Online Guitar Tuner - Half Step Down Tuning

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Half Step Down Tuning

A lot of rock and blues guitarists will opt for half step down tuning especially when playing live. This tuning is identical to standard tuning except that each string is tuned down by a semitone.

Reasons for half step down tuning:

  • String bending becomes easier than standard tuning because the strings are not under as much tension
  • To enable heavier guage strings to be used
  • Faster playing is usually easier
  • The strings are less likely to fail
  • To assist a singer struggling to hit high notes
  • Many people believe songs played in this tuning (flatter than normal) have a fresh and different feel

String Gauge

Light and medium gauge strings work well with this tuning (strings where the first string is at .009 inches onwards). The lighter the gauge the easier string bending becomes. The heavier gauges will give a heavier sound and usually more sustain. If tuning down from standard to half step down with the same strings, it may be necessary to adjust the setup of the guitar to compensate. If you are not comfortable doing this contact your nearest guitar specialist.

Noted Musicians that use this tuning

  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Zakk Wylde