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Considering Tuning to Eb or D - What Tuning Do You Use?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Jiffster, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Jiffster

    Jiffster Strat-Talk Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    From around 1980-1992 I tuned to Eb. Since then I've been at standard A440 for since it makes it easier to teach students, work with different bands, etc.

    I've been considering tuning to Eb to be able to play around with some of my favorite artists songs and even considered tuning a whole step down to mess with some Robin Trower.

    I'm curious what others here are doing.

    I've also used a hybrid gauge string set (09-46) for a long time. Not sure if I would keep these or go up to standard 10's.

    I realize it's a personal decision but just curious.
  2. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    I tune my Strat to E or Eb, depending on what I'm playing.
    My Jackson is always tuned to E, I dont like the looser strings with high gain.
  3. Yves

    Yves Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 2, 2016
    Eb (11's string) cause my Strat sounds and feels right that way.
    mad axe man likes this.
  4. rgbedard

    rgbedard Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 3, 2018
    Santa Cruz, CA
    E. Have a professional friend that has been encouraging me to try Eb, but I don't care for capos and am afraid of getting used to reduced string tension ...
  5. Cerb

    Cerb Most Honored Senior Member

    Jan 22, 2016
    I've been into some stoner rock lately so I'm considering D. At least on one guitar.
    jojo68 likes this.
  6. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 21, 2014
    Santa Maria, CA
    I play mainly 80's hard rock/metal
    I have two Floyd Rose-equipped 25.5 scale guitars; I keep one in Eb and the other in E/drop D (with a d-tuna) -- both have d'addario 9.5's
    I have a 24 3/4" hardtail that I generally keep in E -- also with d'addario 9.5's
  7. sssstratsss

    sssstratsss Strat-Talker

    Dec 6, 2017
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    I have 3 guitars in standard, one in C#/Db, and a couple in Eb. I have some acoustics in different open tuning as well.
  8. space

    space Strat-Talker

    May 17, 2018
    sounds alot richer
    acoustic especially
    Nadnitram likes this.
  9. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 21, 2015
    When in a band quite a while back we tuned down to Eb, I used Ernie Ball 9-46 exclusively (the 2222 set). This was on various Kramer guitars w/ Floyd Rose trems.

    I'd never seen much of a problem between standard tuning and dropping a 1/2 step with either the string gauge the guitar setup, although that's primarily using neck-thru-body guitars.
    I can see where some strats may need a tweak, but that's not saying much. In my experience (living in the north) Strats are much more susceptible to weather.

    I have two strats, one of them likes 9-46, the other just feels better with 10-46 on it.
  10. chicago slim

    chicago slim Strat-O-Master

    Aug 23, 2010
    Bowling Green, KY
    As I have too many guitars, I usually have one tuned to Eb or D. I keep my normal Strats in E tuning, with 9 - 42 strings. I use 10's on my short scale and de-tuned Strats. As a front man, I will often learn a song, a step or half step down. Then as I build muscle memory (in my throat), I'll get up to regular pitch.

    Touring musicians will often de-tune, in order to make life easier for the vocalist, who has to perform day after day. Musicians have also often tuned to Eb when playing with horns. It's a very normal thing.
    Tone Deaf likes this.
  11. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 27, 2018
    North Central NC
    My guitars are either standard E with 9s or D with 10s. I like going down a whole step because it's easier to for me to transpose without having to use a capo. I thought I'd always have all of them in D until I got a Tele, and I think that one needs the twang of E tuning.

    E with 9s and D with 10s aren't terribly different in string tension. I tried D with 11s and found them to be as tight or maybe a little more so than E with 9s. I never break any strings tuned to D, but of course occasionally do in E.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
    chicago slim likes this.
  12. tstone2

    tstone2 Strat-Talker

    I have 2 in standard E, 2 in Eb, 1 in standard E - dropped D. One in D - dropped C. I try to keep the floating trem equipped consistent tuning, the decked trems I can play around a bit because some songs I play along to are recorded a bit sharp or flat from E to Eb. See
    Van Halen or Deep Purple, etc. (someone can chime in on Eddie's preferred tuning key(s))
  13. RegularJim

    RegularJim Strat-Talker

    May 8, 2017
    Winthrop Harbor, IL
    I always keep one on standby in Eb and one in drop D, just in case I hear something I want to play along with.
  14. Grux

    Grux Strat-Talker

    May 17, 2018
    Clarksville, TN
    Eb all the time on every guitar. I'm one of the lead singers and it really helps me to not have to strain with certian songs. Don Henley, Bryan Adams, Sting, and certain counting crows songs are a pita to sing in E. Bends are much easier, and the guitar seems slightly darker/sinister on heavier tunes. I love Eb!
  15. jazzman1021

    jazzman1021 Strat-Talker

    Dec 11, 2012
    Earlville, IL 60518
    E. 12,16, 22w, 29, 39, 52
    Kosh likes this.
  16. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 21, 2014
    Santa Maria, CA
    A lot of old VH stuff is in Eb (or somewhere between Eb and E) or the occasional Drop D/oddball tuning. Seems like their later stuff used a lot standard E tuning (probably because Sammy had a wider vocal range..?)
    tstone2 likes this.
  17. jamieorc

    jamieorc Strat-Talk Member

    Oct 19, 2016
    Charlottesville, VA
    I was surprised to discover a number of years back that many songs from CCR and Old 97s have the guitar tuned D-G-C-F-A-D (whole step down from normal).
  18. rich724

    rich724 Strat-Talker

    May 18, 2013
    Linden, MI
    I tune in standard 440 tuning using 10's on my solid bodies and 11's on my arch tops.
  19. mad axe man

    mad axe man Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 23, 2016
    ontario canada
    stoner rock? what is stoner rock?
    Cerb likes this.
  20. mad axe man

    mad axe man Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 23, 2016
    ontario canada
    A-440- everything else sounds flat...LOL