Keith Richards and Jane Rose - Open G Tuning

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Instead of six strings in standard guitar tuning, in the late 60’s Keith Richards created a disruptive innovation by playing chords and riffs on five-string open G banjo tuning on his electric guitar. “It changed my life,” said Richards. This innovative use of Open G tuning embodied the hallmark sound of the Rolling Stones, leaving an indelible mark on rock and roll.

To give a more in depth look: among alternative tunings for the guitar, an open G tuning is an open tuning that features the G-major chord; its open notes are selected from the notes of a G-major chord, such as the G-major triad (G,B,D). For example, a popular open-G tuning is “D-G-D-G-B-D (low to high).” An open-G tuning allows a G-major chord to be strummed on all six strings with neither fretting of the left hand nor a capo. Like other open tunings, it allows the eleven major chords besides G major each to be strummed by barring at most one finger on exactly one fret. Open tunings are common in blues and folk music, and they are used in the playing of slide and bottleneck guitars. Accepting the award is his longtime manager Jane Rose.

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Angela Brugioni