#1
Hey guys, I know there's tons of threads concerning the whole "E standard vs. Alternate tuning" fling but I'll narrow the "Alternate tuning" part to just Eb. I recently got the Epiphone Plustop Profx which includes a Floyd Rose (which we all know takes some work to get in tune) so I guess I need to stick to one tuning. I primarily listen to stuff like GnR, Hendrix, and SRV, all of whom use Eb tuning for the most part. I've been playing for close to two years and would like to get better at my theory too but there lies my problem, is it better for my ear and so I don't get confused in keys and such to be practicing in E standard? Or is it better to just go with my playing preference and for my comfort to play in Eb? Again, when learning things like "The Minor Pentatonic in C" Assuming your root is on the E string it would be on the eighth fret in standard tuning which is self explanatory. Doing the same while in Eb though would result in me playing in B. Eb is definitely my favorite tuning as the strings are slacker and I feel more free and more willing to play but, is it right to practice and learn in Eb and will I regret it in the long run? And though I may dislike it, should I just keep everything simple and practice in E? (P.S. For all those who say to just grab another guitar to play in a different tuning, I want to practice with this guitar the most so that's why I need to decide what to tune it to!)
#2
Most people are going to say that learning theory is most practical in standard tuning. Learning scales in standard is also -probably- easier. But since you like E flat tuning, maybe consider tuning to that then putting a capo in the first fret and play like standard 440 tuning? Just a suggestion; you can go after theory however you feel is best.
#3
practice in standard. people sometimes overlook the tension difference. granted, it's not THAT much of a disparity, but i have seen some guitarists who usually play in drop B that couldn't play an acoustic guitar in standard.

if you have an acoustic, though, just practice on that in standard and leave your electric in Eb. if you can play an acoustic in E standard, you can play an electric in Eb standard.
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#4
Quote by AeolianWolf
practice in standard. people sometimes overlook the tension difference. granted, it's not THAT much of a disparity, but i have seen some guitarists who usually play in drop B that couldn't play an acoustic guitar in standard.

if you have an acoustic, though, just practice on that in standard and leave your electric in Eb. if you can play an acoustic in E standard, you can play an electric in Eb standard.

I have an acoustic, but I mainly use that for fooling around with chords : I guess I should also mention that I have another Epi guitar that I love so much, maybe I should tune that in E and split time between that and my new one?
#5
Best to stick to standard
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#6
Quote by LedRevolver
I have an acoustic, but I mainly use that for fooling around with chords : I guess I should also mention that I have another Epi guitar that I love so much, maybe I should tune that in E and split time between that and my new one?


couldn't hurt. try strengthening your fingering by practicing your exercises on acoustic, too. just remember to keep yourself relaxed.

seriously, once i was able to do legato smoothly on an acoustic, i blew through it cleanly on electric. don't ever overlook the power of acoustic guitars -- there's a lot to be learned there.
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#7
Quote by Crazyxadamx
Most people are going to say that learning theory is most practical in standard tuning. Learning scales in standard is also -probably- easier. But since you like E flat tuning, maybe consider tuning to that then putting a capo in the first fret and play like standard 440 tuning? Just a suggestion; you can go after theory however you feel is best.


+1 tune to e flat and stick a capo on the first fret problem solved.

If you're into GnR etc, AKA songs that were intended to be played E Flat they're going to sound wrong if play them in E standard.

EDIT:

Tune your 2nd guitar and tune it to E standard again problem solved...

Quick note about FR bridges

I own two guitars with FR bridges the Jackson is tuned to E standard the Ibanez is tuned to Drop D

FR bridges have a bad rep for being difficult they really aren't once you have them setup. Even the setup isn't any worse than a non locking tremolo.

Once you've got a floyd setup for a certain tuning and string gauge. Leave it the hell alone!!!

A couple of simple tricks make it as easy if not easier than a non locking trem when it comes to changing the strings.

If you haven't seen this it's pretty everything you need to know about a FR bridge and then some.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=614226
Gear
Jackson DK2
Ibanez RGR320EX
Guild X82 Nova
Godin Seagull S6

Vox V847
Vox VT40+ / VFS5 VT


Quote by FatalGear41

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Last edited by Willowthewitch at Aug 9, 2011,
#8
Do what I do: refer to all the note names as if they were in standard all the time anyway.
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#9
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Do what I do: refer to all the note names as if they were in standard all the time anyway.

LOL, that's actually what I normally do but then that messes up your ear then...
#10
Quote by LedRevolver
LOL, that's actually what I normally do but then that messes up your ear then...


Uhhh... no it doesn't? It would only mess up your ear if you were trying to get memorised pitch, since I think it benefits musicians most to have good relative pitch I see no harm in doing it that way. I've been doing it for years and my ears are fine.

Why would it mess up your ear anyway?
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
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#11
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Uhhh... no it doesn't? It would only mess up your ear if you were trying to get memorised pitch, since I think it benefits musicians most to have good relative pitch I see no harm in doing it that way. I've been doing it for years and my ears are fine.

Why would it mess up your ear anyway?

I don't know man, I guess I want to be like one of those guys who can tell what note is playing just by ear... I can tune to standard by ear with ease already though... :P
#12
Quote by LedRevolver
I don't know man, I guess I want to be like one of those guys who can tell what note is playing just by ear... I can tune to standard by ear with ease already though... :P


Yeah, that's memorised pitch. Good luck, I wouldn't want it anyway, relative pitch is much more useful in my opinion.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#13
Yeah thanks for the opinions guys, after thinking it through I'll just tune it to Eb and tune my other Epi to standard, that is of course if anyone else can change my mind?
#14
Leave it in Eb. The tuning does not matter, nor do the notes. Only the distance between the notes, like zaphod said. I play in a band and our songs are in drop C, drop D, D standard and E standard, and my ear has gotten THOUSANDS of times better since being in the band. It doesn't matter where you start when you are improving with people, it just matters where you are going, and so you can hear the note/chord in your head and then go "If I go 2 frets up I can get that magic chord, I'm sure of it". After getting good with jamming around with my band, I no longer use tabs for any acoustic song, and very rarely for electric (and I usually think I can do a better job than most tabs nowadays). It is very rewarding to play by ear.

If you want to get good at using your ear, play with other musicians and learn songs without tabs. But never be afraid to try different tunings, just remember with drop tunings your scale is off on the first string, so I just solo and scale starting on the A string **PROBLEM SOLVED**

Anyone who says playing in dropped tuning or Eb is bad for your ear is just dumb...
#15
Quote by hansome21
Leave it in Eb. The tuning does not matter, nor do the notes. Only the distance between the notes, like zaphod said. I play in a band and our songs are in drop C, drop D, D standard and E standard, and my ear has gotten THOUSANDS of times better since being in the band. It doesn't matter where you start when you are improving with people, it just matters where you are going, and so you can hear the note/chord in your head and then go "If I go 2 frets up I can get that magic chord, I'm sure of it". After getting good with jamming around with my band, I no longer use tabs for any acoustic song, and very rarely for electric (and I usually think I can do a better job than most tabs nowadays). It is very rewarding to play by ear.

If you want to get good at using your ear, play with other musicians and learn songs without tabs. But never be afraid to try different tunings, just remember with drop tunings your scale is off on the first string, so I just solo and scale starting on the A string **PROBLEM SOLVED**

Anyone who says playing in dropped tuning or Eb is bad for your ear is just dumb...

I'll take that advice! I usually fail at tabbing by ear but I guess I should try harder, any idea where I should start?
#16
The thing is -

A lot of people who tune to e-flat, unless they're playing with keyboards or horns or whatever, don't rethink the notes of the fretboard.

eg, they still think of "C" as being the third fret of the second-lowest string.

You're tuned normally, just not to concert pitch.

If you want to be in Eb for a bunch of songs, then yes, I recommend tuning down and using a capo on the first if you need to match something that's tuned to standard. THat should be easy enough. But unless you're playing along with a track or a band, I'd just act like I was tuned to standard.

Chances are good that without a reference pitch you will never get to a point where you pick up your guitar and can tell exactly where it's tuned anyway. If your playing by yourself, the only thing that matters is that you're tuned to yourself.
#17
Quote by HotspurJr
The thing is -

A lot of people who tune to e-flat, unless they're playing with keyboards or horns or whatever, don't rethink the notes of the fretboard.

eg, they still think of "C" as being the third fret of the second-lowest string.

You're tuned normally, just not to concert pitch.

If you want to be in Eb for a bunch of songs, then yes, I recommend tuning down and using a capo on the first if you need to match something that's tuned to standard. THat should be easy enough. But unless you're playing along with a track or a band, I'd just act like I was tuned to standard.

Chances are good that without a reference pitch you will never get to a point where you pick up your guitar and can tell exactly where it's tuned anyway. If your playing by
yourself, the only thing that matters is that you're tuned to yourself.

So you're saying that it's okay to just consider a C note still C (even though it would be
B) when playing in Eb right? I guess there really is no harm in following this theory, saves me a lot of headaches so I can get to playing...
#18
Quote by LedRevolver
So you're saying that it's okay to just consider a C note still C (even though it would be
B) when playing in Eb right?


Correct. No harm at all, so long as you're not trying to play with other musicians.
#19
Quote by LedRevolver
So you're saying that it's okay to just consider a C note still C (even though it would be
B) when playing in Eb right? I guess there really is no harm in following this theory, saves me a lot of headaches so I can get to playing...


As spurs mentioned, it will hurt your ability to communicate with others. Honestly, I don't see why you wouldn't call the note you're playing by it's actual name. There's nothing more difficult about learning keys/scales with more flats and sharps in them: they're just the same as any other scale.

Notes go beyond the fretboard of the guitar; just because you're playing the 5th fret of the A string does not mean you're playing a D. I say just get over it and learn your flattened scales.

Eb F G Ab Bb C D
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
Bb C D Eb F G A

^ Nothing hard about that.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#20
Quote by soviet_ska
As spurs mentioned, it will hurt your ability to communicate with others. Honestly, I don't see why you wouldn't call the note you're playing by it's actual name. There's nothing more difficult about learning keys/scales with more flats and sharps in them: they're just the same as any other scale.

Notes go beyond the fretboard of the guitar; just because you're playing the 5th fret of the A string does not mean you're playing a D. I say just get over it and learn your flattened scales.

Eb F G Ab Bb C D
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
Bb C D Eb F G A

^ Nothing hard about that.

I guess in a sense that'll make me even better, thanks Sov!
#21
Quote by soviet_ska
As spurs mentioned, it will hurt your ability to communicate with others. Honestly, I don't see why you wouldn't call the note you're playing by it's actual name. There's nothing more difficult about learning keys/scales with more flats and sharps in them: they're just the same as any other scale.

Notes go beyond the fretboard of the guitar; just because you're playing the 5th fret of the A string does not mean you're playing a D. I say just get over it and learn your flattened scales.

Eb F G Ab Bb C D
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
Bb C D Eb F G A

^ Nothing hard about that.


this.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#23
About to get it tuned, no turning back now (unless I want to go through the process again) standard or Eb?
#25
Quote by Geldin
If you've got another guitar in E standard, I'd do Eb just for the variety.

Yeah, at least it's not irreversible, just takes a heck lot of work...
#26
Quote by LedRevolver
Yeah, at least it's not irreversible, just takes a heck lot of work...

I feel you. I hate retuning my guitars. I have one in Eb, one in Drop C#, one in Drop D, and one in B-standard. I think that the last time I changed tunings was a couple months ago.
#27
Quote by LedRevolver
About to get it tuned, no turning back now (unless I want to go through the process again) standard or Eb?


"Get it tuned?"

Do I read this to mean that you're incapable of tuning your guitar yourself?

If that's the case, then all this discussion about E-vs-Eb is pointless.

Go buy this:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_15?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=headstock+tuner&x=0&y=0&sprefix=headstock+tuner

Do not pass go. Do not collect $200 dollars. It costs less than $20. Just do it. Do the following two things:

First, tune up before every time you play. No exceptions. I don't care if you have a floyd rose or not.

Second, plug in. Every time you play.

The simple truth is that if tuning is such a chore, your ear nears to develop - a lot. And every time you play slightly out of tune you're hurting that development. Playing an electric unplugged means you can't really hear what you're doing - slowing down your development.

If you can't tune your own guitar, then it strikes me as pretty silly to tune it to anything other than standard. It's a lot of noise about nothing. It suggests that you're pretty inexperienced, and your preference for strings with more slack in them seems a little, well, dubious, too: get thinner strings. But if you have normal guage strings on there (9s or 10s?) then I'm guessing that you're pretty experienced and should work through the mild discomfort of thicker strings - confront your weakesses as a player rather than run away from them.
#29
Quote by HotspurJr
"Get it tuned?"

Do I read this to mean that you're incapable of tuning your guitar yourself?

If that's the case, then all this discussion about E-vs-Eb is pointless.

Go buy this:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_15?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=headstock+tuner&x=0&y=0&sprefix=headstock+tuner

Do not pass go. Do not collect $200 dollars. It costs less than $20. Just do it. Do the following two things:

First, tune up before every time you play. No exceptions. I don't care if you have a floyd rose or not.

Second, plug in. Every time you play.

The simple truth is that if tuning is such a chore, your ear nears to develop - a lot. And every time you play slightly out of tune you're hurting that development. Playing an
electric unplugged means you can't really hear what you're doing - slowing down your development.

If you can't tune your own guitar, then it strikes me as pretty silly to tune it to anything other than standard. It's a lot of noise about nothing. It suggests that you're pretty inexperienced, and your preference for strings with more slack in them seems a little, well, dubious, too: get thinner strings. But if you have normal guage strings on there (9s or 10s?) then I'm guessing that you're pretty experienced and should work through the mild discomfort of thicker strings - confront your weakesses as a player rather than run away from them.

Uhhh, actually tuning my guitar was he first thing I ever learned. I'm just getting my guitar set up by a tech who's tuning it to Eb (which I CAN tune to with ease if it WASN'T a Floyd rose). I don't think wanting to play in a different tuning makes you inexperienced though, granted playing in Eb is a bit easier, it's not like I'm tuning down to C, sheesh.
#30
Quote by LedRevolver
Uhhh, actually tuning my guitar was he first thing I ever learned. I'm just getting my guitar set up by a tech who's tuning it to Eb (which I CAN tune to with ease if it WASN'T a Floyd rose). I don't think wanting to play in a different tuning makes you inexperienced though, granted playing in Eb is a bit easier, it's not like I'm tuning down to C, sheesh.

Nah. I play in B standard (granted, it's a seven string....), but a lot of really good players tune low. I think the reason people are recommending you stick to E standard for now is so that you can have an easier time learning the notes on the fretboard.
#31
Quote by Geldin
Nah. I play in B standard (granted, it's a seven string....), but a lot of really good players tune low. I think the reason people are recommending you stick to E standard for now is so that you can have an easier time learning the notes on the fretboard.

Ahhh, my type of person. I guess I've realized that no matter what tuning you're in, as long as you have fun learning comes hand in hand!
#32
Quote by LedRevolver
Uhhh, actually tuning my guitar was he first thing I ever learned. I'm just getting my guitar set up by a tech who's tuning it to Eb (which I CAN tune to with ease if it WASN'T a Floyd rose). I don't think wanting to play in a different tuning makes you inexperienced though, granted playing in Eb is a bit easier, it's not like I'm tuning down to C, sheesh.


Okay. "Getting it set-up to be correct in Eb" is something else. I was responding to the comment that you were getting it tuned.

But if you're going to have a guitar with a FR, you need to be able to tune a guitar with a FR quickly and easily, even when changing tunings.
#33
Quote by HotspurJr
Okay. "Getting it set-up to be correct in Eb" is something else. I was responding to the comment that you were getting it tuned.

But if you're going to have a guitar with a FR, you need to be able to tune a guitar with a FR quickly and easily, even when changing tunings.

Right you are my friend. That's why we have the power of the Internet!
#34
Quote by soviet_ska
As spurs mentioned, it will hurt your ability to communicate with others. Honestly, I don't see why you wouldn't call the note you're playing by it's actual name.

People that do that piss me off. They use the note e.g. C as another way of referring to a particular fret e.g. 3rd fret of the A string, then it turns out that they're actually playing Bb because they're tuned to D standard. It makes it more difficult to play with them because every time they give a note reference, you've got to convert it in your head before you can follow it.

To the TS: Tune to whatever you like. If the songs that you want to play are in Eb, tune to Eb. I tune to drop C and I learned all my notes and scales in that tuning; it never held me back. Standard tuning, on the other hand, would have held me back because the songs I want to play aren't in standard and I very much doubt my passion for the instrument would have been as intense had I not been able to play the songs that I love.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#35
Quote by Aleksi
People that do that piss me off. They use the note e.g. C as another way of referring to a particular fret e.g. 3rd fret of the A string, then it turns out that they're actually playing Bb because they're tuned to D standard. It makes it more difficult to play with them because every time they give a note reference, you've got to convert it in your head before you can follow it.

To the TS: Tune to whatever you like. If the songs that you want to play are in Eb, tune to Eb. I tune to drop C and I learned all my notes and scales in that tuning; it never held me back. Standard tuning, on the other hand, would have held me back because the songs I want to play aren't in standard and I very much doubt my passion for the instrument would have been as intense had I not been able to play the songs that I love.

My reason for this whole thread.
#36
Quote by LedRevolver
My reason for this whole thread.


there's no problem with learning the notes in a drop tuning. an Eb is an Eb. just make sure you learn the notes and address them as they are, not as they would be.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.