From Leo Kottke to Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters to Jimmy Page, Elmore James to Kaki King, open tunings — altering standard tuning (EADGBE) to pitches that create a chord when all the strings are played open — can be heard on countless classic recordings. In my experience, by far the most ubiquitous of the open tunings are the major sounds, specifically open D and open G, both of which hold their own special charms. However, there is a secret that open minor tunings — in the case of this lesson, open D minor and open G minor — possess that can effortlessly generate more variety than the major tunings: It’s the little-known fact that, by adding one finger to any of the minor chords, one can instantly turn it into a major chord, thus giving players more harmonic range. This trick is not so easily performed in open major tunings. Thus, this lesson demonstrates how to double your harmonic possibilities with just one finger.
Download the Lesson
View and print music notation for Shawn’s guitar lesson.
Cover story: New American Dream models. Plus: The 2023 Product Guide | Inside Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe | Stevie Salas & the Native American musicians who shaped rock ‘n’ roll | GS Mini Rosewood & Caramel Burst | CAGED playing techniques.
Cover story: The new Urban Ironbark 500 Series. Plus: Urban Ash LTDs | How cities manage their tree populations | Walnut-top Academy Series | R&B upstroke technique | Guitar care tools & tips | Andy Powers named President & CEO.
Cover story: New for ’22: the AD27e Flametop, two new GT models and the Grand Concert AD22e. Plus: the 2022 Taylor Guitar Guide, Andy Powers talks about the evolution of Taylor tone, and more R&B guitar lessons.
On the Cover: Discover the art of Taylor's inlay designs. Plus: the growing popularity of small-body guitars, what artists learned during the pandemic, R&B guitar lessons and updates from our environmental initiatives.
Cover story: Taylor’s transition to employee ownership. Plus: Artists adapt during COVID | How African Americans shaped American music genres | Open minor tunings | the 200 Plus Series | Exotic-top T5z models
Taylor expands the GT Series with two new models, and the American Dream Series becomes a permanent addition. Plus: Talking pandemic creativity with FINNEAS and the inaugural digital edition of the Taylor Guitar Guide.
Taylor’s culture of innovation is built on a foundation of passion, problem-solving, and plucky resolve. During tough times, we know how to respond — it means looking out for others as much as ourselves.
Cover story: V-Class 12-string Grand Concerts. Plus: More V-Class Grand Concert models | Builder’s Edition K24ce | The Wood&Steel Interview with Mimi Fox | How guitar picks impact tone | How song ideas become recordings | Grand Pacific reviews