List of guitar tunings

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A FuniChar D-616 guitar with a Drop D tuning. It has an unusual additional fretboard that extends onto the headstock. Most guitarists obtain a Drop D tuning by detuning the low E string a tone down.

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.



Initial eight harmonics on C, namely (C,C,G,C,E,G,B,C) About this soundPlay simultaneously 

Major open-tunings give a major chord with the open strings.

Open A[edit]


Open B[edit]

  • Alternatively: F-B-D-F-B-D

Used by Nickelback on "Should've Listened", Devin Townsend in recent years, and Big Wreck on "Albatross".

Open C[edit]


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.[1] 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.


The English guitar used a repetitive open-C tuning that approximated a major-thirds tuning.[2]


This open-C tuning gives the initial harmonic series when a C-string is struck.[4] 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).[3][4] 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".[5]

Open D[edit]

Open D tuning.
Open D tuning (listen)

Open-D tuning is used by Joni Mitchell for her "Big Yellow Taxi",[6] 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.[7]

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".[citation needed]


Same as Open-D but tuned a half-step down. Used by Alice In Chains on the songs "Over Now", "Nothin' Song", and "Shame in You".

Open E[edit]

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".

Open F[edit]

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"

Open G[edit]

Open G tuning (listen)
A seven-string guitar with the open-strings annotated with the notes.
The Russian guitar's tuning approximates a major-thirds tuning.
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.[8]


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)".[9] It was also used by Mick Ralphs for "Hey Hey" on Bad Company's debut album.[5] 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[10])
  • 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).[11]
  • 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
is an open G tuning, approximately in major thirds.[12][13]

Minor: Cross-note[edit]

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.[14]

Cross-note or open E-minor was used by Bukka White and Skip James.[15]

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")
  • 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
Sitar A tuning (listen)
  • Alternative Cross A: E-A-E-A-E-A. «Sitar A» - an alternative low guitar system. Recalls the sound of Indian sitar.


D modal tuning.

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)[19]
  • 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")[20]
  • 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,[21] 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.[22])
  • E modal: E-B-E-E-B-E

Extended chord[edit]

In extended chord tunings, the open strings form a seventh, ninth, or eleventh chord.

Regular tunings[edit]

An equilateral triangle's corners represent the equally spaced notes of a major-thirds tuning, here E-C-G♯. The triangle is circumscribed by the chromatic circle, which lists the 12 notes of the octave.
For every major-thirds tuning, the consecutive open-notes are separated by four semitones, and so three strings cover the twelve notes of the octave.

Major seconds[edit]

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.

Minor thirds[edit]


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.[25]

Major thirds[edit]

Major-thirds tuning is a regular tuning in which the musical intervals between successive strings are each major thirds.[26][27][28] 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.[29]

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".[27]

All fourths[edit]

Stanley Jordan plays guitar using all-fourths tuning.

This tuning is like that of the lowest four strings in standard tuning.[31][32] Jazz musician Stanley Jordan plays guitar in all-fourths tuning; he has stated that all-fourths tuning "simplifies the fingerboard, making it logical".[33]

Augmented fourths[edit]

C-F-c-f-c'-f' or B-F-b-f-b'-f'

Between the all-fifths and all-fourths tunings are augmented-fourth tunings, which are also called "diminished-fifths" or "tritone" tunings.[34]

All fifths: "Mandoguitar"[edit]

New standard tuning.
New Standard Tuning's open strings.
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".[35] 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[edit]


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.

Ostrich tuning[edit]

E-E-e-e-e'-e' or C-C-c-c-c'-c'

Ostrich tuning is a tuning where all strings are tuned to the same note over two or three octaves,[36] creating an intense, chorused drone and interesting fingering potential.

Used by Soundgarden (E-E-e-e-e'-e') on the song "Mind Riot", and by Lou Reed in the Velvet Underground.


Drop D tuning.

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.

Some lower tunings may call for a baritone guitar to more easily maintain high string tension and a rich tone. Others can be achieved using a capo and/or a partial capo.



These tunings are derived by systematic increases or decreases to standard tuning.

Lowered (Standard)[edit]

D 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.[38]


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.


Double drop D tuning.
Double drop D tuning (listen)

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 tuning (listen)

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".[8] 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".


DADDAD tuning (listen)

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.

Cello/Standard guitar[edit]


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"

"Karnivool" tuning[edit]


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.[39] 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'.

"Iris" Tuning[edit]


Tuning used by Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls on the song "Iris".

E-A-C#-F#-A-C# ("Sleeping Ute")E-A-C#-F#-A-C#[edit]

Tuning used by Grizzly Bear guitarist Daniel Rossen in "Sleeping Ute", the opening song of their album Shields. Creates an F#m7/E chord when strummed open.

José González tuning[edit]

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.

Dadd9 tuning

D-A-D-F#-A-E. This tuning is used by Tonic in their song Soldier's Daughter with a capo on the 4th fret.

Microtonal tuning[edit]

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.[40] 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.[41][42]

Extended techniques such as the 3rd bridge technique, slide guitar and prepared guitar techniques can be used to produce microtonality without severe modification to the instrument.

Guitar tunings inspired by other Instruments[edit]

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[edit]


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.[43] 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.[44]
  • 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.
  • E-A-c-f-b
    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 E5 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.


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.[46] 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[47] 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/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.


  • 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.

Steel Guitar[edit]

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.

On lap steel guitar there is often only one six-string neck. C6 tuning is popular for these instruments, as are open G, E6, and E7 tuning.

Renaissance lute[edit]

  • 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.


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  3. ^ a b Guitar Tunings Database (2013). "CCGCEG Guitar Tuner". CCGCEG: Open C via harmonic overtones. Archived from the original on 10 March 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
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  7. ^ Grossman (1972, p. 29)
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  15. ^ Cohen, Andy (22 March 2005). "Stefan Grossman- Country Blues Guitar in Open Tunings". Sing Out!. 49 (1): 152.
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  17. ^ John Sheehan
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  21. ^ The Guitar Book Pierre Bensusan (©1986, published by Hal Leonard)
  22. ^ Classic Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: Selections from Déjà Vu and Crosby Stills & Nash [Authentic Guitar-Tab Edition] © 1993 Warner Bros. Music
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  26. ^ a b Peterson (2002, pp. 36–37):Peterson, Jonathon (2002). "Tuning in thirds: A new approach to playing leads to a new kind of guitar". American Lutherie: The Quarterly Journal of the Guild of American Luthiers. 8222 South Park Avenue, Tacoma WA 98408: USA: The Guild of American Luthiers. Number 72 (Winter): 36–43. ISSN 1041-7176. Archived from the original on 21 October 2011.
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]