Songs for Guitar in Open D?
May 30, 2008 3:46 PM   Subscribe

What are some good songs to play on a guitar tuned to open D (or E)?

Thanks to a full-blown obsession with the original version of Dylan's "Blood On The Tracks," and a surplus of guitars at my house, I've been keeping my Guild in Open D tuning all the time. Now that I've mastered all of the BOTT songs (well, their chords, anyway), I'm looking for some other stuff to mess around with in open D (capo anywhere on the neck is fine, too). All genres are welcome, but I have a particular fondness for folk music (trad stuff, singer/songwriter, folk/rock, &c.). I have an archived version of OLGA on my hard drive; if your suggestion is unlikely to be found there it'd be great if it was something I could figure out relatively easily (i.e. a Joni Mitchell tune using open D would be fine, but something equally complex by a more obscure artist would probably be beyond my grasp).

(Note: The open tuning in question is D A D F# A D. I'm looking for songs that specifically use those intervals because I have a handle on the chord changes. Songs in other tunings will not really be useful here, because I'm not looking to learn a whole new set of chords at the moment - I want to apply my new knowledge to some new music.)
posted by Banky_Edwards to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
old neil young has a bunch. the loner, cinnamon girl, ohio, ...
posted by artdrectr at 4:37 PM on May 30, 2008

Best answer: She Talks to Angels by the Black Crowes is in open E.

And pretty fun to play.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 4:39 PM on May 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Led Zepp has a bunch too, but mostly open G.
posted by snsranch at 5:16 PM on May 30, 2008

I could be wrong, but I think Name by the Goo Goo Dolls uses this tuning.
posted by 0xFCAF at 5:22 PM on May 30, 2008

Prodigal Son - Rolling Stones
posted by timsteil at 5:44 PM on May 30, 2008

Best answer: little martha by the allman brothers.

i b'lieve it's probably best played in

E B E G# B E

i think tim ferrell plays it in that tuning too. i don't play it that way, though.
posted by stubby phillips at 5:55 PM on May 30, 2008

oh, and post it to music!

axiom(surplus of guitars == wealthy man);
posted by stubby phillips at 5:59 PM on May 30, 2008

also um going to california by led zep.

and maybe black (or back) mountain side (also led zep). i can't remember if that was drop-d or open d.
posted by stubby phillips at 6:16 PM on May 30, 2008

Best answer: I believe that Leave The Light On by Chris Smither is in open D. It's one of the songs on this instructional DVD. Another Smither song in open D is Hold On, featured on another instructional DVD.
posted by tdismukes at 6:45 PM on May 30, 2008

Response by poster: Some good suggestions so far, thanks everyone. I'm kind of surprised that with the exception of the Goo Goo Dolls, the bands/artists offered are both known and liked by me. More tunes are of course welcome!

(Oh, and stubby - my "surplus" consists of the now-battered Ovation my parents gave me for graduation, and the Guild I upgraded to once I learned what I wanted in a guitar. If I were a wealthy man, I would have a surplus of Guilds!)</small)
posted by Banky_Edwards at 9:23 PM on May 30, 2008

"The Badger" (and many others in open tuning) by The Tea Party. Lots of natural harmonics in this one. This guy has a really good cover.
posted by astrochimp at 11:01 PM on May 30, 2008

Best answer: Joni Mitchell has used open D a lot - you could learn

* Free Man In Paris
* People's Parties
* Both Sides Now
* Chelsea Morning
* You Turn Me On

Also, Ani DiFranco's "Anticipate."
posted by kristi at 12:10 PM on May 31, 2008

Try Bruce Cockburn's 'Sunwheel Dance'. I can't point you to the original, but this guy nails it.
posted by fonetik at 9:39 PM on May 31, 2008

I suppose it depends on how far down you want to tune, but stylistically, Hayden's Bad as they Seem might be of interest. There are different guitar tabs available if you google it, but I'm not sure what's correct (IANAG).
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 12:49 AM on June 1, 2008

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