What is the tuning for open G on guitar?

Open G tuning is a popular and versatile alternate guitar tuning that has been favored by many legendary guitarists, especially in the blues and slide guitar genres. It offers a rich, resonant sound and unique chord voicings. In this article, we’ll explore the tuning for open G on the guitar, its advantages, and some iconic players who have embraced this tuning.

Open G Tuning: D G D G B D

Open G tuning, as the name suggests, involves tuning the guitar strings to form a G major chord when strummed open. Here’s how to tune your guitar to open G:

  1. Low D (6th string): Tune the low E string down a whole step to D.
  2. G (5th string): Leave the A string as it is, tuned to G.
  3. D (4th string): Keep the D string as it is.
  4. G (3rd string): Leave the G string unchanged.
  5. B (2nd string): Keep the B string as it is.
  6. High D (1st string): Tune the high E string down a whole step to D.

Advantages of Open G Tuning:

  1. Easy Slide Playing: Open G tuning is particularly well-suited for slide guitar playing. The chord shapes align with the slide, making it easier to create soulful, sliding melodies.
  2. Rich Chord Voicings: Open G tuning offers a unique set of chord voicings that differ from standard tuning, adding depth and richness to your sound.
  3. Blues and Rock Versatility: Many iconic blues and rock songs have been written in open G tuning. It’s associated with the blues legends like Robert Johnson and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.
  4. Simple One-Finger Chords: Open G allows for some one-finger chords, making it accessible for beginners while offering advanced players creative possibilities.

Famous Guitarists Who Used Open G Tuning:

  1. Robert Johnson: The legendary Delta bluesman Robert Johnson was known to use open G tuning in many of his iconic recordings. Classics like “Cross Road Blues” and “Love in Vain” were played in this tuning.
  2. Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones): Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones is famous for his use of open G tuning in songs like “Start Me Up” and “Brown Sugar.”
  3. Duane Allman (The Allman Brothers Band): Duane Allman, one of the greatest slide guitarists, frequently used open G tuning for his memorable slide guitar solos in songs like “Statesboro Blues” and “Whipping Post.”
  4. Derek Trucks (The Allman Brothers Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band): Derek Trucks, heavily influenced by Duane Allman, also uses open G for his slide guitar work.


Open G tuning is a fascinating and rewarding alternate tuning for guitarists. Its unique sound, simplicity for slide playing, and rich chord voicings make it an attractive option for both beginners and experienced players. Whether you’re exploring the blues, rock, or just looking for new creative avenues, open G tuning can unlock a world of musical possibilities on your guitar.

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