Once again, a simple demonstration of how simply changing the tuning of your guitar can provide you with some fresh voicings for those common open chord shapes down at the first few frets…
D suspended 2 (Dsus2) open chord
E minor 7 added 11 (Em7add11) open chord
C dominant 9 (C9) open chord
A suspended 9 (Asus9) open chord
I especially like how this tuning alters that regular open C shape. Really adds colour to it, although it may not be what you always need.
There’s a nice flow to this progression that just grabbed me – because these are open chords, they blend into one another seamlessly, and even though that dominant C major chord pushes it outside the conventions of a standard diatonic progression, there are enough “shared notes” with the other chords for it to not sound too misplaced.
That’s a key point for today – shared notes. You can often use the more jarring, unconventional chord changes if that chord contains tones (or even just one tone) from the previous chord…
Probably my favourite tuning for open chord playing, as you can get some really interesting voicings from those familiar chord shapes you might use in standard tuning.
By letting those newly tuned top two strings ring out, we can add some very nice tones to the progression. Take a listen…
G major added 9 (Gadd9) open chord
A minor 7 added 11 (Am7add11) open chord
F major added 6 (Fadd6) open chord
D dominant 7 (D7) open chord
The ending chord you hear in the audio clip is simply the first chord in the sequence played with a full barre – a voicing you just wouldn’t be able to acheive in standard tuning. A similar thing with that second chord, with a new tone – the 11th – being added to a standard minor 7th barre form.
For some reason, I find it much easier to come up with interesting progressions in this tuning than standard, by experimenting with different open string chords. It’s certainly not a replacement for standard tuning, but it’s a refreshing change.