Chord variations in open tunings

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Chord variations in open tunings

Postby kiwiblues » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:01 am

Does anyone have a decent chord chart showing a large number of chord variations and licks in open D and G.
I don't have the musical knowledge to work them out myself but all I can ever find is a few basic ones on the net.
Are those generic computer based sites any good or do they just spit out possiblities that are impossible to stretch your fingers to?
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Re: Chord variations in open tunings

Postby The Breeze » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:20 am

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Re: Chord variations in open tunings

Postby jellyroll baker » Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:01 pm

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Re: Chord variations in open tunings

Postby kiwiblues » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:36 am

THANKS GUYS. I APPRECIATE IT. :D
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Re: Chord variations in open tunings

Postby Lo-Fi » Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:15 pm

Years ago when I got bored with the two finger, three chord approach, I spent alot of time working out chords in open tunings. I wanted to get to the point I could at least play a 6ths and 9ths, broken chords, double stops, as well as majors and sevenths in as many ways as possible.

Best way I found to work out the chords was by playing arpeggios. Find the root note and go from there. You will know the sound when you hear it. Only problem is I do not know the names of many of the chords I play - just know it is an A7 something or the other.
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Re: Chord variations in open tunings

Postby leftyguitarman » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:35 am

Lo-Fi wrote:Best way I found to work out the chords was by playing arpeggios. Find the root note and go from there. You will know the sound when you hear it. Only problem is I do not know the names of many of the chords I play - just know it is an A7 something or the other.


This is the same with my open tuning playing. I know some shapes that sound real good, but I have I have no idea what the actual chords are.
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Re: Chord variations in open tunings

Postby ricbleu » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:42 am

Me too with all kinds of playing. I don't use a lot of full chords anyway, even in standard, cos I fingerpick nowadays- just two or three fingers worth which leaves extra fingers for those added notes - I guess that would give the chord a more impressive title, but like Lo-Fi says, for me it's just A (E,G,D etc) something.

Kiwi, I'm just an average sort of player, but because I've had no musical training whatsoever, I find that listening and watching and copying the desired phrase, lick etc works best for me for continuing the absorbtion process. And I'd rate my "musical" ear as only fair to middling - I've never been one of those amazing musos who can hear a chord in a series and say "Bb13sus4". Probably that's why I'm not a chord orientated player. But 45 years worth of working this way has given me enough of a "technique reservoir" to be able to improvise with confidence for as long as I like (within a bluesy sort of medium). I'm currently soaking up lap slide stuff - pause the Youtube, grab a guitar and blunder round until I've got a serviceable approximation and an understanding of why that fret position, those particular strings etc. Youtube with its visuals sure beats the old days of trying to drop the stylus into the right groove over and over again to nail Eric Clapton playing Hideaway on Bluebreakers. :D That's not answering your original question, I realise, but it's what's worked for me and maybe it just might be of some use.
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Re: Chord variations in open tunings

Postby The Breeze » Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:39 pm

I like this thread.

What is a funny chord? E7b5? Sometimes it is only a doublestop played over the E bass followed by a simple run. But most of all it is the rhythm and accent that defines the sound. Playing on the beat, slightly before it, giving a little space round the b5, a little vibrato... Makes all the difference form say playing a 4-b5-5 run as a simple triplet.
I have visited guitar forums where there are big arguments over the proper name for chords and scales. I say bol**cks, music is about sound not writing or naming things correctly. Personally I think of everything as chord tones, penatonics and a few passing notes.

You want licks? Try this:
Learn your favourite licks in other positions, maybe an octave above or below. You will be surprised how they tie into the other chords.
Learn the basic primary chords in at the 1st, 4th and 5th frets. Ha... See how the patterns are merging already?
Play at different tempos and rhythms. Maybe set your drum machine to a preset Latin beat and try your licks over that.

Oh and listen to your heros, and their heros.

Rant over, soapbox for sale on ebay...
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Re: Chord variations in open tunings

Postby Lo-Fi » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:05 am

leftyguitarman wrote:
Lo-Fi wrote:Best way I found to work out the chords was by playing arpeggios. Find the root note and go from there. You will know the sound when you hear it. Only problem is I do not know the names of many of the chords I play - just know it is an A7 something or the other.


This is the same with my open tuning playing. I know some shapes that sound real good, but I have I have no idea what the actual chords are.


That is only way I was able to learn something other than two or three finger chords in open tuning. But knowing what I am playing is a whole different thing. About the best I can do is it is an A7 something or the other.

Playing the stuff is sure alot easier than explaining it.
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Re: Chord variations in open tunings

Postby LesFromChicago » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:38 am

I almost always use standard tuning, excpet when playing slide which happens once or twice a year,

but last couple days I been playing in DADFAD and seems like it taking my fingers and brain, and auto- whatever- nervous system too long to catch on to the different fingering postions vs. standard.

I envy those of you who can switch tunings and pick fluidly with no awkwardness .

It's frustrating to only can play like JLH boogie and nothing much else. Well I did work out a little Pops Staples-eqsue stuff too, but man, it is hard for my fingers to know which frets on which strings after playing almost nothing bu standard tuning for over 50 yrs.

But i knew guys on Maxwell Street to them drop D or G WAS standard.

I even forgot why I wanted to try the drop G, I guess I like the sound of it except it does sound rather country-fried.

Too bad I can't order some patience from Guitar Center.
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Re: Chord variations in open tunings

Postby texas blues » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:22 am

I play about 1/2 and 1/2 in standard and open G (what Muddy calls Spanish tuning)

There's many songs that I can play equally well in either/or tuning.

An example would be ZZ Tops "Tush".

Most open D stuff I can play just fine in open G as well like "Dust My Broom".

Even Soundgarden's "Burden in My Hand" which is CGCGGE, I can play in open G.

I rarely use more than 2 fingers for any 'thang.

That would be too much work and be way over my talent level.
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Re: Chord variations in open tunings

Postby allanlummox » Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:39 pm

I'm mostly playing guitar in open G, sometimes G minor, sometimes open D or D minor - which has been my normal setting for many years now. From those tunings I capo around to accommodate playing in different keys.

I've also been messing with a mandolin - a National RM-1v - tuned a step low, which gives it a nice voice for the blues in F.

I'll pick up a guitar in standard once in a while, usually just make sure I can still fake my way through Mississippi John Hurt's "Make me a Pallet " and put it down real quick.


Over the years, in addition to straight ahead blues, country and folk I've added songs from a few different genres to my set list - swing, trad jazz, reggae, starting to mess with calypso.

I wind up using a few different chord voicings over the open tunings I use. The resources linked above are ones I'd recommend for building a vocabulary.
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Re: Chord variations in open tunings

Postby Jakeblues » Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:49 am

I had a lot of formal training...a long time ago. I used to spend a lot of time "thinking" about chords, voicings, etc.. I do a lot less of that now and try to concentrate more on the sound. (I recall an instructor telling me that "theory might describe your playing. It won't define your playing." I only recently figured out what he meant.

I play about 60% in Spanish G, 25% in Vastapol and the rest in Standard, Hawiian, minor variants or Melodic. Most of the chord shapes I use are based on fretting behind the slide, so they tend to be fairly simple. I should take a look at some of these charts and get some more ideas. Great thread!
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Re: Chord variations in open tunings

Postby allanlummox » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:19 pm

I use the "behind the slide" technique a lot, especially for minor chords.
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