How to Tune a Guitar to D Flat

By Mike Biscoe
Rick Hawkins

Though most guitar players write and play music in standard tuning, there are many who choose to experiment or even specialize in alternate tunings. Alternate tunings give the musician different qualities of sound than standard tuning, and also change the fingering of chords, often making playing much easier. One of these alternate tunings is D flat (Db). D flat tuning is a simple variation on open D tuning, and is widely used in blues, folk and pop music.

Tune the low E, the sixth string, down a half step to Db (flat). To check for proper pitch, strum the fifth string while depressing the string at the fourth fret. If the tones are the same, proper pitch has been reached.

Tune the low E, the sixth string, down a half step to Db (flat). To check for proper pitch, strum the fifth string while depressing the string at the fourth fret. If the tones are the same, proper pitch has been reached.

Alter the tuning of the D, the fourth string, down a half step to Db. This string is tuned to the same note as the sixth string (though a different octave), so check this string by strumming the open sixth string.

Modify the tuning of the G, the third string, down a half step to F. Check for correct pitch on this string by pressing down the first string at the first fret.

Change the tuning of the B, the second string, down a half step to Ab. This string is tuned to the same pitch as the fifth string earlier. Strum both strings in the open position to determine their relative pitch.

Complete the tuning by adjusting the high E, or first string, down a whole step and a half to Db. Verify the pitch of this string by strumming either the sixth or fourth string in the open position.

Tip

Use medium gauge strings with this tuning, as sometimes intonation can be affected with other gauges.

About the Author

Mike Biscoe has been writing since 2009. Focusing on travel, sports and entertainment topics, he has credits in various online publications including LIVESTRONG.COM and Trails. He often writes articles covering uncommon travel destinations from firsthand experience. Biscoe holds a Certificate of Completion in acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.