Guitar Open D Tuning

Discover the guitar open d tuning. This is a little easier on your guitar neck than the E tuning and sounds just as good. It’s the E tuning a whole tone lower.

Most guitars are made for the stress of standard tuning or close to it. You may prefer this over the E tuning. If you tune to this you can put a capo on the 2nd fret and have the E tuning too. You just have to move all your chords up two frets.

This tuning was a favorite of Elwood James a slide guitar player from the beginning of slide for Blues. His main hit was Dust My Broom. Johnny Winter plays his licks alot.

You can sound good without knowing a lot of music theory with an open tuning.

How to Tune Open D

  • 6th string(heavy) = D
  • 5th string = A
  • 4th string = D
  • 3rd string = F sharp
  • 2nd string = A
  • 1st string = D

You leave the 4th and 5th string as is and retune the rest.

This tuning is the same as E. In other words from the 6th string to the 5th is a 5th interval and so on. They only difference is it’s a whole tone lower.

So anything you read about the E tuning can be applied on two frets lower.

Your main blues keys are D, G and A without using a capo.

The D chord is open or 12th fret

The G chord is on the 5th fret

The A chord is on the 7th fret

D Tuning Capo

If you put a capo on the first fret you have the E♭, A♭ and B♭ blues covered. I’ll explain it like the E capo above.

E♭ Blues

Open position or 13th fret is the I chord = E♭

6th position is the IV chord = A♭

8th position is the V chord = B♭


6th position is the I chord = A♭

11th position is the IV chord = D♭

Open position or the 13th fret is the V chord = E♭

B♭ Blues

8th position is the I chord = B♭

13th or open position is the IV chord = E♭

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

Open Position Chords

D Chords

G Chords

A Chords

C Chords

Note the difference between the C and the C add9 chords is the open 1st string is played in the 9th version.

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