The reason this style of tuning is called “Open G” is this: when you strum all of the strings, without fretting any notes, you are playing a G Major Chord. It is a different voicing than the G Major Chord you play in standard tuning, which is why it has such a unique sound. It is the reason why certain Rolling Stones songs will never sound right when played in standard tuning.
If you listen to the Rolling Stones at all, then you have heard songs that use Open G. Keith Richards is very fond of this alternate tuning. You can hear it in songs like “Wild Horses“, “Start Me Up ” and “Honky Tonk Women“.
Here are the steps to Tune to Open G (DGDGBD):
Lower the Low E string by one whole step to a D.
Lower the 5th string by one whole step to a G.
4th string remains the same (D) if previously in standard tuning.
3rd sting remains the same (G) if previously in standard tuning.
2nd string remains the same (B) if previously in standard tuning.
Lower the 1st string by one whole step to a D.
If you have experience tuning your guitar, then this should be a snap. There are several different ways you can tune your guitar to Open G. One is to use this handy online Open G Guitar Tuner . Another is to use an electronic guitar tuner and simply tune it to: DGDGBD. The third is to tune your strings using other strings on your guitar. It is difficult to explain, so watch the video below from Next Level Guitar for a quick demonstration.
Open G Tuning Lesson from Next Level Guitar:
In this video, Marty Schwartz begins by demonstrating how to get your guitar into tune. He then shows you a quick way to play major chords and then how to play some really cool ”Rolling Stones-Like” Blues stuff.
By the way, if you haven’t had the chance to check out Next Level Guitar, then I Highly recommend you visit their website after you are done watching the video below. They have over 785 online guitar lessons and for a small fee, you can become a member today! Check out my review of Next Level Guitar Here !