this may be a simple question but im what one would consider completely null of theory knowledge save the booster of having been in middle school band, what tuning/key/notes are my open strings when I have my guitar pre-capo, a half step down and capo the second fret.

  • Hi pine. The notes of the open strings will be whatever you have tuned them to - If you use an online guitar tuner, such as fender.com/online-guitar-tuner/acoustic-guitar-tuning, you should be able to tell if they're tuned to standard EADGBE. If you look at this question, you'll see that it's impossible to say what key a guitar is in - it's never in any particular key itself, though a particular song will be in a particular key (which will change if you use the capo). – topo Reinstate Monica Apr 1 '18 at 23:37
  • This is a strange question... How do you know that your guitar is "a half step down" (before the capo)? Each fret is a half step, so using a capo at the 2nd fret will bring the pitch of each open string up 2 half steps. The net effect would be 1 half step higher than standard tuning. – The Chaz 2.0 Apr 2 '18 at 0:49
  • hahaha wait im a half step up now? thought i was on to somethin – pine Apr 2 '18 at 1:12

A semitone down when open? Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb. Or - D# G# C# F# A# D#. All one semitone lower than standard.

Capo them on the second fret? F Bb Eb Ab C F. Or - F A# D# G# C F. All one semitone higher than standard.

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It has occurred to me that perhaps you've been shown open tunings for your guitar. If that's the case, the key would be determined by the open chord you have used in order to achieve the open tuning. Also a semitone down when open might indicate a popular method for tuning twelve string guitars, in which case Tim's got you answer above.

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