Keith Richards' use of open G tuning is the stuff of guitar legend – take a leaf out of his book with these 5 must-learn shapes

Keith Richards
(Image credit: Javier Bragado/Redferns)

Of all the alternative tunings in use today, open G must be a contender for ‘most popular’. But before we continue, please allow me to be pedantic for a moment and point out that ‘altered’ and ‘open’ tunings can mean different things. 

An open tuning is where the open strings of the guitar are tuned to a chord: in this case, G major (low to high: DGDGBD). An altered tuning can be almost any combination of notes; Jimmy Page, Nick Drake, and Joni Mitchell have all used both altered and open tunings. 

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Richard Barrett

As well as a longtime contributor to Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, Richard is Tony Hadley’s longstanding guitarist, and has worked with everyone from Roger Daltrey to Ronan Keating.