Who likes which open tunings when you're playing slide guitar?

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by EasyAce, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. EasyAce

    EasyAce Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,127
    Likes Received:
    14,752
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    I've started tinkering with open slide tunings. (I usually play standard tuning, but I began playing around with open tunings about a month ago.) I have an acoustic resonator guitar tuned to open D, a Bohemian oil can guitar tuned to open A, and a Les Paul Classic Antique tuned standard. But I find myself playing around with other open tunings (usually, G, E, and B) on the others.

    OK, fellow slide players, what are your favourite open tunings, and which one do you think gives you the best range for playing different songs without having to carry more than one or two guitars around?
     
  2. Sfax214

    Sfax214 Member

    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    19
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    I'm not that great, but for me it's G all the way.
     
    EasyAce likes this.
  3. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

    Messages:
    27,379
    Likes Received:
    44,465
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    DADF#AD, it's all I know.
     
    EasyAce likes this.
  4. Gahr

    Gahr Member

    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    140
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Open E most of the time, but I have one guitar I usually keep in open G for R. L. Burnside-style playing. With the openG guitar I don’t always play slide, though.
     
    EasyAce likes this.
  5. EasyAce

    EasyAce Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,127
    Likes Received:
    14,752
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    This guy seemed to like open A and did a rather splendid job with it . . . (Alan Wilson, Canned Heat) . . .

     
    Gahr likes this.
  6. EasyAce

    EasyAce Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,127
    Likes Received:
    14,752
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Some fabled open-tuning slide guitarists and their choices . . .

    Duane Allman---Open G, open E (said to be his favourite one), and standard.
    Eric Clapton---Open G.
    John Lee Hooker---Open G. (He'd capo to open A and open B, and he didn't play slide.)
    Elmore James---Open D or open E.
    Blind Willie Johnson---Open D. (And he liked using a pocketknife for a slide.)
    Robert Johnson---Open G, open D, drop-D.
    George Thorogood---Open G.
    Derek Trucks---Open E.
    Muddy Waters---Open G, open A
    Bukka White---Open G, open D, open D minor.
    Alan Wilson (Canned Heat)---Open A.
    Johnny Winter---Open G, open D, or open A.
     
    Blue Blood likes this.
  7. Danomyte

    Danomyte Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    205
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2017
    When I play open G, I sound way better than I actually am.
     
    Blue Blood, Oldskoolrob and EasyAce like this.
  8. EasyAce

    EasyAce Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,127
    Likes Received:
    14,752
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Another excellent slide player was Brian Jones. He used open E, open A, and open G tunings. (And, yes, he was using all three of them
    well enough before Keith Richards got religion about open tunings.)
     
    Blue Blood likes this.
  9. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

    Messages:
    74,938
    Likes Received:
    181,470
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    I play slide in standard. Minimizes the brain-drain and lets me focus on the note, I don't have to recalibrate my mental fretboard. Also allows me to mix slide and standard playing in one solo, when I've got a guitar that sets up right like that.
     
    Blue Blood, EasyAce and freebyrd 69 like this.
  10. EasyAce

    EasyAce Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,127
    Likes Received:
    14,752
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    I have a Les Paul Classic Antique set up for slide in standard tuning. One thing that helped big for me---finding a good "knuckle slide,"
    small enough to play single- or double-note bits and do it in standard tuning, and also small enough to ride far enough back from my
    fingertip that I could still play non-sliding bits or even chords. (Though it helps, too, if you have long fingers . . . )

    Now I can't make up my mind what to do with the other guitars I use for slide playing. The resonator acoustic does wonders in both
    open D and open G; the oil can guitars do great with open D and open A. It's going to take a few days before I make up my mind
    on that score.
     
    Blue Blood and Thumpalumpacus like this.
  11. I Break Things

    I Break Things Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,420
    Likes Received:
    6,597
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2016
    I don't understand open tunings, but I like to play slide in standard sometimes. I sometimes use my index finger for the slide. I can do power chords and barre chords as usual that way.
     
  12. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

    Messages:
    74,938
    Likes Received:
    181,470
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Yeah, I tried a couple of knucklers and just couldn't get them to sound how I like. I use a thick-walled 3/4-length Dunlop Pyrex on my little finger. It still takes the pinkie out of any fretting action, but it's short, which helps me keep it out of the way when fretting standard-style with the other three fingers.

    Boy, a reso is definitely on my wish list.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
    Blue Blood and EasyAce like this.
  13. EasyAce

    EasyAce Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,127
    Likes Received:
    14,752
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    That's the knuckler I have! Great little knuckler.

    This is the one I have now, an Orpheum OR20, beautiful sound . . .

    [​IMG]

    . . . and I'd love to have a tricone such as . . .

    [​IMG]
     
    Blue Blood and Thumpalumpacus like this.

Share This Page