Open D (D A D F# A D) tuning is one of guitarists’ most popular alternate tuning setups. It is mostly used for slide guitar, yet many musicians from different genres use it.
When you strum the open strings, your guitar gives the D major chord. And every barre chord you play with one finger will be any other major chord you want. Slide guitarists use this setup because playing wrong notes with a slide becomes harder this way.
From Van Morrison to Taylor Swift or George Harrison to Bon Iver, many musicians composed beautiful songs in this tuning. Here are some famous guitar songs in Open D Tuning listed just for you.
Good luck, and have fun learning these new songs!
Loser – Beck
Loser is one of Beck’s most popular songs. It was released in 1993 on Beck’s album, Mellow Gold. It appeared on more than 30 charts worldwide.
The tune starts with a simple slide guitar intro riff. After that riff comes the main melody. The second guitar plays the main melody throughout the song on the highest string. There is also a simple arpeggio starting at the song’s last minute.
Even Flow – Pearl Jam
Even Flow is a great song to play in Open D tuning. It appeared in 1992 on the band’s famous album, Ten. The tune is considered one of Pearl Jam’s greatest hits.
There are two guitars in this tune. One is tuned in Open D, and the other is in Standard Tuning. The first guitar plays an opening riff with a distorted rock sound at the beginning. Then comes a riff in 2/4 time.
If you are interested in checking other open tunings, check out my other article Top 40 Easy & Advanced Guitar Songs In Open G – Tabs Included
Don’t Stop (Acoustic) – 5 Seconds Of Summer
Don’t Stop is a pop punk, power pop song by 5 Seconds Of Summer. The tune was released in 2014 and got very popular after. It appears on the band’s first self-titled album.
The tune begins with a palm mute strumming pattern that plays throughout the intro and the verses. There are simple chorus and bridge chord progressions besides the main palm mute pattern. It is played with an acoustic guitar.
Don’t Stop (Acoustic) Guitar Tabs
Drifting – Andy McKee
Andy McKee is a famous guitar player in the United States. He is mostly known for his unique percussive fingerstyle songs with his beautiful acoustic guitar. One of his most popular compositions is Drifting. The tune became viral on YouTube after it was released in 2006.
The song begins with a mind-blowing percussive guitar pattern. Andy McKee plays an amazing guitar melody and uses his guitar as a percussive instrument throughout the song.
Matilda – alt-J
alt-J is one of the authentic bands in modern times. Their music is considered indie progressive folk or art rock. Matilda is one of the band’s most famous songs. It was released in 2012 and appeared on the band’s album, An Awesome Wave.
This tune is a very soft song. Simple arpeggios are played throughout the whole song. They shift according to the verse and chorus parts of the song.
Matilda (Acoustic) Guitar Tabs
For another D tuning, check out my other song list Top 40 Famous & Easy Guitar Songs In D Standard – Tabs Included
The Cave – Mumford & Sons
Mumford & Sons is a great indie folk and bluegrass band. This song is one of the most famous songs. It appeared on the band’s first album, Sigh No More, and was released in 2010.
The Cave is played with a capo on the 2nd fret while it’s tuned in Open D. The song begins with an intro arpeggio, then shifts into simple chord progressions and powerful strumming.
Thunder – Boys Like Girls
This band has been playing pop rock since 2007. They released Thunder in 2008, and it appeared on their self-titled album, Boys Like Girls. First, the tune has an acoustic release, and this version became more popular.
The song begins with fast arpeggios. Then proceeds with powerful strumming when the chorus comes. The guitar softens on the verses and becomes more aggressive in the choruses.
Daugthers (Acoustic) – John Mayer
Daughters is a beautiful song, and especially its acoustic version is very famous. It is considered acoustic rock/ blues rock. The tune was released in 2004 and awarded the song of the year at Grammys.
This version begins with a slide guitar solo that John Mayer’s backup guitarist plays. Then Mayer starts to play a simple acoustic rhythm on it. It is very easy to play and fun to sing.
Daughters (Acoustic) Guitar Tabs
If you are interested in other alternate tunings, check out my other article Top 40 Famous Guitar Songs In E Flat (Eb) Tuning – Tabs Included
Fitzpleasure – alt-J
Fitzpleasure is another cool song from the great band alt-J. It was released in 2012 as a split single and appeared on the band’s first album, An Awesome Wave. This tune has a very creative music video on YouTube. You should check!
Most of the alt-J songs are written in Open D tuning. The guitar begins with a soft melody at the end of the first minute of the song, then comes very simple riffs that play throughout the song.
What He Wrote – Laura Marling
Laura Marling is a successful indie folk rock singer and songwriter. She won so many prizes over the years. What He Wrote was released in 2010 on the same-titled album and appeared on the famous TV Series Peaky Blinders.
This tune is a very soft song. It is played with a smooth acoustic or a clean electric tone. It is played with a capo on the 2nd fret while tuned in Open D. The guitar plays various arpeggios and chord progressions throughout the song.
Late July – Shakey Graves
Shakey Graves is a very talented musician from Texas. He is brilliant with his acoustic guitar. One of his most popular songs is Late July, and it is a badass tune that was released in 2014.
The whole song is an acoustic Texas country song, written very creatively. The song combines arpeggios, licks and melodies, and the main riff.
Here is another open tuning list that you can check out Top 40 Famous Guitar Songs In Open E Tuning – Tabs Included
Agape – Bear’s Den
This English band has been playing folk and alternative rock since 2012. Agape is one of their famous songs released in 2013 on their same-titled EP. The song became the song of the year in 2016.
This tune is played with a capo on the 2nd fret while tuned in Open D. The song has 4 chords: E, C#m, B, and A. How you play the chords changes since you are in Open D. The song goes with banjo arpeggios and classic acoustic strumming.
Into The Mystic – Van Morrison
This tune was released in 1970 and appeared on Morrison’s album, Moondance. It is considered a rock, blues, folk, and soul jazz genre. Into The Mystic is one of Morrison’s most successful songs ever.
The song is played with a capo on 1st fret in Open D Tuning. The song is composed of simple soft arpeggios and classic acoustic chord progressions.
Ivy – Taylor Swift
Ivy is, I think, one of the most beautiful songs Taylor Swift has ever written. The tune was released in 2020 and appeared on her album, Evermore. This album features great American musicians, and it is worth checking.
This tune is an acoustic guitar song full of arpeggios throughout the song. They are played with a unique fingering style. You don’t need a capo for this one.
Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell
Big Yellow Taxi is a famous folk-rock hit by Joni Mitchell, released in 1970. It appeared on her album, Ladies of the Canyon. The tune was covered by Amy Grant later in 1994, which is also popular.
This tune is a classic, acoustic Joni Mitchell song. The guitar plays a powerful strumming pattern and chord progressions throughout the song.
Matilda – Harry Styles
Harry Styles is known for his former teenage band, One Direction, and he is a wonderful musician. Matilda is one of his perfect songs, which was released this year. It appears on his album, Harry’s House.
You don’t need a capo for this acoustic song. Matilda combines acoustic guitar and piano and simple arpeggios playing throughout the tune.
Shelter From The Storm – Bob Dylan
Shelter From The Storm is a very famous Dylan song released in 1975. It appears on his album, Blood on the Tracks. Both the lyrics and the shifting chords are beautiful in this tune.
Have your capo on the 2nd fret for this one. It is a classic Dylan song with his authentic strumming pattern. The tune has only 3 chords to play: D, Dmaj7, and Dsus4. It is very easy to play.
Shelter From The Storm Guitar Chords
Re Stacks – Bon Iver
Bon Iver is a great musician and has written many songs in alternate tunings. He won various awards for his albums over the years. Re Stacks was released in 2008 and appeared on his beautiful album For Emma, Forever Ago.
Re Stacks is played with a capo on the 6th fret while tuned in Open D. The song goes with soft acoustic strumming patterns and chord progressions.
Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes is an amazing indie folk band. They won many awards and had many hits over the years. Helplessness Blues was released in 2011 and appeared on their same-titled successful album.
Helplessness Blues is played with a capo on the 1st fret. D, G, Dmaj7, and Gmaj7 are the only chords to play throughout the song. There is a change of time signature after the 3rd chorus into 3/4. This part is played with an electric guitar in standard tuning and tremolo picking.
Helplessness Blues Guitar Chords
Paris, Texas – Ry Cooder
Paris, Texas, is composed by the great musician Ry Cooder for the soundtrack of the same-titled movie, which was released in 1984. The movie and its soundtrack are considered cults.
This tune is a great guitar song in Open D. Basically, the two guitars in this song are in a musical dialog. The first guitar is played with a slide bar, and the second one plays simple arpeggios in between.
Call It Dreaming – Iron & Wine
Iron & Wine is an amazing singer-songwriter from South Carolina. Call It Dreaming is one of his most beautiful songs released in 2017. It appears on his great album, Beast Epic.
Call It Dreaming is played with a capo on the 3rd fret. The song starts with the main riff and shifts to another progression when the pre-chorus and the chorus come. He adds hammer-ons and fingerpicking here and there if you listen closely. Here is the main chord progression.
A Life Of Illusion – Joe Walsh
This song is the most famous hit by Joe Walsh. A Life Of Illusion was released in 1981 and appeared on his album; There Goes The Neighborhood. Foo Fighters also made a cover of this tune in 2011.
This tune has a classic rock sound and a mildly aggressive electric guitar tone. The song has only 3 chords to play: G, D, and A. There is a main guitar riff throughout the song and a guitar solo at the end of the second minute of the tune.
A Life Of Illusion Guitar Tabs
Beautiful Things – Gungor
Gungor is an amazing experimental rock band with a unique sound. Their tune, Beautiful Things, was released in 2010. It is mostly known for its live performance in the Relevant Studios.
The song begins with the main riff, and you must let it ring smoothly. Then, it shifts into simple chord progressions behind verses and chorus. You can play this tune either with an electric or an acoustic guitar.
Beautiful Things Guitar Chords
Street Fighting Man – The Rolling Stones
Rolling Stones has various songs in alternate tunings. Here is one in Open D Tuning. Street Fighting Man was released in 1968 and appeared on the band’s album, Beggars Banquet. It is one of their first famous hits.
This tune has a classic Rolling Stones jangly rock sound. It is preferably played with an electric guitar. The song begins with a simple riff and then shifts into a chord progression on the chorus part. The guitar strumming is fast but easy.
Street Fighting Man Guitar Chords
Wasteland Baby – Hozier
This song is maybe not one of Hozier’s most famous but one of his most beautiful tunes. It was released in 2019 and appeared on his same titled album.
Wasteland Baby is written in the key of D and has a beautiful guitar composition. The song begins with a fingerstyle arpeggio and shifts into other arpeggios and melodies throughout the song. This tune is played with an acoustic or an electric guitar with a clean, smooth tone.
Mountains – Message To Bears
Message To Bears is the stage name of Jerome Alexander, a multi-instrumentalist. He has made amazing compositions for years. Mountains were released in 2012, and this tune is one of his most popular songs.
Mountains are played with a capo on the 4th fret while tuned in Open D. 3 main arpeggio riffs are being played throughout the song. Playing the arpeggios here is very easy and satisfying at the same time.
Magnolia – Gang Of Youths
Gang Of Youths is a brilliant indie-alternative rock band from Australia. They released Magnolia in 2014.
The tune is played with a capo on the 4th fret. There is only an intro melody that is played without a capo. Then the guitar shifts into simple chord progressions.
Graduate – Third Eye Blind
Third Eye Blind is an American alternative rock band. They can be considered almost experimental in their genre. Graduate is one of their famous hits. It was released in 1997 and appeared on their self-titled album.
The song is in Open D but tuned in different vibrations: 445 Hz. The song begins with a clean guitar intro and then goes into the more aggressive distorted main riff of the tune. There is also a wah-wah solo after.
The Gardener – The Tallest Man On Earth
The Tallest Man On Earth is the stage name of the Swedish musician Kristian Matsson. The Gardener was released in 2008 and got popular after his live performance on KEXP.
This tune is a classic folk song with a modern touch. It is played with a capo on the 6th fret while tuned in Open D. 7 chords are shifting throughout the song. They are played with classic acoustic strumming patterns.
Santa Monica Dream – Angus & Julia Stone
Angus & Julia Stone is an amazing musician couple. They have brilliant songs in the genre of folk and acoustic, and Santa Monica Dream is from their beautiful album, Down The Way. The album was released in 2010.
This tune is also played with an acoustic guitar. Simple arpeggio patterns are played throughout the song. It is played with a capo on the 3rd fret.
Santa Monica Dream Guitar Tabs
Black Snake Moan – Samuel L. Jackson
Blind Lemon Jefferson originally wrote this song in the name of That Black Snake Moan, released in 1926. This version by Samuel L. Jackson appears later in the self-titled movie in 2007. It is worth checking.
This tune is played with a distorted bluesy electric guitar tone. Simple fingerstyle riffs are being played. Samuel Jackson uses very easy slide and hammer-on pull-off techniques in this version.
Acadian Driftwood – The Band
Acadian Driftwood is one of their famous songs from their album, Northern Lights – Southern Cross, which was released in 1976.
This tune is a classic acoustic rock song, composed in the key of F. It is played with a capo on the 3rd fret. There is the main intro riff and chord progressions throughout the song.
Acadian Driftwood Guitar Chords
Crippled Inside – John Lennon
This tune is from Lennon’s album Imagine, released in 1971. Crippled Inside is considered a folk, country rock song. The song was remastered in 2010.
Crippled Inside is composed in Open D and played with a capo on the 2nd fret. It has simple slide guitar parts throughout the song. There are also simple chords shifting as the rhythm guitar goes.
New York Mining Disaster 1941 – Bee Gees
New York Mining Disaster 1941 is one of Bee Gees’ early hits responsible for the band’s international success. The tune was released in 1967 and appeared on their album, Bee Gees’ 1st.
It is a very easy song to play in the key of Am. With a jangly electric guitar tone, the tune goes with chord progressions and simple strumming.
New York Mining Disaster 1941 Guitar Chords
Guys Like You Make Us Look Bad – Blessthefall
Blessthefall is a post-hardcore band from the early 2000s. Guys Like You Make Us Look Bad was released in 2007 and appeared on the band’s album, His Last Walk.
The song is in the 4/4 signature time and is played with a high-gained distorted metal sound. There are palm muted aggressive strumming patterns and clean parts as the rhythm guitar. The lead guitar is also playing solos and various licks on them.
Guys Like You Make Us Look Bad Guitar Tabs
Oxford Town – Bob Dylan
Oxford Town was released in 1963 and appeared on Dylan’s album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. It has a classic Mississippi style and sound.
It would help if you had a capo on the 6th fret while tuned in Open D. Oxford Town is composed in the key of Ab and has only 3 chords to play: D3, G, and D. The simple acoustic strumming pattern repeats throughout the song.
Your Love Is Forever – George Harrison
Your Love Is Forever is a beautiful song in Open D tuning by George Harrison. It was released in 1979 and appeared on his self-titled album. The song was then remastered in 2004 after.
The song has an amazing collaboration of lyrical melodies and arpeggios. It has a perfectly toned electric guitar sound. It has a great slide guitar solo with an authentic Harrison electric tone that he uses in his solo recordings.
Your Love Is Forever Guitar Tabs
Radar – Phoebe Bridgers
Radar is an unreleased song by Phoebe Bridgers. Her fans have streamed it on SoundCloud since 2013, and you can also find this beautiful recording on YouTube.
The tune has a very authentic strumming and timing pattern that you must listen to carefully before playing. Phoebe Bridgers uses many hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides throughout the song. It is very fun to play it once you get the strumming.
Soren – beabadoobee
Beabadobee is a young musician and has composed and released beautiful music since 2018. Soren was released in 2019 and appeared on her EP, Loveworm.
Soren is like a Simon & Garfunkel-infused acoustic Mazzy Starr song. The tune is played with a capo on the 3rd fret and has an easy strumming pattern in triplets.
The Bottle’s My Lover She’s Just My Friend – Field Medic
Field Medic, another know as Kevin Patrick Sullivan, is a freak-folk musician based in California. He released this tune in 2019 as a single.
The tune is an acoustic guitar song in the key of D. Various chord progressions with an easy strumming pattern are played throughout the song.
The Bottle’s My Lover She’s Just My Friend Guitar Chords
As you see, there are so many genres in which you can find songs written and played in Open D Tuning. This alternate tuning setup has inspired various musicians over the decades and has been used since the early 1900s.
I hope this list of songs finds you well and inspires you on your guitar journey. Don’t get discouraged if you are new to Open D when you first change your guitar’s tuning. You’ll get used to it and find new approaches to playing your guitar.
In this list of tunes, you can find various guitar techniques and different chords that have been played. They are perfect for improving your playability in this famous alternate tuning setup on your electric or acoustic guitar!
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One thought on “Top 40 Famous Guitar Songs In Open D Tuning – Tabs Included”
Thanks for putting the list together, it’s great!