Altered Tunings

A guitar technique that involves changing the standard tuning of the strings to create different tonalities and open up new possibilities for chord voicings and fingerings.

Altered tunings, also known as alternative or open tunings, are a creative and expressive technique in guitar playing, often used to add variety, depth, and a unique tonal quality to a performance. By changing the standard tuning of the guitar strings to different pitches, guitarists can create a wide range of tonalities, explore new chord voicings, and simplify fingerings for complex chords. Altered tunings are frequently used in various music genres, particularly in folk, blues, and experimental rock styles. Some common altered tunings include Drop D, DADGAD, and Open G, among others.

Developing a solid understanding of altered tunings requires practice, focusing on learning new chord shapes, adapting to different string tensions, and experimenting with various tuning combinations. Incorporating altered tunings into one’s playing can greatly enhance the expressiveness and individuality of a guitarist’s sound, helping to create a more engaging and memorable performance.