Guitar chords Open D tuning
Guitar in open D tuning
Open D is one of the most widely used tunings for guitar. It's been used by Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, John Martyn, and many other acoustic guitarists.
It really is an easy tuning to enable you to get quick results on the guitar, and it sounds great.
Starting from standard tuning, which is E A D G B E from the lowest and thickest string:
Take strings 1, 6 down to D, slowly. You can use open string 4 as a reference note.
Now tune string 2 down two frets, and string 3 down 1 fret. You should now have an open D tuning: D A D F♯ A D.
Open D tuning chord shapes
I've put these shapes into a sequence, the harmonised scale of D. The I IV and V chords (major chords) are D, G, A , and you can play these easily by using a barre chord shape.
The minor chord shape is the same for each minor chord, it's like an E chord in standard tuning, with the lowest two notes moved over a string.
So. with just two different chord shapes you can play most songs.
At the end I've shown another couple of useful chords, plus the way Joni plays Big Yellow Taxi chords, hammering on an E7 shape onto the barre chord.
Big Yellow Taxi is probably the best-known song to use this tuning. Try using a capo at fret 2, which will change the key to E, and brighten up the tone of your guitar too.
More by this Author
Guitar lesson on Open C tuning, with chord pictures and practical tips.
Guitar Lesson on guitar chords in Open G tuning. Rolling Stones guitar style, Keith Richards guitar chords. Rolling Stones guitar parts, Guitar and Open G tuning.
Guitar chords lesson on latin jazz chords, Bossa Nova chords.