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.


Photograph of fingerstyle guitarist John Doyle.

John Doyle Shows You How to Play Celtic Guitar

I met up with Doyle at a Philadelphia-area house concert where, joined by fiddler Duncan Wickel, he performed a stunning show that displayed the full range of his powers on guitar, from rollicking rhythm to beautifully melodic fingerstyle (actually played with a pick and one finger). Before the show, the easygoing virtuoso sat down with his left-handed Muiderman flattop to shed light on how he honors and stretches tradition as a guitarist and songwriter.