Open G tuning is a guitar tuning that was invented by the legendary guitarist and songwriter, Chet Atkins.
It’s a very versatile tuning for playing blues, rock, country, jazz, folk, or any other style of music you want to play.
Open G tuning has been around since the 1920s, but it wasn’t until Chet Atkins came along in the 1950s that he popularized this tuning.
He used open G tuning on his first hit record “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” in 1951. This song became one of the most famous songs ever recorded.
In fact, Chet Atkins’ Blue Moon Of Kentucky album sold over 10 million copies worldwide! That’s more than Elvis Presley’s entire career!
In this article, we will teach you how to play open G tuning using your guitar and an easy method. You will also learn some cool chords that are perfect for playing with open G tuning.
What Is Open G Tuning?
Open G tuning is a popular guitar tuning that has been around for decades, and it’s still used by many musicians today.
It’s an easy-to-learn tuning method that gives you access to the major pentatonic scale plus other notes in the key of C Major. This article will show you how to play open G tuning on your guitar.
The first step to playing open G tuning is finding out where your open strings are located.
The open strings are usually labeled with numbers from 1 to 6. You can find them on the headstock or neck plate of your guitar.
The main difference between standard EADGBE and open G tunings is that in open G tuning you have two extra strings above the D string. These extra strings are called the A string and the B string.
The A string is tuned to the same note as the D string but the B string is tuned higher. So when you play the open G chord, you get these three notes:
There are four different ways to form this chord. The first method shows the root position where all the strings start from the nut.
In the second method, the open G chord is formed by moving up the third fret on the D string. You can do this because the A string is not being played.
Finally, if you move down the fourth fret on the D string, you get the open G chord. The B string is now being played.
Now let’s go through each of these open G chords and find out what they sound like.
First, we’ll start off with the open G chord in the root position.
If you are familiar with standard EADGBE tuning, then you know that the open G chord sounds pretty much the same as the standard EADGBE chord except that the low E string is missing.
So when you play the open E chord, you get the following notes:
D – 00022
A – 00220
G – 02000
That’s right, the open G chord sounds exactly the same as the standard open E chord.
But don’t worry, you won’t lose too many notes because you still get the same five strings that make up the open E chord.
Next, let’s try the open G chord in first position. As you might expect, this open G chord sounds just like the open E chord except that the low e string is missing.
When you play the open G in first position, you get the following:
D – 02200
A – 22000
G – 03000
This is another example of the open G chord sounding identical to the standard open E chord except that you only get four strings instead of five.
Finally, let’s check out the open G chord in fourth position. When you play the open G 4th position chord, you get the same notes as the open E chord except the low E string is no longer present.
The final version of the open G chord looks like this:
D – 02300
A – 23000
G – 03200
As you can see, the open G chord in the 4th position is very similar to the open E chord. It sounds almost exactly the same except that you only get three strings instead of four.
Let’s play through a few examples of the open G chord in each position. Here are some songs that use open G tuning.
1. “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” by Bill Monroe
2. “I’ve Got No Strings Attached” by Rufus Wainwright
3. “You Are My Sunshine” by Jimmie Davis
What Are The Benefits Of Playing In Open G Tuning?
There are many benefits that come with playing in Open G Tuning, but one of the most important is to be able to play your guitar chords and melodies in a way that they sound good on any string.
This is because you can use open strings at the same time as using fretted notes. It’s very easy to do this if you know how to do it. So let’s get started!
Open G Tuning: How To Play Guitar In Open-G Tuning
Step 1: First we need to find out what our lowest note is going to be. For example, if I wanted to start my song on E, then I would go down from there.
If I want to start it on A, then I would go up from there. The first step is finding out which string has the lowest note. Let’s say for example that I am starting on the 5th fret of the D String.
I would put my finger on the 5th fret and strum it once. Then I would move my hand over to the 3rd fret and strum it again.
Now I have two options; either I can keep moving my hand over to the next fret or I can just stay where I am and strum all four strings together.
Which option will give me the best result? Well, if I were to continue moving my hand over to each new fret, then I would end up sounding like this.
Step 2: Now that we have found our lowest note, the next thing we need to do is figure out how to play it.
We should notice that the lowest note is not actually on the fifth fret. Instead, it is on the third fret. That means that instead of having to move my hand over to every single fret, I only have to move it over to the third fret.
Therefore, when I strum the chord, I would strum three times, once on the third fret, once on the second fret, and once on the first fret.
Step 3: Once we have figured out how to play the low note, the next thing that we need to do is make sure that we don’t accidentally hit another string while we are doing so.
When you are strumming the chord, you should always make sure that you are strumming only the strings that you want to sound.
You shouldn’t strum other strings such as the ones that are higher than the one you are trying to play.
Step 4: After we have finished playing the low note, we need to figure out how to play the rest of the chord. We should notice that there are five different strings that we could be playing.
There is the high string, the middle string, the low string, the fourth string, and the fifth string. Each of these strings has its own unique tone.
However, the low string sounds much lower than the others. As a result, we should try to avoid hitting the low string too often.
Step 5: Finally, we should also try to avoid hitting the high string. This is because it sounds much higher than the others.
Also, it is easier to hit the high string than it is to hit the low string. Because of this, we should try to focus more on the middle string and the fourth string.
Step 6: At this point, we should now have a basic idea of how to play the chord in open G tuning. But we still haven’t done anything about the melody yet. So let’s look into that now.
Step 7: Next, we need to figure out how to play the melody. Since we are using open G tuning, we should know what notes we are supposed to be playing.
Remember that we started with an E on the fifth fret of the D string, but we ended up strumming the chord on the third fret.
In order to get the correct pitch, we need to change the way we are holding our guitars. Instead of holding it normally, we should hold it upside-down. This way, we can see exactly where the note is located.
Step 8: With the guitar held upside-down, we should place our index finger at the top of the neck. Our ring finger should be placed right above the nut.
And finally, our pinky should be placed below the nut. This way, we will be able to easily locate the note that we want to play.
Step 9: Now that we have figured out how we are going to play the melody, the last step is to practice playing the song.
It doesn’t matter if you are practicing by yourself or with your friends. The important part is just to keep practicing until you feel comfortable enough to play the song for real.
How Can You Play In Open G Tuning?
The answer is simple, but it’s not easy to learn how to do this. You need some practice and patience.
Most people think that they are able to play guitar in open G tuning because of the way their fingers feel on the fretboard.
They believe that if they have a finger on an open string, then they will be able to play it. This is true for most people, but there are exceptions.
You may find yourself playing in open G tuning when:
You have no idea what key your song is in. If you don’t know what key your song is written in, then you won’t know which open strings to use.
Your song has chords with different notes than the ones you learned in school. For example, if you were taught C major or F minor, then you might not know how to play a chord like A7.
Your teacher didn’t teach you any songs in open G tuning. If your teacher doesn’t know how to play songs in open G tuning, then he/she probably wouldn’t know where to put your fingers.
If you want to play in open G tuning, here’s what you should do first:
Find out whether your song is written in open G tuning.
If your song isn’t written in open G tuning, you’ll need to figure out which open strings to use before you start practicing.
Practice until you get comfortable with each note on the fretboard.
Once you’ve practiced enough, try playing your favorite songs in open G tuning!
Open G Tuning Tips
There are many ways to play in open G tuning. The following tips will help you become more familiar with open G tuning.
1. Learn the Notes On The Fretboard
First, you need to learn all the notes on the fretboard. Once you understand these notes, you’ll be able to play in open G without having to worry about which open strings to use (see tip 2).
2. Practice Playing Each Note On The Fretboard Before Trying It Out On An Instrument
Before trying to play a new song in open G, make sure you’re familiar with every note on the fretboard before starting.
3. Use Your Left Hand As Much As Possible
When you play in open G, you’ll usually only use one hand at a time. That means you’ll mostly use your left hand.
4. Don’t Forget About Your Right Hand
When you play in open G tuning using both hands, you’ll often forget about your right hand. But your right hand is just as important as your left hand.
5. Try Not To Over-Think Things
Don’t over-think things while learning to play in open G. Just focus on making sure you’re doing everything correctly.
6. Remember That Practice Makes Perfect
It takes a lot of practice to become good at something. So keep practicing until you’re really comfortable with open G.
7. Keep Learning New Songs
Learning new songs can be fun and rewarding. And once you’re comfortable with open G, you can easily learn other open tuning methods too.
8. Be Patient With Yourself
The best thing you can do is be patient with yourself. You’ll never reach perfection overnight. Instead, just enjoy the journey.
9. Have Fun When Practicing
Playing in open G is a great way to relax and have some fun. So take advantage of this opportunity to unwind and enjoy life.
10. Share Your Knowledge
Share your knowledge with others who may be struggling with open G. There are so many people out there who are interested in learning guitar.
In conclusion, Open G Tuning is highly versatile and used in all kinds of genres of music.
Learning how to play the guitar in Open G Tuning will ensure that you are a better musician and allow you to work on your skills as an advanced guitarist.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Uses Open G Tuning?
Open G tuning is a popular choice for many professional musicians such as Keith Richards.
It sounds best when used on Banjos, Dobro guitars, and Russian guitars thanks to the three open-string note structures.
Is Open Tuning Easier?
Open tuning can be difficult to become accustomed to and takes plenty of time and practice to master; however, when you know how to do it, you’ll find that the open tuning method is easier to play in compared to the standard tuning method.