An Easy Guide to Open D

Happy Traum

The Must-Know Tuning for Fingerpickers and Blues Guitarists

2-Hour DVD, includes music and tab file on DVD
  • Code:DLHAPOT21
  • Skill Level:Near-Beginner (2)
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Tuning to an open chord is a satisfying and fun way to play, giving you rich, resonant sounds with relatively little effort. Just follow the tuning instructions by Happy Traum, then strum the open strings for a ringing D chord; G, A and other major chords can be made with simple one-finger barres. It’s all explained in such a way that even novices can start making cool, bluesy music in minutes.

This lesson will demystify open D, help you solidify your alternate-bass fingerpicking and teach you six exciting songs. Your first piece will be the American folk classic John Henry, a mostly one-chord melody on which you’ll start improvising around the fretboard while maintaining a steady rhythm on the bass strings. 

After that you’ll cruise through a repertoire of funky blues, folk/gospel classics and a Southern mountain ballad that make use of open bass strings, fretted melody notes, double-stop harmonies, chord substitutions and improvised licks: Sittin’ on Top of the World, Jesus Is On the Main Line; Willie Moore, Deep Ellum Blues and I'll Fly Away.


Joe Brodnicki 2 years, 2 months ago

The title sums the material up nicely: An Easy Guide to Open D. Every song teaches something a little bit different. These songs also provide repertoire material---you'll find the songs are pretty well known, but playing them in open D provides a different flavor. Plus, these are all played without a bottleneck.

Fun and recommended.

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Luke 11 months, 3 weeks ago

This was an interesting introduction to Open D, which I wish I had had when I started playing in this tuning a few years ago. In spite of already having a reasonable grasp of the tuning, I still got some useful ideas from this. It covers some folky songs, some blues ones and a very small amount of theory. I enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it! I hope Happy does one on Open G one day!

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