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.

Here is a diagram

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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