Open C Tuning Guide: 57 Songs, Tabs & Chords (2024)

If you’ve been considering learning to play in alternate tunings on your guitar, Open C tuning is a pretty powerful tool to consider adding to your sonic arsenal. A popular alternate tuning amongst guitarists, learning to play in Open C can unlock several melodic possibilities for you.

Open C Tuning Guide

In this article, we will cover step-by-step how to tune to Open C, share the most common chord shapes in Open C, as well share with you a list of 57 awesome songs in open C tuning with lesson videos and tabs provided.

Table of Contents

What is Open C Tuning?

To put it simply, the Open C tuning means tuning your guitar strings in such a way that strumming all the open strings results in a C chord. This is because, in this tuning, we change the tuning of the open strings to the notes of the C major chord – which are C, G, and E.

Tuning your guitar from standard tuning to Open C involving tuning most of the strings down by several steps. This may cause the action of your guitar to lower, causing rattling and fret buzz. To combat this, you may want to change the gauge of your strings as well as raise the action of the guitar.

What Does Open C Sound Like?

The Open C tuning has a full, resonant, and rich open sound of the C chord – which is why it’s a favorite amongst acoustic guitarists, but it has been heavily used in hard rock on the electric guitar as well. It is the rich, versatile sound of the Open C tuning that has made it a go-to for legendary musicians such as the John Butler Trio, Devin Townsend Project, Sound Garden & Led Zeppelin!

How Is Open C Different From Standard Tuning?

To understand Open C tuning and how it differs from Standard E tuning, let’s first start by taking a like at each open note of Standard tuning:

Standard E Tuning Example

Then, after you tune your guitar from standard E tuning to Open C tuning, the individual notes for each string will look like the following:

Open C Tuning Example

How Do I Tune My Guitar To Open C? Step-By-Step Tuning Guide

Want to tune your guitar to Open C? Follow the string-by-string guide below to find out:

6th (E) string: Pluck the 6th string, and tune down the string by two whole steps – all the way down from E until you reach the C note.

5th (A) string: Tune the 5th string down by one whole step, from A until you accurately hit the G note.

4th (D) string: Pluck the 4th string, and tune it down by one whole step to reach the C note.

3rd (G) string: The 3rd, or G string, stays in its original tuning. No changes needed.

2nd (B) string: Pluck the 2nd string, and tune it up by one whole step to reach the C note.

1st (E) string: The 1st, or E string, stays in its original tuning. No changes needed.

Now that you’ve figured out not only how to tune your guitar to Open C, let’s start playing! The following are the 17 most popular Open C tuning songs. We have also included chords at the bottom of the page!

Pro tip: Keep in mind that in some of the songs, the bands have used a slight variation of the Open C tuning that can be achieved by tweaking the tuning of one of the strings by a bit. For those songs, we have explained the tuning variation in the descriptions.

List of Songs in Open C Tuning

1. You Are Not Alone By Michael Jackson

Chords G#m7, C#m7, F#7sus4, B
Tuning Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb
Tabs View You Are Not Alone Tabs Here

The legend’s song You Are Not Alone is among his most poignant compositions. The song debuted in 1995 and can be found on Michael Jackson’s album HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I. Amid loneliness and misery, the ballad talks of finding solace and assistance.

Listeners worldwide have found comfort in its message of optimism and resiliency. Simple chord progressions are used to play this tune. It doesn’t call for any kind of specialised skills. Although a capo isn’t necessary, playing the song will be easier if placed on the second fret. To produce a seamless change between chords, try a slide.

2. Amelia By Joni Mitchell

Chords G, C, Bb, Eb, Am, Bm, A, F
Tuning C G C E G C
Tabs View Amelia Tabs Here

Guitarists often refer to Joni Mitchell as the “mother of alternate tunings” because of how frequently she incorporated them into her compositions. She claims that while on a solo cross-country journey, she created the song while thinking about pioneering female flyer Amelia Earhart. The six-minute tune, alternating between two different keys (F major and G major) and never truly resolves, initially appeared on Mitchell’s 1976 album Hejira.

The time signature alternates between 3/4 and 4/4 on the final seven bars of the 23-bar loop, serving as the foundation for the entire composition. I use a minimalistic alternating bass pattern to play the entrance riff on the sixth and fifth strings. The basis of the song is laid by Mitchell’s repetitive fingerpicking, which complements the song’s harmonic grandeur and open C tuning on the guitar.

3. All the King’s Horses By Robert Plant & The Strange Sensation

Chords E, A, D, G, B7
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View All the King’s Horses Tabs Here

“All the King’s Horses” is one of Robert Plant’s best solo projects. This single masterpiece offers the perfect blend of world, rock, and blues music. While you may relate to Plant’s soulfulness and emotional feeling, the musical accompaniment will make you feel groovy. The song has a strong beat and a melodic hook that will stick in your head for a while.

Open C tuning is used for this acoustic piece. I believe the song has basic chord progressions interspersed with a few pull-offs, hammer-ons, and fillers. The middle of the song features a fantastic solo as well. Last, but not least, try to bring out the bass notes when strumming the verse chords. The song will sound more energetic as an outcome.

4. Kingdom By Devin Townsend Project

Chords C, F, Bb, Eb, G
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Kingdom Tabs Here

Devin Townsend wrote the progressive metal and pop-metal tune Kingdom. It was published in 2000 and included on the Physicist and Epicloud albums by Devin Townsend Project. Townsend’s own struggles with depression and anxiety served as the basis for the lyrics. Despite this, the song’s message is one of hope and redemption in the face of adversity.

Crazy, massively distorted electric guitar is used in this song. It is made up of progressions that involve palm-muted strumming and technical, rhythmic strumming. Devin Townsend’s usage of effects and tones must be regarded with caution. It is amazing. When playing the chords, be gentle. You don’t need to play the chords firmly to get a good sound.

5. Bleeding Love By Boyce Avenue

Chords C, E minor, F, G
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View the Bleeding Love Tabs Here

Leona Lewis released the song Bleeding Love in 2007. Here is a rendition of this lovely song that Boyce Avenue covered and released in 2008. Up to the bridge, a church organ can be heard throughout the song. An acoustic rendition of the song Bleeding Love is presented here.

The song begins by strumming a palm-muted chord progression until the chorus portion appears. The strumming pattern then changes to one that is more flowing, and as the following verse appears, arpeggios begin. It’s also beneficial to start out by practicing the tune at a slow tempo. You can gradually pick up the pace once you are playing it fluently at a slow one.

6. Gone Cold By Clutch

Chords Cm, Eb, F, Fm
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Gone Cold Tabs Here

One of the greatest stoner rock groups of the modern era is Clutch. They provide some charming music. The 2013 single Gone Cold was included in the band’s classic album Earth Rocker. The song’s title alludes to the fact that the case has remained unresolved for a long time, leaving those closest to the victim to worry if the murderer would ever be apprehended.

It’s amazing how powerful lyrics and their message can be. The song has a stronger bluesy country guitar sound. During the song, the guitars play simple chord progressions and solos. Change the song’s key by using a capo in addition. For instance, the song will be in the key of Dm if you capo at the second fret.

7. Shrike By Hozier

Chords Emaj7, Dmaj7, Amaj7, Bm7
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Shrike Tabs Here

Check the lovely album by Hozier titled ‘Wasteland Baby,’ and there you’ll find a beautiful blues track, “Shrike.” This song, released in 2019, has become a saved tune on many people’s phones. Moreover, the lyrics are replete with vivid imagery, adding suspense to the song. Hozier used an acoustic guitar to play Shrike. He used Arpeggios throughout the piece while ensuring the melodies were bluesy.

I think beginners should start with the simple D major chord in the intro. Remember to use a delicate touch when executing the hammer-ons and pull-offs. Try producing a more even, smooth tone by doing this. So, with a little practice, anyone can quickly learn how to play Hozier’s song Shrike on guitar.

8. I Will Wait By Mumford & Sons

Chords Am G/B C F G
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View I Will Wait Tabs Here

“I Will Wait” was nominated for the best rock song Grammy Award. It was published in 2012 and included on Babel, the band’s album. This indie folk rock song will blow your mind. The song was one of their more commercially successful ones, reaching its peak at number 12 on the American Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song is performed while tuned to Open C and using a capo on the first fret.

As the folk tempo increases, the song’s simple chord progressions and palm-muted strumming rhythms become more prevalent. Your index finger can bar the first fret on all six strings to create the F major chord. The chord will sound better if you use this more difficult approach.

9. Only for the Weak By In Flames

Chords G, D, Em, C, Bm
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Only For The Weak Tabs Here

Swedish heavy metal group In Flames was started in 1990 by guitarist Jesper Stromblad. In their 2000 album Clayman, “Only for the Weak” was the third song. The video game “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock” featured the song. The song’s lyrics are about perseverance and overcoming hardship.

Don’t let the song’s title fool you; it contains several interesting riffs and a thunderous solo that is easy to amp up. For a stronger sound, add some palm muting to the chords. Before that, make sure the neighbors are okay with the loud music.

10. As It Was By Hozier

Chords Dm, G, C, F
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View As It Was Tabs Here

Hozier’s “As it Was” was released in 2019 as the seventh track from his ‘out-of-the-box’ album Wasteland, Baby! With a mind-grasping beat and Hozier’s amazingly serene voice, the song does justice to the synth-pop ballad genre.

The song’s lyrics signify heartbreak, grief, and moving on. Hozier played this song on an acoustic guitar, featuring bluesy riffs and arpeggios in every section.

In “As It Was,” the guitar melodies are followed by the vocal melodies. Once you have mastered the fundamental pattern, start incorporating the hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides. Try to imitate Hozier’s fingerpicking style by paying great attention to the song. For a way to maintain a constant beat, I recommend using a metronome.

11. Silver Lining By Mt. Joy

Chords Amin, C, G, Emin
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Silver Lining Tabs Here

Mt. Joy, a renowned LA-based Indie folk-rock band, needs no introduction. Since 2016, this band has released many hits, including “Silver Lining.” They performed “Silver Lining” at numerous prestigious festivals, such as the ACL Fest, Shaky Knees Music Festival, etc.

Mt. Joy used an acoustic guitar to play the song. I personally feel that the lovely and basic chord progressions and simple strumming patterns would do more justice to the song on guitar.

I advise using the A string’s third to fifth frets to play a hammer-on during the introduction and verse. This will give the chords a little bit of a bluesy tone. You can modify the strumming pattern in the chorus by adding a palm mute to make the chords sound softer.

12. Two Is Better Than One By Boys Like Girls

Chords Em G C D, Fm, A
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Two Is Better Than One Tabs Here

In 2009, the band ‘Boys Like Girls’ released one of the best pop-rock songs of that time – “Two Is Better Than One.” Featuring Taylor Swift, this song soon became very popular, and artists like The Summer Set and The Cab even made this song’s cover.

Moreover, this pop-rock has appeared in numerous movies and TV series, such as “The Vampire Diaries” and “Pretty Little Liars.” I advise using basic arpeggios at the beginning of the song. Use it right before introducing the chord progressions and strumming patterns.

Using only simple chords does the job for this song. The verse chords are usually played first, followed by the chorus chords, the bridge chords, and finally, the chorus chords once more. Add some intriguing strumming patterns and make the music more engaging.

13. Only Love By Ben Howard

Chords Fm7, Ab
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Only Love Tabs Here

In the musical world full of open C tuning songs, I feel everyone should know and learn the song “Only Love” by Ben Howard. Howard sings with a distinct, rich, and heartfelt style accompanied just by a basic guitar, giving a passionate portrayal of his “Only Love.” With a position of #9 on the UK Singles Chart, it was Howard’s album’s most popular single. I found this song in TV shows and movies like “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Fault in Our Stars.” To play this song, I set a capo on the third fret and tune the guitar to Open C. Only Love’s fingerpicking pattern is a little more difficult. On multiple strings, try using downstrokes and upstrokes in conjunction.

14. Me Gadmovcurav Zgvas By Irakli Charkviani

Chords C, Am, F, Fm
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Me Gadmovcurav Zgvas Tabs Here

Georgian artist Irakli Charviani passed away in 2006 at the age of 44. He is a poet, author, musician, and legend. In 1979, the song “Me Gadmovcurav Zgvas” was written and became available in 1980. It was Charkviani debut single as a solo artist and immediately went viral throughout Georgia. The tune “Me Gadmovcurav Zgvas” is quite simple to play. The entire song is made up of acoustic arpeggios and standard chord progressions. To play a chord, be careful to strum all six strings.

Put pressure on the strings with your fingers at the frets shown in the chord diagram. Make careful to strum the chord in a fluid, continuous way.

15. Took Out A Loan By Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Chords E5, G#5, D5, F#5
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Took Out a Loan Tabs Here

Black Rebel released and featured the 2007 song Took Out A Loan on their well-known album Baby 81. The song’s narrator feels imprisoned in the relationship, as if they took out a loan they can never repay, as the title alludes to. This song features a fantastic riff that is present throughout. It is a traditional electric guitar track from America. I prefer using a lot of palm muting when playing the beginning riff to make it sound heavier. Strumming harder on the downbeats always helps accentuate when playing the verse chords. I recommend adding some tremolo to the single notes in the chorus chords to add more expressiveness. Lastly, use a special pick attack to play the bridge chords and produce a unique sound.

16. Foxglove By Bruce Cockburn

Chords E9, B7
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Foxglove Tabs Here

Check out the incredible guitarist Bruce Cockburn. The 1973 single Foxglove was released and featured in Bruce Cockburn’s studio album Night Vision. Numerous musicians, including Jimmy Buffett, k.d. Lang, and Judy Collins, have covered it. Critics have lauded the song for its elegant orchestration and simple lyrics. This song has a lot of fingerstyle arpeggios, melodies, and riffs that make it a superb acoustic composition. I used a capo on the second fret to play this song. The song’s slow, meandering rhythm fosters a feeling of serenity and introspection.

17. Miss Na Miss Kita By Father & Sons

Chords C A#F Fm C G7sus4 G7 C
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Miss na Miss Kita Tabs Here

The 1987 album Miss Na Miss Kita by the Filipino band Father & Sons. It is a rather well-known song, if not globally than certainly regionally. The song is about a person’s longing for a loved one who lives far away. The tune is memorable, and the lyrics are simple but heartfelt.

Keyboard progressions and melodies open the tune, followed by basic chord progressions on the guitar. This might sound good with a slightly distorted electric guitar tone. By swiftly shaking the string while holding it down, you can give the D chord in the intro a small amount of vibrato. The song is still well-liked, regarded as a classic Filipino love ballad, and is a joy to play the guitar.

18. 11 Januari By GIGI

Chords E, C, G
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View 11 Januari Tabs Here

Indonesian pop-rock musician GIGI has been producing music since 1994. 2006 saw the release of 11 Januari, included on GIGI’s album Peace, Love ‘n Respect. The song is a pop ballad featuring soulful vocals and a captivating melody.

The song enjoyed great market success and peaked at the top of the Indonesian charts. There are many arpeggios as well as simple melodies in the acoustic guitar song 11 Januari. Before the chorus, there is a bridge part and an introductory melody. The interlude portion is similar to a brief, simple solo melody.

19. Jubilee Line By Wilbur Soot

Chords Amaj, A7, G#m, Fmaj
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Jubilee Line Tabs Here

We all know Wilbur Soot, a famous YouTuber, a renowned Twitch broadcaster, and an amazing singer. “Jubilee Line,” one of his best works, is featured on his album “Your City Gave Me Asthma.” Released in 2020, this song’s title highlights and resembles one of the 11 dirtiest lines of the London Underground.

Wilbur played this amazing song on an acoustic guitar using a capo at the second fret. I prefer using simple arpeggios at first, followed by increasingly forceful strumming patterns. Lastly, I advise softly using an up- and down-bent on the E string to vibrate the A major chord.

20. What You Want By John Butler Trio

Chords Emaj7, Amaj7, Dmaj7, Gmaj7
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View the What You Want Tabs Here

The opening track on John Butler Trio’s EP with the same name is What You Want. It came out in 2004. John Butler took one of his first moves toward pursuing music as a career with this song. The song lyrics are about having the confidence to follow your aspirations and not listening to other people’s limitations.

“What You Want,” another excellent tune by John Butler, is performed in an alternative tuning like Open C. Simple fills and riffs can be heard all throughout the tune. The beginning riff should be muted heavily with the palm. The riff will sound muffled and percussion-like as a result. For the verse and chorus, play a slide on the D string. In doing so, the music will acquire a bluesy flavor.

21. Detox By Strapping Young Lad

Chords E B G D A
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Detox Tabs Here

A Canadian band called Strapping Young Lad plays extreme industrial metal. Since 1994, they have been producing songs. The lead singer of the group was Devin Townsend. 1997 saw the publication of Detox. The song is filled with riffs and fillers that are played really quickly.

Undoubtedly, a clear amp tone is needed. The song’s words discuss addiction and how challenging it is to overcome it. Learn the primary riff first.

The chorus and verse of the song feature this, which is the most identifiable section. The E minor riff is built around a string of power chords & palm mutes. Start by learning only a few verses of the song, then slowly work yourself up to performing it all together.

22. Figure 8 By Ben Howard

Chords Cm, Gm, F, Eb
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Figure 8 Tabs Here

Amazing singer-songwriter Ben Howard enjoys writing music in many unconventional tuning configurations. Here is a cover of the Ellie Goulding song Figure 8 by Ben Howard. Acoustic and electronic components are blended to produce a distinctive and ethereal vibe for the song.

The ferocious pace and Howard’s soaring vocals combine to produce a sense of urgency and intensity. The song begins with simple chord progressions before switching to fingerstyle arpeggios and continuing in this manner until the very finish.

The capo is placed on the second fret, and the music is in the minor key of C. Playing them should be rather simple since all chords are basic barre chords,

23. Train By 3 Doors Down

Chords E5, A5, B5
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Train By 3 Doors Down Tabs Here

One of 3 Doors Down’s popular songs from 2008 is The Train. It was included on the band’s 3 Doors Down self-titled album. The band has been attempting to create music with a vintage Southern Rock vibe ever since they formed, and the song succeeds in that endeavor.

The song’s primary riff is performed repeatedly throughout the song. The chorus parts begin with basic distorted chord progressions.

The bridge has a wild riff and a powerful electric guitar solo. Try to maintain a relaxed strumming hand and a soft touch while you play the beginning riff. TO STAND OUT, the B note should be picked more forcefully than the others in the chorus riff.

24. Hey Now By Karnivool

Chords Cmaj7, Em, Fmaj7, Gmaj7, Dmaj7, Amaj7
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Hey Now Tabs Here

London Grammar’s 2013 song “Hey Now” was first available as a single. You’ll be blown away by this incredible cover song by the progressive metal group Karnivool. In 2014, the Australian radio station Triple J included a Karnivool cover of the song for their “Like a Version” section.

Given how well-liked their rendition of the song was, it was made into a single and peaked at the top spot on the Australian ARIA Rock Charts. Acoustic and electric guitars are both used in this tune. The electric guitar provides melodies, lovely licks, and solos, while the acoustic guitar plays a variety of arpeggios and strumming patterns.

25. Next To You By Jordin Sparks

Chords C G Am F Em
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Next To You Tabs Here

Successful Jordin Sparks single “Next To You” was released in 2007. It was included in her debut record of the same name. The song’s title alludes to the fact that Sparks penned it while she was at the time involved in a long-distance relationship with her lover.

The song’s popularity aided Sparks’ spectacular pop-star career. The song is really simple to play. It is made up of easy chord progressions. It could be a good idea to use an electric guitar to play this pop song to improve the sound.

Go for a strumming pattern by down strumming on the initial beat of every measure and strumming up on the next beats.

26. Place To Be By Nick Drake

Chords Dm, C, Csus4, Csus4
Tuning D G C F A D
Tabs View Place To Be Tabs Here

The second track on Nick Drake’s renowned album Pink Moon is titled Place To Be. After Nick recorded his timeless songs in London’s Sound Techniques Studios, it was made public in 1972. The song’s elegant and plainspoken lyrics still express doubt and longing.

Tuned in Open C, this song requires a capo on the sixth fret. The fourth string is tuned down to F. This song needs magnificent chord progressions with pull-offs and hammer-ons.

Play the fingerpicking pattern with a soft touch for this song. This has always helped me produce a sound that is fluid and smooth. Pay close attention to the pattern’s timing. Remember that the pattern is in 3/4 time and that you should count the beats while you play.

27. Wind And Walls By The Tallest Man On Earth

Chords F#, C#, G#m7, B
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Wind and Walls Tabs Here

The Tallest Man On Earth has some of the most stunning melodies, including Wind And Walls. He featured it on his album ‘There’s No Leaving Now,’ published in 2012. You can’t leave right now.

It is about feeling stuck in a relationship or circumstance and was written by the band’s leader, Kristian Matsson. Many musicians have covered it, including Birdy and Amanda Palmer. Tuned in Open C, this song uses a capo on the sixth fret.

Numerous hammer-ons and pull-offs in the quick country strumming rhythms make up this song. Apply your index finger as a finger pick or thumb pick to produce a brighter tone.

28. Pocahontas By Neil Young

Chords D, Dsus2, Em, A, C, G
Tuning D G C F A D
Tabs View Pocahontas Tabs Here

Neil Young’s Pocahontas is a gorgeous acoustic song. The song was published in 1979 and included on the Rust Never Sleeps album by Neil Young and Crazy Horse. According to Young, the poem “The Bridge” by Hart Crane, which portrays Pocahontas as its main character, inspired the song.

Simple strumming rhythms and chord progressions make up this song’s whole composition. Some progressions culminate with a basic riff. Try to make every measure’s second and fourth beats stand out when performing the verse melody. Thus, the melody will sound more energetic.

29. With My Maker, I Am One By Eric Bibb

Chords D G A Em
Tuning C G C F A D
Tabs View With My Maker I Am One Tabs Here

Since 1962, Eric Bibb has contributed significantly to the Blues song genre. Released in Bibbs’ album “Booker’s Guitar,” “With My Maker, I am One” is an excellent bluesy meditative song that celebrates how everything is connected to everything else.

The song’s message of peace and unity is certain to affect listeners. This amazing traditional blues tune is performed on the first fret with a capo.

The song is filled with amazing blues riffs and licks. Try to add a little vibration to the notes as you fingerpick the verse. This will give your playing a little more feeling. I suggest strumming with a consistent rhythm. This is most crucial in the introduction and verse.

30. I Was An Eagle By Laura Marling

Chords E C F G Fm
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View I Was an Eagle Tabs Here

This song wonderfully conveys the musical world of Laura Marling. It was published in 2013 and included in her Once I Was an Eagle record. The song’s lyrics are based on Marling’s own experiences as a child feeling like she didn’t fit in.

An uncomplicated acoustic guitar tune is I Was An Eagle. Despite being simple, she performs it uniquely. Fingerstyle strumming patterns and a few chord progressions make up the song.

If you’re having problems performing the song at its maximum tempo, consider doing so while using a metronome. This will enable you to maintain a constant pace. Use a range of fingerpicking approaches when you’re performing solo. Your playing will become more exciting as a result of this.

31. How They Made Us By Wil Wagner

Chords C D E B A
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View How They Made Us Tabs Here

Wil Wagner’s lovely album Laika contains the 2013 single How They Made Us. The song’s tempo, which is frantic and driving, captures the narrator’s feelings of restlessness and irritation. Numerous other artists, such as The Chats and The Smith Street Band, have covered the song.

Tuned in Open C, the 9th fret of the acoustic guitar is used to play this song. Simple chord progressions and quick strumming rhythms make up the song. The Soviet space dog Laika, the initial animal that orbited the Earth, is mentioned in the song’s title.

32. Cry Cry By T-ARA

Chords F#m, C#, Bm, F#m, C#, Bm, E, A
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Cry Cry Tabs Here

T-ARA, one of the most popular South Korean female bands, released and added the song “Cry Cry” to their EP – Black Eyes in 2011. The song was made available in November 2011 as the third extended play’s lead single, Black Eyes. The Korean version of Cry Cry has a Britney Spears-like atmosphere.

The instrumental portion of the song is greatly influenced by Western pop music. Open C Tuning, basic chord progressions, and a blasted amp tone are all suitable playing styles for this piece. The chorus is performed in a 3/4 time signature, while the verses are performed in 4/4 time.

33. Come To Me By Goo Goo Dolls

Chords C, Fmaj7, Em, Am, G, F
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Come To Me Tabs Here

The Goo Goo Dolls have a terrific acoustic rock song called Come To Me. It was published in 2013 and featured on the band’s album, Magnetic. With over 3.7 million digital copies sold, it became an immediate hit, dominating the charts in South Korea.

A Korean crime drama inspired the video’s dramatic and gloomy plot. An acoustic guitar tuned in Open C plays the song without using a capo. Simple melodies and chord progressions make up the song. The two-note rhythm that makes up the entrance riff is simple and repetitive. The strings A and D are used to play it.

34. Happiness By Taylor Swift

Chords B, E, C#m7, F#m, A
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View the Happiness Tabs Here

Everyone remembers and listens to Taylor Swift’s song “Happiness” when they’re in the mood for indie folk-pop. Despite not being a standard breakup ballad, the song revolves around a breakup.

Although her ex caused her pain, Swift signs of wishing him happiness. The RIAA awarded the song a gold certification. The song is performed in Open C while using a capo on the fourth fret. Simple chord progressions and acoustic guitar strumming patterns make up the song.

Pay close attention to how the chords & arpeggios timing works when performing the bridge. Although the bridge can be a little challenging, playing it smoothly requires accurate time.

35. Used To Get High By John Butler Trio

Chords E M G D C
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Used To Get High Tabs Here

One of John Butler’s best songs is Used to Get High. The song was included in the Grand National album, released in 2007. The subject matter of the song concerns John Butler’s own experiences using drugs and his eventual recovery from addiction.

John Butler excels at playing fingerstyle guitar. You should work on your fingerpicking skills if you wish to play his tunes as he does.

John Butler’s dream served as the source of inspiration for the song’s opening riff. A lengthy intro melody is performed before each verse of the song. I use a simple chord progression strummed for the chorus. There is a fantastic slide solo as well.

36. Ugly Story By Phemiec

Chords Bm, E, D, Gb, Em, G, C, B, Cmaj7
Tuning E A D G B E
Tabs View Ugly Story Tabs Here

Canadian musician PhemieC is most known for her Homestuck fan music on YouTube. She released the song “Ugly Story” in 2012. The song is a Homestuck fan song, indicating that it served as its inspiration.

The song’s subject is the character of Eridan Ampora, a sea prince infamous for his aggressive and cunning actions. The chord progressions and strumming patterns throughout the entire song seem quite easy. The verses’ progression is carried over through the first three bridges.

I always use plenty of palm muting while playing the first riff of this song. I lightly place my palm on the strings close to the bridge to muffle the sound. A number of arpeggios are used when playing the bridge. So, I’d suggest picking the chord notes one at a time.

37. Ballad Of Big Nothing By Elliott Smith

Chords G C Fm A D
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View Ballad of Big Nothing Tabs Here

Elliott Smith, a singer-songwriter, has written this gorgeous piece of indie music. His studio album Either/Or contained the 1997 single Ballad Of Big Nothing. Many people understand the song’s lyrics as being about addiction, depression, and suicide.

The song’s opening guitar riff is performed in a downward pattern, which conveys a dismal and hopeless feeling. Elliot used an acoustic guitar to play this song. The tune features lovely chord progressions all throughout. Pay close attention to the pull-offs and hammer-ons.

There are numerous distinct strumming patterns used to perform the bridge. I suggest focusing on how the chords and arpeggios are timed and then trying out various strumming techniques to discover one you enjoy.

38. You Gotta Move By The Rolling Stones

Chords E A B
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View You Gotta Move Tabs Here

“You Gotta Move” by The Rolling Stones is a blessing to the ear. Unlike other remakes we listen to nowadays, this rendition has served justice to this song’s original African-American country blues version. Released in 1971, this song was one of the best additions to Rolling Stones’ album “Sticky Fingers.”

Although it wasn’t a single, it has evolved into a favorite live song for the band. I play this song in Open C while using a slide. The song is filled with a variety of blues, slide riffs, and fillers. I’d suggest slightly shaking the fingers while strumming the E and A chords to mix a little vibrato. I also believe that many dynamics will improve the song’s tone.

39. Ones And Zeros By Jack Johnson

Chords C, F, Amin, A#maj
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View the Ones and Zeros Tabs Here

Jack Johnson, one of the best pianists the world has ever seen, is also famous for composing music in unusual, never-before-heard tuning. One of Johnson’s best works, “Ones and Zeros.” got released and featured on his 2013 album. I use a capo at the first fret to play “Ones and Zeros.”

What anyone can learn from the tutorial is how beautiful fingerstyle playing and arpeggios are used throughout the entire tune. I’d suggest paying more attention to the first riff. as it is a basic four-note rhythm that repeats itself. I use strings A, D, and G to play it. The song concludes with a solo. This is an incredible opportunity for you to experiment, improvise, and exhibit your skills.

40. These Are My Twisted Words By Radiohead

Chords C, Cm, G, F, G#7
Tuning C G C G C E
Tabs View These Are My Twisted Words Tabs Here

In 2009, Radiohead officially released the phenomenal track “These Are My Twisted Words.” On their 2012 King of Limbs tour, a huge crowd went wild when Radiohead played the song live. The song has one of Radiohead’s wildest guitar solos ever.

The opening riff of “These Are My Twisted Words” is reminiscent of the opening riff of “No Surprises” by Radiohead from their album OK Computer from 1997. I use a slightly distinct setup to play the song.

I love that it’s a variant of Open C, as I enjoy playing such tunes. I’d suggest using unique arpeggios, licks, and melodies throughout the song. Play the initial beat of the chorus chords with a downstroke. Subsequently, go for two upstrokes.

41. Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons

Tabs: Here are the Tabs to Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons

With a folksy tune powered by lyrics that pack a punch, “Little Lion Man” was a perfect debut for the British folk-rock quartet Mumford & Sons. The song’s international success and several prominent award nominations, including one by Grammy, took the band by surprise. As revealed by the band’s frontman Marcus Mumford, they never really thought “Little Lion Man” would do well, considering that it featured a banjo and lots of profanity. But it seems the combination of the bluegrass banjo, piano, bass, acoustic and lively harmonic vocals turned out brilliantly and created a shout-along style that inspired similar rollicking acts from many bands.

This super catchy track is played in a variant of open C tuning. To play it, you’ll have to retune your acoustic from low to high: C-A-C-G-C-E with a capo on the 5th fret. Though chords are not very hard to play, rhythm can get quite fast, so try using a thin pick for pacing up comfortably. This is easily one of the most recognizable open C tuning songs out there.

42. Friends by Led Zeppelin

Tabs: Here are the Tabs to Friends by Led Zeppelin

One of the greatest and colossally successful rock band of all time, Led Zeppelin are revered by fans for their innovative and high-intensity guitar-driven music. The band’s iconic guitarist, Jimmy Page, loved experimenting with alternate tunings. From Drop D, Celtic, Gsus4 to Open C, the band has used them all. For this track from their third album, Page opted for a variant of open C tuning- C6 to create that low-pitched sound and rattling that we hear in this folk track. The tuning also went well with the Indian string instrument arrangement in the track.

To play “Friends,” you’ll first need to tune your guitar to C-A-C-G-C-E that makes an open C6 tuning. This song features pretty amazing acoustic guitar work. At the start, you hear some chords that are played throughout, but the main riff simply takes your breath away. The song’s verse features ascending octaves and droning open strings, which sounds totally fantastic and ethereal.

43. Skinny Love by Bon Iver

Chords: Here are the Chords to Skinny Love by Bon Iver

Sonically ethereal and lyrically gritty “Skinny Love” by American indie folk band Bon Iver is a short song that will tug at your heartstrings. The track was written by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon when he retreated to an isolated cabin. It is said that a heartbroken Vernon poured his feelings over a failed relationship into this two-versed composition. The 2008 song did well chart-wise and featured in many movies and TV soundtracks, including Grey’s Anatomy. In “Skinny Love,” you can hear Grammy winner Vernon’s distinct falsetto voice will simply take your breath away.

Instrumentally, it is minimal with beautifully layered vocals. It is tuned to an Open C, so when you strum all open strings, they’ll sound like the C major chord. “Skinny Love” features a brilliant steel-string hook with a fairly consistent strumming pattern. In 2011, British artist Birdy did a piano-driven cover version of this song that ended up raking 195 million views and was used in certain episodes of The Vampire Diaries and Prisoners’ Wives. This is one of the more popular Open C tuning songs on this list!

44. Pretty Noose by Soundgarden

Tabs: Here are the Tabs to Pretty Noose by Soundgarden

When you hear Soundgarden’s “Pretty Noose,” you come to know how well deserved that Grammy nomination was! It wasn’t just Chris Cornell’s powerful vocals but a rocking wah-wah opening riff, a pounding rhythm, one of the wickedest solos in alt-rock that skyrocketed the song’s popularity. The song charted internationally, peaking at number two on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks and number four Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. In terms of lyrics, it is pretty much about regretting poorly thought-out romantic decisions.

The guitar part was written in C-G-C-G-G-E tuning that was first introduced to the band by their bass guitarist Ben Shepherd in “Head Down.” This Open C tuning is a “C5” variation where you tune the second string to G instead of C. Since several of the usually Open C chords used in grunge music need you to skip playing the 1st string, power chords have pretty much become a staple of the genre!

45. Bron-Yr-Aur by Led Zeppelin

Tabs: Here are the Tabs to Bron-Yr-Aur by Led Zeppelin

A well-deserved break at an 18-century Welsh cottage by the name of “Bron-Yr-Aur inspired Led Zeppelin’s guitarist Jimmy page to create a stunning instrumental piece and name it after the place. With only a 2 minute duration, this beautifully fingerpicked track is perhaps the shortest Led Zeppelin song and should be a part of every rock-loving guitarists’ repertoire. The song made its way into the band’s sixth studio album Physical Graffiti that was released in 1975.

In “Bron-Yr-Aur,” Page uses an open C6 that is a variant of open C tuning. So you’ll first tune to Open C and then take the fifth string back to A to get C-A-C-G-C-E. Through the track, you’ll hear some string squeaks, which were retained intentionally to make the piece sound more raw and reflective. But the rattling in the song comes from the strings being tuned too low. From a learning point of view, most parts of this instrumental are repeated so it basically boils down to 4 or 5 parts that you need to work out. If you are not very proficient at fingerstyle, you should skip using your ring finger. To play this piece well, take it slow by picking out and perfecting one part at a time.

46. Burden In My Hand by Soundgarden

Tabs: Here are the Tabs to Burden In My Hand by Soundgarden

American grunge giants Soundgarden’s chart-topping “Burden In My Hand” is another great track in open C to expand your repertoire. Released in 1996 in the band’s fourth studio album Down on the Upside, the single ruled the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and sat there for five weeks in a row. The song’s meaning is pretty plain and straightforward that focuses on a man’s guilt over killing his wife, but some fans feel that it suggests something more profound on the lines of drug addiction or an abusive relationship.

Nominated for 16 Grammys, the band’s frontman, Chris Cornell, had a powerful vocal range that never failed to astonish and enthrall the audience. He was also an equally talented guitarist and made use of alternate tunings in many of the compositions. In this song, Soundgarden uses a variation of Open C, which you can get by lowering the second string from C down to G, so you’ll end up with C-G-C-G-G-E. Since this type of tuning has the second and third strings in the same pitch, the second string can get a bit loose because of the low tuning. For a better playing experience, we suggest you replace your strings with heavier gauge ones to amp up the string tension.

47. King of Spain by The Tallest Man on Earth

Tabs: Here are the Tabs to King Of Spain by The Tallest Man On Earth

Open C tuning’s versatility stems from its rich sound. You will come across many musicians from varied genres who have played in this tuning. But it is particularly fancied by acoustic guitarists. You can come up with a whole lot of melodies, strumming patterns, and chord shapes in Open C. “King of Spain” by The Tallest Man on Earth is a superb example of how this type of tuning can transform a simple strumming pattern into something extraordinary.

The track has been recorded and released by the immensely charismatic Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson who, with his solo style of folk, has often been compared to Bob Dylan. In “King of Spain,” he blends a wicked riff with great vocals and genius lyrics to produce a thoroughly enjoyable masterpiece. Matsson plays the Open C tuning with a capo on the 8th fret to create the song’s tight rhythm.

48. Ocean by John Butler Trio

Tabs: Here are the Tabs to Ocean by John Butler Trio

Over ten minutes long, but not a single second where this track does not blow our minds! “Ocean” by the Australian roots band John Butler Trio showcases masterful guitar techniques that the band is so well-known for. The lead guitarist John Butler is nothing short of a virtuoso who mainly uses a 12 string acoustic to spin the magic. In “Ocean,” he tunes his 12 string acoustic to Open C tuning to play this jaw-dropping instrumental.

If you are up for a challenge, do give this song a shot. The track has plenty of hammer-ons, pull-offs, and percussive tapping to keep you busy. Try slowing down the track to work on the hammer-ons and pull-offs. For 12 strings, the tuning goes cC-gG-cC-gG-CC-EE. You can also play this song on a six-string by using a capo on the 4th fret. If you like the band’s style, be sure to check out their other Open C singles like “Funky Tonight,” “What You Want,” and “Betterman.”

49. Deadhead by Devin Townsend Project

Tabs: Here are the Tabs to Deadhead guitar pro by Devin Townsend

Let’s explore something heavier and electric in the Open C tuning, shall we? Deadhead by Devin Townsend Project is an excellent track that comes to mind. Part of the band’s sixth album, this melodic song is powered by Devin Townsend’s phenomenal vocals. The opening riff is simply breathtaking, and the interlude also features pretty great guitar playing. The song’s overall fluid riffing, chording and drumming accompany Devin’s voice brilliantly.

This nearly eight-minute song shows just how well an Open C tuning can work even with heavier styles. It is the slowest track in the band’s Accelerated Evolution album but is perhaps the best one because of the fantastic vocals. Devin’s tuning of choice is open C, so those who are scouting for metal and hard rock tracks in this tuning should check out his music. This is one of the heavier open C tuning songs on this list and I really enjoy playing it.

50. Question by Moody Blues

Chords: Here are the Chords to Question by The Moody Blues

Frustrated and pained by the Vietnam War, Moody Blues’ guitarist and vocalist Justin Hayward penned their popular single “Question.” With its powerfully evocative lyrics and a beautiful tune, the song became a staple at all of their live gigs. “Question” was first released in 1970 as a single before it made its way as the title track of their soft progressive album A Question of Balance. The track charted well superbly in the UK, peaking at number two on UK Singles Chart and staying there for 12 weeks.

The track’s bright, jangly 12-string intro, a great bass line, and Hayward’s aching vocals make for a spellbinding listening experience. You can arrive at the song’s Open C tuning from the standard tuning by going two full tones down from E to C, one down from A to G, another one down from D to G, retaining the standard tuning’s G, going up 1 semi-tone from B to C and finally keeping E standard. Once you have got the tuning in place, move to the chords and strumming patterns. Remember to keep the wrist relaxed and loose to get the fluidity of motion that’ll help you keep up with Hayward’s pace.

51. Can’t Get Enough by Bad Company

English supergroup Bad Company’s phenomenal hit “Can’t Get Enough” is another super track to check out in Open C. The track’s composition has been entirely credited to guitarist Mick Ralphs. “Can’t Get Enough” went on to become quite a rage selling five million copies worldwide. For tuning, Ralphs went for a C-C-G-C-E-C which is basically New standard tuning with a high C in place of high G. According to him, somehow the song never sounded right in standard tuning, so he tried playing it in open C to get that cool ringing sound.

While Ralphs picked the unorthodox tuning for its unique sound, the band’s vocalist and guitarist Paul Rodgers stuck to standard tuning. In an interview with Vintage Guitar magazine, Ralphs mentioned that even though it sounds great, the tuning makes it a bit hard to bend at the end of the solo. He keeps reminding himself not to hit the guitar too hard to avoid string damage.

52. Independence Day by Elliott Smith

Tabs: Here are the Tabs to Independence Day by Elliott Smith

Nebraska-born singer-songwriter Elliott Smith’s signature whispery, vulnerable vocals paired with soul-touching lyrics produced many gems, one of them being “Independence Day” from 1998 album XO. The song is played in Open C and kicks off with a melodic acoustic guitar, that is soon joined by soft, groovy drums. This catchy combination of soft-sounding acoustic tune with a groovy beat beautifully backs Smith’s smooth, hypnotic vocals.

Don’t be fooled by how simple the guitar sounds. “Independence Day” needs a fair bit of patience and effort to nail. As a minimalist, most of Smith’s songs were all about guitar and vocals with just a hint of other arrangements. In the track’s opening guitars alone, he goes through about ten chord changes to create that intricate and folksy, fingerstyle melody. The song is just three minutes long, but it sure does leave a mark!

53. The Fear by Ben Howard

Tabs: Here are the Tabs to The Fear by Ben Howard

This emotionally compelling track from the singer-songwriter Ben Howard’s debut album, Every Kingdom, is absolute perfection. Featuring Howard’s passionate vocals and masterful guitar playing, “The Fear” is one of those songs you can’t help but listen to over and over again! We love how this acoustic ballad starts with tender vocals and simple picking and then builds up into something heavier and energetic as soon as the drums kick in.

When you listen closely to the lyrics, they feel personal to the Howard but resonate with most of us. The song focuses on how we let fear define our lives and hold us back from all we can become. Howard is a left-handed guitarist who doesn’t shy from experimenting with alternate tunings and often pairs them with a partial capo. In “The Fear’s” original recording, he chose C-G-C-G-G-C with a capo on the 4th fret and tuned with a capo on the 3rd for the live version.

54. Betterman by John Butler Trio

Tabs: Here are the Tabs to Betterman by John Butler Trio

In the romantic ballad “Betterman,” John Butler is heard singing about a woman who changed his life for the better but is too good for him. The song is high on energy with an incredibly captivating display of Butler’s command of the guitar. After the track starts with a slide, he breezes through a groovy riff to the solo and then right back to an incredibly catchy rhythm. Butler uses slide technique and distortion to deliver a blazing solo that is sure to send guitar enthusiasts into a frenzy!

The track featured in the second studio album of John Butler Trio that enjoyed a good commercial run in Australia. It won the prestigious Australian ARIA award for ‘Best Independent Release’ and went platinum. “Betterman” showcases Butler’s prowess on a 12-string guitar, and he plays the track in his preferred tuning of Open C of C-G-C-G-C-E.

55. Time 2 by Ewan Dobson

Tabs: Here are the Tabs to Time 2 by Ewan Dobson

If you aren’t already familiar with the stellar guitar skills of Ewan Dobson, check it out at once, you will not be disappointed! “Time 2” is a lesser-known track on this list but unquestionably impactful. Recorded and released by the Canadian youtube sensation “Time 2” is a fantastic composition that deserves a broader reach. Trained as a classical guitarist, Dobson took a fancy to shred metal before identifying his style as “Acoustic Metal,” which, simply put, is metal shredding but on an acoustic.

From fingerpicking to Flatpicking, we are mighty impressed by Dobson’s prowess. After being released as a track in Ewan Dobson II’s album, “Time 2” went on to win hearts catapulting Dobson’s popularity and topping iTunes charts in many countries. When it comes to tuning, Ewan has a clear favorite- Open C, and the track we are discussing here is played in the same alternate tuning.

56. Caledonia by Dougie MacLean

Tabs: Here are the Tabs to Caledonia by Dougie MacLean

You’ll be amazed to know that “Caledonia,” the famed love ballad by Dougie MacLean to his homeland, was written in ten minutes flat! That’s how talented a songwriter he is! While on a beach in France, Dougie suddenly felt overcome by waves of homesickness. He quickly jotted down his feelings and composed the piece that has often been described as the “unofficial national anthem” of Scotland. The song’s name is what Romans used to call north of Great Britain and is considered a poetic word for Scotland.

MacLean fingerpicks this unforgettable song in open C tuning with a capo on the 4th fret and is played in the key of E. The track was released in a joint album with Alan Roberts in 1979 and inspired numerous covers by several musicians. A significant chunk of them with Celtic roots but there have been some rather remarkable renditions by non-Celtic artists as well.

57. Final Passage by Al Petteway

Tabs: Here are the Tabs to Final Passage by Al Petteway

Close on the heels of Led Zeppelin’s Bron-Yr-Aur comes another beautiful instrumental, but this time by Grammy award-winning Master of fingerstyle, Al Petteway. Like many of Petteway’s compositions, “Final Passage” is influenced by Celtic tunes. Petteway blends his acoustic with the flute, mandolin, cello, piano, and bells to create this enchanting piece.

In addition to Celtic, the American Guitarist draws inspiration from Appalachian mountain music. He is also found pairing his renowned fingerstyle with unusual tunings. For Final Passage’s open voicings and ringing, Petteway uses a tuning derived from Open C: C-G-C-G-C-D. The track was featured in his 1994 album Whispering Stones, a charming collection of traditional folk tunes and new compositions.

Common Chords in Open C Tuning

Now that you know how to tune your guitar to an Open C tuning you must be wondering, “how do you play chords in Open C tuning?”. Since we change the notes of the open strings in this tuning, this changes the way we play our usual chords such as G major, F major, E minor, D minor, and so on.

Below are easy to follow diagrams with chord tabs for the most typical chords played in an Open C tuning:

G Chord in Open C

F Chord in Open C Tuning

E Minor Chord in Open C Tuning

D major 7 Chord in Open C Tuning

Open C Major 7

C Suspended 4 in Open C

C Major Chord 7 in Open open C Tuning

Chords For The C Minor Key (With The Same Tuning)

Did you know that the Open C tuning can be used to only as an open C major chord, but also as C minor? Here are some useful chord voicings that help you make use of it:

  • Cm7: 0 0 0 3 3 3
  • Gm7: 0 0 0 3 0 1
  • Fm: X 0 0 5 5 4
  • Gmadd11: 0 0 0 7 7 6
  • Bbadd9: 0 0 0 10 10 10
  • Ab/ G: X 0 0 8 8 8
  • Eb6/ G: 0 0 0 12 12 11

Why Should You Learn Open C?

The Open C is a very popular and versatile alternate guitar tuning that can be applied to a wide variety of genres – from experimental acoustic folk, blues all the way to hard rock and heavy metal! The low tuning of this guitar gives a dark and rich sonic quality to any song composed in it.

While metal music adapts the low sound to complement its gritty melodic and songwriting elements, blues played in Open C have a stunningly resonating and piano-like sound, especially when played with heavier gauge strings. Considering just how wide a palette you have with Open C, we encourage guitarists of all playing styles and skill levels to give it a go!

Open C Tuning Variations

Interestingly enough, even though the standard Open C tuning we have shared above is the most popular one used, it is not the only Open C tuning there is. There are several other variations of the Open C tuning that can be played by slightly playing around with the original Open C tuning. Here are some of the common Open C tuning variants:

  • Repetitive Open C Variation: C – E – G – C – E – G
  • CMaj 7 Variation: C – G – E – G – B – E
  • C5 Variation: C – G – C – G – G – E
  • C6 Variation: C – A – C – G – C – E
  • Overtones Variation: C – C- G – C – E – G

What To Keep In Mind When Tuning Guitar To Open C?

While Open C is an awesome alternate tuning to explore, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind. Here are the top few tips:

  • Keep a tuner handy – be it a physical tuner or an online tuning app. This is because you will be drastically changing the tuning of your strings from their usual tuning – and may need a little help to get it absolutely perfect. In case you don’t have a tuner at all, then you can easily follow our guide and tune by ear.
  • Once you are done tuning all 6 of your strings, do go back to the previous strings to double-check their tuning. This is because significantly altering the tuning of your subsequent strings will affect the tuning of the already tuned strings as well – so you might need to polish it up to get it accurate.
  • Changing your guitar tuning to Open C requires you to drastically tune down several strings of your guitar. As a result, you will most likely experience some annoying fret buzz rattling while playing your instrument because of the lower action (lesser height between the strings and the fretboard). To fix this, consider raising the action of your guitar by fixing the truss rod on your guitar.
  • To fully reap the benefits of Open C’s open, rich, and low sound, you could also choose to try out a heavier gauge guitar string. This will ensure you still have a decent amount of playing tension and also give you a nice, warm, heavy sound.

Final Thoughts

We are sure that by now you can ‘C’ just how amazing the Open C tuning is! Not only does it throw open a whole new world of songwriting and creative possibilities, but it also gives you access to some pretty iconic songs written by the greats over the years. So whether you’ve just begun exploring alternate tunings or are a seasoned pro, learning the Open C tuning will benefit both types of players in equal measure.

In case you’re interested in checking out more such alternate tunings, do go through our tuning resource articles for the Open E, Open D, Open G, and Drop C tunings. From step-by-step tuning guides, chords, to which songs to play in each tuning – you’ll find it all in there. Happy playing!

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