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


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 infoList 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.

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