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Open A Guitar Tuning

Discover open A guitar tuning. This tuning has a Banjo like sound like open G. It’s a good slide Blues scale. It’s a little harder on the guitar neck.

It’s good for Blues slide work and traditional Bottleneck slide.

This tuning is the same as fretting the 2nd position strings 2,3 and 4 and the rest open. Your basic 1st position A chord.

Here are the tuning notes for the Open A tuning.

  • E string(heavy) = E
  • A string = A
  • D string = E
  • G string = A
  • B string = C♯
  • E string = E

Tuning to Open A

The 6,5 and 1 strings stay tuned as standard pitch.

Have your guitar tuned to concert pitch first.

Next tune the open 4th string to the 6th string. You will hear it blend into the octave as you tune down

Then tune the 3rd string to the 5th string one octave higher. You will hear it blend as you tune.

Last tune the 2nd string to the 3rd string 4th fret.

You will get used to hearing the octaves match up after that tuning is fairly easy.

Open A Tuning Audio

Here is what it sounds like. This is a texas shuffle ZZ Top favorite

Flash

QuikTime

Windows Media

Open A Tuning Texas Shuffle

Open Position Chords

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Guitar Tuning Open E

Discover the guitar tuning open e. This tuning is used in a lot of songs. George Thorogood uses this one a lot. Bonnie Raitt also uses this one.

Open tunings are a great way to sound professional without out knowing a lot of music theory.

You usually only use the basic 3 major chords in the major scale making it perfect for Blues and Country music.

You can play slide or finger pick or both. Normally a slide player uses his picking hand thumb to keep a bass line going while the other fingers play a repeating riff, lead or a melody.

You can also hybrid pick. Use a pick and fingers at the same time. This is a technique used a lot by Country guitar players in standard tuning for getting a steel guitar bend sound.

Look Ma – No Fingers

This open tuning tunes the guitar so when you strum all the strings you hear an E chord. I’ve had people that don’t play strum a guitar tuned this way and they think that playing the guitar is easy because they played that open chord and sounded good. They thought all guitars were tuned like this.

The guitar gets tuned as follows.

  • E string(heavy) = E
  • A string = B
  • D string = E
  • G string = G sharp
  • B string = B
  • E string = E

This tuning is equal to this chord diagram.

This one is popular for slide guitar. You will find a lot of songs with slide are written in the key of E.

Listen to George Thorogood, Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Winters or The Allman Brothers.

E Tuning and Capo

You can also use a capo when you are in an open tuning to get to a different key.

You will see slide players do this.

The slide guitar is common in blues and so are horns like the Sax. These instruments are better played in the flat keys so if you put a capo the first fret you will be tuned to an open F Chord. You just have to move all your slides up one fret.

This will let you play blues in F, B flat and C. Here are the positions for the capo on the 1st fret.

You don’t have to use a capo to do this but having the open strings in the key is useful.

F Blues

Open position or 13th fret is the I chord = F

6th position is the IV chord = B♭

8th position is the V chord = C

B♭Blues

6th position is the I chord = B♭

11th position is the IV chord = E♭

Open position or the 13th fret is the V chord = F

C Blues

8th position is the I chord = C

13th or open position is the IV chord = F

3rd or 15th position is the V chord = G

Guitar Tuning Open E
Guitar Tuning Open E

Here are some basic chords for the open position.

E Chords

A Chords

B Chords

D Chords

The D7 chord can become a D9 if let the 1st string ring out. You can also let the 1st and 2nd string ring out making this chord a D6/9.

There are many more chords to be found. Put your guitar in this tuning and play around with it. Try playing some 3 chord songs in the first position.

More Chords

If you want to learn more chords for this open tuning all you need to do is understand how chords are made and transfer this to the notes in this tuning.

Check this page for chord info List of Guitar Chords. This will tell you the notes and numbers for all chords.

You might want to pick up a slide for your playing. Most players put them on their little finger so they can finger chords too.

Thank You for Visiting Our Guitar Tuning Open E Page

I hope you found this page useful.

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Reading Guitar Chord Diagrams

The purpose of this page is to teach anyone starting out on guitar all about reading guitar chord diagrams.

Chord diagrams are actually very easy. They look like the guitar fretboard because that is what they are, just like a thumbnail of an image on the web.

You will see chord diagrams in all types of written music. These are popular in books written for piano, voice and guitar, or in lesson books. They are also all over the Internet. You don’t have to be able to read or understand music, perfect for getting started.

Chord Diagrams

The diagram is read from left to right with the vertical lines being the strings. The first line on the left is the 6th string, the heavy E and the rest just follow 5-4-3-2-1

The strings on the guitar are as follows from the top string, the Heavy String to the thinner string. E – A – D – G – B – E

The last E is 2 octaves higher than the 6th string.

Horizontal Lines are the Frets

The horizontal lines represent the frets. If there is no number alongside the diagram then it is a first position chord.

If there is a number on the side of the diagram that is the number of the fret. A 7 would mean they are showing you the 7th fret in relation to the chord. The number may be on the left or right side of the diagram. The number may also be written in Roman Numerals like I, IV, or V.

What are the X’s and O’s

An X along the top of the diagram means that string isn’t used in the chord. It will be dampened by the left or right hand or not played at all as in a chord like the D minor above.

An O means that the open string gets played, usually a first or second position chord but not always.

The letter on top is the name of the chord. This may also have a number with it but that is for another lesson. All you really have to do for now is put your fingers where it shows.

Guitar Chord Finger Numbers

Left Side Fret Numbers

The numbers on the left are the fret numbers, this is where you place your fingers. If you see a 5 or a V this means the 5th fret.

Bottom Numbers

The diagrams above have the finger numbers at the bottom. The C chord would be played using your 3rd finger on the A string, the 2nd finger on the D string and the 1st finger on the B string.

When you play the F chord your 1st finger will barre the first fret all the way across. If you can’t play a barre chord yet then just play the fist two strings with your first finger and don’t play the two upper strings at all.

Your index finger is number 1

middle finger number 2

ring finger number 3

your pinky is number 4

A Finger Exercise

If you are just learning or if you have been playing for a little bit and have trouble with barre chords this will help you.

Place your 1st finger across all the strings on the 10th fret, with your thumb in the center of the back of the neck, play all the notes one at a time.

You will have to adjust your finger up or down and left or right slightly until you find the right spot that lets you have good tone on every string. No buzzing or strings not sounding, this will help you in the future with barre chords.

The thumb in the middle of the neck won’t always work for every chord or single note playing. It’s a basic rule to help you to get all the notes ringing out. It keeps your fingers on their tips easier.

When you get consistent at getting clear notes move down to the 9th fret and do the same thing again. The closer you get to the first fret the harder it will be to do.

Do this all the way down to the 1st fret one fret at a time. It will be easier if you start at the 10th fret because the strings push down easier near the middle of the string length and work your way back.

The index finger will be used for all your barre chords like the F chord below so get good clear notes and remember the thumb in the center of the neck.

Don’t Strangle Your Guitar Neck

Only squeeze hard enough to get a good clean sound, no Vulcan death grip. You will have to experiment with the amount of pressure you use.

By using the least amount of pressure that you need makes it quicker to release and move on the next chord increasing your speed. It will also make your chord changes smoother.

This also applies to single notes too. Only enough pressure for good tone.

Later on you will add other fingers to make different chords and this exercise will make it easier if you have practiced. You may have to make slight adjustments in your hand and index finger for these new chords.

C Scale Chords

These are the basic chords from the C major scale. Practice playing these chords. When you play these chords you use your fingertips except for the index finger on the F chord. You may have to cut your fingernails.

Also keep your fretting hand thumb in the middle of the back of the guitar neck. This is important, it will keep your fingers arched so they don’t hit the strings and deaden notes from ringing out. However with some chords you will have to move the thumb around to find the right spot. Try to find the right spot for you. The main thing is to have good clear notes without added wrong notes.

Thank you for visiting our Reading Guitar Chord Diagrams page.

I hope you found this page useful.

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Do You Need HelpReading Music Notes on Staff

Learning what note each line and space are will have you reading music notes on staff quickly.

The staff consists of 4 spaces and 5 lines.

The musical alphabet is A-B-C-D-E-F-G thats it.

There are flats and sharps we’ll learn about later.

Treble or G Clef Staff

A clef sign tells you what pitch the music is written in. The treble clef is used for singing and many musical instruments.

The spaces spell face from the bottom up. This will be known as an F major 7th arpeggio later on.

There was a saying for the lines to help remember this by reading from the bottom up – Every Good Boy Does Fine.

In both cases what you are doing is skipping a note. A to C, B to D, C to E and so on. This is also how chords are made.

If you go from a line to the next space you don’t skip a note. The same is true if you go from a space to the next line.

Bass or F clef staff

The bass clef is what you see in piano or keyboard music. This what they play with their left hand while playing the treble clef with their right hand.

The next image will tie the two staffs together.

The Grand Staff
Both Staffs Together

There are 3 new note positions. Middle C is actually an invisible line that runs between the two staff. The wide space between the two makes it easier to read.

The other two notes are D that goes on the bottom of the bottom treble clef line and the B which goes on the top of the top bass clef line.

They staffs are usually tied together on the left side with a bracket.

More Notes – Reading Music Notes on Staff

There are other notes above the treble clef and below the base clef.

The guitar pitch range stops on the 2nd space down from the top on the bass clef. This is our 6th string E note.

Higher and Lower Pitches
Reading Music Notes on Staff

There are other notes above and below these notes. In other words there is a lower staff and a higher staff or used to be.

You will only have to be concerned about the treble clef but I think this will help you understand notation easier.

The Lower Notes

This is how you will see these notes most of the time in guitar books, they don’t use the bass clef.

I used it to show you how and where notes come from.

Count the Spaces and Lines

If you don’t know what a note is you can count the spaces and lines to find out.

The space on the bottom of the treble clef is a D. Look at the E note above and count each space and each line as one note going backwards

Did you come out right? The same will work above the staff but the top space is a G and you count them forward

If you look at the E above you see 3 lines above it. If you look at the E in the bass clef you will see 3 lines above that too.
One on the F, A and C notes

The rest of the notes are similar. If the note has a line through it the note is on a line. If it doesn’t have a line through it. It is written on a space.

The Upper Notes
Reading Music Notes on Staff

Just like below the treble clef there are note above it in a staff similar to the bass clef but higher

I don’t know the name of this upper staff we don’t use it except for now to show you where these notes come from.

The high D on the right would be played on the 1st string 22nd fret.

If a solo was to be played in this high range it would be written one octave lower with a symbol 8Va, which means play one octave higher for easier reading and writing.

Here are the most common notes above the treble clef.

Low E to Middle E
Reading Music Notes on Staff

Here is where you can play the low to middle E notes.

If you play an acoustic guitar you really won’t be able to play anything but single notes past the 14th fret.

The frets get very close past the 15th fret

Middle E to High E
Reading Music Notes on Staff

Here is where you can play the middle E to high E Notes

Reading the Tab

The Bottom line is the 6th string, heavy E and the other lines are the other strings up to the high E. The numbers are the fret numbers.

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