#1
Hi

More and more often our band is choosing to play songs that require Eb tuning. So far I've flatly refused to tune down and so we play songs originally recorded in Eb in E.

As most of the set list is in standard tuning I'm not keen on faffing around tweaking my tuning for the odd song mid gig.

What's your opinion?
#2
second guitar tuned to Eb.
Quote by element4433
One time I watched a dog lick his own dick for twenty minutes.

Quote by Roc8995
No.


Well, technically it could be done, but only in the same way that you could change a cat into a hamburger. It's an unpleasant process, and nobody is happy with the result.
#3
Stick with playing them in E, maybe switch some of them to D if that works better for you. My band does loads like this.

Retuning between songs too often is a guaranteed way to lose an audience's interest. You want the breaks between songs to be as minimal as possible.

The second guitar tuned to Eb can work, but then you'd need an extra backup in case of string breaks etc. IMO it's better to keep your second guitar there for when you need it, not just when you want a different tuning - unless you have space at all venues to have a rack of guitars (main guitar, backup for standard tuning, Eb guitar, backup for Eb guitar etc).
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
EVH 5150 III LBXII
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#4
Thanks both

Gary your thinking was the same as mine. I do have 2 guitars and both are in standard tuning. I've kept it like this up until now so that if I have a string break on the strat I can just grab the Ibanez, plug in and carry on.

I usually have my strat as the preferred axe as tuning is straight from the tuning heads and takes seconds if needed. My backup is an Ibanez with a locked nut so messing between tunings between songs isn't going to happen.

If I leave the Ibanez in Eb then I'm going to be stuffed if I have a string break on the strat.
#5
Quote by GaryBillington
Stick with playing them in E


This. There is no such thing as a song "requiring" Eb tuning. Just because the song was recorded in a particular key or tuning does not mean that you are required to use that tuning unless maybe if you are a tribute band and need to keep in that tuning. Heck, there are tons of famous bands that don't always play their songs in the same key or tuning.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#6
You don't need to play songs in their original key. Though sometimes playing a song a half step higher may make it harder for the singer. Actually, which key you should play a song in depends on your singer's vocal range.

Play the songs in whichever key/tuning you like.
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
#7
Thanks all

I'm aware that I don't need to play any song in it's original key. I'm also aware that we can change key to whatever key may suit the vocalists range.

For ease of learning new songs though we have kept to singing/playing songs in their original key up until now except the odd simple one here and there.

For gigging as a guitarist I have 2 guitars. A strat and an Ibanez with a locking nut. Both guitars are generally left in standard tuning so if I have a string break or anything else guitar related I can swap to the other very quickly without upsetting the flow.

My original point was about using the strat as my primary axe and down tuning to Eb for the odd song that may have been originally recorded like that. Reason being that although you can almost always find backing tracks on the net to practise to that have been tuned up a semitone to E, other band members i.e, bass, keys and vocalists rarely think about these things as they find it doesn't affect them too much.

If I'm learning a new song that is in Eb then at home it's fine to down tune and practise against the backing track. When I'm playing live I'm not sure its such a good idea, hence my original question.

E.G. Sweet child o mine. Recorded in Eb and I ask the band to play it in E and I supply a backing track to all in E to learn it. With complicated solos it' a right pain in the ar$e to learn in the first instance. If I learn it in E and we play it in E, I don't have to down tune as the rest of the set list is in standard tuning. If we play it in Eb I either have to down tune for one song mid performance or learn a really fcuked up version 1 fret down in standard tuning.
#8
Do you have Reaper?

You can load MP3s into it & change their pitch using 'ReaPitch' (think I've remembered its name right?)

Whenever my band are learning something in a different key to the original, I always use that to create an MP3 for them all in the key we're going to be playing in.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
EVH 5150 III LBXII
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#9
Thanks Gary

I do have Reaper but didn't know it could do that. I'll take a look. :-)
#10
I can only go from my own experience, but me and the guitarist in my band both have a second guitar for a second tuning. In fact we plays songs in three tuning, just because we're weirdos like that, but that's besides the point.

I agree that long retuning gaps are a pain. But if you manage your set correctly then it should hardly be noticeable. We have one guitar/bass set to one tuning, one that doesn't need messing with, and play those songs at the beginning of the set, or end, doesn't matter really just together. Then we have a second which generally fluctuates between drop c and d standard. We'll also play a couple of acoustic or backing tracked songs to give one or both of us time to tweak tunings that need tweaking.

Got to be honest. It can be a massive pain, and yeah we're probably living on the wild side not having a spare for string breakages, but it still works for us and allows us the ability to mess around with different sounds and voicings and all that.

I'm a firm believer that you can make it work either way. Stick to E if that makes it easier. Stick a capo on if your singer needs something bringing into an easier key. But with a bit of set management it wouldn't be too stressful to have an Eb guitar as long as part of your pedal board is a decent tuner.
Last edited by Of_Wolves at Sep 17, 2016,
#11
Quote by Goochster
Hi

More and more often our band is choosing to play songs that require Eb tuning. So far I've flatly refused to tune down and so we play songs originally recorded in Eb in E.

As most of the set list is in standard tuning I'm not keen on faffing around tweaking my tuning for the odd song mid gig.

What's your opinion?


Why wouldn't you play all songs tuned down half a step? That's what most bands do anyway?
#12
The key you play the song in has to be determined FIRST by what key your singer sounds best singing it in. The original key of the recording doesn't really matter much.

The second consideration is what key it is easier to play it in.

In that order.

My guess is that you could probably play the entire set with guitars in Eb and everyone would be fine.

If you *need* guitars in both tunings, then you need to consider your options:
1. Carry three guitars to your gig (one in the key you play most often in, one in the key you play occasionally in, and one backup for the key you play most often in.). If you break a string on the guitar you play least often, then you might have to stop mid-set and re-tune a guitar, but geez... it's not like that's going to happen very often. I break maybe one or two strings a year.
2. Carry four guitars to a gig...
3. (worst option) Be prepared to re-tune at least once per set.

Personally, I like #2, but would be happy enough with #1.

If you can get through the whole set in Eb tuning, then you can do the whole thing with one guitar and a backup.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.