, D and G strings we get a triad composed from the notes C, E and G played at the 3rd fret of the A string. If we take this shape up an octave and play it at the 10th fret of the D string in standard tuning, our shape changes even though the notes ar...Read More
10. Tuning in 4ths - Working Out Shapes
Reference
Any Style
Intermediate
It's actually pretty easy to work out shapes that will work in this tuning. The system is easy and relies on information you probably already know. Basically, any shapes that work on the bottom 4 strings will work anywhere on the guitar now. For example the G major 7 chord shape listed below will work in any position, octa...Read More

4. All About Drop D Tuning

11. Drilling Drop D - Intro
Rhythm
Rock
Intermediate
With this tutorial, I hope to unlock any misconceptions you might have about 'drop D tuning'. Essentially, drop D tuning is a way to get extended low range. Lets begin by tuning our guitar to drop D. The simplest way to tune to drop D is to strike the low E string along with the D string (4th) simultaneously, while loweri...Read More
12. Drilling Drop D - Chords
Rhythm
Rock
Intermediate
Chords So, as mentioned in the introduction, 5 (power) chords become drastically simpler when tuned to drop D. If you think about it, a power chord in standard tuning contains two notes; any note on the low E string plus its fifth, which is usually down a string and up two frets. Now that our low E string is tuned down a f...Read More
13. Drilling Drop D - Scales
Scales
Any Style
Intermediate
Scales When playing through those familiar old scales, keep a couple things in mind: Everything you would've played on the low E string shifts up two frets. Also, if you visualize the scale from a different perspective, any notes that fall on the regular D string, are fretted in the exact same places on the low D string. F...Read More
14. Drilling Drop D - Riffin'!
Cool Riffs
Rock
Intermediate
I'll leave you with some riffs which I've devised to help instill some of these concepts into your repetoire. Keep an eye out for D string symmetry, it may just help you along! Until next time, have fun and keep rockin'!Read More

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