Open C: CGCgce

A popular 12 string guitar tuning but also used on 6 strings as well. When you strike the open strings you will get a deep rich C Major Chord. There are many variations on this, in this lesson we will cover one of the most obvious and most used.

Step 1: The 6th String – C

As always, you need a reference tone. You can use any C on the guitar. The closest one is the 3rd fret of the 5th string (second fattest string). Fret the 5th string on the 3rd fret and loosen the tuning peg of the 6th string so that they are in harmony. Because you are lowering it 4 semitones you may have to turn your peg a lot, possibly a full turn or more.

Step 2: The 5th String – G

To get the 5th string you will need to use a reference tone that is a G. Fortunately, since we’re coming from standard tuning the 3rd string is a G. This time you are only going to lower the string one full step. Pluck these 2 open strings (5th and 3rd) and loosen the 5th string tuning peg until they harmonize.

Step 3: The Fourth String – C

Since this is a C, just like your fattest string you can just pluck those 2 strings together and adjust this 4th string until it matches the pitch of the fattest C there is.

Step 4: The 3rd String – G

Guess what, don’t do anything, it’s already a G since we started in Standard Tuning.

Step 5: The 2nd String – C

This one you will need to raise up (be careful not to break the string!). Pluck it together with the open 4th or 6th string (if you followed the above steps, both now should be C’s). Pluck the 4th string and 2nd string together, and tighten the 2nd string tuning peg until they are they same pitch. Just a little though and do it slowly, as tightening the string you are more likely to break it.

Since we started in Standard Guitar Tuning, the 1st string will already be an E, so you can leave it as it is; your all done!

Strings Standard Open C
6 E C
5 A G
4 D C
3 g g
2 b c
1 e e