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Adrianne Lenker – “Alternate Tunings”
In this quick tutorial, Adrianne Lenker from Big Thief shares with us some of her favorite alternate tunings and how they have sided her songwriting.
Subject: Students will learn what alternate tunings and open tunings are and how they can be used to write songs.
Age/Skill-Level Recommendation: Intended for beginner to advanced level students, ages 13 and up. Experience playing a guitar, an ability to tune a guitar, and a basic understanding of musical terminology is recommended.
Topics Discussed: Alternate tunings, songwriting, open tunings, guitar.
Definitions: Throughout the video, Adrianne refers to “alternate” and “open” tunings. We recommend letting your students know the difference between these two phrases: Alternate tunings are any tunings on a guitar that differ from the standard EADGBE tuning; and Open tunings are tunings on a guitar that when strummed create a chord.
Recommended Use: We recommend this video be used to teach intermediate to advanced level guitar students about alternate tunings and songwriting.
Tunings discussed in this video:
Standard tuning: E A D G B E
High E to D: E A D G B D
Open D: D A D F# A D
Open D with B String to G: D A D F# G D
D G D F# G G
C# G# C# F# A# C#
- Try out each of Adrianne’s tunings. Which one do you enjoy most?
- Create a tuning that Adrianne does not mention. Write out the notes and
describe what you like about it.
- List a few reasons why Adrianne likes alternate tunings?
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