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Open A tuning for slide.

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(@gchord)
Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 151
Topic starter  

I have a lot of questions about the Open A tuning. I saw several videos on YouTube with people playing some Robert Johnson songs in Open A and loiked the tone.How do you tune the guitar to get Open A? Will it hurt or strain the guitar in this tuning? Could you use a capo ( :shock: ) in Open G to get to Open A? I know you can use Open D and capo the guitar on the 2nd fret and make it a Open E tuning.Just wondering if I can do the same using Open G and a capo.I don't want to hurt the guitar by changing the tunings everytime I play.I have the resonator tuned to either Open G or Open D 99.9% of the time.Thanks.


   
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(@steinar-gregertsen)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 503
 

Here's how you tune to open-A:

E (same as standard)
C# (one whole step up from standard)
A (one whole step up)
E (one whole step up)
A (same as standard)
E (same as standard)

As you can see the tension will be heavier than in standard tuning, but most guitars should handle that without problems, especially a resonator where string pull at the bridge/top isn't a problem.

Open-G with a capo at the second fret is one way to get around the issue with higher tension, and another advantage is that strings 2, 3 and 4 are tuned the same as in standard tuning so many players feel it's easier to "navigate" on the fretboard because of this.

Hope this helps a little! 8)

"Play to express, not to impress"
Website - YouTube


   
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(@gchord)
Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 151
Topic starter  

Thanks,you've helped a bunch! I think one of the videos a guy used a capo.Since I don't like to tune up,the capo will work just fine.Now if I can remember to play it two frets up I'll have it licked.


   
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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

People sometimes forget that string tension depends on both the gauge and the pitch the string's tuned to. If you want to use a higher tuning than you feel comfortable with using the strings you have, get some lighter strings. Get heavier ones if you want to tune down and they get too floppy. All the string vendors should have a string tension chart on their site. I downloaded D'Addario's years ago and have often referred to it.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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