Exploring EADEBE Tuning On Guitar
Under: Guitar Lessons
Following on from our look at DADGAD tuning. Today we’re going to look at EADEBE tuning, which is equally lush sounding.
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. Let’s 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 guitar tuning in his song Tenerife Sea. So, let’s explore it then?!
How To Tune A Guitar To EADEBE?
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.
How Does The Fretboard Look In This Tuning?
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 slight change creates an interesting dynamic.
While there are blank fretboard diagrams on the resources page, it might be worth printing a few of these pre-filled sheets.
[click for large version]
It’s worth playing around with this guitar tuning for a while and just explore. when you have, you’ll want to learn some new chords. Thankfully, I have a ton of new guitar chords for you to learn. But don’t worry!
Let’s look at some chords in the EADEBE tuning! Remember, these guitar chords have a slight change from the usual ones.
The best way to learn new guitar chords is to use them now! Seriously, after finding the best fingering and getting every note sounding clear (no buzzes or bums), try to use it in a song.
With this approach, you’ll remember the chord faster and be able to use it. And let’s face it, you only want to learn more chords to use them, right?!
Above is a range of guitar chords in the EADEBE tuning that will help you get started. Don’t worry about fingering, just used what’s close! Focus on getting each note sounding clear and crisp, and remove any bum or buzzing.
Write down any chords you find on a sheet of Blank Chord Boxes and try to name them. If you get stuck, leave me a comment, and I’ll help you!
You can get away with using the pentatonic scales with one change. Either avoid the 3rd string or relearn the scale so the 3rd string mirrors the 1st and 6th.
I’d just try and avoid using the 3rd string and use the scale shapes I’m already comfortable with. That said, it’s best to experiment and challenge yourself!
Cool Songs Ideas In EADEBE Tuning
So, the best way to get started? Pick a song in E. You’ll want to retune your guitar into the EADEBE tuning. From there, 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, to write out what you find and leave me a comment below!
What specific tuning is this
is it like open e tuning or something?
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?!
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?
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!
I think we should call it the slutty tuning because you have to loosen your G-string.
Very funny!! 😉 Have a great day!
This is the tuning John Hiatt uses in “Drive South”. Once you tune this way, the song sounds exactly like him. It is the key.
Thanks for sharing this 🙂