Exploring EADEBE Tuning

EADEBE Tuning guitar

Following on from our look at DADGAD tuning. Today we’re going to look at EADEBE tuning.

 

I first discovered this tuning when working on Road by Nick Drake for a guitar lesson. While this is an advanced tune, it’s worth trying to learn it as it will stretch you. Also, learning fingerstyle guitar is great for improving hand-eye coordination. So give it a go!

 

As Nick Drake’s most used tuning, and one which sounds cool, it’s useful for writing songs and staying inspired. Also Ed Sheeran uses this tuning in his song Tenerife Sea.  So, let’s explore it then?!

 

Since the basis of this tuning is standard guitar tuning, you just need to make one alteration. You need to lower the G string to an E note – E A D E B E.

 

This open tuning means we can use open strings to fill out our guitar chords creating a unique sound. Plus we can form chords up and down the fretboard. This tuning gives the guitar a new depth and offers us a different way to play over the key of E.

 

 

Fretboard

Some of you will want to see how this tuning looks on the fretboard, so here you go. Remember it’s very close to standard tuning yet the change creates an interesting dynamic. While there’s blank fretboard diagrams on the resources page, it might be worth printing a few of these pre-filled sheets.

 

EADEBE tuning complete guitar fretboard neck

[click for super large version]

 

 

EADEBE Chords

Let’s look at some chords in the EADEBE tuning!

 

 

E

E

E major9

E

E (3)

 

 

E

E (4)

E sus2

Esus2

E major9/G#

Emajor9 G#

E/G#

E G#

 

 

A

A

A

A (2)

A major13

Amajor13

Aadd9

Aadd9

 

 

A major9

Amajor9

A major13

Amajor13 (2)

 
 

 

 

B

B

B6

B6

B7

B7

Bsus4

Bsus4

 

 

Bsus4

Bsus4 (2)

B

B (2)

 
 

 

 

C#m7

C#m7

C#m9

C#m9

C#m11

C#m11

C#m7

C#m7 (2)

 

 

C#m7

C#m7 (3)

C#m7#5

C#m7#5

 
 

 

 

F#m7

F#m7

F#m7

F#m7 (2)

 
 

 

 

G#m7

G#m7

G#m7

G#m7 (2)

 
 

 

 

Above is a range of chords to help you get started. Don’t worry about fingering, just used what’s close! Write down an chords you find, using my Blank Chord Boxes and have a go at naming them. If you get stuck, then leave me a comment and I’ll help you name them.

 

 

Cool songs ideas

So, the best way to get started? Pick a song in E. You’ll want to  retune your guitar into EADEBE tuning. Then start having some fun relearning how to play guitar!

 

As you start to explore this tuning, songs will jump at you from the guitar. And as a result, you’ll find new inspiration each and every time you play a guitar with EADEBE tuning.

 

If you’re feeling really brave, try to find some of your own guitar chords. Remember, however, to write out what you find and leave me a comment below!

6 Comments

  • Everette bannon says:

    What specific tuning is this
    is it like open e tuning or something?

    • Ashley Saunders says:

      HI,

      I’m not sure what you would call it! It’s not, however Open E (low-high; E-B-E-G♯-B-E). I guess we could call it the Nick Drake tuning?!

  • Sam Tyler says:

    Hi, I’ve been trying to tune my guitar like this but when I lower the note it gets too lose and won’t make a sound. How do I get the g to sound like a low e without it doing that?

    • Ashley Saunders says:

      unfortunately, you can only lower it from G down to E – there is no other way (if you try tuning up, you will snap the string!). If it feels too lose, then try thicker strings (even one gauge higher will help). Hope that helps!

  • Isaac O says:

    I think we should call it the slutty tuning because you have to loosen your G-string.

Leave a Reply




Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>