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Open C#m7 Tuning – Key of C# Natural Minor

Hello fellow alt tuners and welcome to today’s tuning: Open C#m7 tuning!

This tuning could also be called “Open E6 Tuning” because the notes of this tuning (C#, B, C#, E, G#, E) are actually in 2 chords: C#m7 and E6. Because I’m playing in C# Minor, I’ll call it Open C#m7 tuning.

Here is a video of me playing “Answer the Call” – a song I wrote today as I improvised in Open C#m7 tuning. While the progression has a somewhat familiar sound to it, the unusual tuning makes it sound fresh and interesting.

Here are the scale notes, numbers, scale degrees and intervals I’m playing:

As I do each day I experiment with a new tuning, I research to see if the tuning I’m playing is a known tuning or uncharted territory. While I found C#m7/E6 tunings, I did not find anyone using my tuning.

If I am able to find unique tunings, then the chords I play or the melodies/leads I come up with will sound different because the notes I’m playing are not in the same place.

The value of playing in alternate/open tunings is that the chords sound different/unique because the note placement within each chord is different in every tuning.

If I can be creative with my right hand strumming or playing with my fingers, I should have a good chance of writing something that is unique.

I hope you have fun with this really fun alternate tuning!

Until next time…

~Scott Quillin

Did you know? Scott started playing guitar when he was 14 years old back in 1982. A Pittsburgh native, Scott resides in Rhode Island where he teaches guitar, bass, music and songwriting. He also records and mixes songs for local bands and artists as well as his own music. He writes and records nearly every day and has a real passion to help others hear their “inner voice” and express that in songs.

You can listen to more of Scott’s music at

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