Open D Tuning Guitar – How to Tune to Open D

Have you been looking for a creative way to write music or add a little spice to your songs? This simple trick on your guitar will change the way you compose. Famous musicians use it to create great pieces. Slide players use it to perform optimally. Learn more below!

Open D Tuning on Guitar 

The trick I mentioned above is Open D tuning, which is a way to tune your guitar using fewer strings. As a guitar player, you probably know the layout of the neck of the guitar: The fret bars or wires are the metal strips that spread across the neck. Frets are the spaces that lie between each bar or wire. 

There are twelve frets, starting from the headstock (the part with the tuning pegs) down to the guitar’s body (the part with the soundhole). Six strings stretch down the neck of the guitar. 

Each string represents a different note. Note E makes up the highest and the lowest strings on the neck. Notes A, D, G, and B sit between both E strings. 

All notes stay the same during regular tuning. With open D tuning on the guitar, musicians can play a D chord without touching the frets. 

Open D is an Alternate Form of Tuning

Open D tuning is an alternate form of tuning that many musicians use while writing songs. During open D tuning, you can change all the notes except A and D. To learn how to tune to open D, consider following the steps below: 

  1. While turning its tuning peg towards you, pull the lower E string down to D. 
  2. After you change E down to D, decrease G half a step to F# using the tuning peg. 
  3. Lower B to A using the same technique as the other notes. 

Many guitarists use D major scale in D tuning. It may help to memorize the position of the notes in D major to understand better how to tune in open D. With this scale, you may be able to mix two chords to produce unique sounds in D.

Alternate tuning produces original tones and adds flair to your music. Many guitarists use Open D while performing because of the variety of sounds it creates. They add emotion and personality to engage their audience. 

Songs can express different meanings with Open D tuning. Alternate tuning can be challenging to learn, but it can teach you to create exciting music. 

Try next: Open G tuning on guitar

Reasons to Tune Your Guitar

Consider tuning your guitar after each use. Your songs will sound better, and you will enjoy playing music better. 

There are many reasons guitars become out of tune. Here are a few: 

  • Weather changes can distort the sound.
  • Over-using it can loosen or bend the strings.
  • Removing your guitar from the case between performances can cause you to bump it on something and throw the strings off balance.

Try another alternative tuning: Open A on guitar

How to Tune to Open D With a Tuner               

When altering your guitar strings by ear is not your skill, e-tuners can come to your rescue. Adjusting your guitar may prevent sound distortion and increase your ability to play.

To help with tuning your guitar, there are tuners available online. Android devices and iPhones offer free apps to help you calibrate your guitar.

Fender Tuner

The Fender Tuner consists of easy-to-follow instructions for beginners and guitar players who have experience. It is available to download. It includes twenty-two different ways to tune your guitar. 

It allows you to start with standard tuning, then will offer two more tips for adjusting strings. There are tuners you can purchase for use without a smart device. 

Open D Guitar Tuner

This free online tuner includes a microphone compatible with acoustic and electric guitars. Step-by-step instructions will guide you through the tuning process. 

With this tuner, you may first modify your sound in classic mode, which will then teach you how to tune in open D. Begin with the first string, the thinnest of the strings, followed by the second, the third, then finally the sixth string. The prompts on the app will help you to finish altering your strings. 

The app includes a picture of a fretboard to help you visualize the position of the notes while you tune. With this tuner, you can also learn where you need to improve your sound. 

ProGuitar Online Guitar Tuner

This no-cost app is available for smartphones. It is also available for acoustic and electric guitars and allows you to use the microphone to tune your acoustic instruments. It allows you to use the microphone to tune your acoustic instruments automatically. The ProGuitar tuner enables you to change the source of input for electric instruments. 

You can select your alternate tuning for the type of guitar you are using. An online link will direct you to a list to choose from. After selecting your instrument, further instructions will guide you the rest of the way. 

There are other varieties of tuners available, depending on your need. Some might cost money to download, but it may be worth it to try them out. The quality of your music counts on the sound you produce. 

How to Keep Your Guitar in Tune

Calibrating your guitar frequently is part of being a musician. Strings wear out after several uses, which means you will probably have to replace them. After changing them, stretch them out. Be gentle when doing so to prevent damage or tearing. 

Protect your guitar from extreme weather conditions, such as hot and cold temperatures or rain. Make sure you clean the strings with a smooth cloth to remove any dirt or dust. 

Implementing those habits will help keep your guitar in tune. 


When creativity hits you and entertaining your audience is your number one priority, tuning your guitar in Open D can allow you to stand out during performances. Tune in classic mode, then switch to Open D tuning on guitar and hear the difference. 

Read next:

Tuning a 12 string guitar

How to tune your bass guitar

Drop D tuning on guitar tips

DADGAD guitar tuning

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