Following my recent post which asked the question why do we limit ourselves so much to standard tuning on the guitar, what better way to start than with my favourite open tuning, DSus4 or DADGAD.

You may well be thinking why do open tunings sound so different and there are a couple of principle reasons. The intervals between the notes are different which has a big impact on the sound. The detuned strings also have a different tension so there is a change in pitch but more importantly this means acoustic instruments resonate differently.

As it’s name suggests, the low E string is tuned a tone down to D; the A string stays the same, the D string stays the same; the G string stays the same; the B string is tuned down a tone to A; the high E string is tuned a tone down to D.

This tuning works really well in the key of D (D E F# G A B C# D), and the tuning is generally very forgiving of open strings. This means that you can get some great single strings riffs with drone notes for instance. It’s definitely one to experiment with, it may take while to get some sounds you like but I’m sure you will.

I’ve included a fretboard diagram of notes and a few chord shapes to get you started.

DADGAD open tuning-page0001