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Open C Tuning (Lesson, guitarnoise)

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 First Edition


Name: Open C Family: Major Root: C Voicing: 1-5-1-5-1-3

Open C-Tuning

My understanding is that this tuning is not as old as the two other major chord tunings, but I cannot tell when it first emerged. As the low E-string is tuned down two whole steps to C, it has a deep sound.

If you are re-tuning from standard tuning to Open C, you should get these notes:

Standard E A D G B E
Open C C G C G C C

You tune your 6th string (Low E) down two whole steps to C. The 5th string goes down one whole step from A to G. The 3rd stringgoes down to C. Then the 3rdt string stay as it is, and the 2nd string is tuned up a half step to C. The 1st string stay as it is.

If you prefer to tune to adjacent strings, tune as on the figure to the right:

  • 6st string 7th fret = 5th string open
  • 5th string 5th fret = 4th string open
  • 4th string 7th fret = 3rd string open
  • 3rd string 5th fret = 2nd string open
  • 2nd string 4th fret = 1st string open.

Go here for an arrangement of Silent Night in Open-C tuning.

Recordings with the C-G-C-G-C-E tuning

Will Ackerman Townshend Shuffle -
Robin Bullock Gae Bring to Me a Pint o'Wine -
Robin Bullock Jack o'Diamonds/Merrily Kiss the Quaker -
Robin Bullock Tiger Baby's Lullaby -
Gregg Cagno Backroad Driver -
Gregg Cagno O Holy Night -
Peter Case Gone -
Bruce Cockburn Rainfall -
Bruce Cockburn Soul Of A Man -
Ani DiFranco Face Up and Sing Old Version
John Fahey Auld Lang Syne -
John Fahey Requiem for John Hurt -
John Fahey Revolt Of The Dyke Brigade -
John Fahey Sunflower River Blues -
John Fahey Union Pacific -
Ed Gerhard Isa Lei 03 Brozman's Hawaii Guitar
The Goo Goo Dolls Without You Here -
David Hamburger I Am a Pilgrim -
Laurence Juber Feet On My Back Again -
Laurence Juber Sparky Paradox -
Leo Kottke Busted Bicycle -
Dougie MacLean Caledonia -
Dale Miller Invitation to a Masked Ball -
Joni Mitchell Carnival In Kenora -
Joni Mitchell Raised On Robbery -
Tracy Moore Swanee River Boogie (Old Folks at Home) -
Franco Morone Fat Boy Blues -
Chris Proctor Emerald Winds -
Chris Proctor Saturday's Prayer -
Don Ross First Nowell -
Chris Rosser Charlotte The Queen -
Chris Rosser Feat Of Amazing Grace -
Chris Rosser She's So Good -
Chris Rosser Two People -
Joe Satriani Starry Night -
Jim Tozier Ripples -
Buzz Turner Return -
Buzz Turner When They Come To Lay Me Down -
David Wilcox Eye of the Hurricane -
David Wilcox Great Big World -
David Wilcox Hold It Up to the Light -
David Wilcox It's the Same Old Song -
David Wilcox Mango -
David Wilcox New World -
David Wilcox Rusty Old American Dream -
David Wilcox Show the Way -

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