Open-D / Open-E
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The beauty of open chord tunings is that you have the basic chord on open strings. In Open-D, this chord is D-major (or E-major if you tune up to Open-E). You can get other major chords just by playing a full barré. But you can also get many variations of the basic chord by fretting only a few strings, or play melodies over the chord.
The harmonic structure of the Open-D tuning is like this: You have the root on 6th, 4th and 1st string, the fifth on 5th and 2nd string, and the third on 3rd string. In a chord, the root gives identity, the fifth gives stability and the third gives character. It is important to note that the Open-D tuning has only one third. If you loose this third by fretting the third string without playing a third at any of the other strings, the chord will loose it's character as a major chord.
|Open stings and barré chords|
|D (E)||G (A)||A (B)|
The first group of chords are the basic chords on open strings and barré chords.
|Variations of the D-major chord|
The next set is a group of variations of the D-major chord, played on the top three strings, with the bottom three strings open. As we are fretting the third string, we will no longer have the third on this string. To keep the character of a major chord, you have to play the third on one of the other strings (or 3rd string, 12th fret, as in the last example).
You can also leave the third string open, and then you do not have to worry about the third. You can actually leave any string open, but then we will play melody over an open chord, more than various chord shapes.
|G (A) chord|
|A (B) chord|
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