|Bo Carter, Memphis, 1960|
One fucking hard thing when you play the blues is the tunings. Open ones, standards, altered, name them...I always got frustrated trying to play songs by Muddy or John Lee Hooker because i acknowledged the patterns but the only tuning i could play was the standard one. And it only works for some songs.I found months ago that i wasn't the only one when reading an interview with Danny Kroha (The Gories). He said he had the same problem until he knew of open tunings.
You have open D, open G, open E and other variations like open minors, "spanish tuning" (that refers more to the interval between notes than to a determined key). Open tunings basically works this way: tune your guitar so playing the open strings (no fingers on the fretboard), they play a chord.
And there are too the "altered ones", where only a string or two are tuning differently: drop D, drop C, drop B. They are very used in heavy metal, stoner, southern rock, etc. Because they sound "big", "fat" and even ominous!
This post isn't a thorough explanation of alternative tuning, just a reminder or "eye opener". Enjoy your blues and rock and keep it personal. Most old bluesmen didn't tune following standards, but their own taste and personal pitch. You wanna be like them? Be and express yourself!