Open Tunings Are A BIG MISTAKE!
That's a pretty bold statement. In fact, you may disagree with it. To tell you the truth, I partially disagree with it, too. Open tunings are fun but they take a little effort to make sound right.
I think that there's a common problem with open tunings. Most players don't become familiar with the tuning. Because of that, their self-expression is limited. Most players learn a song or lick and stop there. The trick is to make the tuning your own.
How do you do that?
I think that it's best to take an organized approach. Begin by learning a major scale in your new tuning.
Then learn chord inversions for the primary chords. Most commonly used open tunings are based on triads. So a logical place to start would be 3 different inversions for each triad.
Following this approach really helps with getting a tuning under your fingers. To hear what can be done with Open D tuning listen to this classic Blind Blake tune.
There's another problem related to open tunings. Many guitarists use open tunings to inspire them to write new songs. Why is that a problem?
It becomes a problem when the guitarist creates a weak melody simply because the tuning suggests it. In my opinion, a melody should be interesting when it's away from the guitar (whistled or hummed).
So that's my take on open tunings. I hope that this info is helpful for you.
I'm currently working on two new lessons. One of them is my arrangement of Windy And Warm. The other is a bluesy version of a Hank Williams song. Look for them in March.
I hope you've enjoyed this issue of Fingerstyle Monthly. Please feel free to share it with any interested friends. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions.
See you next month!
New! Comments Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.