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A Unique Way Of Playing Your Guitar - Guitar Lessons

Mar 8, 2008
Looking at your sound, the other way around

This awesome article is going to blow your mind and challenge you to reach new heights with your guitar. We encourage you to try new things that you may have never thought of before

Have you ever felt like you've been playing in a box and you keep getting that same old sound that everyone else already seems to have? Today is the day that you can change the way you think about playing your guitar for the rest of your life as we take a look at altered tunings.

Who ever said that we had to play in the same tuning for the rest of our lives? The fact of the matter is that altered tunings can give you a tone that's simply unmatched by standard tuning and virtually impossible to achieve if you don't use those altered tunings.

We're going to show you how altered tunings work, why they are so effective, how you can tune to them using your standard tuning, and what you can play using them! That's enough information to keep you going for a year!

Tunings That Keep You Swooning...

Why new tunings are cool.

These has been a lot of talk about getting yourself out of the trap that many guitarists typically fall into at one time or another. The solution to pulling yourself out of that ditch varies from person to person but for me, altered tunings have helped me grow as a musician.

Believe it or not, even the editor of a guitar site can get into the same monotonous groove over and over again. Recently, I started playing in other tunings other than standard. As a classically trained guitarist, I was very much bent on standard tuning because theoretically, everything you need to get the sounds you want is there.

However, what I have learned in recent months is that it's not necessarily what you can do with standard tuning, rather, what tones and chords you can't get by using it all of the time. Alternative tunings offer a new, and often easier method of playing chords and a very rich tone that is unmatched.

I mention chords for an important reason. You may have noticed that the guitar isn't laid out in a fashion that allows for easy access to every single chord combination. According to theory we can achieve incredible sounding chords but the problem is having the technique to stretch that far. Some of those chords are often impossible for any of us to play. Tuning your guitar to different tones bridges that gap between theory and technique, allowing us to play new chords.

Altered tunings involve playing around with the notes that your guitar is currently tuned to. For example, standard tuning is what you're probably tuned to at the moment and your six strings from top to bottom are tuned to the notes E, B, G, D, A, E. An altered tuning will use different notes in our musical vocabulary and replace the notes in standard tuning.

There's really an unlimited array of alternate tunings to choose from because you can tune your strings to form any chord you wish. For example, tuning in open g will allow you to play a G chord simply by strumming your strings without any fret work!

You could do this with many other chords to get a lot of new sounds. These sounds form the building block for new music to be formed and is a lot of fun to explore with. Later in this lesson, we'll play around with new ideas evolving around using chords as your open tuning.

How you can achieve them without a tuner.

One of the many reasons why people choose not to tune their guitar using alternate tunings is simply due to the fact that they don't know how to tune their guitar to those notes. If you have a tuner that simply is made for standard tuning, you'll find that it's very inaccurate to use. You'll want a chromatic tuner for any alternate tunings you may wish to use. However, a much easier method is learned by the notes on your guitar neck.
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