#1
What's up y'all? I recently tuned my two high strings down to A and D (for the B and E strings, respectively). I need some help trying to figure out the chord shapes for the Key of D in this tuning. I have the 1, 4, 5, and 6 minor chords down, but I need the help of someone more musically attuned to help me figure out the 2 minor and 3 minor chords (Em and F#m). Thanks!
#2
That's not really Open D, you only tuned down the 1st and 2nd strings, making EADGAD. An open tuning is a tuning that makes a chord, so you'd want DADF#AD (or anything that makes a d major chord). Another one is DADGAD (Open D sus4), which is extremely popular.

Really to find chords, all you need to do is know what notes are in the chord, and find them on the fretboard, it's pretty simple, and there are countless ways of playing those chords in any tuning, with any fingering. Em has E, G and B, and F#m has F#, A and C#. All you have to do is find those notes, put them on parallel strings so you can play them as a chord and bam, easy. It's better you learn how to find these chords YOURSELF, because if you're playing in a different tuning, chances are there isn't a ton of information on those tunings, and if you're writing a song you'll need to be able to access different chords, which you need to practice.
#3
Quote by RT2361
What's up y'all? I recently tuned my two high strings down to A and D (for the B and E strings, respectively). I need some help trying to figure out the chord shapes for the Key of D in this tuning. I have the 1, 4, 5, and 6 minor chords down, but I need the help of someone more musically attuned to help me figure out the 2 minor and 3 minor chords (Em and F#m). Thanks!

As mentioned you have a slightly unusual tuning, but the solution to chord shapes in any alternate tuning is to remember how far you've tuned each string down (or maybe up). Then whatever notes are usually on that string will need to be moved the same amount in the opposite direction.

Of course, it helps to know the notes in the chords too, because often one of your new open strings will be a chord tone - which is obviously handy!

So - in your tuning - take the Em chord.
Normally it's 0-2-2-0-0-0, right? You've tuned your top 2 strings down by a whole step, so those notes need to be moved up a whole step. So the shape you need is 0-2-2-0-2-2. Get it?
When it comes to F#m, you have more of a problem, because it starts as a barre chord, so one finger is already tied up. However, it might be useful to spot that your open 2nd string (A) is now a chord tone.

What may steadily dawn on you ... ... is that alternative tunings are desgined to make one (or maybe two) keys easier than usual, and (inevitably) other keys harder. Certain chords - even in the easy keys - are also going to be harder. So while you gain in some respects, you lose in others. In your tuning, you may just have to resign yourself to not being able to play an F#m (except in a partial shape), and enjoy the other chords you can get - some of which you can't play in EADBGE .
#4
Quote by jongtr
What may steadily dawn on you ... ... is that alternative tunings are desgined to make one (or maybe two) keys easier than usual, and (inevitably) other keys harder. Certain chords - even in the easy keys - are also going to be harder. So while you gain in some respects, you lose in others.


Pretty much, no tuning is perfect, if there was we'd never use anything else, so you have to make compromises. Unless you're Bensusan, in which case you can play friggin G#minor in DADGAD like it's the 12 bar blues. I've actually writtten a fingerstyle song in EADGAD before, so it's certainly not impossible, I basically treated it like DADGAD with the ability to play more conventional chords on the lower strings, and the ability to play more intervals closer to the nut (has a very cool suspended sound, basically a sus4 chord with the minor 2nd on the bass)

As someone who has written in countless tunings, I believe the key to using an alternate tuning is to not just make it work, but to make it work FOR YOU. New tunings are a way of making otherwise impossible things possible, if a tuning makes things harder instead of easier, than it's either an inefficient tuning or it's being used inefficiently.
Last edited by Jimjambanx at Sep 10, 2015,