Open E Tuning Chord Lesson

If you are new to Open E Tuning then there is one question that you will no doubt begin to ask. How do you play any chords in Open E Tuning?

Well it’s pretty simple actually. In this post, I’ll show you how to play a Major chord, Minor chord, and a Dominant 7th chord in Open E Tuning.

First let’s look at the tuning in open E. It goes as follows from low to high. E B E G# B E.

Now to play a chord all you need to do is lay your slide across any fret and that is a major chord. The chord name is determined by the note on the Low E string.

For example. If you play across the 5th fret with the slide, you have an A Major chord because the 5th fret note on the low E string is an A note. This is the root note of the chord.

We can also play chords that only use three notes utilizing the E G# and B strings ( the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd strings). Simply play these three notes on the 5th fret and you’ll be playing the A Major chord. For this chord, the root is now located on the 4th string (D in Standard Tuning) which is still an E String. Whatever note this is will be the root of your chord.

We can modify this 3 note pattern a little, and that will give us a minor chord, and a dominant 7th chord all right in the same vicinity of one another without moving around a lot. These are a little harder to play with a slide on, so you might want to try playing them without the slide first.

If you notice, the 7th chord does not have the root note A in the chord. This is ok. If you’re playing with other people in a band or just another guitarist, they will be probably be playing the root note. I hope so anyway!

Major, Minor and 7th Chords in Open E Tuning

Chords in Open E
This will give you a foundation to work with to start playing some rhythm when you’re not playing slide.

To learn more about Open E Tuning including a whole slew of chord lessons, please check out my Open E Tuning Slide Course.

John W Tuggle
John W Tuggle

I love teaching the blues and have created numerous training courses and lessons to learn how to play like BB King, Clapton, Duane Allman, and more. Get Started Now