Stuck? Try tuning your guitar to open "me"

We all know Dolly Parton. Singer, songwriter, performer, actress and brilliant businesswoman.

Always dressed to the nines, no hair out of place, perfect makeup and lipstick, and painted nails …long painted nails!

Have you ever seen Dolly play the guitar? If so, have you ever wondered how you can sit down with a guitar and play it without those long claw-like nails getting in your way?

Sure, it’s possible to play guitar with long nails, classical guitarists do it all the time. But with Dolly, we’re talking daggers, nails that can do real damage!

For her it is simple. She plays with one finger.

It sounds impossible to those of us who struggle to contort our fingers in every way imaginable to form complex guitar chords, but for her it’s easy.

He does this by tuning his guitar to an open chord. Very often, hers is tuned to an open E chord.

By tuning the guitar to an open chord, you can strum it without any fingers and play a full chord, in this case an E.

Then by placing a finger on any fret and excluding those notes, you are playing another entire chord.

Let’s first see how to tune your guitar with an open E tuning.

6th string (E) – leave as normal

Fifth string (A): Tune this string down to a B. Do this by playing the note at the seventh fret of the sixth string and tuning the fifth string to match

Fourth String (D): Tune this string to an E. Do this by playing the sixth string or the first string and tuning the fourth string to match. In this case, the fourth string will now become an “octave” of the first or sixth string.

Third String (G): Tune this string to a G #. Do this by playing the note on the fourth fret of the fourth string (after it has already been tuned higher) and matching the third string to it.

2nd string (B) – leave as normal

1st string (E) – leave as normal

Now strum all 6 strings of the guitar. You are now playing an open E chord!

Do you want to play an A chord in this tuning? Just place your first finger on all the strings on the fifth fret and strum.

Do you want to play a G chord? Just lock the ropes on the third freight.

If you know the sixth string notes, then the sixth string note at the fret where your finger makes the bar is the root note of the chord you are playing.

An advert. When you tune strings to a higher pitch, you are adding more tension to them, and they can sometimes break if you go too high. Always turn your head away from the guitar when tuning higher than normal, to prevent a breaking string from hitting your face or eyes.

When you’re in this tuning, have a little fun and play around forming chords and discovering new ones.

Here’s a hint. In this open E tuning, form an open E chord as you would in standard tuning and play it back. Then lift your fingers and strum the strings open. Do this back and forth a few times, starting with the open string chord, then going to the E “form” chord.

Can you recognize the opening chords from the intro to “She Talks To Angels” by the Black Crowes?

The open E tuning is also used quite a bit for slide guitars and for Dobro.

I’ve said before that there are times for all of us when our game gets a little stale. We feel like we’re not playing anything new, like we’re stuck in a rut.

It’s times like these that it can be good for the psyche to change things up a bit, do something different and improvised.

The next time you feel like this, try switching to an open E tuning and let your creativity flow.

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