Molly Tuttle uses an unusual guitar tuning and it's well worth trying

Molly Tuttle
(Image credit: Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Spotify)

Michael Watts doesn't only cover acoustic guitars on his YouTube channel but he devotes a refreshing amount of time to an often overlooked area for guitar YouTubers. He also shines a light on the things that are inspiring him – and after an interview with, frankly incredible Grammy Award-winning bluegrass-schooled musician, Molly Tuttle he learned about an unexpected guitar tuning she uses. That you might want to explore too.

Most bluesgrass flatpickers use standard tuning only, but Tuttle isn't one of them. She also uses DGDGCD – "It's a modal tuning that I use when I play clawhammer guitar," she tells Watts. It's inspired by her open G banjo playing and is also known as a sus4 tuning – like DADGAD. 

It's certainly a similar feel to DADGAD and we've talked about the possibilities before that modal tunings can open up if you're looking for inspiration.  

"In my experience, the joy of a sus4 tuning is you can play in major and minor keys without the tuning that you're in dictating the tonality of the music that you're making," notes Watts. It's certainly very different if you're used to standard – in a good way. A fresh way. Simple chord positions will find you coming up with ideas you'd never have stumbled on in standard. 

Give it a try and check out more videos from Michael Watts at his YouTube channel

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.