Alternate Guitar Tunings

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – #Fingerstyle #Guitar #Tablature – Dropped D Tuning


This song may present a little bit of a challenge if you’re a beginner, but it will also give you some valuable practice on changing chords since the chords change twice in most measures. I arranged two accompaniment patterns. This one is the simpler of the two and really just consists of a simple strum with each chord change. Note that this first arrangement is in STANDARD TUNING.


The second accompaniment arrangement is meant to be played fingerstyle and features “Dropped D” tuning. This tuning is fairly common when playing in the key of D, especially among fingerpickers. In Dropped D, the only thing different than in standard tuning is that the 6th string is tuned down one whole tone, from E to D. This enables you to play the bass note an octave lower than in standard tuning. When playing in Dropped D you will need to compensate for the change in the 6th string. This means that the chord formations that use the 6th string need to be adjusted accordingly. Notice the diagram below for the G chord. Ordinarily the bass note for G is the 6th string 3rd fret. In Dropped D the bass note needs to go up two more frets, so now it is played on the 6th string 5th fret. That may seem overly complicated if you are a beginner, but after you gain more experience you may appreciate the different results that you are able to achieve with this tuning.

To accompany the singing I intentionally stayed away from the 1st string in this case. You don’t always have to do that but in this instance it sounded better to me and will probably be easier for most people to play because the pattern remains the same. Play all of the notes on the 2nd string with your middle finger and all of the notes on the 3rd string with your index finger. All of the bass notes (4th, 5th, and 6th strings) should be played with your thumb.


The next arrangement is the solo I played in the recording between a couple of the verses. Be sure your 6th string is tuned down 1 whole tone (2 frets) from E to D. The melody notes are exactly the same as the melody notes in the basic Melody & Accompaniment arrangement.

When playing this solo you are really playing two parts concurrently: the melody on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd strings and an alternating bass pattern on the 4th, 5th, and 6th strings. Use your thumb for all of the bass notes. For the treble strings (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) you should generally use your middle finger to play notes that are played at the same time as the bass notes are played (thereby creating kind of a “pinch” with the thumb and middle finger) and use the index finger to play the notes that are not played along with a bass note. That may not always work, but in this case it does.

Hard Time Killin’ Floor – #Acoustic #Blues #Guitar #Tablature

My version sounds a little different than the movie version (O Brother Where Art Thou) but they are fairly close. The timing is approximate. Be sure to tune your guitar in crossnote tuning. This is a tuning that I’ve heard was fairly popular with the old-time bluesmen but this is the only song I know in crossnote tuning (DADFAD). If you’re familiar with open D tuning, the only difference here is that the 3rd string is tuned down to F instead of F#, which results in an open D minor (Dm) chord.



Here’s the tablature: