Selected Guitar Tunings
From Mary McCaslin

 3 FINGER PICKING CHART
OPEN 'C' TUNING and MUSIC STRINGS
'G' MINOR TUNING | 'A'TUNING | OPEN 'D' TUNING | OPEN 'G' TUNING

 

About the Chord Charts


NOTE: The chord charts below are in ASCII text form and should look ok if downloaded.

  1. Remember: the bass strings are the 3 lower strings on the charts.
  2. Some of you will believe I've placed the chart "sideways." This is the only way that makes sense to me.
  3. The 'x' next to a particular string means that you do not play that string.
  4. The 'T' and numbers on the charts are left hand notations.
    T* - Fret this bass note by "lapping" your thumb over the string
    1 - 1st (index) finger
    2 - 2nd (middle) finger
    3 - 3rd (ring) finger
    4 - 4th (pinkie) finger
    * - If you cannot "lap" your thumb over the bass string, experiment until you find a comfortable fingering. This is how I make these chords.
    ( ) - Means optional.



Open 'G minor' Tuning

The term 'open tuning' means that the guitar strings are tuned to a particular chord - in this case,G minor. When you tune into open Gm tuning, strum the strings with your right hand. You'll hear the Gm chord.

Even though the guitar is tuned into open Gm, many of the songs played in this tuning are in the key of B flat. (Gm is the relative minor of B flat).

If you use a capo, the chords and keys change - but the same principle applies. For example, to accommodate my vocal range for "GHOST RIDERS," I put the capo on the 6th fret. This changes the key from Gm to C#m. (C#m is the relative minor of E).

The more you know about basic music theory, the more you will get from these "notes". I think all guitarists should know the names of the strings in standard tuning and that each fret on the neck is one note.

It is helpful to understand the western or major scale (DO, RE, MI, FA, SOL, LA, TI, DO) and the chord relationships for this scale. Knowledge of how chord structures work (which notes in a scale make up each type of chord) will greatly add to your appreciation this and all other "alternative" tunings for the guitar.

However, an ear for musical beauty and a desire to create are far more valuable assets - the frame work will fall into place.

 
 
Standard Tuning to Open 'Gm' Tuning
 
E D
B Bflat
G G
Bass D Bass D
Bass A Bass G
Bass E Bass D
 
 
 

-underlined strings in standard tuning are tuned down-

I use this wonderful tuning for these songs -


(* Also included on The Best of Mary McCaslin: Things We Said Today-Philo 1149)

Chords I use for Open Gm Tuning -


(There are many more that I have yet to find)

 
 
Bb Bb6

D ||---|---|---|---|---|- D ||---|---|---|---|---|-
Bb||---|---|---|---|---|- Bb||---|---|---|---|---|-
G ||---|---|-4-|---|---|- G ||---|---|---|---|---|-
D ||---|---|-3-|---|---|- D ||---|---|-3-|---|---|-
G ||---|---|-2-|---|---|- G ||---|---|-2-|---|---|-
D ||---|---|---|---|---|-x D ||---|---|---|---|---|-x

 
 
Bb Maj7 Eb Maj7

D ||---|---|---|---|---|- D ||---|---|---|---|---|-
Bb||---|---|---|---|---|- Bb||---|---|---|---|---|-
G ||---|-2-|---|---|---|- G ||---|---|---|---|---|-
D ||---|---|-3-|---|---|- D ||-1-|---|---|---|---|-
G ||---|-1-|---|---|---|- G ||---|---|-3-|---|---|-
D ||---|---|---|---|---|-x D ||-T-|---|---|---|---|-
 
 

Eb Maj7 sus Eb Maj7

D ||---|---|---|---|---|- D ||---|---|---|---|---|-
Bb||---|---|---|---|---|- Bb||---|---|---|---|---|-
G ||---|---|---|---|---|- G ||---|---|---|---|---|-
D ||---|---|-4-|---|---|- D ||-3-|---|---|---|---|-
G ||---|---|-3-|---|---|- G ||---|---|---|---|---|-x
D ||-T-|---|---|---|---|- D ||-2-|---|---|---|---|-


 
Eb Maj7 F sus

D ||---|---|---|---|---|- D ||---|---|---|---|---|-
Bb||---|---|---|---|---|- Bb||---|---|---|---|---|-
G ||---|---|---|---|---|- G ||---|---|---|---|---|-
D ||---|---|---|-3-|---|- D ||---|---|---|---|-4-|-
G ||---|---|---|-2-|---|- G ||---|---|---|---|-3-|-
D ||---|---|---|---|---|- D ||---|---|-T-|---|---|-
5th
fret
 
 
F sus F sus

D ||---|---|---|---|---|- D ||---|---|---|---|---|-
Bb||---|---|---|---|---|- Bb||---|---|---|---|---|-
G ||---|---|---|---|---|- G ||---|---|---|---|---|-
D ||---|---|-1-|---|---|- D ||---|---|-3-|---|---|-
G ||---|---|---|---|-3-|- G ||---|---|---|---|---|-x
D ||---|---|-T-|---|---|- D ||---|---|-2-|---|---|-

 
 
G# sus C sus

D ||---|---|---|---|---|- D ||---|---|---|---|---|-
Bb||---|---|---|---|---|- Bb||---|---|---|---|---|-
G ||---|---|---|---|---|- G ||---|---|---|---|---|-
D ||-3-|---|---|---|---|- D ||---|---|---|---|-3-|-
G ||-2-|---|---|---|---|- G ||---|---|---|---|-2-|-
D ||---|---|---|---|---|-x D ||---|---|---|---|---|-x


 
 
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