How to Tune a Guitar Down a Half Step

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Tuning a guitar down a half step is a common practice among guitar players for a variety of reasons. When a guitar is tuned down a half step, the strings are easier to bend; less tension allows for faster playing. Some guitars like the "heavier" and somewhat darker sound. This was particularly popular in the 1990s. Another reason may be to accommodate the range of a particular singer.

Things You'll Need

  • Guitar
  • Chromatic tuner
  • Use your chromatic tuner to tune your guitar to Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb. A normal guitar is tuned E A D G B E. Play your open strings and tune them down one by one until you reach the desired lowered note.

  • Tune by ear if you don't have a chromatic tuner. Play the sixth fret of your fifth string and tune your low E string to match the fretted note. When in tune, your sixth string should be one octave lower than the sixth fret of the fifth string.

  • Continue to tune your guitar in the standard way once your low E string is in tune. Fret the fifth string of your low E and match the open fifth string of your guitar to the fretted note. Continue this process up each new string. The only exception to this rule in standard tuning is the B string. To tune the B string, fret the fourth string of the prior string instead of the fifth.

  • Check your tuning again.

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  • Photo Credit guitar player image by Mladenov from Fotolia.com
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