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Exploring the World of Rock Guitarists and Alternative Tunings


Rock music has always been synonymous with rebellion and pushing the boundaries of what is considered normal. And when it comes to guitarists, there are some who take this spirit of experimentation to a whole new level by using alternative tuning methods for their songs.

Alternative tunings involve adjusting the pitch of the guitar strings to create unique sounds and unconventional chord voicings. This technique has been used by many rock guitarists throughout history, adding a distinctive flavor to their music.

One of the most well-known rock guitarists who embraced alternative tunings is Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones. His use of open G tuning in songs like ‘Brown Sugar’ and ‘Start Me Up’ gives his guitar parts a raw and gritty sound that perfectly complements the band’s bluesy rock style.

Another guitar virtuoso known for his unconventional approach to tuning is Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. Page often used alternate tunings like DADGAD and DADGAE to create a rich and atmospheric sound in songs like ‘Kashmir’ and ‘Black Mountain Side’.

But it’s not just the classic rock legends who have explored alternative tunings. Modern guitarists like John Mayer have also incorporated this technique into their music. Mayer’s use of the Drop D tuning in songs like ‘Gravity’ and ‘Vultures’ adds a heavy and powerful element to his blues-infused rock sound.

One guitarist who has taken alternative tuning to a whole new level is Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore. Moore is known for his experimental approach to guitar playing and often uses unorthodox tunings like GGDDGG and F#F#F#F#F#F# to create dissonant and chaotic sounds.

While alternative tunings may seem daunting to some guitarists, they offer a world of creative possibilities. By exploring different tunings, guitarists can discover new chord voicings, unique harmonies, and fresh sonic textures.

So, if you’re a rock guitarist looking to add some spice to your playing, why not try experimenting with alternative tunings? Start by exploring popular tunings like Open G, Drop D, and DADGAD, and see where your creativity takes you.