Classic rock songs you can play in Open G
Once you get your guitar into an open tuning, it’s nice to be able to stay there and play a few songs before going back to standard tuning. Plus, the more you tune and re-tune a string, the more likely it is to break at the tuning post – I’ve experienced this firsthand when teaching songs to students in open tunings. Since open G is one of the more popular tunings, and because I noticed “open G tuning” listed as one of the search terms that brought someone to my website, I decided to do a blog post about songs that you can play in that tuning.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but there are a few songs that be a bit of a surprise to some of you. I tried to find songs that would be good to play on acoustic guitar, though many of them could definitely be played on both electric or acoustic guitar. I also included some songs that are in tunings that are close to open g, as the point of this post is to give students songs to play without having to completely tune back to standard.
So, here goes:
The Rolling Stones
Most of the Stones songs in Open G are better for electric guitar, but could be played on acoustic.
Can’t You Hear Me Knocking – great, great guitar riff in this song.
Honky Tonk Woman – lots of bends, and this one is about as complicated as learning a guitar solo if you try to learn all of the riffs.
Start Me Up – more of a rhythm guitar riff, definitely easier than the first two.
Brown Sugar – again, more of a rhythm guitar riff for this one, and also one of the easier ones to try.
Travelling Riverside Blues – originally played on electric, but can be easily played on acoustic. This one involves brief use of a slide during the main guitar riff, but don’t let that scare you from trying it.
That’s The Way – this one is a great song to play on acoustic. One warning – the recording is tuned down 3/4 of a step, so if you try to play along with the recording, you’ll have to adjust the tuning down.
Black Country Woman – easiest to play of all the Zeppelin open G songs.
Surprised? “Fearless” from the album Meddle is an acoustic guitar song played in open G.
The Black Crowes
There are LOTS of songs in open G by these guys.
Twice As Hard – electric guitar song played with a slide. Very easy to play on acoustic though.
Jealous Again – pretty simple 12 bar blues kind of song played on electric
Remedy – I saw one website claim that this is played with the capo on the 3rd fret, but I’m not sure if that is correct or not.
NonFiction – this a really really cool acoustic song on the Amorica album. If you’ve never heard it, and you’re a fan of Zeppelin’s acoustic stuff, buy it and listen to it right now. You’ll thank me. In fact, if you like Led Zeppelin you should really buy the whole Amorica album.
The songs in a close tuning
These are all Zeppelin songs.
White Summer/Black Mountain Side – extremely advanced hybrid fingerpicking song from the box set. Played on his Danelectro (electric guitar)
Black Mountain Side – acoustic guitar, on the 1st album
Kashmir – originally played on electric, but sounds fantastic on acoustic guitar
Midnight Moonlight – this was on the first Firm album, tabs are a little hard to come by for this one.
DADGBD (double drop D)
Going To California – no introduction necessary here
Rain Song – this is a strumming/arpeggiated song played on acoustic.