List of guitar tunings
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This article contains a list of guitar tunings that 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.
Throughout, this list references standard tuning, i.e. E2–A2–D3–G3–B3–E4 . for comparison.
Major open-tunings give a major chord with the open strings.
- 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. David Wilcox also recorded his most famous songs, "Eye of the Hurricane" and "Rusty Old American Dream", both from How Did You Find Me Here, in this tuning, as well as "New World", "Show the Way", "Hold It Up to the Light", and his cover of "It's the Same Old Song" from Big Horizon, and "Mango" from East Asheville Hardware.
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", Boys Like Girls for "Thunder", David Wilcox for "Wildberry Pie", "Mighty Ocean", "Kindness", and "Never Enough", and by Soko for "No More Home, No More Love". Open-D tuning has been called Vestapol tuning.
- 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".
This tuning is the same as Open D but tuned a half-step down. It is used by Alice In Chains on the songs "Over Now", "Nothin' Song", and "Shame in You"; by Guns N' Roses on the song "Bad Obsession"; and by Switchfoot on the song "Daisy".
- E-B-E-G#-B-E (use light-gauge strings because three strings must be raised) Open E is used by: Duane Allman on Fillmore East and many other Slide tracka he played and recorded 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. The tuning is also used 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". Lastly, the Open E tuning is 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, some songs by Alter Bridge (including down-tuned and minor variations on "In Loving Memory", "Watch Over You", "Wonderful Life", "Words Darker Than Their Wings", "Cradle to the Grave", and "Dying Light"), and in "Fearless" by Pink Floyd. David Wilcox used this tuning on "The Nightshift Watchman".
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--and by David Wilcox on "It's Almost Time", "Just a Vehicle", "Distant Water", "Golden Day", and his covers of "The Kid" and "Missing You .” Also used by Andrew Peterson on his song “Faith to be Strong” and by Macseal on multiple songs.)
- 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" 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 three notes (1-1/2 steps) 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, believed to have been used by David Wilcox on "Let Them In" from Home Again (for the First Time), though even he isn't entirely sure)
- Csus4+9: C-G-C-F-C-D (used by Martin Simpson in "We Are All Heroes", and by David Wilcox on "Come Away to Sea" from The Nightshift Watchman with the high string raised to E)
- Csus4: C-G-C-F-G-C (used by John Renbourn on "Bouree I & II")
- Low C: C-G-D-G-A-D (used by David Wilcox on "High Hill", "Covert War", "Chet Baker's Unsung Swan Song", "Break in the Cup", "Show Me the Key", "Silent Prayer", and "Leaving You")
- Dsus2: D-A-D-E-A-D (used by David Wilcox on "How Did You Find Me Here")
- Dsus4: D-A-D-G-A-D (devised by British guitarist Davey Graham in the late 1950s, 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"; also used by David Wilcox on multiple songs, occasionally tuning half a step down)
- 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
- B add4: E-B-D#-F#-B-E (used by This Town Needs Guns on "Adventure, Stamina, and Anger" and "Left-Aligned")
- 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")
- Cm add4: C-F-C-G-C-D# (used by This Town Needs Guns on "Baboon" and "Lemur")
- Open Page/Csus2/Gsus4: D-G-C-G-C-D (used by Jimmy Page in "The Rain Song")
- Dm7: D-A-D-F-A-C (used by Richie Havens in "From the Prison")
- Dm add9: D-A-D-F-A-E (used by Opeth on Ghost Reveries)
- Dadd9: D-A-D-F#-A-E (used by Coby & Simone on "Butterflies in Space")
- D7: D-A-D-F♯-A-C
- Dmaj7: D-A-D-F#-A-C# (used by Coby & Simone on "Coloured Visions")
- D#m add2/4: F-G#-D#-F#-A#-D# (used by This Town Needs Guns on "Chinchilla" and "Gibbon")
- Em7/C: C-G-D-G-B-E (used by Soundgarden on the songs "Mailman", and "Limo Wreck", Richard Thompson on "1952 Vincent Black Lightning", and Pavement on several songs)
- 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
- A#maj7: A#-F-A#-D-A-D (extremely rare)
- Gadd4: D-G-D-G-B-C (used by Soundgarden on "Like Suicide")
- Em11: 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 has been recently developed by Octave4Plus gauged at .006 which is pretty thin, but under really low tension to prevent breakage.
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'
Drop tunings lower the sixth string, dropping the lowest E string of the standard tuning. Some drop tunings also lower the fifth string (the 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: HUM, Radiohead, Avenged Sevenfold, Arrowmont, Kvelertak, Led Zeppelin on "Moby Dick", Jack White on the song "High Ball Stepper", Rage Against the Machine, Bon Jovi, Prayer for Cleansing, Lamb of God, Underoath, Evanescence, Silverchair, Muse, FTISLAND, Godsmack, Marilyn Manson, Skillet, Helmet, DAY6, Soundgarden, "All Nightmare Long" and "Just A Bullet Away", Chino Moreno of Deftones used this tuning on the songs "Hole in the Earth" and "Beauty School", Rammstein, Sum 41, Paramore in some songs, 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), Papa Roach, Every Time I Die, Three Days Grace, Seether, Trivium, C3 Church on their song "Breathe", as well as numerous songs on older albums, Nickelback, Stone Temple Pilots in some songs, Audioslave, Filter, Foo Fighters, Porcupine Tree, Incubus on some songs, Guns N' Roses on "Chinese Democracy" 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, David Wilcox on "Daddy's Money", "Jamie's Secret", "Common as the Rain", "(You Were) Going Somewhere", "Last Chance Waltz", "All the Roots Grow Deeper When It's Dry", "Waffle House", and several songs from East Asheville Hardware, Nirvana in some songs, Zakk Wylde in some of his projects, Aerosmith on "Livin' on the Edge", 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 Guía Luz Negra, Dir En Grey, 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, Sleeping With Sirens on their debut album With Ears to See and Eyes to Hear, Bon Jovi, Deftones (on their Around the Fur album), Evanescence, Paramore, Disturbed, Theory of a Deadman, Puddle of Mudd, Sum 41, Linkin Park, Three Days Grace (On their songs "Just Like You" and "The High Road"), Sevendust, Breaking Benjamin primarily on Saturate, Skillet, Black Veil Brides, Steel Panther (on songs like "17 Girls in a Row" or "Gloryhole"), 10 Years, Black Stone Cherry, Saint Asonia, Truckfighters, Attila (Early), Fireball Ministry, Memphis May Fire, 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 on their albums Wrath and VII: Sturm und Drang, and almost exclusively on their album Resolution. Avenged Sevenfold, Norma Jean, Guns N' Roses used this tuning on "Better" and "Shackler's Revenge" from Chinese Democracy and "Ain't It Fun" from "The Spaghetti Incident?". Metallica used this tuning on their song "– Human" off S&M, on "Dirty Window" from their album St. Anger, Seether, As I Lay Dying have used this tuning on a few songs. Scorpions on "Hour I", Judas Priest on "Lone Wolf", Trivium used this tuning on their albums In Waves and Vengeance Falls and every 6-strings song recorded since, they also play all of their 6-strings songs in this tuning in their live shows. Van Halen on their 1981 song "Unchained". Godsmack on select songs from When Legends Rise and on their song "Something Different". 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. Oceans Ate Alaska, Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown use this tuning on some songs (like "Heartland" and "Aftershock"), Helmet on "I Know", "Speechless", "Overrated" from Betty, "Unwound", "Throwing Punches" from Size Matters.
- Drop C - C-G-c-F-A-D
One full step down from Drop D. Utilized by bands like A Day to Remember, FTISLAND, Biffy Clyro, Sleeping With Sirens, 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 (mOnly on Demon Hunter), Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold on the song "Radiant Eclipse", As I Lay Dying, Asking Alexandria on Reckless and Relentless, Rammstein, Nothing More, Falling in Reverse, Neck Deep, Fozzy, August Burns Red, Mastodon (on some songs), Helmet (since the Size Matters era), Tonight Alive, Converge, System of a Down, What Great Fangs, Black Stone Cherry, Chimaira (since The Impossibility of Reason), P.O.D., Black Veil Brides, Ill Niño, Killswitch Engage, Deftones (in their album White Pony), Disturbed, Gojira (mostly on The Way of All Flesh & L'Enfant Sauvage), Metallica on St. Anger, Rob Zombie, Bad Omens, The Faceless, Nonpoint, Atreyu, Darkest Hour, Nickelback, Breaking Benjamin on majority of We Are Not Alone among others, Mudvayne, Sick Puppies, Three Days Grace, Chevelle since Hats Off to the Bull, Blessthefall, Job for a Cowboy, As Blood Runs Black, Beartooth, Johnny Cash (on his cover of "Hurt"), While She Sleeps, Hellyeah, Godsmack, Born of Osiris (when using 6 string guitars) Periphery, Cancer Bats, Slipknot (on their demo Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.), Zakk Wylde, Escape the Fate, Alter Bridge, Seether (since Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces), Dope, Skillet, Anberlin, Nirvana on their Bleach album, Porcupine Tree on the songs Anesthetize and Cheating the Polygraph, Finding September (on “Summer Club” and “Let It Burn”). David Wilcox tuned the fourth string up one semitone for his initial studio recording of "That's What the Lonely Is For" from Big Horizon.
- 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. Used by Art of Dying, Black Stone Cherry, DevilDriver (on their self-titled and The Fury of Our Maker's Hand albums), Down, Machine Head (tuned 40 cents sharp), Mark Tremonti (on "Leave It Alone", "Giving Up", "Proof", "Decay", "All That I Got", and "Gone" from the All I Was sessions, as well as some songs from Cauterize and Dust), Projected, Sevendust (primary tuning, although several variations of them are also used), Slipknot, and Stone Sour.
- 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, In Flames, Hostility, Issues, Static-X, Motionless in White, Bring Me the Horizon (since Suicide Season), Hellyeah, August Burns Red (On some songs), The Ghost Inside, While She Sleeps (On some songs), Beartooth (On the Songs "Afterall, Burnout, and Body Bag), Disturbed on select songs from the album Evolution, Amaranthe, Breaking Benjamin (since Phobia), Parkway Drive, Otep, Memphis May Fire, Bad Omens, Like Moths to Flames, Spineshank, RED, Bury Tomorrow (since Earthbound), Wage War, The Acacia Strain and Erra (Before switching to seven-stringed guitars), Bury Your Dead, Eye Empire, Dirge Within, Remembering Never, Metallica on the song "The Unnamed Feeling" from St. Anger, Chevelle (on This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In) and Vena Sera), The Amity Affliction, Acid Bath (on some songs), Obey the Brave, Fit for a King, Darkest Hour, Fozzy, Evanescence, 9oz. of Nothing, Sybreed 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 Betraying the Martyrs, Carnifex, Oceano, Suicide Silence, or Whitechapel (which they use seven-string guitars and tune down the seventh string a full step). Utilized by bands like Nile, The Acacia Strain, 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), Jinjer, Motionless in White, Of Mice & Men, Norma Jean (On Polar Similar), The Devil Wears Prada on some songs, Dead by April, RED, Ill Niño (on Dead New World), Slipknot on some songs, Crowbar, and Amon Amarth. Make Them Suffer, The Ghost Inside on the songs "Out of Control" and "This Is What I Know About Sacrifice", Five Finger Death Punch, and Parkway Drive on some songs from Deep Blue. Trapt uses this tuning on their songs "Hollow Man", "Waiting", and "Sound Off". Sleeping With Sirens on their songs "Medicine (Devil in My Head)", "Ghost", and "P.S. Missing You" from their album How It Feels To Be Lost. South Korean rock band FTISLAND also uses this tuning in some songs.
- 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. The band Architects also use this tuning, but tuned one and a half step down, since their album Lost Forever // Lost Together released in 2014.
- 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 Nothing More and Periphery. 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. 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 Hypocrisy, (since Virus), [AWS] [Viszlát Nyár], Dead by April (on some songs), Metallica in the song "Invisible Kid" from St. Anger, Memphis May Fire, Asking Alexandria on their self-titled album, Damien Deadson, Love and Death, Wage War (on some songs), 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#. Periphery also uses this tuning on a 7-string guitar frequently (G#-D#-g#-C#-F#-A#-D#).
- 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), Sleeping With Sirens on the song "Blood Lines", FTISLAND on the song "Shadows", Bring Me the Horizon on a few songs from their album Suicide Season, Dead by April (on some songs) and In Flames (on the song "Transparent" from Reroute to Remain). Pantera's song "The Underground in America" from their album The Great Southern Trendkill is 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 are now in A standard.
- 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.
- 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-B on a seven-string guitar.
- 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#. Gravemind uses an altered version of Drop D# (which is a 6-string Drop A# with the low D#) on their album Conduit. Meshuggah also used Drop D# for some of their songs (e.g.: "Stengah," "Shed").
- 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. Meshuggah also used it for "Obsidian" and "This Spiteful Snake".
- Drop C♯1/Drop D♭1
Six full steps (one octave) down from Drop C♯/Drop D♭. Used on some After the Burial songs (e.g.: Neo Seoul).
- 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 a half-step down (which goes as: A#-F#-B-E-G#-C#) on some songs from Home through Alpha.
- Drop C in standard variation - C-A-D-G-B-E
Standard tuning but with the 6th string lowered two whole steps. Used by Mark Tremonti on the song "My Champion" (tuned down a half-step; Myles is in Open F# tuning) 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 songs "Parabol" and "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♭-G♭-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, Deftones, Sweet Savage, Dark Tranquillity, Nirvana, AFI, Rise Against, Failure, Weezer, Seether (early songs), Green Day, Protest the Hero, Kiss, Our Lady Peace, The Hellacopters, Backyard Babies, Disturbed (on a few songs), Guns N' Roses, Motion City Soundtrack, Neil Young, Van Halen, Brand New, Blind Guardian, Metallica (on the "Load", "Reload" and "Garage Inc." albums, "The God That Failed", their cover of "Killing Time", in a 1990 live performance with Guns N' Roses and Sebastian Bach, 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, Budgie, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Prine (on The Singing Mailman Delivers and live performances of "Angel from Montgomery" from 1998 to 2020), 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, David Wilcox (on "Human Cannonball" from Turning Point and current live performances of "Saturday They'll All Be Back Again"), 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"), and The Damned (on their cover of "White Rabbit").
- D tuning - D-G-C-F-A-D
One full step down from standard tuning. Used by bands/artists such as Mötley Crüe, Nightwish, Pantera, Fu Manchu, P.O.D., Sepultura, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Behemoth, Insomnium, Watain, In Solitude, Agalloch, Inquisition, Drive-By Truckers, Soulfly, Holocaust, Children of Bodom, Symphony X, Oceansize, Death, Decrepit Birth, Dream Theater, All That Remains, Baroness, Napalm Death, Volbeat, Seether on "Country Song", Exodus, Gojira, Hammerfall (from 2009 - today), John Prine (on "Grandpa Was a Carpenter" and some other songs from 1998 to 2020), Shadows Fall, Mastodon, Ghost, Lordi, Killswitch Engage, and Kreator. Used in a vast majority of songs by musician Elliott Smith, and also in some songs by Johnny Cash (including "Ring of Fire" and his covers of "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" and "Cat's in the Cradle"). Also used in Nirvana's songs "Come as You Are", "Lithium" and "Drain You", Metallica in their songs "Sad but True", "Devil's Dance", their cover of "Whiskey in the Jar", as well 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 & Destroy", John Lennon on "Working Class Hero", Bullet for My Valentine on several songs on Scream Aim Fire, Bob Dylan in live performances of "All Along the Watchtower" in the style of Jimi Hendrix, Blink-182 in "Adam's Song", in Doug Anthony All Stars live performances and 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, Behemoth, Eyehategod, Decapitated, Architects, Dying Fetus, Anata, Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney, Between the Buried and Me, Limp Bizkit, Machine Head (tuned 40 cents sharp), Down, Suffocation, All That Remains, Bolt Thrower, Pete Loeffler of Chevelle (on Wonder What's Next), Billy Howerdel of A Perfect Circle and Ashes Divide, Guns N' Roses (on "Heartbreak Hotel" and "I Don't Care About You"), Attila, 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. John Prine downtuned most of his songs to this tuning for the rest of his life following a bout with throat cancer that took a toll on his voice. Used by Metallica on the song "Bad Seed" from the album Reload and live performances of "The Thing That Should Not Be" 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, Cradle of Filth, Hatebreed, Bring Me The Horizon, First Signs of Frost, Dismember, Dethklok, Suffocation (on Effigy of the Forgotten), Immolation, Hypocrisy (1992-1997), 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, Hypocrisy (1994-2004), Edge of Sanity, Entombed (on Left Hand Path), 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, Five Finger Death Punch, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Sepultura, Soulfly, Within Temptation, Hatebreed, Triptykon (as well as Celtic Frost's last album Monotheist), 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 Adema, Hypocrisy (since Virus), Meshuggah (they used its 7-string variant first on their EP None), Arch Enemy (on some songs), The Black, Boris, Cannibal Corpse, Linkin Park (A#D#G#C#F#A#) on the songs "Somewhere I Belong" and "Easier to Run" from Meteora (both songs performed live in Eb standard), Morbid Angel (on several songs starting with their album Covenant), Father Befouled, Sepultura, Jeff Hanneman of Slayer (on "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 seven strings, though a six-string acoustic in this tuning was used on the song "A Future Uncertain").
- A tuning - A-D-G-C-E-A
Three and a half steps down from standard tuning. Used by Demilich, Soulfly, Themes, Taproot, Xibalba, Yob, Wind Rose, Hypocrisy (on Osculum Obscenum and the song "Buried"), Bolt Thrower (on Realm of Chaos album), Dystopia, Arch Enemy on a few songs and on live performances of A♯ tuned songs and their cover of "Symphony of Destruction". Korn and Fear Factory (since Obsolete) also uses the Standard A tuning, but on a 7-string (A-D-G-C-F-A-D)
- 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. Also used by Mark Tremonti on the song "In the Deep" (Myles Kennedy uses a 6-string guitar tuned to Drop Db in the song).
- 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.
- 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 and George Harrison with The Beatles, Robert Smith of The Cure, Jack Bruce of Cream, and Deftones bassist Sergio Vega on their album Gore. 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", Joe Jackson on "Got the Time", and Social Distortion on "Ring of Fire".
- 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#. Alex Lifeson of Rush used this tuning on the song "The Big Money". Tremonti uses a variation of this tuning where only the 6th string is raised to F# while the rest of the guitar stays in standard tuning, and then tuning down the whole guitar one and a half steps, on the song "Trust".
- 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. America used a variation for "Horse with No Name" in which the 2nd string is also dropped, to E.
- 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". Also used by Tremonti on the song "Fall Again", as well as Myles Kennedy on the song "Cry a River" (Mark is tuned to Drop C#)
- 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 Renbourn, 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 tuned 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". Also uses a variation where the lowest string is dropped to G, used on some songs from Kill the Flaw and the song "Life Deceives You"), 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 (including Cut Your Hair 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")
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♭. Also used by artists such as M. Ward, Stephen Malkmus, and Day Wave.
D-F#-A-E-F#-A This tuning was made by songwriter/composer Mr.Tom (Rawding) during the creation of an original indie folk instrumental "When You Stand By Me" . The tuning is based on the Open D tuning.
E-A-D-g-c'-e' Promoted by Harvey Reid for use in combination with a partial capo, as a system which is easier for children to learn.
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 five-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 7-string tuning - B'-E-A-d-g-b-e'
Standard tuning for a seven-string guitar. Used by Fear Factory, In This Moment, Animals as Leaders, Unearth, Nickelback on the song "Burn It To The Ground", Decapitated, Trivium (band) on much of Shogun, and The Crusade (album), Dream Theater, Crossfade on some songs, Hypocrisy, Lacuna Coil, and All That Remains on some songs, Wormed, John Prine also used it on performances of "Fish and Whistle" from 1998 to 2020, to accommodate the permanent change in his voice following his battle with throat cancer.
- Drop D 7-string tuning - D-D-A-d-g-b-e'
This is the standard seven-string tuning with the low B string raised to D and lower E string dropped to D.
- Drop A 7-string tuning - A'-E-A-d-g-b-e'
This is the standard seven-string tuning with the low B string dropped to A.
- Standard Choro tuning - C-E-A-d-g-b-e'
Standard seven-string tuning for Brazilian choro.
- Drop D + B 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'
Seven-string tuning with the low E string dropped to D and a low A added below. 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 TesseracT and Meshuggah in their earlier days, Jeff Loomis (now formerly of Nevermore), Cannibal Corpse mid-career, Hypocrisy, 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, 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, also "Not of This God" from World Painted Blood), Trivium on Silence in the Snow, The Sin and the Sentence, What the Dead Men Say 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, Delain, Paradise Lost, Dream Theater (on "False Awakening Suite" and "Illumination Theory" from the self-titled album), VUUR, Obscura, ReVamp, Hypocrisy (on much of their self titled album), Job for a Cowboy on "Sun Eater", and Fear Factory
- 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 D# Standard) and Spiritbox.
- 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 Suicide Silence on the song "Witness The Addiction" and 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 lowest string (or other strings tuned one full step lower allowing for chord structures similar to six-string drop tunings.
- Drop B variations - 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, Decapitated, Unearth, 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, Thy Art Is Murder, Chelsea Grin, Carnifex, and Whitechapel, as well as other bands such as Lacuna Coil, Emmure, Nile, Light the Torch, Betraying the Martyrs, Blotted Science, New Years Day, In This Moment, Chimaira (on Pass Out of Existence and Crown of Phantoms), and occasionally Scar Symmetry, King 810, Dry Kill Logic, Eldest 11, December In Red, A Fall To Break, and CFO$ on some songs. Also used by Nickelback on "Edge of a Revolution" and "Get 'Em Up", DragonForce on their song "Three Hammers".
- 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. Used by Lorna Shore, Volumes, and Whitechapel on the song "This Is Exile".
- 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, The Sin and the Sentence and What the Dead Men Say (album), Destrophy, TesseracT, 3TEETH, After The Burial, I Declare War, Impending Doom, Within the Ruins, In Hearts Wake, Shokran, Currents, Erra, Thy Art Is Murder on the song "Slaves Beyond Death", Emmure on the song "Flag Of The Beast" 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, Emmure on the song "Protoman", Chelsea Grin, Attack Attack! on their album This Means War, Any Given Day, Fit for an Autopsy, Chimaira (on some songs from "Pass Out of Existence"), Knocked Loose, Crystal Lake (band), Whitechapel, Thy Art Is Murder on the song "Human Target" and "Eternal Suffering", 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), Rivers of Nihil, Shokran, Volumes, Spiritbox, Erra (on some songs from Neon and ERRA), and Thornhill.
- 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), Crystal Lake, 3TEETH (on "Metawar"), The Acacia Strain (8 string guitars), Vildhjarta, Aversions Crown (8 string guitars) Reflections, Carnifex (8 string guitars), 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. Used by Oceano and Currents.
- 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 low B of the seven-string guitar. The eight string guitars additional low F♯ string is just a whole step up from a bass guitars low E string.
- Standard 8-string tuning 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, The Acacia Strain (on the song Unabomber), Volumes (band), 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 famously by Meshuggah, as well as After The Burial, Butcher Babies, and Carnifex on some songs.
- 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.
- D♭ tuning - D♭'-G♭'-B-R-a-d-g♭-c♭'
Two and a half 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 8-string tuning - E-B-E-A-D-G-B-E
A combination of standard 7-string tuning and the 8th string dropped one full step from F♯ to E. Allows to play in the range of a standard electric bass, as well as one-finger power chords. Used by Animals as Leaders on most songs. 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)". An open variation of this tuning is used by Hacktivist with 3rd and 4th strings tuned a whole step up to A and E respectively. Also used by Born of Osiris on the song "Silence the Echo" and Chelsea Grin on more recent material.
- Drop A + E 8-string tuning - E-A-E-A-D-G-B-E
A combination of 7-string drop A tuning and an 8th string dropped one full step from F♯ to E, 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 strings of a standard 6-string guitar in standard tuning. It is used by Rings Of Saturn on the album Lugal Ki En.
- Drop A + E (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.
- Drop A + E (variation) - E-A-E-A-D-F♯-B-E
- Drop E♭/D♯ 8-string tuning - 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, "Perpetual Black Second" (Nothing) 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 and songs "The Great Repeat" and To Challenge Existence" from the album Evergreen.
- Drop D 8-string tuning - D-A-D-G-C-F-A-D
One full step down from drop E. Used by Meshuggah in the song "Obsidian". Also used by Issues in the song "Tapping Out and Mick Gordon - The only thing they fear is you."
- Drop D + G (variation) D-G-D-G-C-E-A-D Combination of 6-string Drop G, with two D strings added: one above, and one below. Used by industrial and djent composer E.M.M.P.
- Drop C♯ 8-string tuning - C♯-G♯-C♯-F♯-B-E-G♯-C♯
One and a half steps down from drop E. Used by After The Burial with the 7 strings tuned 1 whole step higher to A♯ Standard & Enox
- Drop C 8-string tuning - C-G-C-F-A♯-D♯-G-C
Two full step down from Drop E, Used by bands like Humanity's Last Breath, Bound In Fear, Distant (some songs on the Aeons of Oblivion album), False Images, Black Tongue (On their album Nadir), Skyburial, Vyletongue, Terror District, Lowlife, Instill Terror,
- Drop C♯ + A 8-string tuning - C♯-A-E-A-D-G-B-E Standard 8-string tuning with the 8th string dropped 5 half steps from F♯ to C♯ and the 7th string dropped one full step from B to A. this tuning is used by Animals as Leaders on the song "Physical Education" using a guitar with two extra frets on the 8th and the 7th string. Also used by Kevin Sherwood (On his songs Pareidolia & Coming Home from the Call of Duty: Nazi Zombie mode) & Vildhjarta (On their song Mist Forstandet and some songs on their upcoming album Kaos 2)
- 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
- Open D Tuning - D-A-D-A-D-F#-A-D
3rd string half a step down. The eighth and seventh string is tuned down two full steps, the sixth string is tuned down a full step. The fifth and fourth strings are left alone and the two highest strings are tuned down a full step. This tuning has been used by Dean Murphy in some of his songs.
A continuation of the eight-string guitar, adding a string lower or higher.
- Standard 9-string tuning - 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. Also used by Stephen Carpenter of Deftones on the album Ohms.
- 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 6-string guitar in D tuning.
- High A - F♯-B-E-A-d-g-b-e'-a'
- Drop E + B 9-string tuning - 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 Rings of Saturn for their song The Husk.
- Drop B 9-string tuning - B-F♯-B-E-A-d-g-b-e
9-string guitar in standard tuning with the lowest string dropped two half steps down to B0, the same note as on the lowest string of a 5-string electric bass. Used by Rob Scallon for his song Rogue.
- Double Drop A - A-E-A-E-A-d-g-b-e
This is the 7-string drop A tuning with another E and A string added one octave lower. Used by Rings of Saturn.
- Drop A 9-string tuning - 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.
- Drop F 9-string tuning - F-C-F-A#-D#-g#-c#-f-a#
Used by American deathcore band Anzu.
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'
- Drop F♯ 10-string tuning - F♯-C♯-F♯-B-E-A-d-g-b-e'
10-string guitar in standard tuning with the lowest string dropped two steps from G♯ to F♯, which is a fourth lower than the low B string on a five-string bass.
- Standard bass plus standard guitar - standard E-A-D-g-b-e tuning for the top six strings and standard E'-A'-G-D bass tuning for the bottom four strings. It's set as a factory tuning for Agile Septor 1030.
On pedal steel guitar, the most common tunings on double-neck instruments are the extended-chord C6 tuning and E9 tuning, sometimes known as the Texas and Nashville tunings respectively. On a double-neck instrument, the neck nearest the player will normally be some form of C6, and the furthest 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 six double courses as on the 12-string guitar.
On a lap steel guitar there may be up to four necks, each tuned differently. The C6 tuning was a common tuning for a six-string lap steel in the 1920s and 1930s.: 131 Tunings with a sixth interval are popular in Western swing and jazz, while tunings containing sevenths are often chosen for blues and rock music.
This section possibly contains original research. (March 2012)
- 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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