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OPEN CHORD TUNING

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(@lynnolive)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

I'm a female beginner with small hands. I'm trying open tuning but how do you finger the minor chords?


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

That's a toughie - whichever open tuning you choose, you're going to be playing at least two strings three frets up from the open chord, ie open G tuning DGDGBD - you'd have to play something like 030330 for Gm, and the same chord moved up in different positions for other minor chords. You might want to try an open minor tuning....something like DGDGBbD, that'll give you a Gm chord if you play all six strings open. To make that a G major chord, you'd have to fret the B string at the first fret....000010.

It's always worth experimenting, though, to find out which particular open tuning suits YOU!

Oh - and welcome to GN!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@jewtemplar)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 186
 

In open G, you can also get Em (202002), or Dm (xx0233 or 020233). Also, I would play Gm as 000330 or x00330 rather than 030330. A little third goes a long way, and it's nice to have the root at or near the lowest note of your chord. It also makes it easier to move around. Open minor tunings are definitely not as popular as open major ones, but they seem interesting. Skip James (of Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues fame) was fond of open D minor, as was (I think) Nick Drake. Also, if you play with a slide, you can play minor chords in open G by fretting the B string one fret behind the slide. This doesn't work for everything above Abm.

~Sam


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

Yeah, for everything from the second fret up, if you're using a slide you can fret one fret behind the slide on the string tuned to the major third in any open major tuning. That is, if you're playing bottleneck with your action low enough to allow for normal fretting. People who have their actions high for lap sliding can't do that. They have to come up with slants, partial chords and substitutions like that if they're using six strings. But they've got us beat all hollow if they've got these eight and ten string monsters tuned to sixth chords and things like that!
:lol:

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

The trouble with open tunings, it's easy enough to play around the major chord you're tuned to - minors, sixths, sevenths, minor sevenths, major sevenths, sus 4ths, sus4/6ths - they're all easy to play with one or two fingers adding to the open chord. Trouble is, most of the additions are round the third fret - which makes it horrible to play them as barres.

I love playing in open tunings - but I'm pretty much a novice, myself. One thing I have learned - you can use substitute chords for a I - IV - V progression without too much difficulty.

In open G .....

000000 - G (obviously!)
002010 - Gsus4/6 - better labelled as Cadd9. You know, the chord you play in standard tuning as x32033 or x32013. Good substitute for a C chord.
000234 - Dadd11 (I think! not sure, and it's late, and I've had a few beers....) but a good substitute for a D chord.

Those three chords will take you a long way - they didn't do Keef much harm!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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

And if you haven't been here yet, do take a look: http://www.looknohands.com/chordhouse/guitar/index_rb.html

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@lynnolive)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

Thanks, I have very small hands and can't reach the frets to play chords with reg.tuning. I thought that open tuning would be easier with a slide.

What do you suggest for someone with small hands. I can easily play only 3 strings....


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

Lynn, sliding is GREAT fun, and you don't have to do anything you don't want to. Barre those three strings with a finger if you feel like it, slide with a slide when you feel like it, if you happen to want to make a minor chord by pressing down the tring tuned to the third one fret behind the slide, well, you can do that too. Lots of blues players have been perfectly happy never doing a thing but banging on the open strings, the third, fifth and seventh frets, and singing over it. When you want to get fancy, you can learn to shuffle by fretting with your index and middle fingers on a bass string tuned to the fifth (fifth string in Open D or E, fourth in Open G), then learn some little 2-fret slide up and jump over one, or jump over one, down 2, back up 2 and over 1 sort of things, L and T-shaped, kind of like a chess knight jumping around. Very basic. Mainly remember to put your slide over the fret, not behind it where you put your fingers, and listen for the proper pitch. If it doesn't sound right, move the slide till it does. There are some very basic slide lessons linked off the main page at: http://bigroadblues.com/

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

Thanks, I have very small hands and can't reach the frets to play chords with reg.tuning. I thought that open tuning would be easier with a slide.

What do you suggest for someone with small hands. I can easily play only 3 strings....

how about playing with a slide in one hand. you could play in an open tuning and either setting the guitar on your lap or Spanish style (the regular way). with lap style you are holding a glass or steel slide on top the strings. you can play single notes or chords. or both at the same time. the other way with a glass slide on one of your fingers you can play in a standard or open tuning. you fret some strings sometimes with your fingers and put the glass on them some other times.
th slide makes a movable chord and you can pluck notes in the chord for harmony and melody

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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