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Guitar Open C tuning chords

Updated on April 25, 2016

Guitar - open C tuning

It's always a challenge to play guitar in a chord/melody style - that is, the tune and chords together. The tab is for the traditional Scots tune, Auld Lang Syne, which is usually the song used for New Year's Eve celebrations, but also a great tune for solo guitar.

The guitar tab is supplemented by the chord pictures below - have a look at these first, as it will help in learning the tab part. It's a good idea to memorize the tab, a bar at a time - you don't want to have to read it. More info on reading guitar tab in my other hubs.

There is a version by John Fahey on Youtube, which I used as a basis for this arrangement. There is a video link below - please note it isn't exactly the same as this guitar tab.

You could play this song in normal tuning, but it would be hard to replicate the tone and power you can get from open strings and drone notes.

Normal tuning for guitar is E A D G B E

Open C - C G C G C E

This is an easy way to retune to Open C:

  • Take the 2nd string up 1 semitone to C
  • Using this note as a reference, take string 4 down to C
  • Using open 3rd string as a reference, take string 5 down to G
  • Using string 4 as a reference, take string 6 down to C

Auld Lang syne tab

Auld lang Syne chords - Open C

Playing tips

Firstly, the bar lines don't mean anything here, they are just there to make it more readable.

LIne 1 matches the verse lyrics

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind, should....

Line 3 matches the chorus

For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne

Then line 4 and a repeat of line 2. That's it!

Performance tips

You can alter this tab in any way you want - here are some ideas.

  • Last chord of line 2 could be played in harmonics at fret 12
  • Use a barre for the fret 5 chord.
  • The fret 4 to fret 2 part of line 2 could be a slide
  • On the repeat of line 2, slow down at the end of the tune.
  • The chord in frets 9 and 10 is just a D shape, albeit in a very unusual place!

Open C tuning

Playing all strings open will be a C chord, and you can also play harmonics on all the strings at fret 12 for a C chord.

A barre at fret 5 is an F chord, and a barre at fret 7 is a G chord.

More info is on my other hubs on Open C tuning.

John Fahey


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    • Jon Green profile image

      Jon Green 6 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Hi - will check out your hubs.

    • profile image

      theonlineguitaris 6 years ago

      Hey! I see you play guitar. You look like you've been playing for a very long time. Follow me, I'm theonlineguitarist. I like to write about guitar repairs and maintnance. Maybe we could both learn from each other.