How To Tune To Open A: 5 Swanky Steps Open A Tuning on Your Guitar
Has the thought ever crossed your mind about delving into the world of alternate tunings, but it all seemed a little, well… daunting? Or perhaps you’ve been yearning for a richer, resonant sound that standard tuning just doesn’t quite achieve? Whatever the case, today we’re diving deep into the enchanting realm of the Open A Tuning – a favorite among slide guitarists, blues aficionados, and those looking to sprinkle a bit of magic onto their acoustic riffs.
This tuning captures the very soul of music, giving an open, vibrant sound even when no frets are held down. Whether you’re a budding guitarist or an old hand looking for a fresh twist, this comprehensive guide is for you. Let’s embark on this musical escapade and unlock a new dimension of soundscapes!
How To Tune To Open A
Why Open A Tuning is a Gem
First off, let’s dive into the ‘why’ before the ‘how’. After all, a little motivation goes a long way, right?
A Rich, Resonant Sound
The primary charm of Open A Tuning lies in its rich, open sound. When strummed without pressing down on any fret, it produces a bright A major chord – and who doesn’t love the sound of that? It’s like having a shortcut to musical bliss.
A Slide Guitarist’s Dream
If you’re a fan of slide guitar or looking to get into it, Open A is your best pal. The tuning’s configuration allows for smooth transitions and offers a world of creative possibilities. Dive into Delta Blues or some Hawaiian slack-key style, and you’ll see what I mean.
Opens the Door to New Chord Shapes
Alternate tunings can be a breath of fresh air. While it might require relearning some chord shapes, it’s worth the effort. Open A Tuning introduces you to new, often simpler, finger positions and unique sonic textures. It’s like exploring a new city with a treasure trove of secrets.
The Anatomy of Open A Tuning
Alright, before we jump into the tuning process, it’s essential to understand the notes you’re aiming for. Open A Tuning, when played open (without holding down any frets), sounds out an A Major chord.
Here’s the breakdown of the strings in Open A Tuning, starting from the thickest (6th) string to the thinnest (1st):
- E (6th string)
- A (5th string)
- E (4th string)
- A (3rd string)
- C# (2nd string)
- E (1st string)
Remember this sequence: it’s the foundation of your Open A adventure.
Getting Your Guitar Into Open A
Now to the fun part! Grab your tuner, and let’s get tuning.
1. Start with Standard Tuning
Always ensure your guitar is in standard tuning (E, A, D, G, B, e) before making any adjustments. It provides a solid starting point.
2. Tackle the 4th and 3rd Strings
Start with the D (4th) string. You’ll be tuning this up to an E. Be gentle and tune upwards slowly. The string is being tightened, so you don’t want to break it. Next, move to the G (3rd) string. Tune this one up to an A.
3. Focus on the 2nd String
The B (2nd) string needs to be tuned up to a C#. Again, take it slow and steady.
4. The 6th, 5th, and 1st Strings Stay the Same!
Breathe easy; you don’t need to change these. The E, A, and e strings remain as they are in standard tuning.
5. Double-Check Your Work
Once you’ve tuned, strum all the strings together. It should resonate as a bright A major chord. If something sounds off, double-check with your tuner. Patience is key!
Exploring Open A’s Potential
With your guitar beautifully tuned to Open A, the world (or fretboard) is your oyster!
Dive into Slide Play
With the strings resonating in harmony, it’s a joy to play with a slide. Experiment and let the music guide you.
Discover New Chord Shapes
While some standard chord shapes will sound off in this tuning, there’s a plethora of new ones to discover. For instance, a simple barre across any fret will give you a major chord. Move up and down the neck, and see what sounds right!
Experiment with Fingerstyle and Harmonics
The beauty of Open A is its versatility. Try some fingerstyle patterns or play around with harmonics. The rich overtones this tuning offers can be mesmerizing.
Tips for Open A Mastery
As you embark on this Open A journey, here are a few pearls of wisdom.
Take Care of Your Strings
Tuning up puts more tension on your strings. Always ensure they’re in good condition, and consider using lighter gauge strings if you plan on using Open A frequently.
Re-familiarize the Fretboard
With the tuning altered, notes on the fretboard shift. Spend time getting to know their new positions – it’ll be invaluable when playing scales or solos.
As with any new skill, consistency is vital. The more you play in Open A, the more intuitive it becomes.
Video: How To Tune To Open A
Open A Tuning isn’t just an alternative way to string your guitar; it’s a gateway to a realm of sonic possibilities. Whether you’re crafting soulful blues licks, ambient acoustic soundscapes, or anything in between, this tuning provides a rich canvas to paint your musical masterpieces. So, string wrangler, are you ready to explore the vast landscapes of Open A? We’ve equipped you with the knowledge; now it’s your turn to create the art. Keep those strings resonating and your heart singing!