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#1
Okay I'm fairly new to guitar and I stumbled across this video
http://youtu.be/VYiL8G6yooE

I really don't agree with this "cheat", but it got me thinking "why should I continue trying to learn the standard chord shapes if I can just barre them? It's kinda depressing tbh
So I thought I'd ask what you all think?

Can you really do every chord in this tuning using just barre shapes? How about power chords and regular barre chords?

Also what are the pros and cons of learning guitar in this tuning?

Thanks.
#2
open g. the tuning of choice for bottleneck slide and keith richards.

should you use it? who knows. broaden your horizons maybe?..
#3
Quote by ad_works
open g. the tuning of choice for bottleneck slide and keith richards.

should you use it? who knows. broaden your horizons maybe?..

As I said, I'm fairly new to guitar. What I understood from that video was that you can play every chord just by barring the frets. If that's the case then why do people still use standard tuning? Why should one learn to play "standard" chord shapes over open g shapes?
Last edited by Fenderinooo at Feb 1, 2016,
#4
Open tunings generally make for awkward scales, since the strings will be either too close in pitch or too far apart to be play up and down a scale in a single position without repeating or skipping notes. A major key open tuning like this is also liable to make minor chords awkward, as one string will need to be fretted lower than all the others. Likewise seventh chords, diminished chords etc. In short, it impedes playing melodies and is not always hugely versatile for chords. Not to mention that it'll compel you to use the same chord voicings for everything, which will sound incredibly boring.

Open tunings are primarily useful for slide (after all, if you've got a metal/glass bar across the strings, it's pretty useful for everything on that bar to be chord tones) and for fingerpicking, especially for those singing and playing guitar who are otherwise unaccompanied who need to keep up consistent rhythm playing with minimal concentration.

By way of example, here's Rory Gallagher doing some nice hybrid picking with an open tuning (in this case DADGAD). Much of the track only uses one finger on the left hand and when he plays melody lines he's able to keep up the bass notes on the low strings because he doesn't need to fret anything.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5JO-BTP1SE

In DGDGBD, here's what a basic C minor chord looks like:
D--5-
B--4-
G--5-
D--5-
G--5-
D--5-


Suddenly you've got a problem, right? You'll have a hard time making that sound decent. The trouble is, even very basic songs often contain minor chords. You quickly run out of options, unless you're willing to skip a few strings, in which case some of your chords will be a lot quieter than others, and very quickly any benefit there is to the open tuning is gone.
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Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Feb 1, 2016,
#5
Quote by Fenderinooo
As I said, I'm fairly new to guitar. What I understood from that video was that you can play every chord just by barring the frets. If that's the case then why do people still use standard tuning? Why should one learn to play "standard" chord shapes over open g shapes?


Because it sounds different. A barred "G" sounds different than an open "G".
#6
Quote by K33nbl4d3
Open tunings generally make for awkward scales, since the strings will be either too close in pitch or too far apart to be play up and down a scale in a single position without repeating or skipping notes. A major key open tuning like this is also liable to make minor chords awkward, as one string will need to be fretted lower than all the others. Likewise seventh chords, diminished chords etc. In short, it impedes playing melodies and is not always hugely versatile for chords. Not to mention that it'll compel you to use the same chord voicings for everything, which will sound incredibly boring.

Open tunings are primarily useful for slide (after all, if you've got a metal/glass bar across the strings, it's pretty useful for everything on that bar to be chord tones) and for fingerpicking, especially for those singing and playing guitar who are otherwise unaccompanied who need to keep up consistent rhythm playing with minimal concentration.

By way of example, here's Rory Gallagher doing some nice hybrid picking with an open tuning (in this case DADGAD). Much of the track only uses one finger on the left hand and when he plays melody lines he's able to keep up the bass notes on the low strings because he doesn't need to fret anything.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5JO-BTP1SE

In DGDGBD, here's what a basic C minor chord looks like:
D--5-
B--4-
G--5-
D--5-
G--5-
D--5-


Suddenly you've got a problem, right? You'll have a hard time making that sound decent. The trouble is, even very basic songs often contain minor chords. You quickly run out of options, unless you're willing to skip a few strings, in which case some of your chords will be a lot quieter than others, and very quickly any benefit there is to the open tuning is gone.



Wow, thanks for the detailed reply
I think I now have a better understanding of what open g tuning is used for.
#7
I happen to think open tunings rock!There's so much more than just using a slide.You can play moveable chords(sus4,7th,9th,minors-6&7 fingerings,etc).In addition,I can play natural/harmonic minor scales along with the minor pentatonics and major pentatonic scales.Myself,I prefere the open A....that's the rock key in my opinion.What makes open tunings so cool is the different intervals of the chords.You play an Emaj chord at the 7th frett and it will blow your ass off(at high volume of course.Another thing I like to do is transpose songs I like to the open tuning.When it works....well,try it.Also,Felix Schell has a whole slew of books on alternate tunings by Mel Bay publications.It's always good to expand one's horizons when it comes to rock.
#8
Standard tuning is the most versatile I've ever seen, that lets you play the most chord shapes.

The guitar is a weird configuration, with the strings laid out, and the human hands are limited in what they can do. Standard tuning is the most diverse and powerful I've ever come across, but other tunings are more suitable for other specific sorts of things. They aren't as versatile though. Or at least, I've never come across any that were.
#10
Hey now Standard isn't so bad. Like Tony stated, "whatever works, works."

Me, I can only play E Standard, Eb Standard, and Drop D decently, and everything else is...bizarre to me, but to each their own, I say ^^

-Sharky
#11
Open tunings are great two things: playing slide, and avoiding learning barre chords.

The guitar is tuned the way it is because it allows for self accompaniment with a huge variety of chord voicings and melodic options. People who use alternate tunings and capo just to avoid a technical challenge are really limiting what they can do musically with it. That's fine for people who just want to write songs with basic chords, but for those who want to be good at the guitar itself, it can be a real crutch.
Last edited by cdgraves at Feb 1, 2016,
#12
Plenty more folks who get away with good on the capo and alternate tunings than the open tunings, but fair enough, Graves
#13
Quote by cdgraves
Open tunings are great two things: playing slide, and avoiding learning barre chords.

The guitar is tuned the way it is because it allows for self accompaniment with a huge variety of chord voicings and melodic options. People who use alternate tunings and capo just to avoid a technical challenge are really limiting what they can do musically with it. That's fine for people who just want to write songs with basic chords, but for those who want to be good at the guitar itself, it can be a real crutch.



I think there is more to it than that. Special tunings provide advantages that enable people to do certain things that can't be done otherwise. It's not just to make some stuff easier.

It's very useful for stuff like finger tapping, and those sorts of set pieces that you'll find the candyrat guys doing. And those guys I think it's fair to say they are good guitarists.

But you won't find them improvising, using lush chords and stuff like that on the fly, in any key they want.

It's kind of a different beast, with different priorities. But overall less versatile.

I got nothing against it, personally, but I also have no interest in playing around with alternate tunings, because I would need to learn my fretboard again, and would lose a large chunk of my power to improvise, and number of chord shapes at my disposal, so it's not for me.

But I think it's a perfectly valid setup for some people for what they want to do with the guitar.

It's not just an easier way to play guitar all around, like OP thought it may have been.
#14
Quote by fingrpikingood
I think there is more to it than that. Special tunings provide advantages that enable people to do certain things that can't be done otherwise. It's not just to make some stuff easier.


Not to be pedantic, but isn't that saying the same thing? I mean, aren't things that can be done, by definition, easier than things that can't be done? Unless I'm misreading your post....
#15
Its not that difficult to learn chords in standard tuning. Open tuning makes certain chords easier, but its not like its some giant task to learn all the common chords in standard. If you want to play in open tuning, I'd suggest learning slide, as it sounds great with open tuning, and will train your ears well. Only using it to make common chord shapes easier is overkill IMO, they're already fairly easy. As an absolute beginner, you're still gonna suck until you learn how to keep time and make good rhythm. You might as well learn chords in standard while you're learning strumming and rhythm, which you need regardless.
#17
Quote by Fenderinooo
What about power chords. Which tuning would they be easier on?


Drop D (or any drop tuning). The 3 bass strings will be a power chord if you play them on the same fret. That goes for pretty much any open tuning.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#18
Quote by Fenderinooo
What about power chords. Which tuning would they be easier on?



Not trying to sound like a smart ass, but if you're searching for an easier way to make power chords than standard, maybe guitar isn't for you. Power chords are like root-5th. I can pick up an instrument that I've never played in my life and make a power chord.
#20
Quote by jlowe22
Not trying to sound like a smart ass, but if you're searching for an easier way to make power chords than standard, maybe guitar isn't for you. Power chords are like root-5th. I can pick up an instrument that I've never played in my life and make a power chord.


im not searching for an easier way. I know how to play a power chord lol
I just want to see what's a better method of playing a major and minor chords as well as power chords

I mean, if open g is as easy as how it's been explained, then why do they still use standard tuning when teaching to new students
Last edited by Fenderinooo at Feb 1, 2016,
#22
Quote by Fenderinooo
im not searching for an easier way. I know how to play a power chord lol
I just want to see what's a better method of playing a major and minor chords as well as power chords



I understand, what I'm saying is, that Standard is easy enough for chord making. A couple months solid practice is good enough. If you want to play in an open tuning, do it for reasons other than to make chords easier to play.
#23
Quote by Fenderinooo
im not searching for an easier way. I know how to play a power chord lol
I just want to see what's a better method of playing a major and minor chords as well as power chords

I mean, if open g is as easy as how it's been explained, then why do they still use standard tuning when teaching to new students


As has been said, open tuning sucks for scales and many other things. Standard is by far the most versatile tuning. at least of the tunings being discussed.
#24
Quote by jlowe22
As has been said, open tuning sucks for scales and many other things. Standard is by far the most versatile tuning. at least of the tunings being discussed.


I'd imagine playing single notes in lead role or solos would be wacky to m open g, wouldn't it?
#25
Quote by Fenderinooo
I'd imagine playing single notes in lead role or solos would be wacky to m open g, wouldn't it?


Not always, but if you start playing songs that are in odd keys, open tuning will become a nightmare. If the song is in G, open G is possibly better than standard, If the song is in C#, Open G will be a disaster waiting to happen.
#26
Quote by Jake P
Not to be pedantic, but isn't that saying the same thing? I mean, aren't things that can be done, by definition, easier than things that can't be done? Unless I'm misreading your post....


You must have misread his post as they aren't the same thing. Things that can't be done are impossible, not easier or harder but impossible.
#27
Let me clarify a bit by saying I think there's absolutely no problem with making something easier on yourself. However, trying to get out of learning standard tuned chords is just pure laziness. The Open tuning isn't some gimmick that lets you skip out on chord fingering, that's just ridiculous.

It's true beauty lies in the fact that it lets you make chords with a slide. You lose a finger when playing slide, and the slide itself obviously can't bend and contort itself like a finger.
Last edited by jlowe22 at Feb 1, 2016,
#28
Alright I think I Understood wha you mean. One last thing. Are there things that you wouldnt be able to do in open g that you could do in standard?
Or at least would be more challenging to do in open g
#29
Quote by Fenderinooo
Alright I think I Understood wha you mean. One last thing. Are there things that you wouldnt be able to do in open g that you could do in standard?
Or at least would be more challenging to do in open g


Look, it makes some chords easier while making others harder or near impossible. A vast majority of songs are written in standard, you're going to have a hard time transcribing every song to open G. If you go on making chords with a barre finger, you lose all open string ringing and voicing. Certain keys will be much harder to play in than they ever should be.

Standard is standard for a reason. You can make every note on the guitar regardless of tuning, but standard is generally the easiest way to make the widest variety of sounds.
#31
Quote by jlowe22
Look, it makes some chords easier while making others harder or near impossible. A vast majority of songs are written in standard, you're going to have a hard time transcribing every song to open G. If you go on making chords with a barre finger, you lose all open string ringing and voicing. Certain keys will be much harder to play in than they ever should be.

Standard is standard for a reason. You can make every note on the guitar regardless of tuning, but standard is generally the easiest way to make the widest variety of sounds.


I think you have a point. I just got home about an hour and a half ago and had a chance to try out open g. Now maybe it's because I'm new to playing, but making some chords to sound they way they would in standard tuning were a bit challenging while in open g. My e minor on open g tune sounded a little different than my e minor in standard.
#32
Quote by Fenderinooo
I think you have a point. I just got home about an hour and a half ago and had a chance to try out open g. Now maybe it's because I'm new to playing, but making some chords to sound they way they would in standard tuning were a bit challenging while in open g. My e minor on open g tune sounded a little different than my e minor in standard.



How did you make the E minor?
#33
D x
G x
D 2
G 0
B 0
D 2

I sounded a bit "droney"
Last edited by Fenderinooo at Feb 1, 2016,
#34
Quote by Jake P
Not to be pedantic, but isn't that saying the same thing? I mean, aren't things that can be done, by definition, easier than things that can't be done? Unless I'm misreading your post....


The difference I was trying to point out, is that it's not just a cheat that people use, because they are lazy and just want a shortcut to be able to play some things with much less effort.

It's a different system of tuning so that some things, previously impossible ones, are now possible. Which comes at a cost, basically making other things either very difficult or impossible.

Changing tuning to make something that's possible easier, is different from changing it to make something impossible, possible, or easy. The distinction I think is important. Right? They aren't just trying to do the same things standard tuning players do, but with less effort, and at a cost of versatility. They are doing things standard tuning players simply can't do. Which, in my view, gives it credibility.

Still not for me though. I'm not interested. But a lot of people that play with tunings like that do so for good reason. And same goes for those that don't.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Feb 1, 2016,
#35
Quote by fingrpikingood
The difference I was trying to point out, is that it's not just a cheat that people use, because they are lazy and just want a shortcut to be able to play some things with much less effort.

It's a different system of tuning so that some things, previously impossible ones, are now possible. Which comes at a cost, basically making other things either very difficult or impossible.

Changing tuning to make something that's possible easier, is different from changing it to make something impossible, possible, or easy. The distinction I think is important. Right? They aren't just trying to do the same things standard tuning players do, but with less effort, and at a cost of versatility. They are doing things standard tuning players simply can't do. Which, in my view, gives it credibility.



I don't even have a problem with changing tuning to make something possible easier, I have the problem with changing tuning because too lazy to learn or play basic common chords in standard.
#36
Quote by Fenderinooo
D x
G x
D 2
G 0
B 0
D 2

I sounded a bit "droney"


I'll tell you one thing, I would never want the 3rd of my chord to be the 2nd string like that. That's too muddy for my liking.

For most basic chords though, you'll be alright. You might not like the sound of the chords, but major minor, is not a big deal. When you get into more complex chords, and doing more advanced stuff, it will get real difficult and sometimes impossible.

EDIT: was on crack, idk why I thought the B was the 3rd.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Feb 1, 2016,
#37
Quote by Fenderinooo
D x
G x
D 2
G 0
B 0
D 2

I sounded a bit "droney"


Try playing the high E and high G, while muting the 4th string G.
#38
Quote by fingrpikingood
I'll tell you one thing, I would never want the 3rd of my chord to be the 2nd string like that. That's too muddy for my liking.

For most basic chords though, you'll be alright. You might not like the sound of the chords, but major minor, is not a big deal. When you get into more complex chords, and doing more advanced stuff, it will get real difficult and sometimes impossible.

You mean difficult or impossible on open g tuning, right?
#39
Quote by jlowe22
Try playing the high E and high G, while muting the 4th string G.


High E?
#40
Quote by Fenderinooo
High E?


2nd fret on the high D. The basic E minor in standard doesn't have a G on the wound strings.
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