Alternate Tunings: GTDB

Over 500 Alternate Tunings for Acoustic Guitar

This is, by far, one of the coolest online resources I’ve seen for acoustic guitar:  Don’t even bother to read this post, just go check it out.

Guitar Tuning Database

According to their homepage, has been going since 2011.  The site keeps a huge list of alternate guitar tunings, racking up 507 different tunings.  Many of the tunings are user-submitted so, in addition to Open D, you also get some random ones like  Standard <2 Inversed (whatever that is).

Alternate Tunings

A quick explanation here:  “Alternate” tunings refer to all guitar tunings outside of the normal “Standard” tuning (i.e. EADGBE).  Often people speak of “Open” tunings.  Open tunings refer to any tunings that create a chord when all the open strings are strummed.  Thus, open tunings are a smaller subset of alternate tunings.


Alternate Tunings


Chord Lists

Learning how to finger chords in a tuning can be painstaking work.  If you click the “chords” link next to any tuning, you get a full list of chord positions.

Alternate Tunings - Chords



Scales are also tricky in new keys. Click the “scales” button, though, and you get the full fingerboard layout for all modes in your new tuning.

Note: One drawback is that the familiar CAGED system doesn’t work.  You can create some of your own “boxed” positions for your new scales, but it’ll take a little homework.

Alternate Tunings: Scales


Song Tabs

This part of the site is good, but hit-or-miss.  There’s a lot of tabs entered and tagged to the appropriate tunings.  Some look promising (like the Michael Hedges tune below).  Others are just chords-over-words style.  If I was going to dig into a tab here, I would do some homework first and cross-check it against some of the other tab sites.

ALternate Tunings: Tabs



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