Landing somewhere between the classic rock sounds of the Beatles, the bottom-heavy pop metal of AC/DC, and today’s mainstream offerings, Tonic’s Open Up Your Eyes is rapidly becoming a favorite guitar piece with contemporary audiences. The A&M artists scored a big No. 2 on the Modern Rock charts with this single in late 1996 and threaten to make even bigger waves with their debut album, Lemon Parade.
Gtr. 1 is in drop-D tuning. Lower your 6th string a whole step to D. Gtrs. 2 and 3 are in standard tuning.
The main riff, Rhy. Fig. 1, found in the intro and choruses, is the not-so-distant reltive of bass-line-oriented, arpeggiated guitar looks like “Badge,” “You Never Give Me Your Money,” and “You Shook Me All Night Long.” One new wrinkle, however, is the clever and strategic, use of drop-D tuning in the figure. Note the similar fingering, between the C chord and the F, made possible by the tuning [Fig. 1], not to mention its low D note. For comparison, play the F to D melody of the riff on the 4th string and you’ll immediately appreciate the advantage of expanding your range on the instrument with drop-D tuning.
Beatle George Harrison has commented on the unlimited riff-making possibilities inherent in the D chord. The verse and interlude are based on these guitarist-friendly, open-D-chord possibilities, and present two distinctly different sides of the same chord melody idea. Chord melodies are readily produced with the D chord by simply adding or subtracting one or more notes to its basic physical structure. Let’s take a closer look. The D chord on the top four strings can be made into a Dsus2 by lifting the second finger off (subtracting) and playing the open E as the highest note in the chord. Similarly, a Dsus4 can be created by fretting (adding) the G at the 3rd fret [Fig. 2]. In the verse, these forms are strummed and incorporated into the heavy rhythm figure.
Note the metallic thrust of this section with its consistent palm muting in the low register and solid eight-note groove. In the interlude, the D and Dsus2 are arpeggiated and allowed to ring, Beatle style.
The solo features a double-lead approach in which two guitars, Gtrs. 2 and 3, play an improvised duet. This type of two-guitar interplay was frequently found in music of the late 60s and early 70s. Check out Cream’s “Sweet Wine” solo and Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” final solo for two obvious examples. Notice the variety of string bends throughout both guitar parts. Full, half-step and l.5-step bends are used, as well as double-stop bends, pre-bends and held bends. Both guitars play lines derived from D minor pentatonic, predominantly in the classic blues-box shape at the 10th fret [Fig. 3]. These melodies are connected to the minor pentatonic form below at the eighth position. The situation is a common occurrence in rock guitar soloing – so much so that it is often seen as one box containing two closely-related forms Fig 4.
It’s a part of Tonic Open Up Your Eyes guitar tab and sheet.
Through the link below you can download a full transcription of
Open Up Your Eyes with backing track
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