Open G tuning

guitar with open G tuningThe open G tuning is popular among guitar players who, for example, favor blues styles. It gives you a slight different sound than normal. The many straightforward movable shapes make the chords very easy to memorize and it also gives chromatic possibilities.

To get the open G tuning on your guitar you tune it like this: D G D G B D. The strings that differ from the standard should be turned so the string tension is decreased and not the opposite.

Major chords (movable shapes)

G

  • G chord diagram

A

  • A chord diagram

C

  • C chord diagram

D

  • D chord diagram

Comment

All you have to do is to lay your fingers over the strings and avoid playing on the lowest string (for the D major in open G tuning you could also include the lowest bass string). As the pictures illustrate the G chord could be played with all open strings.

The shapes are movable, so if you move the finger two steps up the fretboard from D major you will get an E major.

All common major chords in open G:
G: X00000
A: X22222
B: X44444
C: X55555
D: X77777
E: X99999
F: X10 10 10 10 10

7th chords (movable shapes)

G7

  • G7 chord diagram

A7

  • A7 chord diagram

C7

  • C7 chord diagram

D7

  • D7 chord diagram

Comment

The seventh chords are also movable and you just add another tone in front of the barre finger three frets up. To get a maj7 chord, just add the finger on the highest string one fret up.

Minor chords (movable shapes)

Am

  • Am chord diagram

Em

  • Em chord diagram

Comment

While major chords are extremely easy in this tuning, the minor chords are trickier. You probably recognize the Am-shape here. Besides the fingers in the Am-shape you add two notes on the bass strings and this you do by placing the thumb over both the strings. This is probably the most efficient way to play minor chord in this tuning, but if you prefer you could also do it by using another movable shape without the thumb involved: X22212. In this case you use your long finger for pressing down three strings.

Sus and add chords (movable shapes)

Gsus4

  • Gsus chord diagram

Asus4

  • Asus chord diagram

Gadd2

  • Gadd chord diagram

Aadd2

  • Aadd chord diagram

Comment

The same method is used once again for sus and add chords. To get a Bsus4 just move the whole shape one fret up the fretboard. The same thing with Badd2. Another mobeavle chord related to these are sus4sus2. For example Asus4sus2 is played as X22432.

Open chord shapes

Here are some additional open chords in open G tuning:

Bb: X32010
C: X02012
Cadd9/G: X02010
D: XX0230
E: XX2102
F: XX3213
Dm: XX3233
Em: XX2002
Em7: 202000
Gm: X00330

This was an introduction about chords in open G tuning. This video could be recommended if you want to learn more chords and ideas on how to apply them.

See also open D tuning and drop C tuning

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