I play everything with my fingers even when i'm strumming, and i've recently discovered how everything becomes easier and smoother and cooler sounding when i tune half step down. i don't see any reason why i should bother with standard at all when i can just put a capo on when i need it, but it kind of makes me feel like I'm cheating (ridiculous i know).

Is this standard practice or will it ruin my technique if i keep it half step down?
Won't ruin your technique, its not really that much of a tension difference in my opinion. If it works for you thats great, sense you are already tuning down some I'd recommend playing around with DADGAD tuning as well. I tend to keep one acoustic tuned to standard then the other tuned to DADGAD for some fun irish sounding ideas etc.
Are you singing also? Because if so, it simply might fit your vocal range a bit better.

Al Stewart recorded, "Roads to Moscow" a half step down in Eb minor. It's very ominous sounding. The Beatles,"Yesterday", is a full step tuned down. (Played in G, tuned to D standard), ostensibly to get rid of the G above middle C in the melody.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 19, 2013,
Yeah, I'm singing too and it is definitely a better fit for my vocal range as well as just feeling right.

Like Walt said, it really can't be all that much different tension wise, but it feels a hell of a lot different to me. it's like my fingers don't get caught on the strings as much and sort of slide effortlessly. I think small differences make a big difference to me, because i always have to spend to adjusting when playing on a different guitar.
Get lighter gauge string, tune to standard
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I keep my acoustic tuned a step down. More for vocal range than anything else, but there is a noticeable difference in tension, nothing huge, but I prefer it.
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Yeah, I'm singing too and it is definitely a better fit for my vocal range...[ ]....
Quote by RCA1186
Get lighter gauge string, tune to standard
What part of that wasn't clear?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 19, 2013,
the only time i find tuning down helpful (i play fingerstyle 90% of the time, btw) is when a guitar has action too high for me or strings too heavy for me.

imo anything that makes playing easier is a plus, not cheating. it's a good thing. i do whatever i can to keep my guitar, strings and hardware from getting in the way of my playing. if you prefer the tone a half step down, it certainly won't hurt your guitar OR your playing to leave your guitar tuned down - my husband's guitars are all kept tuned down a full step, and i play fingerstyle on them periodically.
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I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!