Category: Open D Tuning.

Playing The Electric Guitar in Open D

The electric guitar is such a powerful instrument in the Blues. Open D Tuning on the electric guitar is so much fun to explore. The bigger the sound of the guitar the less you can play and still sound really big.

I find this to be true on National Resophonic guitars as well because they’re so loud.

Tune your electric guitar to open D and crank it and add a bit, or a lot of overdrive and you can say a lot with your guitar playing the Blues in this tuning.

The electric guitar is such a dynamic instrument in the right hands. Just go listen to Billy Gibbons. He really doesn’t play a lot, he doesn’t have to.

Go listen to Elmore James or Hound Dog Taylor play their guitars in open D with overdrive and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

The electric guitar tuned to open D and cranked is just synonymous with the blues. The lesson I give here is basic but it will get you up and running.

Chords and Licks in Open D Tuning


Open D is such a loud ringing and rich tuning to play in. I can never get enough of it. Once you learn beyond the 1-4-5 basics and some other chords be they minor or major you can site for hours just improvising and exploring open D. I just teach some basic chords and licks in this video for Open D Tuning.

There are so many different types of music that use open D tuning to great effect. In this video I go through all the basics to get up and running and composing quickly, because composing has to be one of the funnest things to do in this tuning.

Remember in the beginning if you are a beginner that it takes time and practice. It all sounds mechanical in the beginning for anyone just starting out.

Just keep banging away at it. If you love Blues stuff then give “Blind Willie Johnson” a listen. His voice was really gravely and some people don’t like it but his slide playing in open D was really spooky sounding. He probably had the best vibrato in this tuning I ever heard.

Just have fun.