Tuning ‘down a whole tone’ lowers overall string tension by around 20%, decreasing volume but allowing for wide bends, subtle vibratos, and an overall ease of fretting. Great for opening up electric-style melodic freedoms on the acoustic guitar – and for reducing strain on the hands.
- Pattern: 5-5-5-4-5
- Intervals: 1-4-b7-b3-5-1
- Harmony: D m7(11)
Used on innumerable tracks: e.g. Yesterday (Paul McCartney), Working Class Hero (Lennon), Come As You Are (Kurt Cobain), Walk (Dimebag Darrell), Dogs (Dave Gilmour), Between the Bars (Elliot Smith), Sad But True (Metallica), Budapest (George Ezra), many Neil Young live records.
- Come As You Are – Nirvana (1991):
- See my Tunings Megatable for further such nerdery: more numbers, intervallic relations, comparative methods, etc. And to any genuine vibratory scientists reading: please critique my DIY analysis!
- Eb Standard (this +1): beloved by Hendrix & co.
- Db Standard (this -1)’ ideal for sweeping legato
- Full Drop C (this with 6str -2): this tuning’s Drop D
- Stringing lower: GearPage discussion on gauges, scale lengths, etc – also Music.StackExchange chat on various reasons you might want to go down.
Browse 100+ altered guitar tunings: type in names, notes, artists, sequences, descriptions, etc. Also see tags below & the full Tunings Menu.
RĀGA JUNGLISM’s WORLD OF TUNING
Everything you didn’t realise you wanted to know about guitar tuning – fresh perspectives from Ming Dynasty manuscripts to modern psychoacoustics via jazz, Joni Mitchell, Madagascar, & more. Ad-free, open-access multimedia resources, continually updated (‘tuned’) over time. Feedback encouraged!
George Howlett is a London-based musician, writer, and teacher. I play guitar, tabla, and santoor, loosely focusing on jazz, rhythm, and other global improvised traditions. Above all I seek to enthuse fellow sonic searchers, interconnecting fresh vibrations with the human voices, cultures, and passions behind them. Site menu above, follow below, & get in touch!
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