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Alternate Tuning G6 Guitar Lesson
Alternate Tuning G6 is referred to as the G6 tuning. Open tunings are favored by artiste like The Beatles, Don McLean, the Doors, and John Renbourn.

In this G6 tuning, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings are the same as standard tuning. The 5th string is turned down a tone to G, and the 6th string is tuned a tone down to D. My preference is to use open alternate tunings for me to explore other interesting possibilities in areas of chords and solo work. This G6 tuning uses the same chords and fingerings for the first four strings.

The 5th and 6th strings are tunes a tone down and needs to be worked on to figure-out the roots,3rds, and 5ths of the chords. As the 5th and 6th strings are the root and 5th of the chord there is much freedom to play and concentrate on the other notes. As you explore this tuning you will find, many open voicings with nice sustaining bass drones which create rich ringing overtones.

Open G6 Alternate Tuning: D, G, D, G, B, E

Starting on the 6th string, lower it down a tone to D. The 5th string is turned down a tone to G. The 4th string is tuned to D, the 3rd string is tuned to G, the 2nd string is tuned to B and the 1st string to E. When the strings are in tune, it will form a basic G6 open tuning. This tuning is very popular for country, folk, and New Age type songs. 

The G6 Major Scale In Alternate Tuning

In bar 1, beginning with the 6th string, we have the low D, E, F# notes down to the 5th string bar 2 for the open G, A, B, C notes, down to the 4th string 3rd bar for open D, E, and F# notes, then to 3rd string for open G and A notes. In bar 4, we have the open B, C# and D notes. Still on the 4th bar we have the E open note on the 1st string followed by F#, G, A, B, C#, D, E, F# and High G notes. Play the G scale and get familiarized with the notes and its positions. Move up and down the finger-board and note the positions.

Try to form intervals of 3rds, sixes, and octave doublings. These will make it easier to figure out solos and harmony parts. Play the F# note on the 2nd fret first string and D note on the second string 3rd fret and we have an interval of a major 3rd. Play the G note on the first string, 3rd fret and the B note on the 3rd string, 4th fret and we have an interval of a six. Play the open E note on the 4th string, 2nd fret and the 1st string open E and we have an octave doubling. Practice moving these intervals chromatically up and down the finger-board.

G6 Alternate Tuning And Major Chords

In the 1st bar we have the GMaj chord, the G open note on the 5th string, D open note on the 4th string, G open note on the 3rd string, B open note on the 2nd string, and G on the 1st string 3rd fret. Bar 2 is a CMaj chord - observe the tab positions for the notes. Bar 3 is a D maj chord, bar 4 is a GMaj chord. Bar 5 is a Emi chord. Observe the positions. Bar 6 is an Ami7 chord. Bar 7 is a D7 chord. Bar 8 is a GMaj7 chord. Bar 9 is a D11 chord. Note the positions and the strings that are used.
Let's strum out this chord changes and if you feel more confident try playing out these chords as arpeggios.

|  GMaj   |  CMaj   |  D   |  GMaj   |

|   Emi   |  Ami7   |  D7    |   D11 GMaj7  |
|  CMaj   |   D    |   Emi   |   Ami7 D7   |

| GMaj7   |  CMaj D7  |   Emi    |  Ami7 D7  | 

|  GMaj   |  Emi   |  Ami7   |  Ami7   | 

|  CMaj   |  Ami7  D7   |   Ami D7  |  Gmaj   |

We have now reach and gone through the various types of alternate tunings. Go through these tunings repeatedly and pick the best tuning for your playing. Invest in a capo as it really helps when you need to play in different keys. The trick is to memorize the chords and its positions and apply these same chord shapes to the transposed keys.

As you practice through these alternate tunings, you will find the creative aspects flowing when you are deep in the song. These alternate tunings were the basics of many hit songs.
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