Tuning for slide guitar:  There is so much information on the internet, training videos and books published about playing slide and various alternative tunings that there can't be many visitors to this site that don't know how to tune to an open chord.



In case you are one of the few, the basic ones to learn are open G and open D. These used to be called Spanish(G) and Vrastapol (D) for reasons unknown, although there are several theories.



Calling the tunings G and D can be a bit misleading. In 1966 when I first tried to experimenting with bottleneck guitar, I read on the sleeve notes of a country blues album that Robert Johnson played Crossroads in open G. I tuned my guitar to G major , GBDGBG  (from 6th - 1st ) and it just didn't sound right.



You have to think about Spanish as being tuned to the chord of A Major. From standard tuning you can tune the 2nd , 3rd , and 4th strings up two semi-tones so that it sounds the same as standard tuning fretted A Major, or instead of tuning up to A, tune the 1st, 5th and 6th strings down two semitones to get the same string relationship but in G.



Vrastapol (There is no correct way to spell this. Everybody spells it differently – this is the spelling given to me by Nick Perls, Blue Goose Records boss) operates in the same way. It is based on a standard E major chord shape and again you can tune up to E open or down to D open.



The tunings (from 6th - 1st )

Open G – D G D G B D
Open A – E A E A C# E
Open D – D A D F# A D
Open E – E B E Ab B E



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