Vestapol Open Guitar Tuning part 1

Vestapol tuning is an open tuning that is commonly used in blues and rock. Open E and D are the most common but we are not limited to those 2 keys. The tuning is identified by the intervals between the strings. I will illustrate using the key of E.

Ex.1 Standard tuningchords


Ex. 2 The E chord in standard tuning.


Ex.3 Here we simply tune the guitar so the open strings sounds like the E chord. The distance (interval) between the strings are as follows: 6 string to 5 string is a 5th interval, 5 to 4 is a 4th, 4 to 3 is a 3rd, 3 to 2 is a ♭3 (minor 3rd), and 2 to 1 is a 4th.


While the key of E is the most popular, I prefer the key of D for 2 reasons. First, it is easier on your strings and guitar because you are tuning some strings lower, unlike E, where you tune strings higher causing more tension on the strings and neck.  Second, I just love that low sound. It sounds like the Louisiana swamp. The intervals are exactly the same. But, you are tuned a whole tone lower than E. You could tune higher or lower but, if you tune higher you risk breaking strings. If you tune lower you may experience tuning problems.

Ex. 4 The notes in open D tuning.


In the illustrations below we have the tools of the trade.

Ex.5 Major diatonic scale: also called the major scale or the Ionian mode. This is the father of all scales. All scales are measure by this one.

The intervals are 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.        


Ex.6 Pure minor diatonic scale also called the minor scale, the natural minor scale, or the Aeolian mode.

Intervals: 1 2 ♭3 4 5 ♭6 ♭7 


Ex.7 Minor pentatonic scale:  Some musicians mistakenly call this the blues scale.

Intervals: 1 ♭3 4 5 ♭7 


Ex.8 Minor blues scale. Some call this the blues scale but there is a major blues scale also. The minor blues scale is simply a minor pentatonic scale with the addition of the dim5 interval also known as the tritone or ♭5.

Intervals: 1 ♭3 4 ♭5 5 ♭7

Ex.9 Major pentatonic scale. penta is Greek for  5 and tonic means tone:  5 tone scale.

Intervals: 1 2 3 5 6


Ex.10 Dominant 7 scale also known as the Mixolydian mode.

Intervals: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ♭7


Ex.11 Major blues.

1 2 ♭3 3 5 6


Ex. 12 Major arpeggios.

Intervals: 1 3 5


Ex.13 Minor arpeggio.

1 ♭3 5

Ex.14 Dominant 7 arpeggio.

Intervals: 1 3 5 ♭7




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