Hi, I've been playing for about 2 years now, but haven't really taken it too seriously, but I have decided to try my hand at songwriting. I have written about 8 songs so far that aren't anything special, but I enjoy playing them. They are all in standard tuning. I don't really know anything about other tunings, but was wondering what other ones are? My songs are all in the pop music realm. I want to experiment with other tunings that maybe cater to this type of music and folk/country music also. Sorry if I sound clueless, but I kinda am!!!
drop D - drop your thick E two frets
down half a step - tune all strings down one fret
D standard - All Strings down 2 frets
drop C - all strings down 2 frets and thick E (now D) 2 more
C Standard - all strings 4 frets

pretty much goes on like this. try searching internet on more detailed explanation cos i probably havnt explained very well

i find most of these are best for metal though, never thought about pop
When I was eleven I broke the patio window and my mother sued me... She's always been a very aggressive litigator.
Go for it... if you want to learn open tunings... then do it. They create a sudden rush of ideas when you get going in the tuning.... easier ways of playing expensive chords.

There is an old Guitar Player magazine that had a bunch of tunings in it... the article was titled "50 ways to leave your standard tuning" by Mark Hanson in Frets magazine (a GP pub)... iow, 50 delicious and some very adventurous tunings in there. In the first 15 or so they give a bach tune to try in the various tunings, a way to get aquainted with it I guess. Search for it... I'm sure you could find it. Hal Leonard and a coupla other publications have books on the subject.

The poster above... that is not an open tuning... more like DADGAD and CGCGAD or CACABD or EBEG#BE or bla bla bla

And here is a list of them... http://www.museweb.com/ag/tunings/fm_tunings.html

and here: http://peloton.radford.edu/brett/wilcox/alternate_tunings

Good luck, enjoy
Last edited by evolucian at Jun 9, 2010,
I say start by dropping down 1/2 step and experimenting with that. If all goes well continue down tuning. I usually play in drop B and D standard and play all sorts of crazy things.
I can't remember the tuning but Dylan played all of Blood on the Tracks in (I think) open E. This could help fill the folk/country bill.

Edit: Its Open D/E tuning (E B E g# B E), which evo already mentioned, now I feel silly...
"His name is Robert Paulson"
Last edited by Unlockitall at Jun 9, 2010,
I mainly use drop D and standard, but every now and then, i like to switch to a tuning i never use. can make things sound a lot cooler, and gives more song ideas.
I'm a drummer, guitarist, bassist, songwriter, and vocalist. It's good to be balanced.
You have your tunings that are basically Standard or Drop D in a lower key, but they work and feel just like Standard. It's not much of a departure (although Drop D can get interesting) from Standard, just at a lower pitch.

Then you have your Open Tuning, which tunes the strings to a chord. What ever the key is the name. Open A is an A chord, Open E is an E chord and so on. Then there is DADGAD, which is a chord, but it is a more complex chord than just an regular old D chord.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^

"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.

from sixth string up: DADGAD (tune 6th down to D, 2nd down to A, and 1st down to D). This is a very cool tuning used for Kashmir and White Summer, both by Led Zeppelin. Look em up.
Last edited by Spencertheman at Jun 10, 2010,
I don't know... there's a lot of famous musicians that only played in standard... Stick with what feels right. In my opinion all those goofy tunings only lead to your strings wearing out and breaking sooner.
All the above advice is good, the only thing that I think you need to keep in mind is a singer's voice. I don't know if you're singing, or if you're just writing to write, but the singer's voice is huge in the tunings you're using. Tuning to a key that singer is just spot on in can really make a song sound good. Also, keep in mind your genre, though it can be done, writing a radio pop song in drop C might not be what you're looking for.
Check out jayninevideolessons.wordpress.com
Online Video Guitar lessons, ebooks, and so on. This above blog is how you may contact me for more information, or email me at jayninelessons@gmail.com