Quick-Start Guide to Open G Tuning (Chords+Scales+Soloing) • Acoustic Tuesday 295

Feel like you’re in a guitar rut? Maybe you’re craving a fresh perspective to ignite your creativity? Try using banjo tuning, specifically open G tuning. Seriously!

In this video, we’re starting from scratch—taking your guitar from standard tuning to open G tuning. And don’t worry, I’ll guide you through each string’s pitch so you can get the tuning just right.

Once we’re in tune, we dive into the heart of this lesson—exploring three magical chord shapes you can use in open G tuning. I’m going to walk you through the barre-chord shape, the stairstep shape, and the reverse stairstep shape. You’ll learn how to play major and minor chords with them, opening up a whole new realm of sonic possibilities!

Next up, we’re focusing on scale shapes in open G tuning. Understanding scale shapes is essential for riff creation, songwriting, and simply jamming out in this vibrant and versatile tuning.

This episode isn’t just about learning a new tuning, though. It’s about broadening your horizons as a musician. Learning how to play another instrument, like a banjo in this case, can significantly improve your guitar playing. It unlocks new sonic patterns and presents new ways of approaching your guitar.

Submit your guitarsenal at the link below!

Featured in this episode…
– McPherson Guitars  
– The Real Andy McKee  
– Trevor Gordon Hall  
– Calum Graham  
– Dustin Furlow  
– Andrea Stolpe  

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  1. Love the sound the acoustic makes in open G…I also think if you look at old videos of Joni Mitchell playing “Little Yellow Taxi” she’s playing it in open G.

  2. AMA – I have never liked the noise generated by an electric guitar. All I hear is loud aggravating noise. What am I’m missing. I’d be interested in knowing the differences between Acoustic and Electric, physical benefits /drawbacks, as well as playing differences, and noise/sound. Thanks in advance.

    PS. Love your weekly programs and thanks for you tribute to Gordon Lightfoot.

  3. This is my first intro to Open Tuning and found it very interesting. Can hardly wait to start trying, just a little afraid of changing the tuning of my guitar.

  4. Great show! I just got a resonator (Gretsch Bobtail) specifically to learn open G tuning. I’ve been a little shy about experimenting because I really didn’t know where to begin! Thanks!!!

  5. I LOVE open tunings, especially open G! I like to figure out chord shapes (thank you FW!) This was a fun episode – looking forward to playing around with the chords and scales. Thanx!

  6. Many thanks for this refresher on open G. I’ve been using it on & off for quite a while, but sometimes I find myself getting stuck in ruts even with this beautiful tuning. I’m pretty sure that Zep song you were thinking of is ‘That’s The Way’; I’ve also used open G to play an approximate version ‘The Rain Song’, although apparently Jimmy Page used a more unusual tuning for that one. Keep up the great work, and thanks for all the handy hints !

  7. Hi Tony,
    I could definitely relate to your comment about only knowing about alternate tunings to play specific songs. Your daily challenges with alternate and open tunings really helped open the door for me to experience them for more creativity. I experienced many hours of experimentation and improvisation from the daily challenges just going wherever the music I was making using alternate and open tunings took me. What a blast!! It also helped me to understand better and refine the way I played one of my favorite acoustic Pink Floyd tunes… Fearless (from the Meddle album – a very underrated and under appreciated album). I know, I know, again with the Floyd tunes! What can I say, my musical experience has been highly influence by Pink Floyd… and I might add, an older brother. He only had maybe a dozen albums that I probably listened to more than him and they became my favorite bands…Pink Floyd, Moody Blues, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Robin Trower, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Michael Oldfield (Tubular Bells). And then of course there was branching out on my own from there. My skills and abilities have improved quite alot from your instruction and motivation. Many, many thanks for what you do. Keep on Brother!!