List of guitar tunings
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This list of guitar tunings supplements the article guitar tunings. In particular, this list contains more examples of open and regular tunings, which are discussed in the article on guitar tunings. In addition, this list also notes dropped tunings.
- 1 Open
- 2 Regular tunings
- 3 Dropped
- 4 Shifted
- 5 Miscellaneous
- 6 Extended range and other guitar tunings
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
Major open-tunings give a major chord with the open strings.
- Alternatively: E-A-C♯-E-A-C♯
- Alternatively: A-E-A-E-A-C♯ (one step down from "Open B")
- "Slide" Open A: E-A-E-A-C♯-E (identical to "Open G" tuning but with every string raised one step or two frets) Used by Jimmy Page on "In My Time of Dying"" and Jack White on "Seven Nation Army"
- Alternatively: F♯-B-D♯-F♯-B-D♯
This open C tuning is used by William Ackerman for his "Townsend Shuffle" and by John Fahey for his tribute to Mississippi John Hurt. This tuning is also commonly used by John Butler on his 12 string guitar. This tuning is used on most work by Devin Townsend in his solo work as well as his work with Strapping Young Lad. When playing on a 7 string guitar, he would have a low G as the lowest string to complete the fifth.
This open-C tuning gives the initial harmonic series when a C-string is struck. The C-C-G-C-E-G tuning uses the harmonic sequence (overtones) of the note C. When an open-note C-string is struck, its harmonic sequence begins with the notes (C,C,G,C,E,G,B♭,C). This overtone-series tuning was modified by Mick Ralphs, who used a high C rather than the high G for "Can't Get Enough" on Bad Company. Ralphs said, "It needs the open C to have that ring," and "it never really sounds right in standard tuning".
Open-D tuning is used by Joni Mitchell for her "Big Yellow Taxi", Nick Drake for "Place To Be", Alt-J for "Interlude 2", and by Soko for "No More Home, No More Love". Open-D tuning has been called Vestapol tuning.
Richie Havens used Open D tuning to be able to play chords using only his thumb and one or two fingers.
- Alternatively: D-A-D'-A'-D-D
This alternative Open D tuning (and its downtuned variations) is frequently used by Mark Tremonti guitarist for the bands Creed, Alter Bridge, and Tremonti. It was also used by Keith Richards on "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and the Stone Roses in "Love Spreads".
- E-B-E-G#-B-E (use light gauge strings because three strings must be raised) Open E is used by: Brian Jones on "No Expectations", "I Wanna Be Your Man"; Keith Richards on "Salt of the Earth", "Prodigal Son", "Gimme Shelter", "Jigsaw Puzzle", "Jumpin' Jack Flash", "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and by Bob Dylan on his 1975 album Blood on the Tracks. By Hoobastank on their first and second albums, and by Junior Campbell on The Marmalade recordings Reflections of My Life and I See The Rain Used by Johnny Marr of the Smiths on "The Headmaster Ritual".
- F-A-C-F-C-F (requires light gauge strings)
- Alternatively (without light gauge strings): C-F-C-F-A-C
C-F-C-F-A-C is the more common of the two. Used by
- Elizabeth Cotten on her song "When I Get Home"
- Led Zeppelin on "When the Levee Breaks" and "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp" (studio)
- F-Sharp Tuning: F♯-B♭-C♯-F♯-C♯-F♯
- Alternative: C♯-F♯-C♯-F♯-A♭-C♯
F-F-C-F-A-C is also used by Dave Mason on "Only You Know and I Know"
- D-G-D-G-B-D (also known as Spanish Tuning or Chicago Tuning)
Open G was used in rock by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin in the songs "Dancing Days", "That's The Way" and "Black Country Woman", Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones as well as in Mississippi blues by Son House, Charley Patton, and Robert Johnson, and in "Fearless" by Pink Floyd.
Listing the initial six harmonics of the G note, this open-G tuning was used by Joni Mitchell for "Electricity", "For the Roses", and "Hunter (The Good Samaritan)". It was also used by Mick Ralphs for "Hey Hey" on Bad Company's debut album. and on the Meowtain song "Alleyway" Stone Gossard also used this tuning in the song "Daughter" by Pearl Jam.
- Alternatively: G-B-D-G-B-D (slack-key guitar)
- Alternatively: C-G-D-G-B-D (used by Big Wreck on multiple songs, most notably "Inhale" and "Mistake". They downtune it a half step).
- Dobro Open G: G-B-D-G-B-D (occasionally adopted for ordinary guitar, but requires lighter fifth and sixth strings).
- Russian-guitar Open G: The tuning of the Russian guitar
The following open-tunings use a minor third, and give a minor chord with open strings. To avoid the relatively cumbersome designation "open D minor", "open C minor", such tunings are sometimes called "cross-note tunings". The term also expresses the fact that, compared to Major chord open tunings, by fretting the lowered string at the first fret, it is possible to produce a major chord very easily.
Cross-note tunings include (low to high):
- Cross-note A: E-A-E-A-C-E
- Cross-note C: C-G-C-G-C-E♭
- Cross-note D: D-A-D-F-A-D (used by John Fahey on the song "Red Pony")
- Alternative: D-A-D-A-D-F (used by William Ackerman on "Barbara's Song")
- Cross-note E: E-B-E-G-B-E (used by ZZ Top on the song "Just Got Paid Today" and by Joey Eppard on the 3 song "Bramfatura")
- Cross-note F: F-A♭-C-F-C-F (extremely rare)
- Cross-note G: D-G-D-G-B♭-D
- Alternative Cross A: E-A-E-A-E-A. «Sitar A» - an alternative low guitar system. Recalls the sound of Indian sitar.
In modal tunings, the strings are tuned to form a chord which is not definitively minor or major. These tunings may facilitate very easy chords and unique sounds when the open strings are used as drones. Often these tunings form a suspended chord on the open strings. A well known user of modal tunings is Sonic Youth.
- Asus2: E-A-B-E-A-E
- Asus4: E-A-D-E-A-E (used by Davey Graham in "Lord Mayo/Lord Inchiquin" on The Complete Guitarist)
- B♭ modal: B♭-F-B♭-E♭-G-B♭ (used by Neil Young on his 1962 Martin D-28)
- B modal: B-E-B-E-B-E (used by Nick Drake in many of his songs, including "Man In A Shed" and "From The Morning")
- Bsus4: B-F♯-B-E-F♯-B (DADGAD but 3 steps (1 1/2 note) lower, a main tuning of Sevendust, who have used it since Animosity)
- Badd9: B-F♯-C♯-F♯-B-D♯, a minor variation is used by Alter Bridge on the song "This Side of Fate" tuned B-F#-C#-F#-B-D
- Csus2: C-G-C-G-C-D (first five strings equivalent to Double-C tuning for the banjo)
- Csus4+9: C-G-C-F-C-D (used by Martin Simpson in "We Are All Heroes")
- Csus4: C-G-C-F-G-C (used by John Renbourn on "Bouree I & II")
- Low C: C-G-D-G-A-D
- Dsus2: D-A-D-E-A-D
- Dsus4: D-A-D-G-A-D (associated with French acoustic guitarist Pierre Bensusan, and used by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin for a number of songs including "Kashmir" and "Black Mountain Side")
- Esus2: E-B-E-F♯-B-E (used by My Bloody Valentine in "Only Shallow" and by John Mayer in "Something's Missing," "Wherever You Go," "Heart So Heavy," and "In Your Atmosphere").
- Esus4: E-B-E-A-B-E
- E7sus4: E-A-D-E-B-E (used by Ed Sheeran in "Tenerife Sea.")
- Gsus2: D-G-D-G-A-D
- Gsus4: D-G-D-G-C-D (first five strings equivalent to Sawmill tuning for the banjo)
- Gsus4/4 / Orkney Tuning: C-G-D-G-C-D
- EEEEBE a.k.a. "Bruce Palmer Modal Tuning," as named and used by Stephen Stills in "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes where Stills uses this tuning while the other guitar is in standard tuning.)
- E modal: E-B-E-E-B-E
- C6: C-A-C-G-C-E (used by Jimmy Page in "Bron-Yr-Aur", "Friends" and "Poor Tom")
- Cmaj11: C-F-C-G-B-E (used by Soundgarden on the song "4th of July")
- Open Page: D-G-C-G-C-D (used by Jimmy Page in "The Rain Song")
- Dmin7: D-A-D-F-A-C (used by Richie Havens in "From the Prison")
- Dmadd9: D-A-D-F-A-E (used by Opeth on Ghost Reveries)
- D7: D-A-D-F♯-A-C
- Emin7/C: C-G-D-G-B-E (used by Soundgarden on the songs "Mailman", and "Limo Wreck")
- Fmaj9: F-A-C-G-C-E (used by American Football on "Never Meant" and This Town Needs Guns on "Crocodile")
- G6: D-G-D-G-B-E (used by Soundgarden on the songs "Dusty", "Fresh Tendrils", "Never Named", and "Superunknown")
- G7: D-G-D-G-B-F
- Gmaj7: D-G-D-F♯-B-D
- Gadd4: D-G-D-G-B-C (used by Soundgarden on "Like Suicide")
- Emin11: E-B-D-G-A-D (used by Crosby, Stills & Nash on "Guinnevere")
- C-D-E-F♯-G♯-A♯ or C♯-D♯-F-G-A-B
A compact tuning that fits within one octave and covers the chromatic scale between open strings and the first fret.
In the minor-thirds tuning, every interval between successive strings is a minor third. In the minor-thirds tuning beginning with C, the open strings contain the notes (C, D♯, F♯) of the diminished C chord.
Major-thirds tuning is a regular tuning in which the musical intervals between successive strings are each major thirds. Unlike all-fourths and all-fifths tuning, major-thirds tuning repeats its octave after three strings, which again simplifies the learning of chords and improvisation.
Neighboring the standard tuning is the major-thirds tuning that has the open strings
A lower major-thirds tuning has the open strings
which "contains two octaves of a C augmented chord".
This tuning is like that of the lowest four strings in standard tuning. Jazz musician Stanley Jordan plays guitar in all-fourths tuning; he has stated that all-fourths tuning "simplifies the fingerboard, making it logical".
- C-F♯-c-f♯-c'-f♯' or B-F-b-f-b'-f'
All fifths: "Mandoguitar"
- C-G-D-A-E'-B' or G'-D-A-E'-B-F♯'
All-fifths tuning is a tuning in intervals of perfect fifths like that of a mandolin, cello or violin; other names include "perfect fifths" and "fifths". It has a wide range, thus it requires an appropriate range of string gauges. A high b' string is particularly thin and taut, which can be avoided by shifting the scale down by several steps or by a fifth.
New standard tuning
All-fifths tuning has been approximated by the New Standard Tuning (NST) of King Crimson's Robert Fripp. It has a wider range than standard tuning, and its perfect-fifth intervals facilitate quartal and quintal harmony.
- E-E-e-e-e'-e' or C-C-c-c-c'-c'
Used by Soundgarden (E-E-e-e-e'-e') on the song "Mind Riot", and by Lou Reed in the Velvet Underground.
Drop tunings lower the sixth string, dropping the lowest E string of the standard tuning. Some drop tunings also lower the fifth string (A note in standard tuning). A drop one tuning lowers the pitch by one full step.
- Drop D - D-A-d-G-B-E
Standard tuning but with the 6th string dropped one full step. Utilized by bands and/or artists: Radiohead, Avenged Sevenfold, Arrowmont, Kvelertak, Led Zeppelin on "Moby Dick", Jack White on the song "High Ball Stepper", Rage Against the Machine, Prayer for Cleansing, Lamb of God, Underoath, Evanescence, Silverchair, Muse, Skillet, Helmet, Soundgarden, Metallica on songs "All Nightmare Long" and "Just a Bullet Away", Rammstein, Fugazi in some songs, Tool in all their albums (except "Prison Sex" which is Drop B in standard variation Tuning and "Parabol/Parabola" which has E dropped to B and A dropped to E), C3 Church on their song "Breathe", as well as numerous songs on older albums, Stone Temple Pilots in some songs, Audioslave, Filter, Foo Fighters, Porcupine Tree, Incubus in some songs, Guns N' Roses on "Chinese Democracy", "Better", and "Sorry" from Chinese Democracy (most of the rest of the album was in E♭ tuning), Black Veil Brides (on the song "Knives and Pens"), The Devil Wears Prada, Nirvana in some songs, Zakk Wylde in some of his projects, Quicksand, Alesana, Eyes Set to Kill, and The Beatles on "Dear Prudence", Iron Maiden on "If Eternity Should Fail", Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane on Embryonic Journey from the Surrealistic Pillow album, All Time Low on the biggest part of their discography.
- Drop C♯/Drop D♭ - C♯-G♯-c♯-F♯-A♯-D♯ / D♭-A♭-D♭-G♭-B♭-E♭
One half step down from Drop D. Utilized by bands like Dir En Grey, Our Lady Peace, Your Demise, Oceana, Alter Bridge, Alice in Chains on some songs (like "Them Bones" or "We Die Young"), A Day to Remember (on the song "It's Complicated"), Chevelle (on Sci-Fi Crimes), Of Mice & Men, Deftones (on their Around the Fur album), Evanescence, Paramore, Disturbed, Theory of a Deadman, Puddle of Mudd, Linkin Park, Sevendust, Skillet, Black Veil Brides, Steel Panther (on songs like "17 Girls in a Row" or "Gloryhole"), 10 Years, Black Stone Cherry, Truckfighters, Fireball Ministry, RED on End of Silence, Nirvana on In Utero, "Blew" live performances, "Been a Son", the Nevermind album and also by System of a Down. Also used by Lamb of God somewhat on their albums Wrath and VII: Sturm und Drang, and almost exclusively on their album Resolution. Avenged Sevenfold used this tuning on songs "Scream", "Almost Easy", "Hail to the King", "Requiem" and "Coming Home". Guns N' Roses used this tuning on "Shackler's Revenge" from Chinese Democracy. Metallica use this tuning on their song "Minus Human" off S&M, on "Dirty Window" from their album St. Anger and live performances of songs recorded in Drop D, Asking Alexandria on their first album (Stand Up And Scream), As I Lay Dying have used this tuning on a few songs. Trivium used this tuning on their albums In Waves and Vengeance Falls. Van Halen on their 1981 song "Unchained". The Presidents of the United States of America use guitars tuned to this tuning with the top three strings removed, although on Freaked Out and Small, regularly strung guitars were used. Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown use this tuning on some songs (like "Heartland" and "Aftershock"), Finding September (on “Darkest Greys”)
- Drop C - C-G-c-F-A-D
One full step down from Drop D. Utilized by bands like A Day to Remember, Biffy Clyro, Swallow the Sun in all their albums, The Ocean Collective in the Heliocentric / Anthropocentric albums, Slo Burn, Bullet for My Valentine, Evanescence, Children of Bodom, Disciple, Demon Hunter (Only on Demon Hunter), Avenged Sevenfold in "Radiant Eclipse", As I Lay Dying, Asking Alexandria on Reckless and Relentless, Rammstein, August Burns Red, Mastodon (on some songs), Helmet (since the Size Matters era), Converge, System of a Down, What Great Fangs, Black Stone Cherry, Chimaira (since The Impossibility of Reason), P.O.D., Ill Niño, Killswitch Engage, Deftones (in their album White Pony), Disturbed, Gojira (mostly on The Way of All Flesh & L'Enfant Sauvage), Metallica's St. Anger album, (except for the songs "Invisible Kid", which has one guitar in Drop G#, "Dirty Window", which is in Drop C#, and "The Unnamed Feeling", which has one guitar tuned to Drop A#/Bb), Weissglut, Atreyu, Darkest Hour, Breaking Benjamin (on some songs), Mudvayne, Born of Osiris (when using 6 string guitars) Periphery along with some alternate tunings, Cancer Bats, Slipknot (on their demo Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.), Zakk Wylde, Escape the Fate, and Skillet, Nirvana on their Bleach album, Porcupine Tree on the songs Anesthetize and Cheating the Polygraph, Finding September (on “Summer Club” and “Let It Burn”)
- Drop B - B-F♯-b-E-G♯-C♯ / B-G♭-b-E-A♭-D♭
One and one half steps down from Drop D. This tuning is most often used by modern rock and heavy metal bands. Utilized by bands like A Day to Remember, August Burns Red, Slayer (on "Cast Down", "Seven Faces" and "Payback" from God Hates Us All, as well as few songs on Christ Illusion, World Painted Blood and Repentless), Slipknot, Intronaut, Down, Machine Head (tuned 40 cents sharp), Demon Hunter, Chevelle, Origin, Asking Alexandria on their third and fourth albums, From Death To Destiny and The Black respectively, RED (on "Faceless"), Parkway Drive, Skillet (on much of Comatose), Veil of Maya, Bring Me the Horizon (up until Count Your Blessings), Sevendust, Soilwork, Chimaira (on a few songs from The Infection), Eye Empire, Crown the Empire, The Devil Wears Prada, Drowning Pool, The Veer Union, Comfort in the End, Attack Attack!, Mark Tremonti (on much of Full Circle and All I Was, and the songs "Coming Home" and "Home" from Blackbird and AB III, respectively), Nickelback on the song "Side of a Bullet", Disturbed on Immortalized and occasionally Black Stone Cherry, Limp Bizkit, The Kills, and Sucioperro.
- Drop A♯/Drop B♭ - A♯-F-a♯-D♯-G-C / B♭-F-b♭-E♭-G-C
Two full steps down from Drop D. Utilized by bands such as A Day to Remember (on Mr Highway's Thinking About The End, Welcome To The Family, Violence (Enough is Enough), Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way and Sticks and Bricks), In Flames, Hostility, Issues, Static-X, Bring Me the Horizon (since Suicide Season), Hellyeah, Amaranthe, Breaking Benjamin (since Phobia), Parkway Drive, Otep, Spineshank, RED, Bury Your Dead, Eye Empire, Dirge Within, Remembering Never, Metallica on the song "The Unnamed Feeling" from St. Anger, and occasionally Chevelle, Darkest Hour, Evanescence, 9oz. of Nothing, and For the Fallen Dreams.
- Drop A - A-E-a-D-F♯-B / A-E-a-D-G♭-B
Two and one half steps down from Drop D. This tuning is most often used by death metal or deathcore musicians, such as Suicide Silence or Whitechapel (both use seven-string guitars and tune down the seventh string a full step). Utilized by bands like Nile, Motograter, Thrice, Filter (on the songs "Columind" and "The Missing" from The Amalgamut and "Drug Boy" and "The Trouble with Angels" from the album of the same name), Dead by April, RED, Ill Niño (on Dead New World) and occasionally Slipknot, Crowbar, Amon Amarth, Five Finger Death Punch, and Parkway Drive. Trapt uses this tuning on their songs "Hollow Man" and "Waiting".
- Drop A in standard variation - A-a-D-G-B-E:
The 6th string is dropped to A while the other strings retain their standard tuning. Used by Helmet on "Biscuits for Smut", Foo Fighters on "Stacked Actors", Opeth on the song "Sorceress", and the Melvins on "Boris". A 7-string version of this tuning is used by Muse on their song "Citizen Erased, tuned A-a-D-d-G-B-E
- Drop A in D standard variation - A-G-C-F-a-D: Used by Mastodon on most of their first album (Remission) and on some songs on other albums. Also utilized by Periphery on the song "Zyglrox" as well as "Alpha" and "The Bad Thing." Also used on occasion by Black Label Society, who previously tuned it a half-step up, which Alter Bridge also utilizes on some of their songs such as "Broken Wings", "Come to Life", "I Know it Hurts", "Still Remains", "Breath Again", and "All Hope is Gone." Creed, Architects, and Sevendust all use this tuning tuned a half-step down on their songs "Bread of Shame", "Early Grave", and "Home" and "Chop" respectively, with the latter also tuning down a full step for the songs "Death Dance" and "Not Today". Danish industrial metal band Raunchy used this tuning tuned one and a half-step down (F#-E-A-D-f#-B) on the song "Dim the Lights and Run" from the album A Discord Electric. Wage War also utilize this tuning one whole step down for songs like "The River" and "Spineless" off their album Blueprints.
- Drop G♯/Drop A♭ - G♯-D♯-g♯-C♯-F-A♯ / A♭-E♭-a♭-D♭-F-B♭
Three full steps down from Drop D. Utilized by Dead by April (on some songs), Metallica in the song "Invisible Kid" from St. Anger, Asking Alexandria (G#) on their self-titled album, Damien Deadson, Love and Death, Architects and The Acacia Strain. Staind also uses this tuning (but with the 2nd string tuned up 1/2 step to emulate a 7-string guitar), as well as several other modified variations of this, such as one in which the 5th string is also dropped from D# to C#.
- Drop G - G-D-g-C-E-A
Three and one half steps down from Drop D. Used by Darkest Hour on the song "Wasteland", Attack Attack!, Baroness (on their first two EPs), The Acacia Strain (on some songs), Dead by April (on some songs) and In Flames (on the song "Transparent" from Reroute to Remain). Chelsea Grin also used this tuning on their album Ashes to Ashes. Also Pantera and Whitechapel recorded Sandblasted Skin in G-g-C-F-A-D, Drop G variation with D standard. Soulfly used this tuning on "Eye for an Eye" on their self-titled album, although live performances of this song were in Drop D, and now in Drop B.
- Drop F♯/Drop G♭ - F♯-C♯-f♯-B-D♯-G♯ / G♭-D♭-g♭-B-E♭-A♭
Four full steps down from Drop D, or two full steps up from Drop D1. Used by Disfiguring the Goddess. In the recording of Limp Bizkit's song "Nookie", Wes Borland used a custom 4 string baritone guitar tuned F#-F#-B-E. Also Slipknot recorded their song "Scissors" from their debut album in F#-F#-B-E-G#-C#.
- Drop F - F-C-f-A♯-D-G / F-C-f-B♭-D-G
Four and one half steps down from Drop D, or one and a half steps up from Drop D1. Used by Attack Attack! on "The Wretched" off "This Means War" and Northlane.
- Drop E - E-B-e-A-C♯-F♯ / E-B-e-A-D♭-G♭/
Five full steps down from Drop D, or one full step up from Drop D1. Another Variation can be mixed with a Drop A as follows: E-A-e-a-D-G-B-e modeled on an 8 string or E-A-e-a-D-F#-B/E-A-e-a-D-Gb-Cb on a 7 string.
- Drop D♯/Drop E♭ - D♯-A♯-d♯-G♯-C-F / E♭-B♭-e♭-A♭-C-F
Five and one half steps down from Drop D, or one half step up from Drop D1. This can also be a Drop D# standard octave variant tuning modeled on an 8 string D#-G#-d#-g#-C#-F#-A#-d#
- Drop D1 - D-A-d-G-B-E
Six full steps (one octave) down from Drop D. 8 string example; D-A-d-a-d-G-B-E. Black Tongue uses this tuning.
- Drop C♯1/Drop D♭1
Six full steps (one octave) down from Drop C♯/Drop D♭. Used on some After The Burial songs.
- Drop C1
Six full steps (one octave) down from Drop C. Used by Within the Ruins on the album Phenomena with the variation C-F-c-f-A#-D-G.
- Drop C♯/Drop D♭ in standard variation - C♯-A-D-G-B-E
Standard tuning but with the 6th string lowered one and a half steps. Used by Sevendust tuned one and one half-step down on some songs from "Home" through "Alpha", though their version of the tuning also features the A string dropped another half-step. Therefore, A#-F-B-E-G#-C#.
- Drop C in standard variation - C-A-D-G-B-E
Standard tuning but with the 6th string lowered two whole steps. Used by Alter Bridge on the song "My Champion" (tuned down a half-step) as well as Sevendust on the song "Mountain" (tuned down one and a half steps). Also used by John Mayer on the song “Neon”, and by Chino Moreno of Deftones on some songs such as "Swerve City" and "Hearts/Wires", tuned down a full step.
- Drop B in standard variation - B-A-D-G-b-E
Claimed to have been invented by guitarist Victor Griffin of Pentagram (who tunes it 1/2 step down). Also used in the song "March of the Fire Ants" by Mastodon, "Rusty Cage" "Holy Water", and "Searching With My Good Eye Closed" by Soundgarden on their Badmotorfinger album, "Cowboy Hat" and some of "Silver Side Up" by Nickelback, "Gasoline", "Shadow on the Sun", "Bring Em Back Alive" and "The Worm" by Audioslave and "Prison Sex" by Tool. Today is the Day have used it on every album since Temple of the Morning Star, Shining use it on most of their album Blackjazz, and Black Label Society used this on much of their early material, often to emulate a 7-string guitar. Used also by Silverchair in the songs "One Way Mule" and "The Lever" from their album "Diorama".
- Drop B-E - B-E-D-G-b-e
Standard tuning with the 6th and 5th string lowered two and a half steps down. Used by Tool in the song "Parabola".
These tunings are derived by systematic increases or decreases to standard tuning.
Derived from standard EADGBE, all the strings are tuned lower by the same interval, thus providing the same chord positions transposed to a lower key. Lower tunings are popular among rock and heavy metal bands. The reason for tuning down below standard pitch is usually either to accommodate a singer's vocal range or to get a deeper/heavier sound.
- E♭ tuning - E♭-A♭-D♭-F♯-B♭-E♭
Half a step down from standard tuning. Used by bands/artists such as: Jimi Hendrix, Coheed and Cambria, Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Cannibal Corpse (Chris Barnes era), Deicide, Nirvana, AFI, Rise Against, Failure, Weezer, Green Day, Kiss, The Hellacopters, Backyard Babies, Guns N' Roses, Neil Young, Van Halen, Brand New, Blind Guardian, Metallica (on the "Load", "Reload" and "Garage Inc." albums, "The God That Failed" and in live performances of standard tuned songs since 1995), AC/DC (some songs and in live performances of standard tuned songs since 2008), Slayer, Alcest, Rage Against The Machine, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dream Theater (on "Stream of Consciousness"), Alice in Chains, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers, Relient K, Suede, RED on "Not Alone", Beach House, Ugly Kid Joe on their cover of "Cat's in the Cradle", Third Day (on "I Can Feel It"), Die Ärzte (since "Geräusch") Skillet (on "A Little More"), and Vertical Horizon, Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown, Finding September (on “History” and “Inhibitions”).
- D tuning - D-G-C-F-A-D
One full step down from standard tuning. Used by bands/artists such as Volbeat, Mötley Crüe, Nightwish, Pantera, P.O.D., Sepultura, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Watain, In Solitude, Agalloch, Inquisition, Drive-By Truckers, Soulfly, Children of Bodom, Symphony X, Oceansize, Death, Decrepit Birth, Dream Theater, All That Remains, Exodus, Gojira, Shadows Fall, Mastodon, Asking Alexandria on their Stand Up and Scream, Ghost, Lordi, Killswitch Engage, and Kreator. Used in a vast majority of songs by musician Elliott Smith. Also used in Nirvana's songs "Come As You Are", "Lithium" and "Drain You", by Metallica in their songs "Sad but True", "Devil's Dance", their cover of "Whiskey in the Jar", some of their covers on The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited ("The Small Hours" and "Crash Course in Brain Surgery"),"Dream No More", "The Thing That Should Not Be" and in live performances of "The God That Failed" and "Seek and Destroy"; by Bullet for My Valentine in several songs on Scream Aim Fire, by blink-182 in "Adam's Song", in Doug Anthony All Stars live performances and by John Fogerty.
- C♯/D♭ tuning - C♯-F♯-B-E-G♯-C♯ / D♭-G♭-B-E-A♭-D♭
One and a half steps down. Famously used by Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi in the 1970s, as well as Carrie Brownstein, Dimebag Darrell of Pantera, Eyehategod, Architects, Dying Fetus, Anata, Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney, Between the Buried and Me, Machine Head (tuned 40 cents sharp), Down, All That Remains, Bolt Thrower, Pete Loeffler of Chevelle (on Wonder What's Next), Billy Howerdel of A Perfect Circle and Ashes Divide, Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit, Guns N' Roses (on "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "I Don't Care About You"), Slayer (on "Gemini" from Undisputed Attitude, Diabolus In Musica, the majority of God Hates Us All as well as "Cult" and "Black Serenade" from Christ Illusion), and Stone Sour, as well as former guitarist Jim Root's other band Slipknot on the song "Snuff". Also used by Kyuss on the Sons of Kyuss EP and on the songs "Isolation", "Big Bikes" and "Stage III" from Wretch. Used by Metallica on the song "Bad Seed" from the album Reload and live performances of "The Thing That Should Not Be" since 1987, by Guns N' Roses on covers of "Jumping Jack Flash" and "I Don't Care About You", and by blink-182 in "Obvious". Also used on Considered Dead and The Erosion of Sanity by Canadian technical death metal band Gorguts.
- C tuning - C-F-B♭-E♭-G-C / C-F-A♯-D♯-G-C
Two full steps down from normal tuning. Used by bands such as Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Sleep, Spiritual Beggars, In Flames (until Clayman), The Black Dahlia Murder, Asking Alexandria on Reckless and Relentless, Bring Me The Horizon, Architects, First Signs of Frost, Dismember, Dethklok, Suffocation (on Effigy of the Forgotten), Immolation, High on Fire, Cold, Dream Theater, Arch Enemy (since the Angela Gossow era), Entombed, Amaranthe, Nails, Nekrofilth, Cataract, and The Smashing Pumpkins.
- B tuning - B-E-A-D-G♭-B / B-E-A-D-F♯-B
Two and a half steps down from standard tuning. Used in Swedish death metal by bands such as At The Gates, Dismember, Edge of Sanity, Entombed, Amon Amarth, and Arch Enemy (during the Johan Liiva era), as well as Fear Factory (first two albums before Dino Cazares switched to 7-string guitars), Carcass, Type O Negative, Cathedral, Seventh Void, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Sepultura, Five Finger Death Punch, Soulfly, Within Temptation, Triptykon and guitarist Kirk Windstein of Crowbar and Kingdom of Sorrow.
- A♯/B♭ tuning - A♯-D♯-G♯-C♯-F-A♯ / B♭-E♭-A♭-D♭-F-B♭
Three full steps from standard tuning. Used by Dream Theater, Adema, Arch Enemy (on some songs), Asking Alexandria on From Death to Destiny and The Black, Boris, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel (on several songs starting with their album Covenant), Father Befouled, Sepultura, Jeff Hanneman of Slayer (on "War Zone" and "Here Comes the Pain" from God Hates Us All and "Not Of This God" from World Painted Blood. Kerry King used a 7-string for those songs), Mutoid Man (Stephen Brodsky started using the tuning during the recording of the Helium Head EP to fill in the low end of the sound, in an attempt to make up for their lack of a bassist at the time), American Head Charge, Nickelback (on "This Means War" and "Gotta Get Me Some" from Here and Now) and Nevermore (when band switched to 7 strings).
- A tuning - A-D-G-C-E-A
Three and a half steps down from standard tuning. Used by Korn (who used 7-string guitars), Soulfly, THEMES, Taproot, Xibalba, Yob, Bolt Thrower (on Realm of Chaos album), Dystopia, Arch Enemy on live performances of A♯ tuned songs and their cover of "Symphony Of Destruction". Also used on the song "These Walls" by Dream Theater.
- G♯/A♭ tuning - G♯-C♯-F♯-B-D♯-G♯ / A♭-D♭-G♭-B-E♭-A♭
Four full steps down from standard tuning. Utilized by Cannibal Corpse on some songs. Used by death/doom metal band Encoffination.
- G tuning - G-C-F-A♯-D-G / G-C-F-B♭-D-G
Four and a half steps down from standard tuning. Used by the Doom Metal band Warhorse and the Brutal Death Metal band Mortician.
- F♯/G♭ tuning - F♯-B-E-A-C♯-F♯ / G♭-B-E-A-D♭-G♭
Five full steps from standard tuning. Used by the Death Metal band Disfiguring The Goddess and by Periphery on their 8 string guitar songs (tuned F♯-B-E-A-D-G-B-E)
- F tuning - F-A♯-D♯-G♯-C-F / F-B♭-E♭-A♭-C-F
Five and one half steps down from standard tuning. Used by the deathgrind band Maruta, the instrumental doom metal band Bongripper, and the progressive metal band "Meshuggah" (however the band uses eight-stringed guitars).
- Octave Tuning - E-A-D-G-B-E
Six full steps (one octave) down from standard tuning. The Low E has the same fundamental frequency as a bass guitar, essentially the same standard tuning as a bass guitar but with a high B and E added to mimic a regular guitar. This tuning is used on the Fender Bass VI and similar instruments. Notably used by John Lennon with The Beatles, Robert Smith of The Cure and Jack Bruce of Cream. In his early days with Ronnie Hawkins, future Band bassist Rick Danko was also seen with a Fender Bass VI. This is the tuning Earth used on their seminal drone doom album, Earth 2. Also used in some Doom Metal and Sludge Metal bands such as Thou.
From standard EADGBE, all the strings are tuned up by the same interval. String tension will be higher. Typically requires thinner gauge strings, particularly the first string which could be as thin as six thousandths of an inch (about the thickness of a single human hair). A capo is typically preferred over these tunings, as they do not increase neck strain, etc. The advantage of these tunings is that they allow an extended upper note range versus a capo used with standard tuning which limits the number of notes that can be played; in some cases, instruo B♭ or E♭ (such as saxophones, which were frequently encountered in early rock and roll music) are more easily played when the accompanying guitar plays chords in the higher tuning. If standard gauge strings are used, the result is often a "brighter" or "tighter" sound; this was a common practice for some bluegrass bands in the 1950s, notably Flatt & Scruggs.
- F tuning - F-A♯-D♯-G♯-C-F / F-B♭-E♭-A♭-C-F
Half a step up from standard tuning. Used in most of Johnny Cash's music, for "Love Buzz" on Nirvana's Bleach album - apparently by mistake (according to Come As You Are - Michael Azerrad), 3 Doors Down on "Here Without You" (a capo was probably used), Vektor, Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" (The low E string was tuned to Eb/D# for a drop Eb/D# tuning), Nickelback on their song "When We Stand Together", Burzum on his first 3 albums, Immortal on Pure Holocaust, John Fedowitz in his solo project "Ceremony", and Joe Jackson on "Got the Time".
- F♯/G♭ tuning - F♯-B-E-A-C♯-F♯ / G♭-B-E-A-D♭-G♭
One full step up from standard. Primary tuning for the band The Chameleons. Johnny Marr also used this tuning extensively with The Smiths; bassist Andy Rourke remained in standard, however, even when Marr was playing in F#. British singer-songwriter Dave Mason also plays in F#.
- G tuning also known as Terz tuning (sometimes spelled "Tierce", "Third", or "Tertz", all of which are acceptable) - G-C-F-A♯-D-G / G-C-F-B♭-D-G
One and one half steps up from standard.
- G♯/A♭ tuning - G♯-C♯-F♯-B-D♯-G♯ / A♭-D♭-G♭-B-E♭-A♭
Two full steps up from standard.
- A tuning - A-D-G-C-E-A
Two and one half steps up from standard. This is the standard tuning for the Lapstick travel guitar.
- A♯/B♭ - A♯-D♯-G♯-C♯-F-A♯ / B♭-E♭-A♭-D♭-F-B♭
Three full steps up from standard.
Similar to the dropped tunings, except that both the 1st and 6th strings are dropped one full step.
- Double Drop D - D-A-D-G-B-D
Standard tuning but with the 1st and 6th strings dropped one full step. Favored by Neil Young. Has also been used by Lamb of God on some of their earlier songs.
- Double Drop C♯/Drop D♭ - C♯-G♯-C♯-F♯-A♯-C♯ / D♭-A♭-D♭-G♭-B♭-D♭/
Same as [Double] Drop D, but every string is dropped one half step. Used by the acoustic rock band Days of the New. Also used by Our Lady Peace on the song "Starseed", as well as Los Angeles based Alternative band Failure, for the track "Sergeant Politeness".
- Double Drop C - C-G-C-F-A-C
One full step down from Drop D. Used by Sevendust on the song "Seasons".
- Double Drop B - B-F♯-B-E-G♯-B / B-G♭-B-E-A♭-B/
One and one half steps down from Drop D. Used by Aaron Turner of Isis.
- Double Drop A♯/Drop B♭ - A♯-F-A♯-D♯-G-A♯ / B♭-F-B♭-E♭-G-B♭
Two full steps down from Drop D.
- Double Drop A - A-E-A-D-F♯-A / A-E-A-D-G♭-A
Two and one half steps down from Drop D.
- Double Drop G♯/Drop A♭ - G♯-D♯-G♯-C♯-F-G♯ / A♭-E♭-A♭-D♭-F-A♭
Three full steps down from Drop D.
- Double Drop G - G-D-G-C-E-G
Three and one half steps down from Drop D.
- Double Drop F♯/Drop G♭ - F♯-C♯-F♯-B-D♯-F♯ / G♭-D♭-G♭-B-E♭-G♭
Four full steps down from Drop D, or two full steps up from Drop D1.
- Double Drop F - F-C-F-A♯-D-F / F-C-F-B♭-D-F
Four and one half steps down from Drop D, or one and a half steps up from Drop D1.
- Double Drop E - E-B-E-A-C♯-E / E-B-E-A-D♭-E
Five full steps down from Drop D, or one full step up from Drop D1.
- Double Drop D♯/Double Drop E♭ - D♯-A♯-D♯-G♯-C-D♯ / E♭-B♭-E♭-A♭-C-E♭
Five and one half steps down from Drop D, or one half step up from Drop D1.
- Double Drop D1 Tuning - D-A-D-G-B-D
Six full steps (one octave) down from Double Drop D.
DADGAD was developed by Davey Graham in the early 1960s when he was travelling in Morocco, to more easily play along with Oud music Among the first to use this tuning were the folk-blues guitarists of the '60s like Bert Jansch, John Rebourn, Martin Carthy, and John Martyn. It was many years later in the 1970s that it became established for accompanists of traditional music, predominantly Scottish and Irish. Due to this popularity it is sometimes referred to as "Celtic" tuning, although this is misleading given its origin and its primary early use in a quite different field of music. Often vocalized as "Dad-Gad", DADGAD it is now common in Celtic music. In rock music, has been used in Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir". Pierre Bensusan is another noted exponent of this tuning. The post-metal group Russian Circles also employ this tuning, and also plays it in the form of all the notes becoming a half-step down: D♭-A♭-d♭-g♭-a♭-d♭'. Three down-tuned variations are used by the band Sevendust: A Drop C variation, or C-G-c-f-g-c'. (used on the song "Unraveling"), a Drop B variation, or B'-F♯-B-e-f♯-b, and a Drop A# variation, or A♯'-F-A♯-d♯-f-a♯. Neighboring tunings D-A-d-e-a-e' and C-G-c-d-g-a have been used by Martin Carthy. Also D-A-d-a-a-d', was used by Dave Wakeling on the English Beat's 1983 "Save It For Later".
Nicknamed - "Papa-Papa". DADDAD is common in folk music (Irish, Scottish), and for the execution of a rhythm guitar in "heavy" (alternative music) on 6th on the third string at the same time. To reach the tuning from DADGAD, Open D or Open D Minor, the G string is dropped to D so that the 3rd and 4th strings are tuned to the same pitch. DADDAD tuning is sometimes used on Dobro guitars for rock and blues. Notable users of this tuning include Billy McLaughlin and John Butler.
Essentially a cello tuning with the deeper four strings in fifths and the two highest strings in standard guitar tuning. Used on numerous Pavement songs and by Foo Fighters on the song "Weenie Beenie"
Hybrid tuning between drop B-tuning and E-standard. Used by the band Karnivool for many of their songs.
Mi-composé is a tuning commonly used for rhythm guitar in African popular music forms such as soukous and makossa. It is similar to the standard guitar tuning, except that the d string is raised an entire octave. This is accomplished by replacing the d string with an e' string and tuning it to d'.
E-A-C#-F#-A-C# ("Sleeping Ute")E-A-C#-F#-A-C#
José González tuning
D-A-D-G♭-B-E This is a tuning favored by the Swedish singer-songwriter José González. He uses this on such songs as "Crosses", "Heartbeats" and "Cycling Trivialities" (capo on second fret). It is similar to the standard guitar tuning, but the low E string is dropped to D and the G string is dropped a half step to F♯/G♭.
The open strings of a guitar can be tuned to microtonal intervals, however microtonal scales cannot easily be played on a conventional guitar because the frets only allow for a chromatic scale of twelve equally spaced pitches, each a semitone apart. (Certain microtonal scales, particularly quarter tones, can be played on a standard guitar solely by adjusting tunings, but the distance between notes on the scale makes it somewhat impractical.) It is possible to play microtonal scales on a fretless guitar, to convert a fretted guitar into a fretless, or to make a custom neck with a specific microtonal fret spacing.
Guitars can also be refretted to a microtonal scale. On many refretted microtonal guitars, the frets are split, so that the tuning of each string is independent from the others. To enable an adjustable microtonal tuning, there exist guitars with frets that can be moved across the fingerboard.
Guitar tunings inspired by other Instruments
In his on-line guide to alternative tunings for six-string guitars, William Sethares mentions several that are inspired by instruments other than guitars, for example, balalaika (E-A-D-E-E-A), cittern C-G-C-G-C-G, and Dobro G-B-D-G-B-D.
Extended range and other guitar tunings
Five string guitars are common in Brazil, where they are known as guitarra baiana and are typically tuned in 5ths. Schecter Guitar Research produced a production model 5 string guitar called the Celloblaster in 1998. A five-string tuning may be necessary in a pinch when a string breaks on a standard six-string (usually the high E) and no replacement is immediately available.
Some basic five-string tunings include:
- Standard - E-A-d-g-b
The standard tuning, without the top E string attached. Alternative variants are easy from this tuning, but because several chords inherently omit the lowest string, it may leave some chords relatively thin or incomplete with the top string missing (the D chord, for instance, must be fretted 5-4-3-2-3 to include F#, the tone a major third above D).
- High C - E-A-d-g-c'
Standard tuning with the B tuned a half step higher to C to emulate a 6 string bass guitar, minus the low B. This is an all fourths tuning.
- Celloblaster or Guitello - C-G-d-a-e'
An all fifths tuning as used on cello or mandolin, extended to five strings. Used by the noise-rock band Lightning Bolt, and by Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson on his Bach Cello Suites album.
- Baritone - E-A-d-f♯-b
In this tuning, the fourth (G) string is lowered a half-step, thus recreating the intervals between the top five strings, lowered a perfect fourth. Though chords can easily and more fully be played from this tuning, it sometimes results in awkward inversions, a relatively minor problem if the five-string is played in an ensemble with a bass guitar.
Simulates the top four strings, followed by the second-from-bottom string on top, raised a whole step (the F♯ representing both the top and bottom E). It makes playing in the key of A major easier, though chord fingerings have to be altered unless the strings are rearranged to F♯-B-E-A-C♯.
- Open G tuning - G-d-g-b-d'
Some slide/bottleneck guitarists omit the bottom E string when playing in open G to have the root note as the tonic. This tuning is used by Keith Richards.
- Open E♭5 tuning - E♭-B♭-e♭-b♭-e♭'
This is achieved by removing the fourth (G) string, tuning both Es and the B down a half step, and the A and D strings up a half-step. This creates a five-string power chord.
Similar to five-string bass guitar tuning, seven-string tuning allows for the extra string a fourth lower than the original sixth string. This allows for the note range of B standard tuning without transposing E standard guitar chords down two and a half steps down. Baritone 7-string guitars are available which features a longer scale-length allowing it to be tuned to a lower range.
- Standard Tuning - B'-E-A-d-g-b-e'
This is the Standard seven-string tuning.
- Drop A 7-String Tuning - A'-E-A-d-g-b-e'
This is the Standard seven-string tuning with low B dropped to A.
- Standard Choro Tuning - C-E-A-d-g-b-e'
Standard seven-string tuning for Brazilian choro.
- Drop D 7-String Tuning - B'-D-A-d-g-b-e'
Standard seven-string tuning with the low E dropped to D, which results in a minor 3rd interval between the two lowest strings of B and D. Used by Ed Sloan of Crossfade. Also used by Animals as Leaders on the song "CAFO". A flat variation of this tuning is used by Periphery on the song “Racecar”.
- Drop D & A 7-String Tuning - A'-D-A-d-g-b-e'
Standard seven-string tuning with a Dropped D and A from E and B. Used extensively by Dir En Grey since the album "Dum Spiro Spero" as well as the song "Obscure" from the album Vulgar. Also used by Stam1na.
- Thirds Tuning - E-G♯-c-e-g♯-c'-e'
Same range as standard six-string. Allows over two full chromatic octaves without changing position, slides or bends.
- All Fourths Tuning - B'-E-A-d-g-c'-f'
Expands the major third between the second and third strings, extending range a half step higher.
- Russian Tuning - D-G-B-D-g-b-d
6-string Open G tuning with additional 5th B-string. Was a standard tuning for classic 7-string guitars in Russia in the 19th to 20th centuries.
- A♯/B♭ tuning - A♯'-D♯-G♯-c♯-f♯ -a♯-d♯' / B♭'-E♭-A♭-d♭-g♭ -b♭-e♭'
Half a step down from standard, used by bands such as Emmure, TesseracT and Meshuggah in their earlier days, Jeff Loomis (now formerly of Nevermore), Cannibal Corpse mid-career, ERRA, Hypocrisy on End of Disclosure, Adema, American Head Charge, Sonata Arctica (since Winterheart's Guild), Mushroomhead, Korn in Neidermeyer's Mind demo album, Revocation, Dir En Grey since "Dum Spiro Spero," After The Burial on Forging a Future Self album, Chad Kroeger of Nickelback on the song "This Means War" (Ryan Peake used a six-string), Slayer (on War Zone and Here Comes the Pain from God Hates Us All), and Trivium on Silence in the Snow, The Sin and the Sentence, and all live performances of songs previously written on standard tuned seven string guitars.
- A tuning - A'-D-G-c-f-a-d'
A full step down from standard. Used by bands such as Korn, Paradise Lost, Dream Theater (on "False Awakening Suite" and "Illumination Theory" from the self-titled album), Emmure, VUUR, Obscura, ReVamp, and Fear Factory (on most songs from Obsolete and Digimortal, "Drones" and "Bonescraper" from Archetype, "Moment of Impact" from Transgression, and most songs on Mechanize, The Industrialist and Genexus)
- G♯/A♭ tuning - G♯'-C♯-F♯-B-e-g♯-c♯' / A♭'-D♭-G♭-B-e-a♭-d♭'
One and one half steps down from standard. Used by bands such as Deftones (on their self-titled album) and Korn (on the song "Alone I Break", but on 14-string guitars). Also used by Mark Tremonti on the song "Show Me A Leader" (Myles uses a 6-String guitar tuned to Drop C#)
- G tuning - G'-C-F-A♯-d♯-g-c' / G'-C-F-B♭-e♭-g-c'
Two full steps down from standard tuning. Used by Luc Lemay of Gorguts
- F♯/G♭ tuning - F♯'-B'-E-A-d-f♯-b / G♭'-B'-E-A-d-g♭-b
Two and one half steps down from standard. Used by Danish band Mnemic in the albums Passenger, Sons of the System, and Mnemesis. Fear Factory also used this tuning for their cover of Wiseblood's "0-0 (Where Evil Dwells)", while their all other songs tuned in F♯/G♭ were played with eight-string guitars.
- F tuning - F'-A♯'-D♯-G♯-c♯-f-a♯ / F'-B♭'-E♭-A♭-d♭-f-b♭
Three full steps down from standard. Used by Meshuggah during the recording of Nothing. The songs are played live using 8 string guitars.
- E tuning - E'-A'-D-G-c-e-a
Three and one half steps down from standard.
- D♯/E♭ tuning - D♯'-G♯'-C♯-F♯-B-d♯-g♯ / E♭'-A♭'-D♭-G♭-B-e♭-a♭
Four full steps down from standard.
- D tuning - D'-G'-C-F-A♯-d-g / D'-G'-C-F-B♭-d-g
Four and one half steps down from standard.
- C♯/D♭ tuning - C♯'-F♯'-B'-E-A-c♯-f♯ / D♭'-G♭'-B'-E-A-d♭-g♭/
Five full steps down from standard.
- C tuning - C'-F'-A♯'-D♯-G♯-c-f / C'-F'-B♭'-E♭-A♭-c-f
Five and one half steps down from standard.
- Octave Tuning - B"-E'-A'-D-G-B-e
Six full steps (one octave) down from standard tuning.
The open C tuning for 7-string guitar was Devin Townsend's preferred tuning for the extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad (GCGCGCE, used on their last two albums. Also used on Ziltoid the Omniscient, "Planet of the Apes" from Deconstruction, and "Failure" from Transcendence).
- High A - E-A-d-g-b-e'-a' - Standard tuning with a high 'A' instead of a low 'B'. Because of the high pitch of the 'A' string, it usually requires a multi-scale fingerboard (fanned frets) to provide enough tension.
- C tuning - C-F-A♯-d♯-g-c'-f' / C-F-B♭-e♭-g-c'-f'
Half a step up from standard, used by Eddie Rendini during his time in Cold.
- C♯ tuning - C♯-F♯-B-e-a-c♯-f♯
The whole step up from standard. This tuning was used by Wes Borland with high E-string being lowered to C♯ (C♯-F♯-B-e-a-c♯-c♯) on the first two Limp Bizkit records.
These tunings have the added low 7th string tuned one full step lower allowing for chord structures similar to six-string drop tunings.
- Drop B - B-F♯-B-E-A-C♯-F♯ / B-F♯-B-E-G♯-C♯-F♯ / B-G♭-B-E-A-D♭-G♭
a tuning which combines the standard drop B tuning of a 6 string electric guitar, but with a high F♯ for soloing. Used by bands such as All Shall Perish and Assemble the Chariots
- Drop A - A-E-A-D-G-B-E
A combination of standard 6 string tuning and a 7th string dropped one full step for power chords, used by deathcore bands such as Suicide Silence, Oceano, and Whitechapel, as well as other bands such as Lacuna Coil, Blotted Science, In This Moment, Chimaira (on Pass Out of Existence and Crown of Phantoms), and occasionally Scar Symmetry, Escape the Fate, King 810, The Devil Wears Prada, Dry Kill Logic, Eldest 11, December In Red, A Fall To Break, and CFO$ on some songs. Triumphant Return guitarist Matti varies this tuning by dropping both the low B to A and low E to D and raising the high B and E a half-step to C and F (A-D-A-D-G-C-F).
- Drop A - alternatively, A-E-A-D-F#-B-E
The same as drop A tuning for a 6-string on the low strings while retaining a high E. In effect converts a 7-string into a drop A baritone guitar, but with standard tuning's soloing capability.
- Drop G♯/Drop A♭ -G♯-D♯-G♯-C♯-F♯-A♯-D♯ / A♭-E♭-A♭-D♭-G♭-B♭-E♭
One half step down from standard Drop A. Used by bands such as Trivium on some songs from Silence in the Snow and The Sin and the Sentence, Destrophy, TesseracT, Brian "Head" Welch, After The Burial on some songs from their Rareform, In Dreams and Dig Deep albums, Within the Ruins, In Hearts Wake, Periphery, and Invent Animate. Jim Johnston used this tuning for the song "I Bring the Darkness (End of Days)".
- Drop G - G-D-G-C-F-A-D
A full step from standard Drop A, used by such bands as Molotov Solution, Impending Doom, Attack Attack! on their album This Means War, Any Given Day, Vildhjarta, Knocked Loose, Whitechapel on some songs, Emmure and Born of Osiris since their album The Discovery.
- Drop F♯/Drop G♭ - F♯-C♯-F♯-B-E-G♯-C♯ / G♭-D♭-G♭-B-E-A♭-D♭
One and one half steps down from standard Drop A. Used by Deftones (on their Saturday Night Wrist album).
- Drop F - F-C-F-A♯-D♯-G-C / F-C-F-B♭-E♭-G-C /
Two full steps down from standard Drop A. This tuning is used on three tracks on Attack Attack!'s album This Means War: "The Hopeless," "The Abduction," and "The Wretched." The bands DVSR, Northlane (F-B♭-F-B♭-E♭-G-C), The Acacia Strain, Reflections and "Conan" use this tuning as well. Triumphant Return uses a variation of this tuning (F-C-G-C-F-A-D).
- Drop E1 - E-B-E-A-D-F♯-B / E-B-E-A-D-G♭-B
Two and one half steps down from standard Drop A.
- Drop D1♯/Drop E1♭ - D♯-A♯-D♯-G♯-C♯-F-A♯ / E♭-B♭-E♭-A♭-D♭-F-B♭
Three full steps down from standard Drop A. A variation of this tuning is used on Northlane's Alien album (E♭-A♭-E♭-A♭-D♭-F-B♭)
- Drop D1 - D-A-D-G-C-E-A
Three and one half steps down from standard Drop A. Used by Black Tongue.
- Drop C1♯/Drop D1♭ - D♭-A♭-D♭-G♭-B-E♭-A♭ / C♯-G♯-C♯-F♯-B-D♯-G♯
Four full steps down from standard Drop A.
- Drop C1 - C-G-C-F-A♯-D-G / C-G-C-F-B♭-D-G
Four and one half steps down from standard Drop A.
- Drop B0 - B-F♯-B-E-A-C♯-F♯ / B-G♭-B-E-A-D♭-G♭
Five full steps down from standard Drop A. Six full steps (one octave) down from a baritone Drop B guitar
- Drop A♯/Drop B♭ - A♯-F-A♯-D♯-G♯-C-F / B♭-F-B♭-E♭-A♭-C-F
Five and one half steps down from standard Drop A.
- Drop A0 Tuning - A-E-A-D-G-B-E
Six full steps (one octave) down from standard Drop A.
- Drop G#0 tuning -G♯-D♯-G♯-C♯-F♯-A♯-D♯
(One octave below drop G#). Used by American deathcore band Anzu.
A continuation of the 7-string, adding another string a perfect fourth lower than the seven strings low B. The eight string guitars additional low F♯ string is just a whole step up from a bass guitars low E string. While luthiers have been building these instruments previously, mass-produced eight-string electric guitars are a relatively recent innovation. Ibanez was first to offer a production eight-string guitar in March 2007. Many other companies now produce mass-market eight-string models, yet these guitars remain relatively uncommon.
Standard 8 String F♯'-B'-E-A-D-G-B-E'
Standard eight-string tuning. Used by Scar Symmetry on the song "The Three-Dimensional Shadow" from the album Holographic Universe (album) and "Mechanical Soul Cybernetics" from the album Dark Matter Dimensions, Deftones, Periphery on "Ji", "Overture", "Extraneous", "22 Faces", "Four Lights" and "Stranger Things", by Fear Factory on "Mechanize", "Metallic Division", "God Eater" and "Soul Hacker" and by Devil You Know on some songs.
- F tuning - F'-B♭'-E♭-A♭-d♭-g♭-b♭-e♭'
Half a step down from standard tuning. Used by Meshuggah, The Acacia Strain, Monuments, After The Burial, Butcher Babies, and by Deftones on "Tempest" and "Rosemary" from Koi No Yokan.
- E tuning - E'-A'-D-G-c-f-a-d'
One full step down from standard tuning. Used by Meshuggah and Korn on their "Untitled" album and on songs "Illuminati" and "Way Too Far" from their The Path of Totality album.
- E♭ tuning- E♭'-A♭'-D♭-G♭-B-e-a♭-d♭'
One and a half steps down from standard tuning. Used by Meshuggah on "Nebulous" and Dissipate on their Tectonics EP.
- D tuning - D'-G'-C-F-a♯-d♯-g-c'
Two full steps down from standard tuning.
- A tuning - A"-D'-G'-C-F-A-d-g
Three and one half steps down from standard tuning.
- High A tuning - B'-E-A-d-g-b-e'-a'
Standard seven string tuning with a 'high a' Used by Rusty Cooley.
- All fourths tuning - F♯'-B'-E-A-d-g-c'-f'
Regular tuning which extends range a half step higher.
- Drop E/F♭ - E-B-E-A-D-G-B-E
A combination of standard 7-string tuning and an 8th string dropped one full step. Allows to play in the range of a standard electric bass, as well as one-finger power chords. Used by Animals as Leaders and Whitechapel (on the songs "Devolver" and "Breeding Violence" from A New Era of Corruption). Also used by Deftones on Koi No Yokan and Gore, Allegaeon, and Emmure on the song "N.I.A. (News in Arizona)". A variation of this tuning is used by Hacktivist with 3rd and 4th strings tuned a whole step up to A and E respectively.
- Drop E, A - E-A-E-A-D-G-B-E
A combination of 7-string drop A tuning and an 8th string dropped one full step, allowing both power chords rooted on A, and easy fingering with the E a fourth below. This is the tuning of the lowest two strings of a bass, along with all 6 strings of a standard-tuned guitar. It is used by Rings Of Saturn on the album Lugal Ki En.
- Drop E, A (Variation) - E-A-E-A-D-F♯-B-E
A variation on Drop E, A with the G flattened one half step to F♯; this tuning is identical to 6-string Drop A, with two E strings added: one above, and one below. Like Drop E, A; this tuning allows easy fingering on the E since it is a standard fourth interval below the A. It also provides three high strings a fourth apart instead of the usual two. The tuning is used by Infant Annihilator on their album The Elysian Grandeval Galèriarch. A 7-string variation of the tuning without the high E (E-A-E-A-D-F♯-B) was used on their previous album The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution and is used by Enterprise Earth/Delusions of Grandeur guitarist Gabe Mangold.
- Drop E, A (Variation) - E-A-E-A-D-F♯-B-E
- Drop E♭/D♯ - E♭-B♭-E♭-A♭-D♭-G♭-B♭-E♭
Half a step down from drop E tuning. Used by Meshuggah in the album Catch Thirty-Three, in the song Shed, and used by Emmure in the album Speaker of the Dead in the song "Word of Intulo". Also used by After the Burial in the song "To Carry You Away" off of the album In Dreams.
- Drop D - D-A-D-G-C-F-A-D
One full step down from drop E. Used by Meshuggah in the song "Obsidian".
- Drop C♯ - C♯-G♯-C♯-F♯-B-E-G♯-C♯
One and a half steps down from drop E. Used by After the Burial on the songs "Pennyweight", "Neo Seoul" and "A Wolf Amongst Ravens" off of their Wolves Within album.
- Drop E/Open Tuning - E-B-E-B-E-F#-B-E
3rd string half a step down. 4th & 5th strings a whole step up. Used by The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza in Danza III and IV
A continuation of the eight string, adding a string lower or higher.
- Standard - C♯-F♯-B-E-A-d-g-b-e'.
Used by After The Burial on some songs from Wolves Within, by Mick Gordon for the Doom soundtrack, and by Animals As Leaders for Private Visions of the World.
- High A - F♯-B-E-A-d-g-b-e'-a'
- B tuning - B-E-A-D-G-c-f-a-d
One full step from standard tuning. Gives the range of a five-string electric bass as well as a six-string electric guitar.
- Drop B, E - B-E-B-E-A-d-g-b-e
Gives the range of a five-string electric bass as well as a seven-string electric guitar in standard tuning. Used by Animals As Leaders.
- Drop B - B-F♯-B-E-A-d-g-b-e
- Double Drop A - A-D-A-D-C♯-c-g-g♯-e' (Or) A-D-A-D-C (16th#)-C-G-Ab-E
Used by Glass Cloud and Emmure on their album Look at Yourself.
- Drop A - A-E-A-D-G-c-f-a-d
Standard 9-string tuning tuned one whole step down, and the lowest string dropped another whole step.
- Drop G - G-D-G-C-F-a ♯-d ♯-g-c.
A continuation of the nine string, adding another lower string to the standard or high A tuning.
- Standard - G♯-C♯-F♯-B-E-A-d-g-b-e'
- High A - C♯-F♯-B-E-A-d-g-b-e'-a'
- Standard bass and standard guitar - standard E-A-D-g-b-e tuning for the top 6 strings and standard E'-A'-G-D bass tuning for the bottom 4 strings. It's set as a factory tuning for Agile Septor 1030.
This section possibly contains original research. (March 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
On table steel guitar and pedal steel guitar, the most common tunings are the extended-chord C6 tuning and E9 tuning, sometimes known as the Texas and Nashville tunings respectively. On a multiple-neck instrument, the near neck will normally be some form of C6, and the next closest neck E9.
Necks with 12 or more strings can be used with universal tunings which combine the features of C6 and E9. On a 12 string pedal steel guitar, all 12 strings are tuned and played individually, not as 6 double courses as on the 12 string guitar.
This section possibly contains original research. (March 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- Renaissance lute tuning: E-A-d-f♯-b-e'
This tuning may also be used with a capo at the third fret to match the common lute pitch: G-c-f-a-d'-g'. This tuning also matches standard vihuela tuning and is often employed in classical guitar transcriptions of music written for those instruments, such as, for instance, "La Canción Del Emperador" and "Diferencias Sobre Guardame Las Vacas" by Renaissance composer Luis de Narváez.
- Sethares (2009, pp. 18–19)
- Hannu Annala, Heiki Mätlik (2007). "Composers for other plucked instruments: Rudolf Straube (1717-1785)". Handbook of Guitar and Lute Composers (Translated by Katarina Backman ed.). Mel Bay. p. 30. ISBN 9780786658442. ISBN 0786658444.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
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- Sethares (2001, p. 16)
- Cohen, Andy (22 March 2005). "Stefan Grossman- Country Blues Guitar in Open Tunings". Sing Out!. 49 (1): 152.
- John Sheehan
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- Sethares (2001, pp. 56)
- Griewank, Andreas (1 January 2010), Tuning guitars and reading music in major thirds, Matheon preprints, 695, Rosestr. 3a, 12524 Berlin, Germany: DFG research center "MATHEON, Mathematics for key technologies" Berlin, Postscript file and Pdf file, archived from the original on 8 November 2012
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- Sethares (2001, pp. 58–59)
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- Ferguson (1986, p. 76): Ferguson, Jim (1986). "Stanley Jordan". In Casabona, Helen; Belew, Adrian (eds.). New directions in modern guitar. Guitar Player basic library. Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation. pp. 68–76?. ISBN 9780881884234. ISBN 0881884235.
- Sethares (2001, "The augmented fourths tuning" 60–61)
- Sethares (2001, "The mandoguitar tuning" 62–63)
- Lou Reed biography at IMDb
- Charupakorn, Joe. "Pentagram's Victor Griffin: Commandeering the Low Road". Premier Guitar. Premier Guitar. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
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- US Patent for individually adjustable frets
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- Alternate Guitar Tunings
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