Hello, Ive been playing the guitar for about a yea now and I was wondering why people tune their guitars half a step down? What advantages does it bring or is it simply a personal preference?
It sounds a bit heavier and it's easier for the singer. If he can't hit those high notes a half step down helps him not sounding out of key.
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    Quote by Fat Lard
    I like semen, so what?
    To accommodate for the singer's voice, or because it sounds "heavier."
    ...I like metal.
    Think about how easy it is to play open chords. Play G C G D G C G D7 with open chords. That progression is in the key of G major. However, if you want someone to sing over that and G is a bit too high, perhaps you would want to play in Gb. Gb Cb Gb Db Gb Cb Gb Db7 (yes, Cb exists, though it differs from B in its name only) is tough to play, and this becomes much more difficult when you have complicated riffs using open strings as pedal tones. This is an easy fix with downtuning. Just tune down 1/2 step and play the same shapes; your singer can now sing in the more comfortable key.

    Also, a lot of famous bands (Hendrix, SRV, GNR) tune down, so I'm guessing that a lot of people just do what Slash did.
    Personal preference. Whatevr they want to play as, in the same way people tune to Drop C and B etc.
    Pretty much those two reasons mentioned. The last band I were in (I played bass and sang) whenever we had a practise for the sake of practising we tuned half a step down, or whenever we had a long show, it saves the vocalist from fatuiging his/her voice quickly. Also, some people's vocal ranges lie on two sharps/flats. Eg. Their lowest note is D# and their highest is F#. Then that'd also help.
    The most common reason for Eb Standard is to be more comfortable for a singer who can't quite hit higher notes found in E Standard.

    Usually if a band wants to sound "heavier" they'll go lower than Eb, but I suppose it's a possible choice.
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    Mainly singers range, it actually does make a difference singing in Eb against E to a vocal range.
    Also if you're playing with lots of brass, they commonly tune to 'flat' keys such as Bb, makes it a bit easier to be in half down tuning
    Finally, it reduces string tension making it easier to bend etc.

    Most people go more than 1/2 step down if they want to sound "heavy" because as bgc says "flapping stings are bR004al"
    Tuning a guitar down a half step is a common practice among guitar players. This technique can be used for a variety of reasons. Some guitarists find it easier to solo tuned down. When a guitar is tuned down a half step the strings are easier to bend. The lesser tension allows for faster playing. Some guitars like the "heavier" and somewhat darker sound. Almost all 90s bands used this half step down tuning. Another reason may be to accommodate the range of a particular singer. Whatever your reason for wanting to try a half step down tuning, this article will walk you through how
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    try to tune it randomly. You'll see how many new ideas you would come up with
    There are lots of diffrent tunings used by players. for example look at System Of A Down... odd. But for their music it is perfect. You'll breake your hand playing it with default tuning.