Alternate Tunings for the Creative Guitarist


Discover how to write and play great guitar parts in DADGAD tuning.

20 Minutes
3 Sections

Created in partnership with

Today is the day you tune your guitar to something other than EADGBE. We love standard tuning as much as the next person, but there are so many other creative and inspiring ways to tune your instrument. From the Allman Brothers to Wilco, alternate tunings have been a staple of innovative and incredible guitar parts.

We're excited to present the second free course of our series, Alternate Tunings for the Creative Guitarist. In this course, you'll learn how to tune your guitar to DADGAD, discover new chord shapes, and start playing in this well-loved and super versatile tuning.

Christina Apostolopoulos

Songwriter, Guitarist, Singer

Christina Apostolopoulos is a folk and blues slide guitar player currently based in Los Angeles. Part Joni Mitchell and part Jimi Hendrix, Christina blends sweet vocals with serious guitar chops. She is also an acclaimed songwriter, having placed in five songwriting competitions at her alma mater, Berklee College of Music.

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Course Outline

  1. Section 1


  2. Section 2


  3. Section 3



Who is this course for?

This course is for those of you who share our desire to explore the guitar's huge range of tuning capabilities. Unlike the piano, which must be tuned by an expert who comes with their very own supply of fancy tools and carefully-cultivated expertise, the guitar can be tuned through a relatively safe and simple process. If you're feeling stuck in a rut with your guitar playing, open tunings are the perfect way to inspire some new thinking and new creativity!

What are the requirements?

There are no course requirements, but you'll need a guitar to follow along on, a tuner (you can always use an online tool like this one from Fender), and you should be comfortable playing basic chords already in standard tuning. You don't need to take any of the courses in order, but if you're enjoying learning Open E, you might want to check out our courses on Open D, Open G, and Open E.

How long does it take?

The material in this course takes about 20 minutes, but as with any learning, the more time you can commit to practicing the concepts you learn, the stronger a player you'll be.

What will I get out of it?

By the end of this course, you will learn about DADGAD tuning, discover a few common chord shapes that you can use with it, practice some simple finger-picking techniques, and take on a final challenge to play a piece of music using DADGAD.

If you run into any issues or have any questions, just shoot an email over to [email protected] and we'll make sure you're taken care of.