Looking for New Alternate Tunings?
by Frederik Nielsen, Oct 8, 2018 . 3 min read
How many alternate tunings are there for guitar? A s#$%load. Here are some of the resources I’ve come across when surfing the invisible waves of the omnipresent Internet.
Accent on Music
Accent on Music is a mom-and-pop company run by a husband and wife team Mark Hanson and Greta Pedersen. Mark Hanson is a fingerstyle guitarist, and quite prolific when it comes to creating educational material for guitarists. Since starting in 1985, Accent on Music has released more than 30 books on acoustic guitar alone. Along with these books, there are CDs and videos full of tips and techniques. Mark Hanson covers the seventeen most popular alternate tunings, so there’s plenty of ammo for your Roadie 2.
Musician Tuts is, as the name implies, a website that offers tutorials for musicians. Naturally, it also has a section dedicated to alternate tunings. What I found really helpful about this list of alternate tunings is that they also provide an audio sample for each tuning. This way, you can hear exactly what it is supposed to sound like, and what you can expect when using it.
Another website that does what is says on the can is HowToTuneYourGuitar.org. It is not as comprehensive as the other resources listed here, but I’ve included it because it has a nice cheat sheet for the most popular alternative tunings.
Nothing says ‘research skills’ like a Wikipedia reference. Judge me all you want, but Wikipedia does outline pretty much everything you need to know in terms of alternate tunings. The entry covers Open tunings in Major, Minor, Modal, and Extended chords. It also covers Regular tunings, Dropped, Shifted, and extended range tunings. Although it doesn’t have cool video tutorials on how to actually get to those tunings, it does give you everything you need to know to program your Roadie 2. Don’t listen to the haters, Wikipedia is only wrong when you read entries about the Kardashians. Which I don’t see why you would read.
Guitar Tuning Database
Maybe you just can’t get enough alternate tunings. Then you’ll love this. On the front page of the Guitar Tuning Database there’s a little box that says ‘Alternative Guitar Tunings’. In that box, you’ll see that their massive database includes no less than 947 tunings, 281259 chords, 104170 scales and 332 tabs. These numbers are still rising. It is every guitarist’s wet dream.