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Blog overview

How to drop tune or open tune your guitar

Jun 03, 2024 | 4 min read

Ever wondered how those cool musicians play chords without actually playing the whole shape? Think Joni Michelle’s “Big Yellow Taxi” in open D or “Duality” by Slipknot in drop B. Opening tuning is a common practice among stringed instrumentalists, and I’m going to show you six common tuning methods and how to do this using the Soundbrenner Core 2!

Before you start twiddling and tuning, it’s important to remember to take it step by step and string by string to reduce the risk of snapping your string! (nobody wants that) Additionally, lowering your strings, for example in drop A or B requires you to lower all 6 strings by a complete step. This may cause them to be loose and rattle against your fretboard, so you might want to switch to a heavier gauge string. All this will also vary depending on if your guitar is an electric and steel string or a nylon acoustic guitar. 

Either way, like most things in life, take your time — perfection can’t be rushed!

Let’s start with an easy one! It changes the pitch of only one of your strings, we’re going to focus on low E. Open the Mic tuner app on the Soundbrenner Core 2. Play the E string and lower it a full step to D. You can use the lights on the Core 2 to guide you.

E : D – A – D – G – B – E

What does open D mean? It essentially means when you play all six strings, the guitar will ring out with D chord without you having to press on a single fret. To do this tune as below from lowest to highest. (remember to take your time) 

D – A – D – F# — A — D

These a tad trickier than drop D as you have to lower all six strings, but I believe in you 😉 lower all six strings to the notes as follows: 

C – G – C – F – A – D

Again, this allows the player to play the G chord without pressing frets. To do this tune from lowest to highest again as follows:

D – G – D – G – B – D

My personal favorite is open C tuning.  Who doesn’t like the reassuringly warm, chunky sound of a big fat C chord? — I know I do! In this tuning you may need to watch out for rattling since they have more slack. OK so you know, again tune using the Core 2 Tuning feature as follows:

C – G – C – G – C – E

Last one! OK, so we’re back to the easy stuff of just tuning one string, this time the low E string.

E : D – A – D – G – B – E

So fellow musicians, I hope you found the Core 2 useful in helping you try these tuning methods and if you do decide to take the route of open or drop tuning, remember these wise words.

“All romantics meet the same fate some day.

Drunk and cynical and boring someone in some dark café.” 

Joni Mitchell

Thanks for reading our article, “How to drop tune or open tune your guitar”. We at Soundbrenner are dedicated to helping musicians stay focused on what truly matters: their music. By creating innovative devices, such as Soundbrenner Pulse and Core, our goal is to deliver the best possible practice experience for musicians. Click here to find out more.

Got a question about Soundbrenner wearables? Reach out to us at [email protected], we’re happy to help!

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