#1
I'm well aware of why people down tune their guitars to get a heavier sound and the ability to play notes in a lower register.

I have also come across bands/guitarists that tune 'up' past standard tuning so that rather than being tuned to (E A D G b e) they are tuned to (F# B E A c# f#)
I can see no real advantage to this apart from perhaps a slightly brighter tone but the chance of breaking a string is massive.

Does anyone else 'up-tune' or know why people do it?
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#2
Because they like the sound. That's the only answer. When I'm jamming I prefer to play in C# standard. Literally the only reason is because I like the sound.
#3
Just stick a capo on the first or second fret.

The advantage of downtuning or using a capo ( "up tuning" is kind of stupid given the existence of capos) is that you change the tone quite a bit - playing a riff in D rather E really makes a difference. As does playing something in B Minor rather than A minor - the strings react differently and the tone changes.
#4
Quote by Matriani
I'm well aware of why people down tune their guitars to get a heavier sound and the ability to play notes in a lower register.
Well that's one reason. 12 strings need to be tuned down so there's less chance the string tension causes them to self destruct.

Another is vocal range. Given the G4 in the open position, (3rd fret e-1), the guitar is more or less, a tenor instrument. Tuning down to D-d can help a baritone sync up with the guitar a bit better.
Quote by Matriani
I have also come across bands/guitarists that tune 'up' past standard tuning so that rather than being tuned to (E A D G b e) they are tuned to (F# B E A c# f#)
As reverb66 has pointed out, you're much better off using a capo. But, there's a whole lot of crap running around how, "real guitarists don't use capos", which I, and a whole lot professional guitarists completely ignore.

Tuning up or down, allows you to use a certain set of "chord shapes". For example, The Beatles, "Yesterday" is recorded in F, using open chords from the key of G. Sir Paul likely had a bit of trouble singing the, "Yesterday,ay, ay, ay", with the G4 on top.

I like to play "Peaceful Easy Feeling" with a capo on the 2nd fret, using the chord shapes from D major. The song is recorded in E major, but it's a whole lot more fluid played in D, simply by virtue of the fact there's more open strings ringing through the chord changes. Using a "drop D capo (5 string)", allows you to maintain the low E bass note. You could also have a 2ng guitar player, playing in E (no capo), to fatten up the sound.
Quote by Matriani
I can see no real advantage to this apart from perhaps a slightly brighter tone but the chance of breaking a string is massive.

Does anyone else 'up-tune' or know why people do it?
The chance of breaking a string, IMHO, is quite insignificant as compared to damaging the guitar itself. A lightly built acoustic wouldn't take kindly to the very much increased string tension. You could put lighter strings on the guitar, but you'd lose a bunch of bass and projection, winding up with a guitar that's what us old farts used to call, "tinny".

There's quite a few good reasons to familiarize yourself with the finer points and practical uses of the capo.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Dec 5, 2015,
#5
I personally would use a capo or just play barre chords. What i'm trying to figure out is why some people don't do this and choose to up-tune their guitar when there are so many disadvantages in doing so
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#6
Preference really, also if you are playing along with a band or the song it will sound off more often than not if you don't up tune. Also thin strings don't take kindly too lower tunings.
#7
Quote by Matriani
I personally would use a capo or just play barre chords. What i'm trying to figure out is why some people don't do this and choose to up-tune their guitar when there are so many disadvantages in doing so


Perhaps they don't know about barre-chords, and don't like capo. Loads of tunes are written using open chords, and the player doesn't have to venture into uncharted territory! Each to their own.
#8
Since it seems no-one really knows any advantages of doing this, I'm sticking to my opinion that it is just plain stupid and pointless!
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