Mary Flower onstage with acoustic guitar

Ease into Alternate Tuning with a Blues in Open D Minor taught by Mary Flower

drop d guitar lesson
Going Beyond Drop-D
Learn Nathan Salsburg’s “B.B.”

Why try alternate tunings? The simple act of changing the tuning of your guitar—even by just one string—can have a magical effect: it’s almost as if you have a new instrument. All kinds of sounds become available that you couldn’t play in standard tuning and familiar fingerings produce surprising results.

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a guitar player strumming

Video Lesson: Exploring Dropped-D Fingerpicking

Fingerpicking and dropped-D tuning fit together like hand and glove. For evidence, just consider the long list of fingerpicking classics played in dropped D, which includes Jorma Kaukonen’s “Embryonic Journey,” Pete Seeger’s “Living in the Country,” the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence,” Bert Jansch’s “Black Water Side,” Bruce Cockburn’s “Wondering Where the…

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someone strumming acoustic guitar

Learn a Traditional Hymn in DADGAD Tuning

In 1984, Steve Baughman was putting himself through college, working as a security guard in an old folks’ home, when he heard one of the residents play “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” on the piano. Baughman was struck by the bombastic quality of this old Charles Wesley hymn, which he…