#1
Been looking everywhere but I can't seem to find a list. Anyone know that list? I want to know all the guitar timings for a 6 string, from highest to lowest. Trying to decide which tuning I like best and try to develop a personal sound off of that, so I'd like to go through each one.

Meant to write "tuning" on the title. Sorry, I'm on my iPhone. Damn autocorrect.
Last edited by Granata at Jun 11, 2015,
#2
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_guitar_tunings

And if that's not enough...

http://www.scottysmusic.com/tunings.htm
http://www.well.com/~wellvis/tuning.html

And there are literally thousands of other possibilities. Like ignoring octaves, there are 12 possible notes for each of 6 strings. Thats's 12 to the 6th power. Which is a lot. 2,985,984 to be exact.

That being said, not all of those combinations would be useful. But even if only 1 percent of them were useful, that would still be 29,860 usable tunings.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
Last edited by theogonia777 at Jun 10, 2015,
#3
Quote by theogonia777
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_guitar_tunings

And if that's not enough...

http://www.scottysmusic.com/tunings.htm
http://www.well.com/~wellvis/tuning.html

And there are literally thousands of other possibilities. Like ignoring octaves, there are 12 possible notes for each of 6 strings. Thats's 12 to the 6th power. Which is a lot. 2,985,984 to be exact.

That being said, not all of those combinations would be useful. But even if only 1 percent of them were useful, that would still be 29,860 usable tunings.


Thank you for this. They're not in order though, are they? Reason I ask is because my guitar tech said that I shouldn't lower my tuning lower than drop d or else it will mess up my neck, so I'm wondering what eh timings in between standard and drop d are, in their respective order from highest to lowest.
#4
Well... considering that standard is EADGBE and dropped D is DADGBE, the only tuning that could possibly come in between is EbADGBE. That being said, your guitar tech is either full of crappie or doesn't know what he's talking about. The only way that you could really mess up your neck is if you dramatically increase the overall tension, such as switching from 42-9 strings in standard to 52-12 or some in standard without adjusting your trussrod.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#5
Quote by theogonia777
Well... considering that standard is EADGBE and dropped D is DADGBE, the only tuning that could possibly come in between is EbADGBE. That being said, your guitar tech is either full of crappie or doesn't know what he's talking about. The only way that you could really mess up your neck is if you dramatically increase the overall tension, such as switching from 42-9 strings in standard to 52-12 or some in standard without adjusting your trussrod.


Hmm, interesting. Got it setup a few days back because the action was getting crappy and I heard frequent buzzing. Asked him if it's safe to go up and down timings every once in a while since I like to go to standard to something as low as Slayer songs, and he said that going below drop d would pretty much screw the neck up, and anything higher than standard would do the same.

Full of sh*t or not, that bastard charged me $80 for a setup. Yes, this is guitar center.
#6
I suspect the guitar tech is probably right. The guitar stresses created by the strings and the truss rod counterbalance each other. Drastically changing the tension and left for a long period of time, the misbalance (without adjusting the truss rod) may well cause torsion in the neck.

I do know, through very expensive loss, that putting a guitar into an airplane's hold, without slackening the strings off, causes serious damage ... again due to imbalance. As the temperature drops the strings tighten. When the tempearture drops enough, the head stock can snap (as did my beloved Taylor).

But that's just me guessing.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jun 11, 2015,
#7
Quote by Granata
Thank you for this. They're not in order though, are they? Reason I ask is because my guitar tech said that I shouldn't lower my tuning lower than drop d or else it will mess up my neck, so I'm wondering what eh timings in between standard and drop d are, in their respective order from highest to lowest.


I would strongly encourage you to not think about tunings the way you're thinking about tunings.

If you're a relative beginner, which you clearly are, the best way to think about tunings is to listen to songs, and when you've heard some songs you like in the same tuning, start experimenting with it. Use it in the context of those songs, and then build out - the same way you probably learned standard tuning.

If you're more experienced, you want to let your ear be your guide. When there's a sound you want that you're struggling to get with a tuning you know, and you understanding your instrument well enough (which you don't, yet) you'll often see ways to adjust a string or two to change the tuning to your advantage. But this should flow from the desire to play specific things which aren't easy to do in standard.

A list of all guitar tunings would be 12^6 items long (12 notes each on six strings) that's almost three million options. Actually, it might be bigger than that if some strings have different octave options in that given tuning. You don't actually want such a list.
#9
Most of those are for steel guitar, but there is one pic that Dread will love.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#10
Quote by HotspurJr
I would strongly encourage you to not think about tunings the way you're thinking about tunings.

If you're a relative beginner, which you clearly are, the best way to think about tunings is to listen to songs, and when you've heard some songs you like in the same tuning, start experimenting with it. Use it in the context of those songs, and then build out - the same way you probably learned standard tuning.

If you're more experienced, you want to let your ear be your guide. When there's a sound you want that you're struggling to get with a tuning you know, and you understanding your instrument well enough (which you don't, yet) you'll often see ways to adjust a string or two to change the tuning to your advantage. But this should flow from the desire to play specific things which aren't easy to do in standard.

A list of all guitar tunings would be 12^6 items long (12 notes each on six strings) that's almost three million options. Actually, it might be bigger than that if some strings have different octave options in that given tuning. You don't actually want such a list.



Thanks for the advice. I see what you mean. But still, going back to what the tech said, how do I know what timings are lower than drop d? And which are higher than standard? Would I just have to bust out my tuner and see that if exceeds the low and high timings that I should avoid?
#11
It's tuning, not timing. (Or are you using auto correct?)

What tunings are lower than drop D? Well, anything that starts with a lower note than D. Though some tunings are both lower and higher than standard - I mean, you tune some strings up and some strings down.

But yeah, you just need to look at the pitches. EADGBE is standard. Just look at the notes on all strings and compare them to standard. You rarely tune up, most tunings are lower than standard (that's because strings break easier if you tune them up).

There are no tunings in between standard and drop D, because drop D is the same notes as standard, except for the lowest string that is tuned a whole step (2 frets) down. OK, technically there is one tuning - EbADGBE, but that makes no sense.


You can tune your guitar down without hurting it. You can take all the strings off without hurting it, so why would tuning down be an issue? But that may cause fret buzz, and you will have pretty loose strings. The same set of strings won't work that well for different tunings. Strings that feel good in standard will feel too loose in lower tunings, and strings that feel good in lower tunings will feel too heavy in standard tuning.

So if you are changing in between two totally different tunings (for example drop A# and standard), I think using different guitars for them would make sense. Otherwise your strings will feel either too loose or too tight. But if the tunings are pretty close to each other (for example Eb standard, maybe even D standard, and standard tuning), one guitar without needing to change your strings may handle it pretty well.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jun 11, 2015,
#12
Quote by theogonia777
The only way that you could really mess up your neck is if you dramatically increase the overall tension, such as switching from 42-9 strings in standard to 52-12 or some in standard without adjusting your trussrod.

Um...no. Depending upon the particular neck, tuning below Drop D could indeed warp the neck -- provided you do NOT adjust the truss rod. Lowering tuning decreases tension, which means there's less pull on the neck than there previously was. That allows the potential for neck warping.
#13
Quote by MaggaraMarine
It's tuning, not timing. (Or are you using auto correct?)

What tunings are lower than drop D? Well, anything that starts with a lower note than D. Though some tunings are both lower and higher than standard - I mean, you tune some strings up and some strings down.

But yeah, you just need to look at the pitches. EADGBE is standard. Just look at the notes on all strings and compare them to standard. You rarely tune up, most tunings are lower than standard (that's because strings break easier if you tune them up).

There are no tunings in between standard and drop D, because drop D is the same notes as standard, except for the lowest string that is tuned a whole step (2 frets) down. OK, technically there is one tuning - EbADGBE, but that makes no sense.


You can tune your guitar down without hurting it. You can take all the strings off without hurting it, so why would tuning down be an issue? But that may cause fret buzz, and you will have pretty loose strings. The same set of strings won't work that well for different tunings. Strings that feel good in standard will feel too loose in lower tunings, and strings that feel good in lower tunings will feel too heavy in standard tuning.

So if you are changing in between two totally different tunings (for example drop A# and standard), I think using different guitars for them would make sense. Otherwise your strings will feel either too loose or too tight. But if the tunings are pretty close to each other (for example Eb standard, maybe even D standard, and standard tuning), one guitar without needing to change your strings may handle it pretty well.


Apologies. Im on my iPhone and it has autocorrect. What you said makes a lot of sense. So my only options to avoid messing up the neck is basically just standard and/or drop d where I just lower the 6th string?

What about standard to D#G#C#F#A#D? Would that tension release be overdoing it?
#14
I'd say if the guitar is set up for standard then the lowest I'd go would be around D standard DGCFAD so Eb (same as D#) would be fine, as well as stuff like DADGAD. If you want to go lower than that you'll need to put onheavier strings and adjust the truss rod. It's really not that hard to do, though you do need to be careful. There are plenty of places on the internet where you can learn to set up your guitar. I think it's way better to learn to adjust the action, intonation, and truss rod, than having to pay someone else to do it every time. Anything more extensive and difficult where you need specialized tools like crowning the frets it'd be a good idea to go ahead and have a pro do it, but basic setup is pretty straight forward.

http://www.projectguitar.com/articles.html/_/tutorials/instrument-setup/solidbody-setup-i-introduction-and-headstock-r39

Tuning lower for a short period of time (like an hour or so) without putting heavier strings and adjusting the truss rod wouldn't really cause any neck problems (same for taking the strings off) but they'll be really floppy and buzzy. If you had it like that for a few days however you could run into problems.
Last edited by The4thHorsemen at Jun 11, 2015,
#15
Quote by The4thHorsemen
I'd say if the guitar is set up for standard then the lowest I'd go would be around D standard DGCFAD so Eb (same as D#) would be fine, as well as stuff like DADGAD. If you want to go lower than that you'll need to put onheavier strings and adjust the truss rod. It's really not that hard to do, though you do need to be careful. There are plenty of places on the internet where you can learn to set up your guitar. I think it's way better to learn to adjust the action, intonation, and truss rod, than having to pay someone else to do it every time. Anything more extensive and difficult where you need specialized tools like crowning the frets it'd be a good idea to go ahead and have a pro do it, but basic setup is pretty straight forward.

http://www.projectguitar.com/articles.html/_/tutorials/instrument-setup/solidbody-setup-i-introduction-and-headstock-r39

Tuning lower for a short period of time (like an hour or so) without putting heavier strings and adjusting the truss rod wouldn't really cause any neck problems (same for taking the strings off) but they'll be really floppy and buzzy. If you had it like that for a few days however you could run into problems.


Thank you dude! Nice post. So lower I go, the hevaier the string gauges need to be? So what, that would be something like D'Addario XL's? I'm currently using those strings for standard, but I see what you mean.
#16
you probably have 9-42 strings on your guitar because those are very common. if you want to tune to D, i'd put 10s on. C and below, 12 or 13s
#17
Quote by Granata
Thanks for the advice. I see what you mean. But still, going back to what the tech said, how do I know what timings are lower than drop d? And which are higher than standard? Would I just have to bust out my tuner and see that if exceeds the low and high timings that I should avoid?


Most people worry about tuning higher more than they worry about tuning lower.

You just have to develop a feel for the overall tension of the guitar.

eg, my guitar has very light strings on it, and even in DADGAD the low D is borderline too loose. But that gets to the point: you can't just say "this tension is too loose/tight" without talking about the strings you have on it - different strings have different tensions.

You should be safe tuning multiple strings a full step down. Lower than that and you may start to have problems, but if you're just dropping your sixth string, you could go down even lower.

The secret to tunings is to recognize the interval pattern. Then you tune to that interval pattern in a way that works with your low string on E or D, and if you want a higher version of that, you capo up.

eg., I play in DADGAD a lot. If I wanted that same tuning, but in F (FCFBbCF) I'd tune to DADGAD and capo on three. I probably wouldn't go lower than that without changing strings, so a tuning like CGCFGC - which is the same tuning, a whole step down - isn't something I'm likely to play. DADGAD capo'd on 10 would be weird to play.

Honestly, dropping down for an hour or two isn't going to do any damage to your guitar, so if you want to mess around, feel free, just tune back up to standard afterward. But again, unless you're trying to match someone's voice, it's only the RELATIVE tuning of the strings that matters. I have no reason to tune to CGCFGC because it is the same as DADGAD unless I'm playing with another instrument of limited range.
#18
Strings really depends on preference. The XL doesn't refer to the string sizes, it's just the type I think. In the corner it'll say like 9-42 or whatever and then somewhere on the package it lists all 6 of the string sizes like 9 11 16 24 32 42, or whatever the set happens to be. (that's thousandths of an inch - some companies will have like .009 .011, etc.) Most of the time people just refer to a set by whatever the smallest string gauge is because most of the time the rest of the set is comparable to other sets starting with the same size small string, but there are custom and mixed sets that have more balanced tension or have bigger than normal big strings or whatever.

9s and 10s are common for E standard, but you can even go up to 12s, they'll just be pretty tight. It's all down to personal preference. I like the better sustain of tighter strings and don't mind that they're a little harder to bend, plus it's easier to get the action super low without buzzing, so I've been using 11-58 on my 7 string in standard tuning and I love it. (the same as a 6 string 11-48 set in E standard, I've just got the extra low B string).

Similar to RKY's post, I'd say 9s or 10s are usual for E standard, 10s or 11s for D standard, and anything below that will be 12s or 13s. You can always go heavier than the norm if you like, you'll just have to adjust the truss rod for the extra tension. Any time you change gauges and/or tunings it's a good idea to check your truss rod, action, and intonation. You might find that when changing from 9s in E to 10s in D that there may not be much change in neck bow and the action would probably be fine since they'll have similar overall tension, but it'd be a good idea to check, and you'd probably find the intonation to be a little off.

If you go too much lighter than the norm you're probably going to run into floppy strings and fret buzz. 9's will play and sound "okay" in D, but they're shit in C.


edit: +1 to hotspurs
Last edited by The4thHorsemen at Jun 11, 2015,
#19
Quote by rky
you probably have 9-42 strings on your guitar because those are very common. if you want to tune to D, i'd put 10s on. C and below, 12 or 13s


They're 10-46's

*reading the rest of the comments*
#20
How can you know which tuning you like best without being able to play any music in those tunings?

Often, the exclusive use of open chord tuning is the result of players realizing they can play actual music with only barres. It's quite limiting to use a tuning that way.

I'd suggest looking into music you like to listen to and want to play. Do they use non-standard tunings? Which ones? What does the tuning do for the music? If you don't already know which tunings exist, you should really just get started in standard and then discover others as they come up in your music listening or playing experience. The overwhelming majority of guitar music is in standard tuning, so it's very likely that the sounds you enjoy are played with it.
Last edited by cdgraves at Jun 11, 2015,
#21
Yeah seriously, it's not like there isn't enough cool stuff to learn in standard.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#22
First thing I do when I try a new tuning is figure out all the open voiced chords. Usually the easiest chords to play are something like I-IV-V. Once you've determined this, you have an idea of what kinds of songs might work well in this tuning.

Often you lose something when you use an altered tuning. Your chords might become thinner, might rely more on open strings, sus chords and unison notes. Embrace the restrictions. They're cool.